Sunday, January 17, 2021

My two cents. Three and a half adjusted for inflation. AKA the budgets, bargains, and toilet paper post.

Budgets. Wonderful things if you can stick to them. 

Bargains. Wonderful things if you can live with them.

What do these have in common? Besides the letters b, g, and s, one helps you with the other, and one helps you not always have to have the other. That said, while a bargain is a good thing, there are a few things you should probably consider going ahead and paying for what you want. One example: toilet paper. Is it really worth that sacrifice to save a few pennies? Personally, I feel you should go ahead and pay for the toilet paper you like. For us, it used to be Charmin or the Sam's Club "Member's Mark" brand (which is a really good, bargain substitute for Charmin), but recently (within the last few years) we've become Cottonelle users, and have also noted that Quilted Northern is a close second to Cottonelle. For our purposes, I'd MUCH rather be using one of those than one of the single ply sandpaper substitute "bargain" varieties. It's just one of those things. Now, if you don't mind (or even, shiver, like) the newsprint grade toilet paper, then by all means go for it and save those pennies (which you can spend elsewhere). But if you don't like that, is it really worth saving a buck or two every other week or however often you replenish your supply? And, you can still get bargains on your preferred brand: build your supply, and buy whenever you find it on sale.

Similarly, say you have a favorite soda. Buy when it's on sale, but is it worth the savings to buy something you don't like? How is that a bargain? Again, if you like, or if you "like enough" the store brand, save the money. Coffee: why save half a dollar to buy coffee you don't like? How is that a good start to your morning?

Bargains: find them when you can, but be reasonable about your likes and dislikes. Some store brands are perfectly acceptable lower-cost substitutes (e.g., for me, the Member's Mark toilet paper and paper towels for Charmin and Brawny, or Publix gummy bears or ice cream for brand names), while some are more compromise than bargain, leaving you with something you don't really like.

Budgets: highly recommended to use them, in conjunction with bargains, to help you afford the handful of items where you want very specific brands or items.

No comments: