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17 Items That People Who Know the Value of Money Try Not to Save On

Since childhood, we’ve learned that saving money and spending reasonably can help us cope with financial problems in future. But the saying, “Buy cheap, buy twice,” is still very true. There are certain items that you definitely shouldn’t save on.

At Bright Side, we put together stories from people who know this notion to be true. And as it turns out, we often make mistakes by saving on some seemingly simple things.

1. Sunglasses

  • Cheap sunglasses just open up your pupils to take in more UV light that should have been filtered through better lenses. However, paying a fortune for expensive sunglasses isn’t something I support, but buying cheap sunglasses isn’t worth the risk to me either. © Code_Brown_2 / Reddit

2. Jeans

  • I just got back into the jeans I was wearing 10 years ago in grad school, and I’m waiting for one of my students to tell me how awful they are. fading, no rips, or stretching. And they’re actually short enough for my legs so that I don’t walk all over the back of them. I don’t care if I’m out of style... © Bayloroso / Reddit
  • Cheap jeans don’t bend and move with you the way a high-end brand does that’s made with flexible and breathable material. © The_loony_lout / Reddit
  • Expensive jeans can make your hips look so much better. When you’re 18, you don’t care what you wear, but when you’re 35, the difference is quite substantial. © Unknown author /
  • I can immediately distinguish expensive jeans from cheap ones. Expensive jeans won’t form ugly bubbles after long periods of sitting. Yes, they’ll stretch, but the cut and fabric will make this stretching look nicer than on cheap jeans. Expensive jeans wear out also but in a more noble manner without turning into a miserable rag. © Unknown author /

3. Bras

  • I have quite a big chest and was wearing cheap bras for years that didn’t fit properly. Since 2015, I’ve been getting them all from one particular specialty shop. They’re not cheap but the quality is great — they fit like a glove and they’re gorgeous. © Samanthapaige29 / Reddit
  • I worked as a bra fitter for 5 years and I would say that 75% of women I fitted were wearing the wrong size bra when they came in. Wearing a good-quality bra that fits can honestly change your life. © Cheesymac27 / Reddit

4. Mattresses

  • After over 30 years of sleeping on hand-me-down mattresses of varying comfort levels, I finally was able to choose and purchase my own. © AgentCarmichael20 / Reddit
  • When I started my job, I was told to spend a few thousand on a really good bed. I was puzzled. I was told all of our lives revolve around getting the best sleep we can, usually in a short amount of time. Our sleep is so important because we don’t have a schedule and get an hour and a half notice to go to work, so we’re perpetually tired. Spending money on a good bed was 100% worth it. © Engineerkoala / Reddit
  • I spent the better part of 15 years of my life dealing with what I thought was insomnia. I could never get comfy and go to sleep no matter what I did, so I ended up lying awake and tired but unable to drift off for 3-4 hours. I bought an expensive memory foam mattress topper a few years ago. And I didn’t have insomnia after all! I’d just been sleeping on a bad mattress for most of my adult life. Now I sleep like a baby. © DomLite / Reddit

5. Dishwashing liquid

  • I bought an expensive dishwashing liquid that comes in a sprayer bottle that just sits on the dishes. I sprayed some on a dish that I’d roasted vegetables in the night before, let it sit while I made a cup of tea, and when I rinsed it, it was 95% clean. I honestly couldn’t believe it. © Windexfresh / Reddit
  • My wife and I used to buy a dishwashing liquid of a certain brand all the time. One day, the store ran out of this brand but had a more expensive one on sale. That little bottle has already lasted twice as long as the previous one. © Iffyeggsaladsandwich / Reddit

6. Laundry detergent

  • I used to buy the cheap stuff thinking I was saving money, but I was simply wasting it. They’re so watered down and don’t clean as effectively as the name brand. And there’s no lingering scent of detergent, which I prefer. © Lizaraye / Reddit
  • I once bought the cheapest laundry detergent at a supermarket. It was awful. It dyed my whites blue, and the smell was so strong and permeated everything around it. Never again. Better to make my own or splurge a bit. © Probprocrastinating1 / Reddit

