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Let us take a look at common buyer’s logic. Spending less on products means you are saving more money. It makes perfect sense, but this may not be the case for certain product purchasing scenarios. There is another aspect to consider when making purchases; the decision between these aspects of a transaction is crucial to maximizing money spent.
Two Types of Buying
We have two sides of the dilemma: quality and quantity. Usually quantity means more, or in this case, it might actually mean less. Quantity buying (in this case) involves spending less on a product; therefore, the focus is on the price of the transaction. Quality buying switches the emphasis on the lowest cost to the product’s efficiency or longterm product life.
Let us start with quantity, which was the original form of logic that was mentioned. To reiterate, by spending less money on any sort of product, you are saving the most money possible; therefore, you are getting the most out of your money.
More products for less money seems ideal. An example involving kitchen appliances conveys this idea. Say you are missing a toaster, silverware, and a set of pots and pans. You go to a cheap general store. You find a toaster for less than $20, a box set of plastic silverware, and a pot and pan for both $10. The specific dollar values do not matter; the only point to remember is these are the cheapest out there.
After six months, the toaster takes longer to heat up, the original plastic silverware has been replaced by a new set for the nth time, and the pots and pans are a pain to clean and have scratches all over them. With these product scenarios in mind, let us compare this logic to its counterpart.
Instead of putting emphasis on quantity, placing this emphasis on quality yields potential benefits for the consumer that are impossible when treading the other path. In a nut shell, buying for quality means spending more for a product that is in a better initial condition due to better design or some other factor.
A better product from the start is designed to last longer and perform more efficiently. Purchasing products with this in mind may warrant a greater initial investment, but the overall investment after product life may far surpass investments compared to a cheaper counterpart.
Taking the example of the silverware set purchase clearly demonstrates this idea. A stainless steel set of silverware can be found at Target for $30, and let us say this set can last three years. $30 over three years is not bad compared to the amount of money spent on plastic silverware. This is a pretty extreme example, but it illustrates the point. Consideration of investments in the long term is crucial.
But Quality is Better Right?
Despite this mounting evidence to strictly buy for quality products, there are of course scenarios for buying quantity because the quality method only works if the investment makes sense. Of course buying the best set of silverware beats out the cheapest competitor, but buying the more expensive brand of water bottle case does not yield similar savings.
The point is quantity matters this time because the quality of a water bottle case is not measured in product life. It does not matter how expensive the case is; it will be gone in a week. This reasoning leads to the conclusion that a proper understanding of buying quantity versus quality leads to smart transactions instead of wasteful transactions.
After the Transaction: Life Hacks
There is a whole other side to making the most of investments whether qualitative or quantitative. After the initial transaction, it is quite important to treat that product with some level of care. Thereby, this action increases the quality of the product (and quality of dollar spent). While care is important, some ingenuity goes a long way as well.
This list has life hacks and advice on certain products that can extend product life which in turn maximizes investment potential. Some of these products are pretty large investments while others are much smaller, but these points all improve product life.
1. Improve Kitchen Pan Storage with Paper Plates
Placing a paper plate in between each kitchen pan during stacking for storage greatly reduces wear between the pans. If you are sick and tired of pans that have scratches all over; your worries are no more. This is a pretty cheap and easy trick to make the pans last a whole lot longer.
2. Laptop Battery
This is a little more well known, but it is important to follow a couple guidelines to help out your laptop battery. Firstly, reduce the screen brightness whenever possible because this helps reduce the battery output. Instead of switching the laptop on and off all the time, try to put it in sleep mode in order to save start up energy. The mute option also cancels out the speaker which reduces battery output. Be sure not to leave the charger plugged in after done charging; this forces current through battery and creates strain. Through reduction of battery output, the overall life of the battery increases.
3. Fixing Zippers on a Jacket/Pants
When the zipper on your coat or pants starts to get caught on itself, the application of a bar of soap eases the process of trying to unhitch the zipper. The reduction of hard tugs on the jacket undoubtedly reduces strain on the jacket which decreases overall wear.
4. Protect Your Smartphone
For those with precarious ownership of smart phones, the need for a way to maintain a smart phone to avoid damage is crucial. The first step is to purchase a study phone case and protector screen; this is one of the most common methods for extending the life of a smart phone. The next step is to keep away from system updates. These updates can ruin the battery, so one must be sure weigh the risks and benefits of an update. Lastly, be sure to maintain an optimal brightness, this is similar to sparing a laptop battery any strain.
5. Taking Out Water Rings on Furniture
This life hack is quite useful for reestablishing the finish or quality on wooden furniture. The presence of water rings can be removed from wooden surfaces by smearing mayonnaise on the mark. After a few hours there should be no remnants of the water.
