Top 10 Things Worth Paying For

Everything is worth something, right? If something isn’t worth paying for, I’m certainly not suggesting you steal. I’m just saying there are some things that are well worth the money and conversely, there are plenty of other things that you scrimp on.

Frugal is not my middle name. Value is. I’m not cheap. I just like saving money. BUT… I also like getting what I pay for.

This mental list started with the things I don’t think are worth paying for. That I might just publish. But for now, let’s focus on stimulating the economy. Here’s my list of things worth paying for.

1. A good haircut

For the love of God and all that is holy, take care of your hair. You need a good stylist. You need someone that you can give vague direction to and they can translate it into beauty parlor speak and give you a style that works for your face, your hair type, and your level of maintenance. If you have someone that allows you to bring in a photo of a celebrity hairstyle and say, “Make me look like that,” then they are doing you both a disservice by pretending to be able to do that.

Prepare to spend about $40 for a good haircut. More in the big cities. Trust me. It’s worth it.


2. A nice bottle of wine

Wait a minute. Don’t get think I’m getting all wine snobbish on you. It’s not about the most expensive bottle of wine. I’ve had some very expensive bottles that don’t taste any better than a $10 bottle of wine. But go ahead and spend at least $10 for a bottle of wine. I find that you’ll get a good bottle of wine. It may not be exactly suited to your tastes but it won’t be so horrific you have to dump it down the drain.

I’m talking to YOU, Arbor Mist and Andre Sparkling Wine drinkers. It’s time to kick it up a notch.


3. A quality television set

Even though I don’t watch much TV anymore (thank you O Child of Mine for never allowing me to watch anything other than Disney Channel or Cartoon Network), I insist on having high quality TV when I do watch. Yes, I am a bit of a technology snob. It doesn’t have to be the biggest and the best. It just has to have a really nice picture.

That means you have to understand the technology of flat screen (plasma vs. LCD vs. LED), know about screen resolution, and more importantly, the contrast ratio. Don’t go for big and cheap. Chances are it will crap out on you before two years is up. Do a little research and visit the warehouse clubs for some of the best deals.


4. A bottle of ketchup

Sometimes, it’s the simple things. A few years ago, I stopped buying Heinz ketchup because of the whole Teresa Heinz being married to John Kerry and contributing to their amassed fortune. Yes, it was a matter of principle and I chose to take a stand on… ketchup.

So I switched to Hunt’s ketchup and I’ve never looked back. It’s not too expensive but I just like the taste. The cheap stuff tastes cheap. Don’t scrimp. Get a name brand even if it’s that other one.

True story: I was once on a ferry crossing from Germany to Sweden and you had to buy packets of ketchup for 50 cents each. Now that’s a culture that values ketchup.


5. Web hosting service (and I mean SERVICE)

I pay a lot for web hosting. And I’m just going to say it. I use GoDaddy. Am I happy I use GoDaddy? No. No, I’m not. Their CEO shot an elephant for no apparent reason and that doesn’t sit well with me. Plus, did you see their Super Bowl ad? Ugh.


Blogging is my business and I need up time all the time. I can call GoDaddy any time, day or night, and I always get a live, knowledgable person. That’s worth paying for. Sure, they always try to upsell me but the tradeoff is when you’ve completely deleted something and you don’t know how to get it back, they will help you log into your WordPress database and actually recover the data.


6. Nicely padded carpet

I’ve learned this lesson twice. The first time was when we were having our current house built. We selected the upgraded carpet because we wanted it to last. Then we went to the selection center and felt how cheap that was and paid for the double upgrade.

Had we not had, um, geriatric pets, that carpet would still be in decent shape today. But alas, it was relegated to the dump when we decided to recarpet the upstairs in preparation for selling. We didn’t get the cheapest carpet (even though we’re planning to move) but we didn’t pay for top of the line. Now, everyone that walks on our carpet says “ooh, nice carpet.”

