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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: lifejoy on June 28, 2016, 08:23:45 PM

Title: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 28, 2016, 08:23:45 PM
Sometimes you dream of an expensive thing. And then you try it, buy it, experience it- and it's totally not worth it! Share your wisdom here so we can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again :)
Title: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 28, 2016, 08:27:14 PM
Some of mine:

Anything wearable over $50. I've tried fancy shoes (originally priced $500), fancy sunglasses ($200, returned them), $200 dresses (I wear my more inexpensive dresses more because I'm less worried about damaging them), $300 pearl necklace (also worried about damaging it so it sits on my drawer.)

$200 dinners do not taste better to me than $20 meals out.

Manicures and pedicures. I do almost as good a job as myself and am not left disappointed if I see any mistakes.

I'm sure I have more examples, but I'd love to hear yours!
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 28, 2016, 08:29:10 PM
$120 haircuts. Look just as good as $40 haircuts.

$120 massages. Only worth it when benefits are paying for it ;)

Expensive lipstick. The NYC brand is $2 and GREAT. Very moisturizing.


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Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Alf91 on June 28, 2016, 08:33:02 PM
Agree with the clothes. I have an expensive jacket that I bought on impulse (and some encouragement from a well-meaning partner), and I rarely wear it because I'm afraid to damage it.

Specialty drinks/coffees/etc.

Cellphones.
Title: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on June 28, 2016, 08:38:40 PM
For me, its manis and pedis. I always ruin them fairly quickly. I do an acceptable job myself. Also pricey meals. Some places are worth it, but by and large, we are simple folks. Our family's favourite local restaurant is a cheap Chinese buffet with an awesome hibachi grill. Yes, they do overcook the beef - but it is $10 each and puts a smile on all our faces!

I also hate buying new clothes. Those always seem to be the first to get ruined while our thrift store finds last forever.


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Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: jeromedawg on June 28, 2016, 08:50:12 PM
I don't understand the fascination over super-expensive shoes, whether for women or men. But what gets me most is the people who pay full retail for said items.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 28, 2016, 08:58:35 PM
For me, its manis and pedis. I always ruin them fairly quickly. I do an acceptable job myself. Also pricey meals. Some places are worth it, but by and large, we are simple folks. Our family's favourite local restaurant is a cheap Chinese buffet with an awesome hibachi grill. Yes, they do overcook the beef - but it is $10 each and puts a smile on all our faces!

I also hate buying new clothes. Those always seem to be the first to get ruined while our thrift store finds last forever.


+1 for all of those!!
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Choices on June 28, 2016, 09:11:54 PM
Anything I've paid someone to do that I could have done or learned to do myself. Even changing a toilet isn't rocket science, and I care more about my house, getting it done right, and not damaging the walls/paint/getting water all over than any plumber possibly could.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JoeBlow on June 28, 2016, 09:15:47 PM
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Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on June 28, 2016, 09:18:13 PM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lunasol on June 28, 2016, 09:22:16 PM
Iphone, Ipad, Iwatch

I don't get the novelty, I've never owned an iphone and don't intend to, My HTC works just fine and I love because it's taiwanese and I love Taiwan haha
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mxt0133 on June 28, 2016, 10:13:49 PM
For me it's wine.  I've tasted expensive wine and fortunately for me my palate is not refined enough to appreciate the more expensive wines.  I'm fine with $20-$30 wine and a $100+ wine to me is not twice or three time better.

Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JoeBlow on June 28, 2016, 11:26:11 PM
For me it's wine.  I've tasted expensive wine and fortunately for me my palate is not refined enough to appreciate the more expensive wines.  I'm fine with $20-$30 wine and a $100+ wine to me is not twice or three time better.

Hell, I am fine with 3 buck chuck.  Sometimes a splurge on an $8 bottle.  Whiskey is my weak spot.  I really like Pendleton which runs about $25.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: redbird on June 28, 2016, 11:42:01 PM
Anything wearable over $50. I've tried fancy shoes (originally priced $500), fancy sunglasses ($200, returned them), $200 dresses (I wear my more inexpensive dresses more because I'm less worried about damaging them), $300 pearl necklace (also worried about damaging it so it sits on my drawer.)

I agree mostly, but not completely.

I just bought myself $65 shoes. But the last time I bought shoes was nearly 5 years ago and I wore them almost every day during that time, including hiking a decent bit, and they completely fell apart from being used so much. These shoes I just bought myself I intend to wear for several years minimum. :) I've never even tried on shoes that cost over $100. That feels too ridiculous.

Anyway, in general I think this thread is going to be very subjective. There's things I buy that people here think are ridiculous (video games is the main thing I can think of hobby-wise of mine that gets bashed, even though I'm very frugal about it) but there's other things that others buy that I think is ridiculous (alcohol, most beauty products, etc).
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: madmax on June 29, 2016, 12:25:02 AM
Wearables have been mentioned before but watches in particular. An iWatch is pretty ridiculous but I fail to understand how a $25K Uboat is better than a $30 Casio

Kirby vacuum cleaners, please don't get me started

Expensive HDMI cables

Business class air tickets

German cars

Timeshares
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on June 29, 2016, 12:55:20 AM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: travelbug on June 29, 2016, 12:59:50 AM
Expensive imported cars, I drool but would not part with the $ to own one.
Coffees out. Make my own and take it in my stainless steel coffee mug, it stays warm for ages.


Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Mattzlaff on June 29, 2016, 04:17:01 AM
For the modern family where I work I honestly do not get the allure of trailers, 5th wheels and RVs.

Some guys have spent 12-45k on trailers and 5th wheels they use 4 times a year! One guy bought his 5 years ago for 20k and sold it after only using it ~15 times for 12k.

Don't forget to mention the ~20-50k new truck you "need" to tow some of these monsters.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Mrs. S on June 29, 2016, 04:37:05 AM
A sedan or SUV for a single person to drive to work! Hacthback works just as fine or like us you can easily drive a motorbike which is 10% the cost of the cheapest of sedans and lets us drive over 50Km for every liter of petrol we put in it.
Another one is wedding ring we managed to buy cheap practical rings which none of us wears anymore. Thankfully wedding bands in addition to engagement rings are not such a big thing here.
For me any money spent on jewelry is a big lump of money sitting in your safe and doing nothing. My mom disagrees though!!
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: driftwood on June 29, 2016, 04:44:17 AM
Three come to mind right away, general categories though:  Weddings, funerals, and new babies.

1. The label of those three themselves lead to inflated prices.  Large Knife? $1-8.  Wedding Cake Knife?  $15 and up.  OMG delicious Costco sheet cake?! - <$25 ea.  "Wedding Cake" holy shit start on $100 for a postage-stamp and on up into astronomical prices.  Also most don't taste better than Costco sheet cake.

2. Society/family/personal expectations of what is 'necessary' for each of those three leads to other unfrugal choices.  Baby crib set?  $100+, but then you realize that most of the items included shouldn't be in a crib because of the smothering risk to babies. wtf? Jogging strollers for those who don't jog, carseats that are so expensive and so gadgeted out they must be able to protect your child from a collision with a nuclear warhead, while also providing hours of in-drive entertainment.  Double strollers that don't fit in aisles or doorways so where can you take it anyways? Kids shoes for kids who crawl, which are grown out of super quickly... can we get some simple moccasin style ones, they don't need all that stiff rubber anyways?

Diamonds (jewelry).  Resale value is crap.  Market is controlled to keep prices up.  Pointless decoration at outrageous prices.  Fantastic marketing to make me feel like a cheapass for not ensuring every kiss begins with K.

This is starting to turn into a rant so I'll stop here.



Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: human on June 29, 2016, 05:17:52 AM
Kids, and thats right I don't have any.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: meg_shannon on June 29, 2016, 05:30:44 AM
1) New kids clothes. They grow so fast. I get 90% of my daughter's clothes from the thrift store or consignment sales and the rest are gifts. Picked up Keens for her yesterday for 4$. I wish I would find shoes more easily for myself there!

2) Any salon stuff - nails, hair, skincare, hair removal. Nope.

3) New retail clothing. I get a lot from the thrift store, and I also make some of my own clothes. Making them isn't cheaper, but they fit better and I can more easily repair them. I still buy pants new - women's 35" inseam jeans are impossible to find at the thrift store.

4) New books. I use the library or buy used books for our daughter's favorites.

5) Food at attractions. We're headed to the zoo later and will be bringing a packed lunch and snacks. I leave an extra cooler in the car so I can have iced coffee for the drive home and cold snacks after being out in the heat.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: boarder42 on June 29, 2016, 05:39:23 AM
For me it's wine.  I've tasted expensive wine and fortunately for me my palate is not refined enough to appreciate the more expensive wines.  I'm fine with $20-$30 wine and a $100+ wine to me is not twice or three time better.

3 buck chuck.  if i want to splurge i'll get a 5 dollar bottle from trader joes.  i would consider 20-30 dollar wine expensive wine.  100+ is ridiculous.  lots of double blind studies have been done putting boxed wine in a nice bottle and nice 30+ wine in a crappy wine bottle.  typically even people who are considered experts choose the crappy wine in the nice bottle as what they would bring to a dinner party. and they are too good to touch the 30+ dollar wine in a crappy bottle.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: boarder42 on June 29, 2016, 05:40:45 AM
I'll agree with the expensive dinners.  we recently went to hawaii and decided to splurge on a nice dinner - offset the cost with a credit card churn so it really was free.  but the 10 dollar poke we were buying at the grocery store trumped the 120 dollar dinner.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Torran on June 29, 2016, 05:44:23 AM
Ooh ooh love this list. I'm copying ideas down in to my budgeting notebook to remind myself.

Sunglasses (just moulded plastic, let's be honest)
Nail varnish (can cost £2, can cost £18, all the same stuff in the bottle).
Badly made, poor quality fashion handbags. IMHO if it's not leather it's just gonna look crap in about 2 months time.
Expensive watches
Expensive jewellery
Diamonds
Wedding dresses, wedding cakes, wedding invitations, wedding everything.
Designer labels
Home furnishings (It blows my mind that people spend £2000 on a sofa).
(Controversial choice) - gig tickets. £40 - £60 to see someone play music. No music can be that good. (But then again I hate most music so I'm probably in the minority there.)



Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: meg_shannon on June 29, 2016, 05:46:42 AM
(Controversial choice) - gig tickets. £40 - £60 to see someone play music. No music can be that good. (But then again I hate most music so I'm probably in the minority there.)

I agree with you! I don't like crowds either, or going out to eat that much.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: andy85 on June 29, 2016, 06:23:58 AM
interesting...never really thought about it because i guess it is just kind of how i am naturally...

alcohol
dining out
cars
clothes
some shoes (maybe a nice pair of boots)
some furniture

i tend to be a buy-it-for-life type person when it comes to major things
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 29, 2016, 06:39:00 AM
Just a note, I'm mostly interested in expensive things that you have personally tried, and found to be not worth it.

If this were a place to list expensive things that just aren't worth it that you can THINK of, well, it'd go on forever ;)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Torran on June 29, 2016, 07:23:14 AM
Ah... well I definitely have not tried diamonds or wedding things :)

Right, better list:

The only expensive thing I can think of that I've tried is a manicure - totally not worth it. It chipped after 1 day.

I guess gig tickets are not really a luxury item, but they are so expensive - I've gone to so many gigs over the years and it is SO not worth it. (@meg_shannon glad you agree! I'm not the only one!). Queing... Standing up for hours in a cold dark pub/venue... expensive drinks ... being trapped in a crowd, or right at the back so you can hardly see anything... not for me.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on June 29, 2016, 07:31:56 AM
Restaurants, anything at a spa or salon, flying first-class (I was upgraded for free a several years back, so I remember what it is - it's nice, but I hate flying regardless of where I am in the plane), hotels in general.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: ambimammular on June 29, 2016, 07:34:39 AM
I don't understand the fascination over super-expensive shoes, whether for women or men. But what gets me most is the people who pay full retail for said items.

It's that dream that the expensive, well designed pair of high heels will somehow feel like bedroom slippers. Perhaps I only find them torturous because I've never gotten high enough of a quality.
Title: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pbkmaine on June 29, 2016, 07:37:38 AM
I inherited my grandmother's sterling silver cutlery for 14. I never used it because it was such a pain to clean. I passed it on to my niece, her only great-granddaughter, and live happily with stainless.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on June 29, 2016, 07:41:32 AM
I don't understand the fascination over super-expensive shoes, whether for women or men. But what gets me most is the people who pay full retail for said items.

It's that dream that the expensive, well designed pair of high heels will somehow feel like bedroom slippers. Perhaps I only find them torturous because I've never gotten high enough of a quality.

For once I'm actually going to defend a more expensive option. I used to only buy from Payless and the like. Shoes would come apart after a season or two. Now I buy from DSW (so still, not full retail price), but I did buy a 120$ pair of Cole Haan leather high-heels (retail was something like 400$). I've had them for years and they still look new. I have 4 pairs of high-heels, all between 100-200$ each, that I've had for years, and that I wear constantly for work. Long-term, they are less expensive than replacing 30$ shoes yearly.

I don't consider expensive shoes an investment at all, but I do consider well-made shoes a better long-term purchase - which is mustachian to me.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DeltaBond on June 29, 2016, 08:00:14 AM
brand new Honda (did that 3 times, never again)... one COULD just say "brand new car"
newly built house - they aren't built all that well at this point in time in the U.S.
Expensive washer and dryer set - I now buy the nicer washer and cheapest dryer possible
Keurig - Coffee isn't as good and they don't last
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Torran on June 29, 2016, 08:04:37 AM
I don't understand the fascination over super-expensive shoes, whether for women or men. But what gets me most is the people who pay full retail for said items.

It's that dream that the expensive, well designed pair of high heels will somehow feel like bedroom slippers. Perhaps I only find them torturous because I've never gotten high enough of a quality.

Interesting.

The only wearable pair of high heels I have are old (well, 1980s) Carvela ones. They are extremely well made, very delicate, but do not hurt my feet at all.
(I know Carvela are still around, but I've tried out the shoes they make nowadays and they are sadly no where near the quality they used to be).
I got mine for £4 in Oxfam, I guess they were probably semi-expensive when new.
I really love having one pair of black heels I can wear on a night out, that I know won't make me wobbly, or worse, the dreaded duck-walk of the woman in high heels at the end of the night.

