What products/brands ARE worth the money?


I don’t mind buying expensive things. I like to buy high quality products, and those usually come with a higher price tag. Sometimes I find that the thing I’ve bought is absolutely worth the higher price, and other times I find that you’re paying for the name, but less quality. Other times, I find that some products don’t cost as much, but I get a heck of a lot of use out of them, disproportionate to the cost.

I thought we could start a list of high-quality products that give you the most bang for your buck.

First on my list is:

  1. Merrill hiking shoes. They’re around $100, but I can get two years out of them easily.
  2. Cuisinart ceramic knives. Have been very sharp since we got them.
  3. Name brand clothes and shoes for my son. He’s 11 and wears stuff out in no time flat. Nikes hold up.
  4. My wife says spices for cooking. She’s good cook, so I’m going to listen to her. I don’t know which brand, though.

What are yours?


For us, the list may be pretty long as I am a firm believer in buying quality. Here are a few:

  • Winter gear (it gets cold up here!), especially good boots & a good coat
  • Food. We eat a lot of beans and rice but we buy vegetables from a CSA in the summer and from a local produce company in the winter. We prefer fresh or frozen vegetables and I know the kids will eat fresh veggies so to me it’s a “good buy.”
  • Bicycle: I bought a good enough bike to sustain a 3-season commute.
  • Laptop: I had crappy laptops for years and kept having to franken-splice them back to life (and even then, the longest I got was 2 years). In the end I dropped a pile of cash on a good laptop and I haven’t had a problem with it in 5 years.
  • House: we live in a central location where walking/biking/public transportation is available & that is close to beaches, green space, libraries, and shopping. We could have lived in a distant suburb and had more square feet for our buck but it would require driving a lot more to access the above things.

I wholeheartedly agree about the knives (and many other kitchen tools). If you cook from home constantly it’s better to have the proper tools so you don’t get discouraged and just resort to takeout.


Shoes - I have flat feet and plantar Fasciitis.
I buy new cars and keep for at least 10 years.
Good quality kitchen equipment.
Medical, Dental and vision care.


In my experience, quality is always worth paying for. I don’t think it’s frugal to buy cheap stuff that breaks in 1-2 years.


100% with you on the winter gear! Buy crap = get cold fast.

I like to pay extra for furniture when we do buy it, especially actual wood over composite. Being able to refinish with a new style or if they get scratched up is worth it to me.

Anyone else think of Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec when they read this post?

“I won’t publicly endorse a product unless I use it exclusively and I really believe in it.
My only official recommendations are U.S. Army issued mustache trimmers, Morton’s salt, and the C.R. Lawrence fine two inch axe style scraper oscillating knife blade.” - Ron Swanson


Definitely good sharp knifes we go whustoff and shun. Food to cook at home, of course. Better quality tastes better. I gotta say…Towels. other than that I’m pretty flexible.


Ranked in order:

  1. Health: I spend about $100 a month on health supplements and eat a ketogenic diet.
  2. Phone: I’ve got a two-year-old and work full time so a lot of my side hustle gets done in those in-between moments.
  3. Computer: I’m to busy to deal with stupid buggy computer bullshit.


Yes to this! I have too many hats to wear, computer technician is not one I want to invest time and energy in!

Mine are:

  1. Good quality food
  2. Jeans that fit perfectly and last forever
    (If you’ve ever heard the millionaire hour on Dave Ramsey he talks to millionaires and asks them questions about Their spending habits and talks about how they became millionaires. He always asks stuff like how many new cars you’ve bought and what grades you got and things like that. One question he always asks is “what’s the most expensive pair of jeans you ever bought?” Everyone always seems to say, “like $20.” First off, where do people find jeans for $20? And secondly, nope. I want comfortable quality that lasts a long time :slight_smile: )
  3. Hygiene products (toothpaste, soap, lotion, etc.)
  4. Excellent professional family photos every year :smile: If I’m going to put it up on my walls. I want art, baby!

I love that everyone has their “thing”. Something for everyone!


I’m a minimalist, so when I buy anything, it is rare, so I definitely go for the good stuff. Since most of what I do on computers is cloud based, I have found that a cheap, lightweight Lenovo for $150 works great and is durable, so far.

I definitely spend extra money on food to buy higher quality, locally, sustainably raised animal products. However, when farmers markets are in full swing, I can get some great deals. Check out this food haul from the farmers market and co-op for only $20!

