By Brad Tuttle
April 14, 2017

There are times when it makes total sense to be a cheapskate. Generic drugs, for example, cost less than their brand name equivalents and do the exact same job, so why pay more?

Then again, at some point or another almost every price-conscious shopper has wound up regretting buying something just because it was cheap. In retrospect, purchases are pound-foolish when the item breaks long before a higher-priced, higher-quality alternative would. And sometimes, it’s worth spending extra on everyday purchases simply because the added pleasure far outweighs the higher costs.

It’s with this idea in mind that more than 6,500 comments have been contributed to a great new thread on Reddit asking:

What kinds of things do people say are well worth splurging on? There’s no shortage of recommendations, including:

Shampoo and Conditioner

“My hair has never felt or looked as amazing before,” one commenter said. Products sold under the OGX and Pura d’Or brands come particularly recommended.

Butter

Kerrygold is literally the best butter on earth,” reads one of several over-the-top recommendations for the brand. “Wife randomly picked one up a few years ago, never looked back. Even the kids complain if we run out and use some fast local bodega stuff.”

Art Supplies

“Buy quality brands,” one commenter explained. “You’ll see the difference between bad and good. Bad are either dull colour or the finish is thin. Bad brushes shed bristles. Bad paper disintegrates.”

Among the brands singled out as worth the extra money are Winsor & Newton, Caran d’Ache, and Faber-Castell, which offer a wide variety of brushes, paints, color pencils, and pens for artists.

Socks

“I’ll never go back to those cheap socks again,” one commenter said. “I’ve started buying thick wool socks for work, which make your feet so much more comfortable throughout the day, and then the extra thin socks for everything else. They feel better, look better, last longer, and if you really think about it, aren’t that expensive.”

The Darn Tough socks brand, which come with a lifetime guarantee, got a special shout-out for their durability and comfort from several commenters—including a few who said they are mail carriers, who should know because they are on their feet quite a bit. “I spend more on Darn Tough socks than I do on shirts. By a lot,” one Redditor said.

Maple Syrup

“Once you ditch Aunt Jemima in favor of the real stuff from Vermont you can’t go back,” one commenter wrote. Others bashed cheaper brands for using processed high-fructose corn syrup. But it’s a subjective thing—some commenters admitted, often with shame, that they simply “love the cheap stuff” even though it’s supposedly low-quality and less healthy.

Apples

One Redditor swears by Honeycrisp apples as worth the extra cost: “I’m now an apple snob. Who knew there was such a thing? Do yourself a favor and grab one.” Others are big fans of Fujis and Pink Lady apples.

Kitchen Knives

This thread response says it all: “Balled out on knives once. Anything else makes me feel like a caveman now.” A good knife can last forever, and as another commenter put it, “the most dangerous knife is a dull knife.” Among the knife brands recommended by Redditors for being good quality but not extraordinarily expensive are Victorinox, Misono, and Cangshan.

Coffee Beans

Everyone knows that it’s cheaper to brew your own coffee at home. Brewing your own also costs less than K-cup systems. But saving money doesn’t mean you have to drink cheap-tasting coffee. It’s easy to buy high-quality beans and grind and brew your own coffee at home while still saving some cash compared to hitting Starbucks regularly.

“I recently found out about Peet’s,” said one commenter, who had been a loyal Folgers drinker in the past. “Every bag I’ve bought has been roasted within 10 days of buying it. It’s for when I want to relax and enjoy my coffee. I’m sure there’s better coffee out there, but Peet’s is good for the price.”

Another commenter chimed in: “Also look for Lavazza, which I had at my stepdad’s once and was all aflutter over. I like cream and sugar (or, well, ‘sweetener’) in my coffee and this I drank black. The first coffee I ever drank black. It’s good.”

Hand Tools

“$25.00 for a pair of needle nose pliers sounds pricey, until you use the hell out of them daily for years and they always work just well,” one commenter observed. Another responded: “I spent $30ish each on my Snap On pliers and $150 on a ratchet. I can’t go back. Work is so much better when you’re not busting teeth in your ratchet.”

Makeup Foundation

Redditors complained about how much high-quality foundation costs, yet say they pay up begrudgingly anyway because it’s worth the price. “I just started using Urban Decays Naked Skin myself. Bye money,” said one. Others stand by foundation and tinted moisturizers from Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier, and Bobbi Brown.

Beer

When you have the money and actually want to savor the taste of beer—rather than chug for the sake of mass consumption—it’s time to evolve to high-quality craft beer. Soon enough, you’ll look back in disgust at what you drank during your college years, as one Redditor put it: “In my early-mid 20s I drank a lot of natty light and keystone light. Now I can’t even look at them without feeling a knot in my stomach.”

Sheets

While many commenters said it was foolish to spend good money on something you experience mostly while asleep, others stand by the necessity of high-quality beds sheets, suggesting brands like Sheex. Bamboo body pillows and memory foam pillows came highly recommended as worth the extra expense too. And while it’s a much bigger expense, paying good money for a comfortable mattress makes a lot of sense to Redditors too, who praised brands such as Helix, Tuft & Needle, and the Serta iSeries.

Toilet Paper

Many Redditors recalled growing up with moms (or grandmothers) who stocked the house with the cheap, coarse, single-ply toilet paper. One commenter noted the family even gave their toilet paper a nickname: “We called it John Wayne toilet paper cause it was rough, tough and took no s***.”

Life changed when they grew up and started buying their own household supplies, however. “When I moved out on my own, I finally bought some of that sweet, Charmin Ultra Soft,” one commenter wrote. “Never again will I have the $2.00 toilet paper. Never again.”

Bread

“I was always used to the cheap $1 bread because that’s what my family bought,” one Redditor recalled. “Then one day my friend convinced me to buy a brand of bread that was about $3.50 per loaf. I thought he was stupid but after I tried it I can’t go back. It tastes so much better.”

Others said it’s smarter to use a bread maker, like this best seller on Amazon, which will help you save money in the long run.

Going to the Movies

“Used to just go to any old run-of-the-mill place to see films,” one Redditor explained. But after seeing movies at AMC Prime theaters and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations, which charge a few dollars extra but often feature reclining seats and have full bar and restaurant menus, there was no turning back. “Super comfortable seats with room to totally recline if need be, phenomenal sound, reserved seating, food brought to your seat, great visual quality. Definitely worth the price of admission.”

Meat

“Oh god yes! Good meat is the difference between night and day! Seriously I can’t go back,” one Redditor said. Several recommended skipping the grocery store and making regular trips to a local butcher. Here’s why: “It’s barely more expensive than the ‘finest’ ranges at the supermarket but the quality is a hundred times better. It supports local businesses, you know where the animals come from and the butchers can give you advice on how to cook it best.”

Razors

“Used the cheap disposable double bladed razors for most of my life,” and “cut up my face while shaving for most of my life,” a Redditor explained. “One day I forgot my razor and the store I was shopping in only had 5 bladed replaceable cartridge razors,” and he was an immediate convert. “They stay sharp for twice as long… and I stopped carving chunks out of my face.” As a bonus, what with increased competition in the market, razor giant Gillette is being forced to cut prices lately.

Cheese

“I used to settle for Kraft American,” one Redditor wrote. “Now it’s all about the aged 8 years Wisconsin sharp cheddar.”

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