I like feeling a bit dressed up and fancy sometimes. But high heels are still high heels. They're really quite an odd thing when you really think about it. And no matter how well made, I don't think there's any getting away from the fact that they're not comfortable.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: dcheesi on June 29, 2016, 08:08:06 AM
The thing about shoes (and clothing generally) is that more money can mean better quality (up to a point), but it doesn't always. I can pay $100 for a pair of leather boat shoes that will last forever, or I can pay the same amount for a pair of tennis shoes with the "right" logo that were made on the same Chinese assembly line as the $20 sneakers from Payless.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kaspian on June 29, 2016, 08:16:57 AM
Expensive restaurants!! Even travelling to exotic places I'd much rather have meals in a traditional pub/bodega/canteen/cantina/diner than a swanky place with cloth tableclothes, a maitre 'd, hors d'oeuvres, where you get a few leaves of lettuce and a chocolate drizzle on a coin-sized piece of meat with some person who's job it is to stand in the washroom all day and hand you a towel.  The rich people environments make me uncomfortable and the food leaves me hungry.

Also, hot air balloon rides.  I mean, it's a good experience to try once, but it's certainly not "romantic" with that giant welding torch blasting flames a few inches from your head at a decibel level of a jet engine.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: TheOldestYoungMan on June 29, 2016, 08:23:16 AM
Powered garden tools.  Aside from a push mower I have regretted every purchase, the hand tools being faster and requiring less set up/tear down time.  The push mower only wins because the mulching ability keeps me from having to rake.

Higher speed internet.  They are going to throttle your speed no matter what during peak times, and open it wide open when they don't need to throttle, just pay for the cheapest service where you actually get a signal.

Expensive alcohol.  If you can really tell the difference go for it, but pour me another round of the cheap stuff.

Bottled water.  Don't be an asshole, unless there's a known issue with the tap water in your area, bottled water is an emergency ration.  It also tastes worse?  How have you not noticed this?  Stagnant water is not delicious.

Personal lubricant.  The cheapest stuff you can find that doesn't burn you or your partner chemically (in a way that displeases you) is the way to go.

Bedding, the second best set of sheets made by man is sold at target, they last forever, i forget the exact details but they are awesome, and cost like 1/100th of what the best set of sheets made by man cost.

Computers.  I have bought top of the line machines, built top of the line machines, and built second to top of the line, and by far the right way to go is to find the highest quality parts, and then buy the ones priced half as much.  You get 95% of the performance, which, lets be honest, is more than enough to read MMM.

:)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Miss Piggy on June 29, 2016, 08:39:38 AM
Higher speed internet.  They are going to throttle your speed no matter what during peak times, and open it wide open when they don't need to throttle, just pay for the cheapest service where you actually get a signal.

Sadly, so true.

Personal lubricant.  The cheapest stuff you can find that doesn't burn you or your partner chemically (in a way that displeases you) is the way to go.

I "discovered" (via the web) coconut oil a couple of years ago. Nice. And cheap.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pbkmaine on June 29, 2016, 08:47:46 AM
+1 for coconut oil. Changed my life.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on June 29, 2016, 08:48:55 AM
Personal lubricant.  The cheapest stuff you can find that doesn't burn you or your partner chemically (in a way that displeases you) is the way to go.

I "discovered" (via the web) coconut oil a couple of years ago. Nice. And cheap.

Except that that'll destroy condoms, so only use when you don't need those.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Miss Piggy on June 29, 2016, 08:53:53 AM
Personal lubricant.  The cheapest stuff you can find that doesn't burn you or your partner chemically (in a way that displeases you) is the way to go.

I "discovered" (via the web) coconut oil a couple of years ago. Nice. And cheap.

Except that that'll destroy condoms, so only use when you don't need those.

Ooh...I'm sure someone will appreciate that information!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on June 29, 2016, 09:00:19 AM
Personal lubricant.  The cheapest stuff you can find that doesn't burn you or your partner chemically (in a way that displeases you) is the way to go.

I "discovered" (via the web) coconut oil a couple of years ago. Nice. And cheap.

Except that that'll destroy condoms, so only use when you don't need those.

Ooh...I'm sure someone will appreciate that information!

PSA:

Silicone lube OR water-based lube if you need to use condoms.

DO NOT use silicone lube on silicone toys unless you want to wreck them.

DO NOT use silicone lube in the tub or shower - it makes everything slippery and you'll fall over in a thoroughly embarassing way. Hypothetically.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: 2Cent on June 29, 2016, 09:01:04 AM
Expensive hotels in the center of a city. Most places worth visiting have excellent transportation to the tourist spots.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: bacchi on June 29, 2016, 09:01:24 AM
Midrange-expensive hotels. As long as it's clean, I don't care that it costs $300/night. I'll take the Days Inn with the free breakfast.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Tris Prior on June 29, 2016, 09:04:15 AM
I like the $2-and-change nail polish from Target much better than the $10-$14 bottles at Sephora.

Most of my expensive-things failures have to do with skin care. I have never had a pricey skin care product live up to its claims. Sometimes it makes me look even worse. I actually just did it again - bought some First Aid Beauty anti-redness serum, as I'm developing redness around my nose and chin. At least I only got the sample size for $6.50 and not the big bottle for $36 (!). I put it on and my face immediately turned even MORE red. That faded, but I can't say I've noticed much improvement. Maybe you've got to use it for months on end to see results.... but I don't think I want to keep throwing money at a product that probably won't help.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mozar on June 29, 2016, 09:15:18 AM
*sadly puts down coconut oil.

I bought a fancy manual food grater (with a crank). I guess I had fantasies of needing to grate pounds of food after the apocalypse?  Then I bought a cheap food processor which I love.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: little_brown_dog on June 29, 2016, 09:19:48 AM
Similar to what most others said: expensive cars, designer clothes/bags, etc.

Honestly, I am also starting to really get sick of buying organic foods. The selection is usually much more limited, and the prices are often double that of conventional. I can't taste or see any difference, and the research on the stuff is inconclusive/inconsistent at best. Most of the organic produce available is shipped in from massive farms in Mexico or Cali, so it's not like it is even fresher than the conventional produce or grown in an inherently more eco-friendly way. Really the only thing that keeps me buying some organic items is vague hippie paranoia, and a bad case of the "what ifs".
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: HappyHoya on June 29, 2016, 10:21:46 AM
My biggest regrets on expenses aren't tangible things, but services. I am almost always disappointed when I pay someone to do something I could have done myself even if I couldn't have done as good a job. This includes nail salon and beauty treatments, haircuts, and almost any convenience services like grocery delivery or house/yard work. It's one area where I wish I could lighten up a bit, because there are many times where the money it cost is well worth the time savings and I also believe people providing these services should make a decent wage so I want to pay fairly. I also have some physical limitations that force me to get some help, which I'm a little sensitive about. I don't buy a lot of things so I would like to prioritize spending towards freeing up some of my time. Unfortunately, I've learned I am a bad customer and my expectations of other people are almost always too high. Unless I am really desperate and it's something I absolutely cannot do myself, I usually think (know?) I could have done a better job, or at least put more care into it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Dee on June 29, 2016, 10:58:19 AM
One thing that did not live up to my expectations (based on many unsolicited reports by various people) is the superiority of train travel over bus travel from city-to-city (like Ottawa-Montreal or Ottawa-Toronto). So many people seem to rave about the train over the bus or over driving yourself but I haven't found the train to be the great upgrade that other people seem to think it is. If the price were the same, sure, I'd probably take the train, but it wouldn't require much of a price difference before I'd opt for the bus.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: katesilvergirl on June 29, 2016, 11:24:33 AM
Every time I take something to the dry cleaner I regret it. Even my wedding dress got ruined there. They didn't try very hard to get out the stain on the silk table runner, and I've never ruined a "Dry Clean Only" piece of clothing by putting it in the washing machine. I buy 90% of my clothes at the thrift store and wash every single one in the washing machine (unless it's lace or something else delicate, then I hand wash). At least if I ruin something I won't have wasted $20 and only have myself to blame.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on June 29, 2016, 11:49:40 AM
The evidence says (http://www.wired.com/2011/04/should-we-buy-expensive-wine/) expensive wine.

I'd bet a similar effect holds for coffee and beer, but I expect people to be much more defensive about those ones, since it's easy to think wine drinkers = the "others", snobs, etc. People are generally aware of the backstories and prices of their craft beers or fancy coffee, and in the wine experiments that information is what causes people to derive more enjoyment from the expensive wines, not the actual taste. I'll just wait for a nice double blind experiment to come out in the news.

Even if there is a marginal difference in taste, one has to ask if 10% better should cost 100% more (the answer is No).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Ceridwen on June 29, 2016, 12:15:16 PM
I'll add another one to the alcohol list.  I once did a blind vodka taste test, and I chose the Smirnoff over Grey Goose!

For beauty products, Clinique moisturizer is my one splurge (totally worth it for me), and I recently got a free "chubby stick" ($29 tinted lip balm) with purchase.  I was excited, because I'd heard great things.  It sucks.  I was constantly reapplying it.  Cover Girl $6 version is way better.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Trudie on June 29, 2016, 12:19:38 PM
Expensive wine.  Expensive sunglasses (I always lose them.)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: The_Pretender on June 29, 2016, 12:26:07 PM
$200 Espresso machine... We have used it far fewer times then the regular stove top espresso pot. 

I have purchased 4 pairs of $150-$180 dress shoes for work since 2004.  I figure, since I wear these shoes ~240 days in the year, a nice pair that can last for several years and still provide good support, is worth it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Brokenreign on June 29, 2016, 12:46:13 PM
A nice suit. I spent $1g to "buy it for life." Found that wearing a nice suit blows only marginally less than a shitty suit for the twice a year that I wear it. Now I am sweaty and poor instead of just sweaty.

+1000 to fancy restaurants. 3x the price for half the portion and 6x the pretentiousness. Super.

Also a nice car without hilarious visible damage. You just worry about it all the time and it's not funny when you back into steel posts. Shitboxes4life. My dream car is the one from planes trains and automobiles after it had been burned down.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Tris Prior on June 29, 2016, 12:52:03 PM
Most of the organic produce available is shipped in from massive farms in Mexico or Cali, so it's not like it is even fresher than the conventional produce or grown in an inherently more eco-friendly way.

I struggle with this catch-22 as well - buy locally and support small local farmers though it isn't organic, or buy organic that's traveled thousands of miles to get to me? Only solution I've found is to grow my own when I can, but as an apartment dweller I certainly can't grow *everything*.

I'll add mascara to the list. I've tried some of the expensive fancy brands but continue to prefer the cheap drugstore stuff.

Every time I take something to the dry cleaner I regret it. Even my wedding dress got ruined there.

Oh god, the wedding dress cleaning/boxing thing.... in my experience this was a total scam. I decided I wanted to sell my dress after my divorce, and I took it out of the box, only to find that it had been boxed up dirty! There was still mud all over the hem and train (it had rained on my wedding day). Which I was able to remove myself quickly with cold water and a little Oxiclean. I think I was charged something like $85 for "dress cleaning and preservation."
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Slee_stack on June 29, 2016, 01:04:55 PM
Darn, I should be having an easy time with this, but I'm struggling to come up with something.  We really have reigned in spending extra on stuff we don't really appreciate over the years.

We've bought a few expensive cheeses we didn't like, but we have had others we do enjoy.  Same with beer/wine/any food really. 

Trying new things is an acceptable expense to us (within reason).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on June 29, 2016, 01:09:21 PM
Car ownership.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mozar on June 29, 2016, 01:21:21 PM
I started buying local eggs (from my state) when the farmers market started at 5 each. Didn't taste any better, and for some reason, only had a shelf life of a few days. Last time I went they had run out and I wasn't sad. I can get eggs that are organic and from one state over, taste better, last longer, and are 3.58
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: justajane on June 29, 2016, 01:26:48 PM
The evidence says (http://www.wired.com/2011/04/should-we-buy-expensive-wine/) expensive wine.

I'd bet a similar effect holds for coffee and beer, but I expect people to be much more defensive about those ones, since it's easy to think wine drinkers = the "others", snobs, etc.

Funny, I came to the conclusion that, since I like very light beer, I was probably wasting my money paying slightly more for Stella Artois when I went out and just embraced Bud Lite and other cheap beers. I'm thinking of doing a blind taste test to see if I'm right. I'm not sure I could tell that much of a difference. To save face around beer snobs I still might order the Stella over the other, but it's totally stupid.

**Note I know neither of these are fancy beers. My husband sometimes buys these $10 a glass microbrews that IMO taste like ass. Sour beer = disgusting.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: engineermom21 on June 29, 2016, 01:28:36 PM
Similar to what most others said: expensive cars, designer clothes/bags, etc.

Honestly, I am also starting to really get sick of buying organic foods. The selection is usually much more limited, and the prices are often double that of conventional. I can't taste or see any difference, and the research on the stuff is inconclusive/inconsistent at best. Most of the organic produce available is shipped in from massive farms in Mexico or Cali, so it's not like it is even fresher than the conventional produce or grown in an inherently more eco-friendly way. Really the only thing that keeps me buying some organic items is vague hippie paranoia, and a bad case of the "what ifs".

I second the organic thing.  The more I read about it, the less convinced I am that it's actually worth the extra cost to buy organic.  Organic pesticides aren't really any "safer" than conventional pesticides, organic produce doesn't last nearly as long as conventional, and the nutritional content isn't any higher.  Part of thinks that buying everything organic is going to the fad of our generation, kind of like "fat free" was in the 80s and 90s.  But I also have that "what if" syndrome, especially when it comes to food for my kids. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: little_brown_dog on June 29, 2016, 02:04:06 PM
Similar to what most others said: expensive cars, designer clothes/bags, etc.

Honestly, I am also starting to really get sick of buying organic foods. The selection is usually much more limited, and the prices are often double that of conventional. I can't taste or see any difference, and the research on the stuff is inconclusive/inconsistent at best. Most of the organic produce available is shipped in from massive farms in Mexico or Cali, so it's not like it is even fresher than the conventional produce or grown in an inherently more eco-friendly way. Really the only thing that keeps me buying some organic items is vague hippie paranoia, and a bad case of the "what ifs".

I second the organic thing.  The more I read about it, the less convinced I am that it's actually worth the extra cost to buy organic.  Organic pesticides aren't really any "safer" than conventional pesticides, organic produce doesn't last nearly as long as conventional, and the nutritional content isn't any higher.  Part of thinks that buying everything organic is going to the fad of our generation, kind of like "fat free" was in the 80s and 90s.  But I also have that "what if" syndrome, especially when it comes to food for my kids.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who is weirdly conflicted about this.

Right now I buy organic if it is a "dirty dozen" food, otherwise I go conventional. It's amazing, my grocery bill is a solid 20 to 30% less when I'm buying mostly conventional produce. On days where more organics fill the cart, there is always a bit of sticker shock at the checkout. I figure a middle ground approach is best. That way I'm not completely throwing money away for no reason, but if there is merit to organics, then at least I'm doing something to mitigate risk. With local, I don't worry either way. I want to support my regional farmers. I'm more worried about small family farms completely dying off than obsessing about an organic label.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on June 29, 2016, 07:05:08 PM
Similar to what most others said: expensive cars, designer clothes/bags, etc.

