Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hunter Has Put Away Her Gun

I have always been a bargain hunter.  I come by it honestly.  As the child of parents who grew up with less not more, mayhaps one step up from poverty, I saw my mother actively seek out the cheapest of all things.    If there was a bulk purchase option that resulted in spending less per item, she bought bulk.  If she could use a coupon to save a little extra, she clipped.  If there was a way to make it herself, she did.  If she could grow it, sew it, bake it, make it cheaper & healthier than she could buy in stores, that's what she would do.

When I was growing up, I was terribly embarrassed of these things.  I didn't want home-made bread & cookies in my lunch kit.  I didn't want to wear something she had sewn or knit.  & I certainly didn't want her cutting & perming my hair. Oh, the old Toni Home Permanent Wave ~ will that smell ever leave me?  I didn't understand why we couldn't just buy things like everyone else.

Little did I know just how little my dad earned.  We didn't seem poor.  We always had food.  We always had clothes.  We weren't encouraged to participate in after-school activities, but if we had our hearts set on something, they found a way to make it work.  When I look back now, with the knowledge I have now, I cringe at my naivete & ignorance for our situation while I simultaneously marvel at their creativity & resilience, & applaud their budgeting skills. 

So, this upbringing led to me seeking out bargains.  Why would I buy a $40 sweater if there was a similar one for $15?  Why wouldn't I furnish my kitchen with Zellers & later WalMart items?  It just seemed fiscally responsible.  & yet....

The poor cannot afford cheap things. 

Schmutzie has opened my eyes.  

a brief excerpt:

I remember my father explaining to me that going with the more cheaply made product might save you a little money in the short run, but replacing a cheaper product ends up being more expensive and stressful in the long run. It's better to have something that successfully satisfies your needs for ten years than something that doesn't work very well and needs repeated fixing for two.

So true.  So very, very true.

I urge you to read the whole post ~ it may very well change your way of thinking as it has mine.

We are currently in the market for our 4th electric frypan ~ each lasting less time than the one before ~ & I am insisting we shell out for quality this time.  It just makes sense.


Blondi Blathers said...

Absolutely right. No "Bargain Shop Panties" for this kid! I want things that don't fall apart at the seams after one wearing. Like many of us, I am frugal and don't like to overpay or waste my hard-earned money. I don't want to buy things that are overpriced. But I have learned that you do have to pay for good quality, and that you usually get what you pay for.
That said, one can be a crafty shopper --buying necessities in bulk, watching for good sales. It only makes sense.

Belle said...

I've noticed a sweater I buy at Sears or the Bay will last many years. The one I bought from Walmart lasted one and it never did look as good. Quality does last. Great post.

My mom made our clothes and bargain shopped too. She went to three grocery stores each week with coupons. I'm much too lazy and I hate shopping so I go to one.

Happy New Year, Wilma!