The Frugal Wheel of Fortune
Living frugally has become a game of sorts. It's a little like Wheel of Fortune. Sometimes you hit big and other times you pay through the nose.
I mentioned last week that I go through a lot of trouble to find the best product at the best price. Knowing prices is your strongest weapon to making good decisions.
But the past three years of relentless inflation has hamstrung even the most thrifty among us. Stuff costs more.
That makes it easy to choose the cheaper option, but take it from me, going cheap only shoots you in the foot. I try to predict long range forecasts to see how much the "cheap" item will cost me in the end. Whenever possible choose quality over price.
How do you predict a long range forecast?
You read reviews, gauge the manufacturer's materials and reputation, and consider what it would cost to replace if the item failed on you before its time.
I'm always hesitant to buy things from China. Even if it costs me more I always opt for USA made. Generally, the materials are better and the manufacture is more solid. I'm sure people in Europe can say the same. Better to buy local than get a cheap knock off.
It's definitely more labor intensive to find the best product for the money nowadays. I don't remember working this hard 20 years ago.
To be fair, I've had good products made in China, but you really have to scrutinize every detail to see if you're getting a good deal. I don't want to bash China because some items have lived up to their claims, but you have to be more careful. Read the reviews and send it back if it's not up to par.
That's my other tip. If you buy from Amazon, become an Amazon Prime member. I have never had a problem returning something if it's listed under Prime.
A few weeks ago I had to return a smoke detector because the wrong one was sent. It was a much more expensive model but it was the wrong model for my existing hard-wired system. I contacted customer service and they told me to keep it and refunded my money. They are absolutely aces when it comes to returns or refunds. You are not liable for their mistakes.
Speaking of Amazon, they're having Amazon Prime Days this week, July 11-12. I generally find better buys during their July sale than I do during their Christmas sale, so take advantage.
And be a pal and buy your stuff from any Amazon link that starts from this web site. It costs you nothing and it gives me a little pocket change.
For myself, I'm in the market for another Roomba, but Greg wants me to look at the Shark brand too. There's a new version on the market that can sweep and mop. I don't think I want it to mop but I was interested in the robot's new mapping system that's supposed to cover every square inch.
I have a feeling some vendors are starting their Prime discounts early because I've been seeing a steady drop in prices for several days.
Like I said, Wheel of Fortune. All you can do is play and hope you get the best deals. May the odds be ever in your favor.