Honestly, I am also starting to really get sick of buying organic foods. The selection is usually much more limited, and the prices are often double that of conventional. I can't taste or see any difference, and the research on the stuff is inconclusive/inconsistent at best. Most of the organic produce available is shipped in from massive farms in Mexico or Cali, so it's not like it is even fresher than the conventional produce or grown in an inherently more eco-friendly way. Really the only thing that keeps me buying some organic items is vague hippie paranoia, and a bad case of the "what ifs".

I second the organic thing.  The more I read about it, the less convinced I am that it's actually worth the extra cost to buy organic.  Organic pesticides aren't really any "safer" than conventional pesticides, organic produce doesn't last nearly as long as conventional, and the nutritional content isn't any higher.  Part of thinks that buying everything organic is going to the fad of our generation, kind of like "fat free" was in the 80s and 90s.  But I also have that "what if" syndrome, especially when it comes to food for my kids.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who is weirdly conflicted about this.

Right now I buy organic if it is a "dirty dozen" food, otherwise I go conventional. It's amazing, my grocery bill is a solid 20 to 30% less when I'm buying mostly conventional produce. On days where more organics fill the cart, there is always a bit of sticker shock at the checkout. I figure a middle ground approach is best. That way I'm not completely throwing money away for no reason, but if there is merit to organics, then at least I'm doing something to mitigate risk. With local, I don't worry either way. I want to support my regional farmers. I'm more worried about small family farms completely dying off than obsessing about an organic label.

This. Health-wise, I'm unconvinced, but I do think that putting humanity's food supply into the hands of Monsanto is stupid, at best.

If you have access to local farms (like, roadside stand or you-pick, not farmers market where half the stuff is imported), organic doesn't mean much - visit the farm, see how the animals are treated. Most small farms don't have certification because the process is really expensive, but if you want to support local farmers, buy well-raised meat and in-season vegetables, and ensure that at least some of the local food supply remains in existence, that's the way to go.


Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: KMMK on June 29, 2016, 07:46:22 PM
Ugh, restaurants. So rare for that to work out well. I need to stick to buying gluten free baking if I want to buy a treat. Meals rarely work out.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Cannot Wait! on June 29, 2016, 08:38:41 PM
Husbands.   :\
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on June 29, 2016, 09:24:16 PM
Husbands.   :\

I like your sense of humour!!!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on June 30, 2016, 07:54:43 AM
Husbands.   :\

I like your sense of humour!!!

I'd say they're probably not joking. Never had one of my own, but I totally don't understand the appeal...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Mikila on June 30, 2016, 07:55:44 AM
1. Pedicures
2. Personal lube.  Coconut or olive oil works well.
3.Nearly new cars.
4.$40 haircuts.  Now I go to Supercuts, or GreatCuts, or wherever I can get my hair cut for less than $16. (female)
5.Boys haircuts. Clippers at home are better and far, far cheeaper.
6. Pricey guitars.  The $100 Kona does 80% of what the pricey ones do, and its deficiencies are mostly in the pickup.
7.Expensive Hotels.  I am just as happy at Super 8.  I vacation to see the sites, not lounge in my hotel.  I just need a bed or safe place to set up  my airbed if theirs is really that uncomfortable.

To the poster above, kids are not "Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it."  They are human beings.  In this country, you can't buy them, unless you are speaking of adoption, which I doubt...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: cacaoheart on June 30, 2016, 08:23:39 AM
Coconut/olive oil works fine with non-latex condoms. Being a healthcare worker I try to minimize my exposure to latex anyhow since allergies can occur from cumulative exposure.

back on track ...

I gave up on $20 per pound locally roasted coffee beans when I realized $5 per 12 ounce (~$6.70 per pound) Trader Joes beans were more than good enough for my tastes, especially if not having it black. I tried roasting my own from Sweet Maria's but unless/until roasting becomes a personal passion, Trader Joes is a similar price for much less effort and no extra space taken up by roasting equipment. My wife is even cheaper by sticking with loose leaf tea rather than coffee. A pound of earl grey or white tea can be <$20 on amazon and last for months. No grinder/roaster needed.

I buy organic if I want to eat the peal of a citrus fruit, otherwise standard non-organic all the way.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Torran on June 30, 2016, 08:27:22 AM
I second Clinique's chubby stick - got a freebie (I guess they're trying to entice us into buying them regularly) and it really sucks.

On that note, all expensive make-up - I try out freebies whenever I can, just to see if they really are any better, and I've never found one that stood out as being remarkable in any way.

On a tv programme years ago I watched a successful business man describe one of his career regrets as being that he didn't get into cosmetics, because it's just a licence to print money. Seems accurate.

I've stayed in a 5 star hotel, once, but to be honest it was worth every bit. Christmas time, snowing outside, huge bath, heating on, fluffy carpets, basket of snacks (I love snacks), espresso machine - I was basically in heaven. It was worth it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Torran on June 30, 2016, 08:32:29 AM
I second Clinique's chubby stick - got a freebie (I guess they're trying to entice us into buying them regularly) and it really sucks.

