5 Things That Are Worth The Cost

The battle between generics or private labels versus national brand names rages on year after year, but you all know that I value certain things over money around here right? This is a finance blog of course, so I know that money is important, but there comes a point when you have to decide what to spend your money on in the end. Here’s my list of things that I have found worth spending a bit more on.

Toilet paper

What can I say, this is an area that I treat myself well. I do buy in bulk when it comes to toilet paper to save a little, but we have found a brand that we love and haven’t looked back. It’s not too rough, but not too soft, and of course it’s two-ply.


A good friend of mine who lived like a college student for much of her life always bought 99cent loafs of bread from the Hostess outlet. One day, a friend of hers noticed this and said to her, “life’s to short to eat cheap bread”

It’s true. Some things are just worth paying more for and bread is one of them. Even making your own bread at home can cost more than the really cheap loafs at the grocery store, but oh is it worth it. The bread we buy is not the top of the tier, but it’s not the bottom either. It’s whole wheat and when toasted…ah delicious with or without a spread. There’s nothing like a really good piece of bread.


It’s not necessarily an essential, but when you’re watching your weight, pop-corn is the perfect snack. It’s light and fluffy, not too filling, but hits the spot sometimes. We actually buy kettle corn rather than pop, which helps in keeping sodium intake down. The sweet on the kettle corn is just enough to curb that craving we have for chocolate or ice-cream.

We go for Orville Redenbacher. The commercials are spot on, when it’s Orville Redenbacher, you know. The corn is bigger popped, and there are fewer kernels left in the bag. The regular pop-corn is less buttery and greasy than other brands. It’s a bit more expensive, but so worth it for our one standard indulgence around here.


I had an epiphany when I first tried on a pair of nice shoes. All my life I had been wearing cheap shoes and didn’t realize what a difference a good shoe could make in your life. In good shoes walking is easier and more enjoyable. My whole body can tell when I wear better shoes.

That being said, nice shoes are expensive even if they last longer. To counter that expense, I make my shoes last by watching where I walk and taking good care of my shoes when they are on and off my feet. I also have a fallback pair to wear if I know I’m going to be going someplace messy. I’ve got a nice pair of running shoes, and my fall backs are a nicer pair of all-purpose shoes. They aren’t as comfortable as the running shoes but are much more comfortable than the cheap shoes I used to buy.

Sandwich meat

We don’t eat much meat around here and used to buy really cheap pre-sliced deli meat for our lunches. The problem with that is the sodium content in that meat is high. I had never thought of getting meat sliced right at the deli and when I was on a special diet last year found it wasn’t much more expensive and was well worth the cost. The meat is healthier and tastes better.

There are things in this world worth paying more for. Health should never be sacrificed to save a dollar and a splurge here or there is good for you and can keep you motivated.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Image by Thomas Hawk

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25 People have left comments on this post

» Kevin @ Thousandaire.comNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 07:03:12 }

Bagels. Good bagels are soft and delicious, while the $0.99 frozen kind are below average. My wallet hates it but my mouth loves it.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Ah, yea. Where I used to work they’d bring in really good bagels. I remember those…mmmMMmmm

» Alan Cohen - Betterment.comNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 07:03:04 }

On the shoes, I love New Balance – most comfortable shoe ever. The switch from Nike was a life-quality improvement.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

ya, my switch was from Walmart knockoff whatevers to Avias. I felt like I was walking on air and even now that the soles have worn through two of the three layers, they still feel amazing. It’s actually about time fora new pair, maybe I’ll try New Balance out.

» AustinNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 08:03:18 }

Bread is a biggy. My grandparents would crap if they knew we spent $4 on a loaf, but it makes a world of difference to our daily sandwiches!

In general, groceries are worth spending money on. 50 bucks at Tom Thumb (okay okay, we go to Walmart 90% of the time) goes so much further than 50 bucks at Chili’s!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Absolutely, things you put in your body should be top quality 🙂

» MelissaNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 09:03:00 }

I totally agree with everything on your list except the popcorn. Microwave popcorn is probably #1 on my list of things that are absolutely not worth the cost.

You can buy just bags of popcorn kernels for a fraction of the cost of microwave popcorn (think like, $2 for enough for 20 or 30 bowls of popcorn) and cook it on the stove top in a pot. It takes the same amount of time as microwave popcorn and is way, way healthier. Did you know they line the bags of microwave popcorn with Teflon to keep it from sticking? I haven’t eaten bagged popcorn once since learning that.

But to answer your question, here are two things that I’m always willing to pay a little extra for: Coffee and any kind of skincare products. I just can’t even handle bad coffee, and think nothing of spending $15-$20 on a 1 lb bag (would last about a month). I also have really sensitive skin, so to spend a little extra on a product that I trust not to cause massive breakouts is an A-OK expense for me.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I do make home made kettle corn but it takes much longer (think the stuff from the county fair). It’s also a lot messier so we don’t do it that often. Do all companies use Teflon lining? My wife will be pretty sad when I break that to her. Maybe we should look at getting an air popper.

MelissaNo Gravatar Reply:

Yeah, admittedly, I’ve never made (or had, for that matter) kettle corn. (I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen it in Canada.)

Also, I’d honestly recommend just the stove method. I find air poppers to be way more trouble than they’re worth, and harder to clean. The way I do it is to put just enough oil in a pot to cover the bottom, and then once that heats up a bit, pour enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pan and cover until the popcorn stops popping. That’ll make enough popcorn to fill the size of the pot. (It’s a magical equation!)

