Monday, January 30, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

The expression "you get what you pay for" has been around for a long time.  It generally means the cheaper something is, the less value for your money it has.  The more expensive something is, the more value it has.  This is not always true.  There are expensive items that are not worth the extra cost.  Sometimes you are paying more for the item's reputation and ad campaign versus how good a product really is.

I was reminded of this expression a couple of weeks ago in a very small way concerning my laundry detergent. For a long time I have used a detergent, which I will call brand A, that cost more than most other detergents.  In an effort to save a little money, I decided to switch to a cheaper brand, brand B.  I did not notice any difference in my clothes with brand B.  They all felt the same on me with one exception, my blue jeans.

My jeans felt real nice when I wore them the first day after washing them with brand A.  When I wore them a second day, my jeans did not feel as nice.  On the first day with brand B, my jeans felt like they did on the second day after washing with brand A.  I did not think much of it at first, but after a while, I began to realize why my jeans did not feel as good after washing them.  Sometimes I am a slow learner, but it finally sunk in that the cheaper brand was not as good as the more expensive brand.  My jeans were not as clean with brand B as they were with brand A.  I indeed was saving a little money, and over time, those little savings can add up to a big savings, but my clothes were not as clean.

Now I am have returned to brand A.  I may feel the extra cleanliness only in my jeans, but it makes me feel better when I know my clothes and anything else that I wash in the washer are cleaner.  I am keeping the container of the cheaper detergent I already have in case I need to wash something and I don't have any brand A available.

Now I understand better the expression "you get what you pay for".  Hopefully I will keep that expression in mind more when I am shopping.  That does not mean I will always buy the most expensive item.  It does mean that if something about an item is important to have, I will be more willing to pay the extra expense.

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