7. Pet food

  • Aside from treating your pets with good care, quality food will save you both a lot of money in vet appointments and the potential heartbreak of losing your little friend to a health problem caused by feeding them bad food over the years. © Mikeaymoes / Reddit
  • I used to feed my cats some mid-range food until I had a 30-hour course in college about cat and dog nutrition. I was shocked at how badly most cat food actually suits them. We switched to quality expensive cat food, and it actually turns out to be cheaper in the long run because cats will keep eating until they’ve had enough protein, which happens sooner with quality food. Our cats lost their chubbiness, got more active, and became visibly healthier. © Notjustsomeonesmum / Reddit

8. Winter clothes and shoes

  • A winter coat and winter boots are so worth the investment. You could get 4 or 5 or more good winters out of this investment. I used to buy cheap clothes, especially coats, as a good one can be costly, but a really warm, waterproof coat for winter makes the commute that little bit easier and life that bit cozier. Sturdy, waterproof boots are also a great investment — no more cold toes and wet socks! And the expensive ones really do last a long time. I’m due for a new coat this winter and I’ve already started to put a little bit aside with each paycheck for it. © Lasrua / Reddit
  • In 2003, I bought a $900 men’s fur coat for $300 because the lining in the right arm was sewn in a bit twisted so it was an unseen defect and on sale. I was like 21 years old at the time. That coat is comfortable, lightweight, quiet (no swishing sounds), and warmer than my thick winter coat of a famous brand. I definitely got my money’s worth out of that coat. I love that coat and it still looks brand new. © Namember81 / Reddit
  • I bought a $100 pair of waterproof boots 10 years ago to use during Wisconsin winters, and they have just now started to leave my socks wet. And it’s my fault because I’ve done zero maintenance for them. Don’t skimp on boots and winter coats people! © Bravefan92 / Reddit

9. Athletic shoes

  • I started marathon training with a cheap $20 pair of sneakers I bought at a supermarket one day. 3-mile runs would make me feel miserable and I noticed a hole slowly growing. I finally went to a running store and got measured for the correct shoe and picked out some expensive pair of high quality. I ran 10 miles the other day and felt amazing. They make a world of difference. © Timberflynn / Reddit
  • I made a terrible mistake when I decided to take part in a 6-mile run on impulse (was supposed to do a 2-mile walk) wearing cheap, basic sneakers. My feet and knees hurt for a week. © Drromancer / Reddit

10. Duct tape

  • I ran out of my usual packing tape for shipping orders, and while I was at a store, I grabbed the store brand. It was the worst thing ever. It would tear into a million useless, tiny pieces and I could never get a decent strip. When I finally fought my way through these obstacles, it somehow managed to stick to itself before I could use it for my shipping labels. A true rage-filled comedy of errors, that stuff. Never again. © ThezinIsIn / Reddit
  • For some time I was thrifting and reselling online, mostly electronics. I made the mistake of buying a huge pack of off-brand packing tape instead of name-brand and ended up throwing the whole lot away. I think I made it through about 4 feet of a roll and it was so shoddy I decided I was better off eating the cost of new tape than risking an item getting damaged in transit. © Weinerwayne / Reddit

11. Stationery

  • No way am I using those crusty markers that are already dry and those colored pencils that break after 2 uses and barely make a mark on the paper. © Dazedlogicanimates / Reddit
  • I use expensive pens and mechanical pencils on a daily basis. The difference is uncanny. When I have other work to do, I use natural brushes and the best paper I can get my hands on. When I started out, I tried to save some money by buying cheap things (paint, pens, pencils, lead, paper) and had to go to the store once or twice a month because something I had broke or didn’t work properly. My last mechanical pencil lasted 5 years because I lost it when renovating my studio. I am also a firm believer that the better the materials and tools, the better the results. © OddPattern2 / Reddit
  • Painting with cheap brushes and watercolors on regular paper is like turning screws with a wooden screwdriver. © Kuemmel234 / Reddit
  • When I was a teenager, I found my dad’s 25-year-old markers. He said I could have them but I was confused because I thought, “Why would I want some old, dusty markers?” He then drew me a picture with them and they still worked perfectly. It’s over 10 years since I found them and they still work perfectly! Both my dad and I used them vigorously. © Disgruntled***** / Reddit

This art piece she made using acrylic paint markers

12. Hair products

Amazing to see just how much technique and products matter!

