Sometimes, we try to go cheap on things where we should not compromise. This approach can only lead to disturbing experiences teaching us some vital lessons for life. Find out how I learned mine.
I’m all for winning incredible deals, and when it comes to hunting them, nobody beats my husband and me. In the years we’ve been married, I can’t tell you how much we’ve saved being savvy shoppers. For instance, did you know you can save big bucks just by making your own cleaning solutions at home and that too, without much of an effort? These tiny thrifts add up over time.
With that said, we’ve had our moments—times we’ve ended up regretting our choices in a bid to save a little cash. Here are the four things that we discovered (the tough way) never to go the cheap route.
1. Dental Floss: A few years back, I was browsing the dental floss aisle in a supermarket and was surprised to see the generic brand priced at about Rs. 25 less than the branded one. My husband is a serial flosser. Therefore, this eureka discovery seemed like it would pay larger returns over time.
The first time my husband used this so-called money-saver floss, it snapped and got cleft between his teeth. Considering this was a fluke, he kept trying with no success. As a serial flosser, the feeling of having a foreign object stuck in the teeth was pretty disturbing, so he ran to the store and got his usual brand of floss to get rid of it. In short, because I went cheap, he ended up buying another floss to get rid of the earlier floss. Urghh..
2. Diapers: If you have kids, this one is obvious. Trust me, diapers are costly, and when you have Twins, they can cost the moon. So one day, the-true-blue-money-conscious-homemaker in me kicked so hard that I decided to try a less expensive brand.
The result? Do I even need to tell you?
Super messy & super cranky twins with severe diaper rash that took several sleepless nights and a considerable time to heal. I learned my lessons and swore never to commit that blunder again.
3. Running Shoes: When I’m not working at Coverfox, I moonlight as a fitness freak. I love being outdoors doing anything physical—hiking, cycling, jogging, Yoga. Hence, a sturdy pair of running shoes is an absolute must. My family and friends realize this and love to gift me vouchers from stores selling sports goods on my special occasions. So, I rarely spend on my running shoes.
Well, recently, I had to foot the bill myself for my brand-new pair of running shoes. Rather than buying the pair I usually buy, I purchased (what I assumed was) a similar one for a much lower cost.
They served roughly half as much as my regular shoes and left me high nursing my feet blisters. Thankfully, amidst all this, I discovered that you can go cheap on the products used to fix these blisters. (wink)
4. Insurance: Recently, we had to renew our car insurance. And since the car is one of the most valuable things we own, we wanted to ensure that we protect it with adequate insurance coverage. As I work at Coverfox, of course, that was our first choice. We went online, did a bit of homework, compared various quotes and finally settled on one.
And just when my husband was about to make the payment, I realized that we hadn’t claimed insurance in the last few years (not that we are obedient drivers, but we prefer not to claim for small repairs to save our no claim bonus). That's when the savvy shopper in me took over, and without realizing that we might need to claim in future, we decided to cut down on all the add-ons (including zero depreciation) saving few bucks.
Did that serve us?
Well, it only left us repenting, sulking and terrorized when we raised a claim last month for an accident. Since we had opted only for a basic cover minus the valuable add-ons, we ended up taking a massive beating. We had to bear a significant amount of the claim before the insurance company pitched in its share. Lessons learned the actual hard way, and we vowed never to go cheap on the insurance bit.
So, that’s my list—what did I miss? What things have you gone budget shopping that led to freaky experiences? Or, what items do you go cheap on that are simply as impressive and reliable as the branded ones? Feel free to share in the comments!