Have you ever bought something that you use all the time, only to realize that you’ll have to replace it in a few months? Do you buy whatever is the most convenient? Do you shop for the best price, regardless of the quality? We fell into this pattern so easily – just buying the top search result from Amazon or the front display pieces at department stores. Never did we consider the longevity of our purchases. These things wouldn’t be expected to last longer than a couple of years. Anything we buy can be easily replaced, right?
We realized that doing research and spending more on quality items meant we end up saving money over time. It makes sense to invest in well-made products that we can use for years to come. Not everything has to be expensive either! There are plenty of affordable products that are reliable and durable.
We recommend putting a little extra research into the categories below. These are items we use all the time, and our investment in quality and durability has made a huge difference in our everyday life.
“Buy Once, Cry Once” Hall-of-Fame
Mattress and Bed Frame
Everyone needs a bed. Not everyone has a good one. We suffered from old or cheap mattresses for years, which meant we slept lousy and felt constant aches and pains. Instead of continuing to torture ourselves, we upgraded our full-size mattress to a king-size Casper mattress and West Elm bed frame. The extra space is amazing, and the mattress lives up to the hype. And even though the bed frame was pricey, we fell in love with the style and waited until a holiday sale to get the best price. Now we have a bed that we intend to keep for years. Sometimes a little luxury is worth the extra cost.
Mr. RW has a Saddleback Leather messenger bag that he uses for work, travel, and carrying all of his odds-and-ends. The brand promises a lifetime guarantee, and given the abuse that bag sees we have no doubt about it. After two years of daily use in all kinds of weather it looks practically brand new, even as the leather has aged. Mr. RW thinks this bag was the best purchase he has ever made, so you know he’s not messing around.
We have two pieces of kitchen equipment that we swear by: our 10” Lodge skillet and our Japanese-made chef’s knife. Our skillet was $30 at the local hardware store, and we use it literally every single day. From scrambled eggs to turkey burgers, this skillet can do it all. And if you want to chop veggies like a pro, then you need a good chef’s knife. We bought ours from DC Sharp after our cheap knife met its demise. The difference was night and day. Any mid-range, well-made knife is worth 100 cheap knives you can find at Target or the grocery store.
We used to buy cheap shoes because we were scared of the price tag of higher-quality brands. $200 shoes seemed like overkill when shoes get so much wear-and-tear regardless of the price. But every year we ended up spending $200 or more replacing shoes that didn’t last more than one season. Now we buy shoes from brands that are known for being well-made. Some of our favorites are L.L. Bean, Cole Haan, Franco Sarto, and Nordstrom’s B.P. brand. Factoring in the cost-per-wear based on your needs (dress shoes, hiking boots, sneakers, sandals, etc.) means each pair gives you a greater return on that purchase. Seeking out quality means we won’t waste so much money on shoes year after year.
All of these items are meant to save us money in the long run. We value cooking, sleeping well, and comfort. As a result, we try to find items that will be the best bang for our buck. If you can buy it once, you’ll never regret it!
What are your “Buy Once, Cry Once” favorites? Are you looking for higher-quality replacements for your everyday items? We’re looking for better bed pillows – hit us up if you have suggestions!
~ Ms. RW