Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frugal is Good - Cheap is Stupid

Good, Fast, Cheap. Choose any two.

Frugal: Practicing economy; living without waste; thrifty.
Cheap: Low priced, regardless of quality. Often shoddy.

Particularly in tough times, you feel forced to take the low price product or service even though you know that you usually get what you pay for. This is not frugal and is often not the most thrifty in the long run. People make the wrong decision and choose cheap for a lot of reasons, but the one I will be dealing with in this series is lack of information on the frugal alternative. I will help you see how to make better choices.

A common advertising technique is to stress the convenience of their product to convince you that buying it will save you time and time is money. They say it enough that eventually it is accepted as fact. You don't even think about it any more. A product that comes to my mind as the poster child for this technique is Hamburger Helper®, which was introduced in 1971. It was advertised as a major time-saving product. Just brown your hamburger, dump in some water and their “flavor packet” and you soon have a meal for you and your family. As long as you don't think about the cost of their product compared to the cost of the ingredients and you also don't think about the tiny savings in time to prepare the meal from scratch (with a little preparation, which I'll talk about in another post) you happily go along feeding General Mills's corporate coffers and loading your family up with sodium (salt) and other stuff.

It isn't just food, which you'll see in other posts in this series.

No comments:

Post a Comment