If you are trying to save money with a frugal lifestyle, it can be tempting to always buy the cheapest product on the shelf.
But sometimes, paying a little bit more upfront can help you save in the long run. Here are some examples of purchases in which a higher initial cash outlay might actually be a cost-saving measure.
Many printer companies make their real profits on the ink you purchase (rather than the upfront cost of the printer). So, don't necessarily buy the cheapest printer at the store. It might only accept an expensive ink cartridge, leaving you with high ongoing costs.
Instead, research the ink cartridges that offer the best value. Then, buy a printer that's compatible with your desired ink.
Some discount shops sell clothes at unbelievable, rock-bottom prices. Unfortunately, these garments often wither away the first or second time you wear them.
I once made the mistake of purchasing a brand-new sweater for $10. I thought I had scored the deal of the year. It began piling and fraying within 48 hours. And within two weeks, it had frayed to the point that it couldn't be worn.
Consider the "cost per wear" of each article of clothing. It's fine to spend more on a garment that is durable enough to last for a long time.
Unhealthy stuff -- white bread, pasta, ramen noodles -- often makes up the cheapest items at the grocery store. But the long-term effect of these foods on your health can be dangerous to your well-being.
Perhaps you will save money today if you buy unhealthy foods. However, the savings may be spent later if you develop health conditions that require expensive medical treatments.
Instead, spend the extra money now to buy fresh produce, lean protein and whole grains. Consider it an investment in long-term health.
Have you ever put more money into fixing a car than you did into purchasing it? When you shop for a vehicle, view the "total purchase price" of a car as its initial cost, plus the repairs needed to make it safe and road-worthy.
If you've found a great $1,500 car, but it needs $4,000 in repairs, you might want to rethink the deal.
Don't splurge unnecessarily on luxuries and upgrades, but buy something safe and reliable. Remember, "best value" is not always the same thing as "lowest price."
Paula Pant blogs at AffordAnything.com about building wealth and living life on your own terms. She's traveled to nearly 30 countries, owns six rental units that produce thousands in passive income, and runs her own digital marketing company. Follow Paula on Twitter @AffordAnything.