It’s worth it.


7. Skincare products that work

I won’t say exactly which skincare products you should buy because frankly, what works for my skin might not work for yours. I’m not saying your skincare can’t come from a drugstore. I’m saying that it probably will be some of the higher end products at the drugstore. They generally use better quality ingredients.

But the bottom line is – find something that works and makes your skin look the way that you want consistently. And then continue to buy it. You don’t get a redo with your skin. Take good care of it.


8. A shiny new car!!!

Yes, I know I’m now sounding like a spoiled little rich girl, which I promise, I am not. I grew up with used cars where the word “used” was actually a kind description. We even bartered for cars. I spent my whole life knowing that a car is devalued as soon as you drive it off the lot. Why take the loss?

Because I’ve seen how people treat their cars. And I’ve seen how car owners and dealers alike will sell you any piece of crap and tell you it is fine. When you buy a new car, you know exactly what happens to that car. And you’ve got some protection under the warranty.

My husband was the one that insisted I only buy new cars and I never really argued with him on that one.


9. Decent pet food

It’s taken me a while to evolve to buying good quality pet food and I still struggle. I prefer to buy better quality food for my cat and dog but they are so finicky, they won’t always eat the good stuff!

I trust you take relatively good care of yourself. I bet you even read the labels once in a while. No genetically engineered corn for you. Organic strawberries, please. Your pets deserve a little consideration too. Here’s why.

Pet food is labeled and if you actually start reading the labels, you might be surprised by what you are giving your pets. If the first ingredient isn’t meat of some sort, you’re giving them a bunch of fillers equivalent to saw dust. And is it made in China? You need to stay away from it if you want your pet to live. I’m serious.

Hopefully, your pets are members of the family. Feed them like they are.

10. Good shoes

Oh yes. This one is heavily open to interpretation but as I mentioned many times before on my blog, I believe in shoes that are both cute and comfortable. And unfortunately, you usually have to pay a lot for them. Or win some on my blog (shhh… I might have a Dansko giveaway coming up next week).

Take from a not-so-young lady like me. Your feet will thank you. If you can get away with cheap, sexy shoes, then go for it. But eventually your feet will revolt and they will thank you profusely for putting them in comfortable shoes. Just make sure they’re cute.


How about you? What are the absolute musts for you when it comes to parting with your almighty dollar? What are some of the things you refuse to scrimp on?

  • Publisher

    Good coffee. Besides my iPhone, coffee is the first and most important part of waking up.

    • FadraN

      How could I forget about morning drinks? I’m not a coffee drinker but I can’t stand a cheap cup of tea. Good addition.

  • Miss Britt

    I absolutely agree on the good haircut – but I haven’t paid less than $65 for one in 10 years.

    I think good quality PEOPLE food is worth paying for.

    • FadraN

      I guess I should have included people food. It’s taken me years to come out of the Hamburger Helper mode and now I’m a total food snob. It does go beyond ketchup but sometimes, late at night, this is the kind of list your brain comes up with.

  • Carmen Staicer

    Oooh, I have a ton to add – can I make my own blog post – as long as I credit you back?  Please? And how did you get a Dansko giveaway?  I LOVE my Danskos!

    • FadraN

      Oh please do! I love it when I inspire people to write!

      As for Dansko, I think the stars smiled upon me. This will be my FOURTH Dansko giveaway :)

  • jenburiedwithchildren

    I totally agree with you on all these things and I pay for them. Especially the hair cut. I spend probably more than most on my hair but it’s kinda my thing. 

    • FadraN

      I never had a good haircut (re: expensive) until two years AFTER I graduated college. And then I never looked back. You definitely get what you pay for.

  • Rose’s Daughter

    Coffee. Cheap coffee is just uncivilized…..

    • FadraN

      Apparently, that’s true, from what I hear. I’m a tea drinker but the same rules applies in my opinion.