  1. Our house. We had it custom built to our design and it’s going to be our last house.
  2. Tree Frog Coffee’s coffee. Won’t ever buy off the shelf again.
  3. Quality tools.
  4. One of a kind, hand-crafted items, for us and as gifts for others.


When I find a style I like, Munro shoes. One of their lasts (shoe forms) fits my foot perfectly and my foot is a hard-to find narrow size.

While not top-of-the-line, our Honda is almost 21 yrs old, so buying that was worth the money.

Other than that, I often look for combo of quality and affordability. Current cookware is great, but at a price point much lower than all-clad.


I get many of my quality clothes at consignment shops, so I get cheap store prices and higher-end quality. For example I bought a pair of shoes for work that normally cost $300. They were $20, and I get comments on them all-the-time. They look like ruby slippers and they’re very high quality (For anyone interested in shoes they were Stuart Wiezman shoes) They have great coats as well.

I have gotten new cars and found them to be worth the cost - my Honda Accord is approaching 100,000 miles!

My house has been worth it (well, most days). I got it 11 years ago and although it’s needed repairs because it was built in 1968, it’s been a perfect size and location as our family has grown from 3 to 5 members. I’m glad we didn’t need to move.


Some similarities to things mentioned above for me too but one thing not mentioned is furniture.

We have a dining room table from pottery barn than we’ve have for nearly 10 years and it’s like new (and we use it a lot). Nearly every time we buy at IKEA I get buyers remorse. Buy nice or buy twice.

I’m also willing to pay for name brand tools but mainly because we use them a lot. Give me a DeWalt any day of the week some of these cheaper brands that don’t have the power or durability.


Miele vacuums. We used to buy the bagless cheapos and even tried Dyson. All junk that broke after a few years. Our Miele has been perfect for nearly 10 years.

I go through a lot of bike consumables since I ride ~7250 miles a year.
chains-Shimano Ultegra
tires-Contintal Grand Prix
cassette-Shimano Ultegra

I think with everything, there is a sweet spot that you hit with price/quality and you have diminishing returns at a higher price point. You just have to determine how much more the increased quality and or features are important to you.


TOWELS! We learned that lesson the hard way. We got some cheap towels, and I swear they made me cold when toweling off. It was terrible.

Similarly, we always had cheap bedding. Then we rented a house at the beach during the winter and they had a Mary Jane’s Home comforter. It was soo soft and warm, without being stifling. It’s on our “to buy” list now.


My single biggest expense is my outdoor equipment as I am a mountaineer

Patagonia - the best ethical brand with un-compromised quality, they even had an ad campaign telling you to not buy their stuff but repair what you own of theirs already, just send it in for free
I beat up my stuff and this brand just works but the price is not for the faint of heart.

Computers, once again I will endorse Apple. My laptop is bulletproof and my old one bought in 2007 still rocks with my son using it every single day.


YES! All the linens in our house are good. We only have two sets for each size bed, winter and summer sheets. We only have twin and king size. And only 2 towels per person. The cheap towels just unravel!


My wife & I like to drink smoothies for breakfast. Highly recommend getting a VitaMix. Some people also like the Magic Bullet (I think that’s the name but we haven’t tried them). Anything else that blends won’t do as good of a job or the motor will burn up.

  1. Mortgage brokers – good ones more than pay for themselves
  2. Shoes – Redback boots last forever, Brooks Ghost running shoes = no blisters
  3. Kitchen knives – Sabatier, still stays sharp 10+ years on, bought from a kitchenware shop going into liquidation
  4. Cookwear – Le Creuset, has lasted 12+ years, bought in the after Xmas sales
  5. Laptops and phones. Apple stuff just works, good for ~5 years at a time
  6. Wallet – Bellroy, used every day for 6 years, still looks new
  7. Peanut butter, jeans, and beer… find what you like, then pay what it costs


There’s actually a term for this line of thinking, “Total Cost of Ownership”, or TCO. If you buy something cheap, and have to replace it 3x, you’d be better off buying something that costs 2x more up front, but lasts longer.

For me, I’m pretty simple. I never skimp on running shoes (Asics, they’ve served my running feet well for 30 years!) same with hiking boots/shoes (Merrill). Coffee makers may be up there, cheap ones break a lot.

Bottom line: in the “good-better-best” spectrum, we typically buy in the “better” range.