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Elfie PH

Household Items to Save or Spend More On

In 1851, the Victorian-era genius John Ruskin said, “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money—that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”

These days, we’re probably more likely to use the phrase “you get what you pay for,” but Ruskin’s expression of the idea does underline the importance of understanding the critical differences between price and value. When it comes to buying household items, there are plenty of situations where going cheap will cost you more in the long term, not just in added expenses but also in the time it will take to source a replacement.

But while Ruskin’s observation remains broadly correct, today’s era of mass manufacturing means that we have access to an abundance of goods that, while not perfect, are more than adequate. So long as we maintain realistic expectations, it’s possible to find inexpensive household items that will fit any conceivable need while also lasting reasonably long. The trick is knowing which things you can save money on and which ones you need to invest more in. The tips below should help you get the best possible value when fitting out your home.

Spend More on These Items


Spending a little more cash on these household items tends to give the best value. To stretch your budget, you can use LookingFour to both buy and sell online. Post unused items on LookingFour to sell for cash and check out our Sigurado Sellers to score the best deals.

1. Mattresses

Mattresses are one of the few things that you should consider splurging on. It’s hard to put a price on a good night’s sleep, so it’s important to invest as reasonably as you can in a great mattress. If you have insomnia or other special health conditions, it’s important to spare no expense on your mattress budget as mattress quality may directly impact your health.

2. Bath Towels

Because bath towels are things we use every day, it makes sense to invest just a little bit more to get something that is a joy to use. Better quality bath towels may cost slightly more, but they also tend to last much longer, feel nicer, and work better at drying you off. Plus, because better towels can last decades, you’ll probably find that they also cost less than cheaper alternatives over the long term.

3. Everyday Kitchen Tools

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a few budget tools in your kitchen, things that you use every day like kitchen knives, frying pans, and stoves should be as high-quality as your budget allows. Using high-quality kitchenware can save you time when you’re preparing meals, and it can even motivate you to cook at home more often, saving you money in the long run. What’s more, better quality tools are less prone to failure which may make them safer for you and your household.

4. Dining Tables

Dining tables are often the focal point of a dining area, so it makes sense to get one that you enjoy looking at. Additionally, you need to make sure that the dining table and chairs you get can withstand a fair amount of abuse. Spending a bit more ensures that you’ll have a table that not only looks good but is also able to withstand the wear and tear that could be expected from daily use.

5. Cabinets

Clothes and kitchen cabinets see daily use, so it makes sense that they’re built well enough for the rigors of everyday handling. Avoid buying cheap cabinets made from materials that easily disintegrate from exposure to moisture and heat as well as those that are difficult or impractical to repair.

6. Air Conditioners

Air conditioners with conventional motors are cheaper than ever but they tend to be a poor investment compared to modern air conditioners that use inverter motor technology. Spending more to get an air conditioner with an inverter motor rather will almost certainly result in savings on your energy bill. With the right usage strategy, these cost savings can even be larger than the cost difference between inverters and traditional air conditioners of roughly the same cooling capacity.

Spend Less on These Items


These household items either don’t see heavy use or won’t last very long regardless of how much you paid for them. For these particular things, spending just enough so that you won’t have the absolute worst in terms of quality is usually the best way to go.

1. Modular Storage Solutions

Storage solutions like storage boxes and filing cabinets tend to be used infrequently and aren’t usually focal points in your home, so it makes sense to spend less on these items. Unless you envision yourself using these things often, you’re probably going to do fine with a cheaper option. Choosing more affordable options also makes it cheaper to standardize your storage solutions and increase your storage capacity, helping you maintain a clutter-free home.

2. Pet Toys

Pet toys are an interesting item category in that the performance and functionality of different items are not determined by the price. Different teethers, scratch mats, and wand toys, for example, can differ in price by hundreds or even thousands of pesos but perform exactly the same. In any case, if you have an active pet, their toys won’t last very long regardless of how much you spend. If your pet needs toys, purchase the cheapest ones that are safe for your pet and use the savings to purchase better quality pet food.

3. Stands and Side Tables

Side tables are furniture pieces are mostly decorative and don’t often get a lot of wear and tear, which means that you don’t need them to be particularly durable or made from exotic materials. In most cases, you’d probably be satisfied simply by getting the cheapest options that fit your home’s theme and decor. Be sure to check out LookingFour to find living room furniture deals that suit your home.

4. Lamps

Prices for lamps and other light fixtures can vary dramatically, usually with no real difference in style or performance. Fortunately, you can usually get a good price on almost any style of light fixture you want by shopping around on LookingFour.

To save even more money on your lamps, you can also buy used. Lamps are usually great secondhand buys because they don’t often get a significant amount of wear unless they’re used outdoors. Just make sure to inspect the lamp before purchasing it to make sure it’s in good working order.

5. Home Decor

There’s no reason to spend a lot on most kinds of home decor, particularly mass-market pieces that were produced in assembly lines. Also, secondhand shops and online stores like LookingFour are full of high-quality home decor options that can suit any aesthetic and budget.

The exception, of course, is commissioned artwork. If you’re fully committed to commissioning a piece of art, you’ll have to be prepared to pay the artist their asking rate. This is because there is a world of difference between having a new work of art made to your specifications and simply buying a mass-produced or pre-existing piece.

Knowing which household items to spend more or less on can benefit your life in several ways. The most obvious benefit is that you can derive the best possible value for your spending, mostly thanks to savings that you get by not having to constantly purchase replacements for things in your home that break down. Next, you also save time that would be spent looking for and buying replacements. Lastly, being deliberate about the things you buy helps create a mindset that values sustainability over mindless consumption. Thus, by choosing the best value items for your home, you also reduce your negative impact on the planet and lay the foundation for a more mindful lifestyle.

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