  • I switched to the shampoo of an expensive brand a couple of years ago and will never go back. I buy a large bottle every 6 months or so, and my hair is so much healthier. It’s worth every penny. © Iredditfromwork / Reddit
  • As a guy who started to worry about his hair, I refuse to use the “for guys” brands. Spend the $3 extra dollars and it lasts just as long, smells way better, and you can see the difference. Plus, if you’re surely doomed to be bald like me, you may as well try to hold on to it as long as possible. © Iaxacs / Reddit

13. Tampons

  • Cardboard tampons are not a new idea and sure, it’s better than a plastic applicator, but it’s still a lot of waste. Any single-use item that’s wrapped and packaged in processed materials is inherently not eco-friendly. © Waterrdragon / Reddit
  • To each their own! I personally hate tampons and also find cheap sanitary products irritating and full of chemicals and bleaches. I use products that are cotton, contain no plastics or chemicals, and cost a bit more, so for me, it would be a better buy and better for the environment! © Evegreenow / Twitter
  • I’m sorry, but have these people tried cheap tampons and pads? There’s a reason some of them disintegrate inside women and require clinical extraction. © Summeryael / Twitter

Tampon manufacturers warn women that tampon use is associated with toxic shock syndrome, a serious and sometimes deadly disease.

14. Tights

  • Cheap nylon tights tear awfully fast. It’s much better to buy a pair of expensive ones. Not only are they more durable, but they’re also more comfortable. © No_Entertainment2712 / Reddit
  • According to the dress code, I am obliged to wear tights to work all the time. I bought cheap ones and saw no reason to spend money on expensive pairs because they tear so quickly. But it was enough for me to try expensive tights just once to understand how wrong I was. Their quality is much better and they last a long time. © Capable-Pomelo7184 / Reddit

15. Hair dryers

  • If someone tells me my hair looks good, I’m 100% being honest and telling them it’s because I own a $500 hair dryer and spend $30 per 5 ounces of heat protectant. Beauty doesn’t come cheap! © Thatssograce / Twitter

This hair dryer melts its own casing.

16. Furniture, clothing and bag accessories

  • We decided to save on hinges for a kitchen set. A year later, one of the doors began to bang loudly — the closer broke. And now the other door can’t be closed tightly. It doesn’t look nice at all.
  • When we calculated the kitchen costs, the price of front-facing surfaces was just about 15% of the entire amount. The most expensive parts were the inner parts of the cupboards and accessories, such as pull-out baskets, drawers, closers, hinges, etc. © Madam ****ogubka /
  • I’m better of buying a bag without any accessories attached. That way, you’ll never have problems with combining it with different clothes. When I buy a new item of clothing, I choose a piece that will look good with my bag. If I can’t see how they match, I just don’t take it. © Unknown author /

17. Vacuum cleaners

  • Before paying a fortune for a new vacuum cleaner, I vacuumed the carpet with my neighbor’s regular appliance. Then, on the same day, my new vacuum cleaner collected so much dirt, dust, and hair, as if I hadn’t been cleaned before. I have a carpet with a high wool pile, so I need a turbo brush. In addition, the transparent container gives you a sense of satisfaction when you see how much hair and dust has been collected. I didn’t like vacuuming before, but now I do it with pleasure. © Vsegda tak delau /
  • As soon as you have a good, expensive vacuum cleaner, you’ll see the difference! Don’t be greedy, buy yourself a good thing! © Saritta /
  • The powerful suction is good but not good enough! Filters should be of high quality too. It’s all about your health. © Saritta /
  • Remember one thing: a vacuum cleaner may have one button, one brush, and can work for just 3 minutes because the most important detail is the suction power. And, unfortunately, powerful vacuum cleaners are expensive. But believe me, it’s better not to buy a cheap vacuum cleaner at all. It’s just a money pit. © Psbspb / Pikabu
  • Modern vacuum cleaners use cyclonic technology that filters allergens and the finest dust. That is why more and more people who value their health and the cleanliness of their home buy them. © Kybik /
  • My vacuum cleaner has a water filter and a bunch of attachments. I don’t trust regular vacuum cleaners with dust bags because dust is everywhere, even after cleaning. The disadvantage of the water filtering vacuum cleaner is that you have to wash it after each cleaning. But I still think they are the most practical ones. © Rybka /

In your opinion, which items should you not try to save on? Tell us in the comments below.

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