6. Rug Fringes
Got a nice carpet that you want to keep around for a while? Next time you try to sort out the fringes on the edge of the rug, use a comb to navigate these tangles more efficiently. This reduces the risk of rip or tearing any part of the rug.
7. Clean Up Those Shoes with Newspaper
Apparently there is some sort of material on black and white newspapers that can polish up nice shoes. In the event of a scuff or mark, apply a crunched up newspaper to remove any sort of blemish. A similar effect can be accomplished with manicure Emery boards on nice heels and bags.
8. Clean Up Scuffs on Hardwood
Scuffed up the brand new hardwood floor? No need to fret, buy a chalkboard eraser. These pick up scuffs when scrubbing them away.
9. Making the Most of Flowers
Next time you decide to buy a set of flowers to put in a vase full of water, put a penny at the bottom of the vase. After this, the addition of a pinch of sugar is needed. This combination extends the life of the flowers.
10. PAM and Squeaking Door Hinges
Everyone remembers hearing a door hinge that has too much friction between its adjacent surfaces. The increase in friction essentially grinds both hinge surfaces which wears the material while producing that screeching noise. Luckily, friction can be reduced with PAM cooking spray or any other cooking spray bottle. Less friction means less wear and noise.
11. Shower Caps and Sneakers
If you have a problem with combining dirty shoes and clean clothes in a pack or suitcase, then shower caps are needed. Obtaining them for free from a hotel is the ideal way to acquire them, but they can be picked up at a store. Just wrap them around the shoes protects the clothes from dirt and debris that came from the ground.
12. Hanging Jewelry
Instead of placing all of the jewelry into a box where it gets jumbled up and mixed together, hang the jewelry up on a pant hanger to keep it loose and separate.
13. Extending Shoe Life
Often when shoes start to feel less supportive and old despite their appearance, the culprit is the soles inside the shoe. Simply purchasing a new sole to put in the shoe eliminates this issue completely. With an essentially brand new shoe, the quality of the product increases through replacement of just one part.
14. Shower Curtain and Car Trunk
If you want to keep the value of your car high, then protecting the trunk is important. Instead of letting dirt and debris collect on the trunk covering, laying out a shower curtain along the surface which effectively insulates the trunk interior.
15. Wrapping Paper Storage
Everyone buys wrapping paper at its cheapest after the holidays are over. Doing so greatly reduces additional expenses for holidays to come. The trick is finding a safe way to store this wrapping paper for extended periods of time. One way to accomplish this task is to store this paper in a garment bag which separates the wrapping paper from abrasive materials.
16. Making a Printer Ink Cartridge Last
First off, optimizing the print settings on your computer is the first step to making these cartridges last as long as possible. By simply choosing certain options such as fast draft and black ink only, the cartridges can be spared unneeded ink (settings can walk you through it). When all else fails in extending the life of the ink cartridge, take hot blow dryer to it to increase the internal temperature. The ink melts inside which provides new printing material.
17. Microwaves Can Save Sponges!
When the kitchen sink sponge starts to look terribly dirty and ceases to clean, saturate the sponge with water before putting it into the microwave. A minute or two literally revitalizes the sponge by killing the accrued bacteria. When even this method begins to fail, use the sponge for other tasks beside dishes that requires more elbow grease without emphasis on total cleanliness.
18. Fragile Decorative Protection
Have you ever been worried about moving fragile china while in storage? This idea is a simple way to alleviate that fear. Simply put these delicate pieces into a sock or wrapped in a towel to provide ample protection from damage.
19. Storing Small Items
Have tons of small items in the purse or bag such as jewelry, chap stick, or anything small? Grab an extra glasses case to store them easily. Storage protects these items from constant movement and abrasion.
20. Take Care of the Mattress
There are several ways to extend the life of the bed mattress which can be a big money saver. First, vacuum the mattress with a soft brush tool at least four times a year to remove unwanted debris. You can also spread out the mattress load distribution by placing wooden planks perpendicular to the metal beams. Finally, by flipping the mattress occasionally throughout the year, there is less of a buildup of sagging depressions on each side of the mattress.
21. Taking Care of Couch Cushioning
This is a simple trick that can increase the longevity of a couch cushion. Simply routinely flip each cushion with each other throughout the year. This lengthens the time taken to completely deflate these cushions which helps them keep their comfort.
22. Pillow Case Covers for Clothing
Protect nice or fragile clothing from the elements by folding them inside old pillow cases. This effectively covers them from any sort of debris or potential wear in the closet.
Author: Jeff Gitlen