  • Brandy @mannlymama

    Totally with you on the Go Daddy thing. I always say it under my breath because so many people are THEY ARE EVIL but those people running the phones and twitter account are the bee knees. I don’t know if I have ever had better customer service over and over. When I called once about a slow response, they worked with me to move me to a better server and gave me detailed notes on what all they were doing. Never on hold long and just plain awesome. 

    I would like to add:
    Sports bras – For top heavy ladies like myself, buying the target bras isn’t gonna cut it. If you are trying to use them, it is so obvious. You are going to knock yourself out. Go to Title Nine and pay the money. You won’t be sorry.

    Running shoes – don’t buy something on sale just because it is cheap. Your feet will hate you.

    apple products – yeah they are expensive but they work.  We never have issues with our products (mac mini, macbook, 4 iphones over time, appletv, ipads, airport routers…you get the picture).

    • FadraN

      I considered adding Apple products because I totally agree. And the SHOES. Of course! I wrote all about that! But GoDaddy – yes. I want to not like them but they just work for me. No complaints.

  • Melissa_FillingOurBucket

    100% agree on the hair cut. I went cheap with my hair last summer, because the salon I had gone to for years was just getting to be too much. But my highlights at the new salon? They looked like crap. I told my husband I was going back to the old salon and we’ll just have to fit it in the budget every other month. Never again will I stray. I even told my stylist that when I had my first appointment back with her.

    I don’t really know what I don’t skimp on…I’ll have to give it some thought.

    • FadraN

      I love that you don’t skimp. I think I’m going to do a follow up post on that.

      I once did a Living Social deal for my hair and, well, no. I confessed to my stylist that I had cheated and that I wouldn’t stray again.

  • Anne Hogan

    I totally agree with you, especially about pet food.  I swear, my dog eats better than I do.  (He also gets much better hair products – the Paul Mitchell in the shower certainly isn’t mine!)  And I switched to Hunt’s ketchup the same time you did.  😉

    • FadraN

      I would feed my dog filet mignon if it was best for her. But she is SO picky having grown up in a puppy mill eating garbage, I’m sure. Plus she has no teeth so I have to be considerate of that.

  • Susi

    Love that list and I have to say we do a lot of the same things in our household… the TV, Carpet, skin-care, etc. It’s something I could have written had I thought of it. Of course, I would have never been able to put it quite as nicely as you did!!! :)

    • FadraN

      Maybe you should come up with your own list. It was harder than I thought and there are SO many things I left off.

  • Good Girl Gone Green

    I pay extra for organic/locally harvested foods, environmentally friendly products and non-toxic products etc. Annie’s organic ketchup tastes really really good. I love your idea of a top 10 list! Cute. :)

    • FadraN

      I’m afraid I won’t like all natural, organic ketchup. I need my sodium! But I do try to always buy organic lettuce and usually strawberries if they are in season!

  • Dianna Kennedy

    Arbor Mist — that conjures up a story in my memory banks! Thank you for the giggle! 

    • FadraN

      We all have Arbor Mist-type memories. Hopefully, we’ve all matured since then 😉

  • Dana Coe

    Best ketchup I’ve EVER had was in London. You could probably find it in an upscale Raleigh shop. It’s from Wilkin & Sons Ltd., check

    • FadraN

      I feel like I HAVE to try that. Although I’ll probably be looking for it in Baltimore :)

  • shellthings

    Haircuts, skincare/makeup, and a good pair of jeans. 

    • FadraN

      I have yet to spend a lot of money on jeans. I keep saying I will when I lose these 10 pounds…

  • Melisa

    Finally getting my husband to believe there really are things worth paying more for, period. The thing is he has known this all along but I think it never clicked…because let’s be honest, even country folk like good tractors, guns and trucks. :)  As for me, I agree about the hair and like to add coffee to the list!

    • FadraN

      Coffee is a popular one. I get that. But it’s taken my husband years to understand that there is quality beyond cars and power tools :)

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