You could try this, also: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/10/brown-paper-bag-microwave-popcorn/

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I’ll have to try your method, but you’ll have to try some Orville Kettle Corn if you can get your hands on a bag 🙂

» FB @ FabulouslyBroke.comNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 12:03:06 }

1. Toilet Paper (we’re not talking gold plated paper here, just good stuff)
2. Shoes (this is so true, especially for women and heels)
3. Food (any kind of food, not just bread. Life is too short to eat crap)
4. Electronics (I’ve had cheap hard drives LOSE ALL MY DATA)
5. Face stuff (some things are not worth it, but face cleansers/moisturizers? Yes they are)

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

gold plated TP hahah

I don’t wear heel (too often 😉 ) so I wouldn’t know about those, but shoes are shoes and I’m sure bad heels are even worse than bad tennies. My wife agrees with the face stuff and I’m conditional on electronics. Some things suck either way so why bother, but hard drives I buy the best rated. Can’t afford to lose data!

» krantcentsNo Gravatar said: { Mar 17, 2011 - 12:03:03 }

I can give up almost all them, but toilet paper. Luckily the price difference is not enough for me to change to a cheap one. I always enjoy good shoes primarily to avoid my feet hurting. I reconcile this with being value conscious by owning really good shoes for a very long time. I own a pair of really good wing tips from 1978 and they are still going strong.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

1978! That’s awesome! My oldest pair is from 2005, dress shoes that I rarely wear.

» [email protected]No Gravatar said: { Mar 18, 2011 - 06:03:03 }

Ice cream! Some time you gotta have it and when you do, the higher quality brands are the way to go. Yes, they cost more, but my thinking is that when you’re going to indulge, go all the way and do it right. It also seems that when you eat the better quality brands, your appetite for it is satisfied, and you buy less. Maybe in that way higher quality ice cream ends up being cheaper!

That being said, we’re kind of wigged out around here because the Carvel Ice Cream store around the corner closed shop last month. THAT’S a problem!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

We try and keep that stuff out of the house, but I agree, when we do get it, the cheaper brands just don’t cut it and we end up eating more to compensate for the bad quality!

We’ve got Farr ice cream out here, that’s really tasty. I’ve always been a Baskin fan too, they are everywhere.

» MoneyIsTheRootNo Gravatar said: { Mar 18, 2011 - 07:03:20 }

Pizza for sure! You get what you pay for. Jets Pizza/Dominos/Pizza Hut may cost $10 for a large pizza, but compare it with Little Caesers or frozen pizza and you can tell why!


Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

We have a place here called 5buck that I really enjoy. The pizzas are 5 bucks, but made fresh and are really tasty. I can’t stand that Hot-N-Ready stuff, yuck! I wouldn’t mind trying a gourmet pizza place in the future either.

» Amanda L GrossmanNo Gravatar said: { Mar 18, 2011 - 06:03:50 }

Kettle Corn is so delicious!!!!

Also, I completely agree on the lunchmeat because of the oftentimes horrible ingredients you find in the cheap stuff.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I just thought all meat was the same until I tried the fresh stuff. It’s way better for you and has such a stronger flavor.

mmmm kettle corn 🙂

» MoneyconeNo Gravatar said: { Mar 20, 2011 - 08:03:32 }

Once I saw TPs in other countries, I realized we Americans are lucky b’tards! 🙂

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I’m sure bad TP helped convince most other countries to go with a bidet instead 🙂

» AmandaNo Gravatar said: { Mar 26, 2011 - 05:03:01 }

After reading both this article, and the 5 things NOT worth the cost article, I have come to this conclusion about my spending/buying habits:

I tend to go mid-grade on most everything. There are certain foods I buy at the grocery store that don’t matter either way so I won’t waste the money on the big name brand, but things like clothes, electronics, appliances, etc. it seems to always work out best when I don’t buy what is the cheapest and I don’t buy the most expensive thing either, but something in the middle. I find it silly when people I know buy the cheapest all the time because they usually end up having to buy 3-4 of their cheap item since it doesn’t last as long, where as I still have my first item, so they actually end up paying more by being “cheap.” Haha wow, I sure hope that made sense. 🙂

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Honestly, I don’t think too many people know themselves as well as you do when it comes to buying. I know my habits now, but a few years back I would just buy whatever and didn’t ever see the patterns.

I think your system is great, and it’s what I do as well. Some things just don’t matter! But others are worth paying a bit more for because with a small price+quality increase, the product will last far longer than the disposable cheaper counterpart. Nice observation, thanks for sharing.

» danNo Gravatar said: { Apr 3, 2011 - 03:04:07 }

Dude, moist TP. THAT is the bomb. Especially the thick aloe slathered Charmain NOT the tissue thin alcohol cottonell. You always lose the next sheet of cottonell inside the dispenser and you have to dig it out (arrgh!).
Bread? I make it. It makes friends whoever I give it to.
Shoes? I have spent and still spend hundreds of dollars on them. Nothing feels good or lasts long. Who the hell makes comfy steel toe shoes, dammit??
Bojangles. I’ll pay whatever….Best breakfast hands down. I wish they opened at 4 am…
Medicines? For some reason only prilosec works. Generics don’t.

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