By Amy J. Silver
Whether you’re looking for household items, new clothes, car insurance, or planning a vacation, it’s not difficult to find a good value. There are certain things, however, that may not be on sale but are worth paying for. Here are eight things you shouldn’t compromise quality for.
1. Hybrid cars and insurance — Buy the best you can afford, period. Because you’ll likely get tax credits for supporting alternative energy, be sure to base buying decisions on quality over price. Consider also that hybrid cars are considered to be ‘low-risk,’ so you may save a bit on car insurance when you drive a hybrid. It is best to consider all options before making a final decision – but make sure you decide on a premium that will give you the best coverage.
2. Adventure vacations — If you’re thinking about booking a guided adventure, be it mountain biking, heli-skiing, kayaking or another extreme sport, now is not the time to sacrifice quality and safety to save a few bucks. Quality adventure companies charge based on their experience, and if you’re relying on them for your safety, you’ll want the best you can get.
3. Vitamins — Cheaper vitamins aren’t always the most effective or the best quality. They may even come from questionable sources. Visit a vitamin shop or independently-owned natural foods store to learn more about supplements and to find the highest quality products on the market.
4. Organic produce and food — It seems like every major company has jumped on the ‘green’ bandwagon these days, making it more affordable to incorporate organic foods into our diets. Be on the lookout, however, for instances of ‘greenwashing’; many companies can’t back up their eco-friendly claims. To ensure purity, buy as close to direct from the farm as possible. Support local health food stores and your local farmer’s markets. The food almost always tastes better, too.
5. Denim — Spending money on a good pair of jeans is a great investment. Not only will they likely fit better and be more flattering, they’ll wear for years. Many of the boutique brands are often designed and manufactured in our local communities, in the U.S. and Canada.
6. Yoga classes — If you’re new to yoga, spend the money on learning proper technique to avoid injury. Take classes at a yoga studio the first few times instead of at an athletic club, where they don’t specialize in teaching yoga. It’s not worth risking an injury to save a few dollars.
7. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil — It seems odd that two simple little condiments could pack so much enjoyment in to a just a few tablespoons, but somehow they do. Splurge for the best quality you can afford, and save the good stuff for making vinaigrettes or eating with bread. Use lower quality oils and vinegars for cooking.
8. Cleaning products — Some of the cleaning products under our sinks are the most dangerous chemicals we’ll ever be exposed to, and very unnecessary. Avoid these harsh chemicals, and buy eco-friendly cleaning products. The extra money you spend is worth the peace of mind that your family’s health isn’t at risk.
Quality often trumps quantity, but it’s important to know when not to compromise. It will always pay off for you in the long run!
Amy Silver is a Public Health student and a blogger. She is an animal-lover and a fan of clipping coupons. You can follow her on Twitter @amyjsilver.