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Top 9 Things You Should Always Buy Cheap


In a world of endless choices, finding a way to cut costs without sacrificing quality is a constant struggle. A recent survey within an online frugal community unveiled a treasure trove of product recommendations where opting for the cheaper versions or lesser-known brands proves a savvy financial move. At least sometimes.

Here are some top picks from this insightful survey, revealing the hidden gems that let you save without compromising on value.

1. Essential Oils

The ads tell you to only use organic essential oils for your bath or whatever, but the truth is that non-organic oils still do the same job but are much cheaper. For example, lavender, which is non-organic and used in oils, naturally keeps bugs away, so you don’t need to worry about any pesticides.

2. Tools and Appliances

If you’re looking for some cool appliances and tools, don’t forget to check out the thrift stores in fancy neighborhoods. These outlets often get high-quality donations from rich folks working on their homes. And you know what? Most people agree that the older equipment is way better built than the new stuff that breaks down after a week. So, if you want to get quality items that will last you a long time, shopping at thrift stores is a smart move.

3. Clothes

Why would you spend $100 on a pair of pants or $200 on a sweatshirt just because they’re name-brand items if you can find almost the same exact stuff at a thrift store? Sure, it probably won’t be as fancy, but paying $10 instead of $200 makes a very noticeable difference in your monthly budget. 

4. Store Brand Toilet Paper

If you’re looking for quality store-brand products, Aldi and Walgreens have some great options to choose from. For example, if you have a septic tank, these stores offer pretty solid single-ply rolls that are definitely worth considering. Of course, it’s not as soft or silky-smooth as quad-plied paper, but it’s a much cheaper option.

5. Reusable Food Storage Containers

Did you know that you could buy cheap food storage containers from thrift or dollar stores? Yeah, who knew your expensive Tupperware wasn’t all that special? The plastic containers get misplaced and left forgotten in someone else’s house.

6. Books

Books are generally pretty cheap, but there are at least three ways to get them cheaper: buy a used one, get a digital version, or use a public library. Of course, you can always borrow one from a friend, but that’s too obvious to even mention. Oops, I guess we’re too obvious.

7. Kitchenware

When it comes to your dishes, knives, and other kitchen utensils, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good ones. Your local thrift stores likely have oodles of that stuff; plus, since dishes can break easily, it’s less stressful to know that you didn’t spend a lot of money on them.

8. Farmer Markets

Farmers often struggle to pack up their unsold goods and transport them back to the shop at the end of the day. To avoid this, they are willing to offer their remaining produce for a fraction of the price, selling it on the market or on the side of the road. You’re getting fresh fruits, vegetables, and other artisan produce at a very reasonable price while also supporting local farmers—what’s not to like?

9. Electronics

Spending half of your hard-earned monthly pay check on a fancy tablet or a phone just to be up-to-date is not the best way to save money. Some folks don’t even know how to put those gadgets to good use most of the time, so in the end, they’re buying a Ferrari that just sits there in the garage. Instead, you can buy a relatively cheap Android device for a quarter of the price and still get all the basic stuff you need.