On that note, all expensive make-up - I try out freebies whenever I can, just to see if they really are any better, and I've never found one that stood out as being remarkable in any way.

On a tv programme years ago I watched a successful business man describe one of his career regrets as being that he didn't get into cosmetics, because it's just a licence to print money. Seems accurate.

I've stayed in a 5 star hotel, once, but to be honest it was worth every bit. Christmas time, snowing outside, huge bath, heating on, fluffy carpets, basket of snacks (I love snacks), espresso machine - I was basically in heaven. It was worth it.

Just realised I said 'it was worth it' twice which makes it sound like I'm protesting a bit too much. But seriously you guys IT WAS WORTH IT *mad eye twitch*
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Tyson on June 30, 2016, 08:32:50 AM
Gym membership.  I find riding my bike and doing old school pushups/pullups so much better - it wastes less $$ and saves time.  Especially biking since I can use it to run errands. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on June 30, 2016, 08:36:40 AM
On that note, all expensive make-up - I try out freebies whenever I can, just to see if they really are any better, and I've never found one that stood out as being remarkable in any way.

I will swear by the Chanel face powder I use (80$, lasts 2 years, ONLY thing I've ever used that hasn't made my face break out) and Bobbi Brown lipstick (33$, but the colour stays on for 6 hours AND it doesn't make my lips crack and bleed). If you have sensitive skin, I will strongly recommend trying the product at Sephora prior to buying - I can tell if foundation is going to make my face break out within 20 minutes, and it's nice to be able to wash it off and NOT have wasted 40+$ on buying it. Or lipsticks - Nars, MAC, Make-up Forever, all the brands people recommend? Cracking, bleeding lips, and they ain't cheap. For the rest? Drugstore all the way, doesn't seem to make a difference to anything other than my budget.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: rockstache on June 30, 2016, 10:33:05 AM
Husbands.   :\

I like your sense of humour!!!

I'd say they're probably not joking. Never had one of my own, but I totally don't understand the appeal...

Like anything, it probably depends on the version. I've been really happy with mine.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: With This Herring on June 30, 2016, 10:39:07 AM
When I was looking at switching from Twinings, I tried the loose leaf Irish Breakfast sold at my parents' local co-op.  It was >$20/lb (almost the same unit price as Twinings in my area), and just a disappointingly grassy taste.  It is almost twice as much as the best prices I later found in stores and online.  At least I just got a four-ounce sample.  Now I'm drinking Barry's in bags (bought on a great sale making it the cheapest Irish Breakfast tea per pound I've seen anywhere), and it is perfect.

*snip*
My wife is even cheaper by sticking with loose leaf tea rather than coffee. A pound of earl grey or white tea can be <$20 on amazon and last for months. No grinder/roaster needed.
*snip*

If your wife has an interest, there may be yet cheaper sources of loose tea for her.  I did an extensive survey of Irish Breakfast online tea prices a couple months ago because I really wanted the best deal.  Some sites with good prices (for Irish Breakfast when I was looking) were as follows:
English Tea Store (http://www.englishteastore.com/eargreytealo.html) (link is to Earl Grey) (the prices listed on the size drop-down appear to be broken, so don't rely on a price until that size is actually selected) - it looks like once you add shipping, you can get 5 lbs of Earl Grey for less than $10/lb (also, if you move to close the window, it usually pops up with a 10% off code)
San Francisco Herb Company (http://www.sfherb.com/store/loose-tea,category.asp)
Monterey Bay Spice Company (http://www.herbco.com/?)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: chesebert on June 30, 2016, 11:28:26 AM
First class. Decent food and booze but still jet lagged because I can't sleep no matter where I am on the plane. YMMV
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: dougules on June 30, 2016, 11:40:15 AM
One thing that did not live up to my expectations (based on many unsolicited reports by various people) is the superiority of train travel over bus travel from city-to-city (like Ottawa-Montreal or Ottawa-Toronto). So many people seem to rave about the train over the bus or over driving yourself but I haven't found the train to be the great upgrade that other people seem to think it is. If the price were the same, sure, I'd probably take the train, but it wouldn't require much of a price difference before I'd opt for the bus.

I think some of this has to do with the state of bus travel north of the Rio Grande as well as the reputation.  Anybody that's been to Latin America recently knows that bus travel can be really nice for not a whole lot of money. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: undercover on June 30, 2016, 11:43:51 AM
+1 to not buying organic. It's just a trend that shouldn't exist. The people that insist on only organic generally are the same ones who are against all GMOs, MSG, etc. There's no basis other than the fear tactics placed in stores like Whole Foods. I agree with not eating junk full of preservatives, unhealthy oils and HFCS, but there's very little to zero scientific evidence supporting the fact that organic is better.

To me, it seems all or nothing. If you're going to buy organic only part of the time (when you feel like "splurging", or you are feeling particularly fearful), then what's the point? If at any point in time you're going to expose yourself to the "dangers" of non-organic, then why ever buy organic to begin with? Plus, how do you truly know what you're getting? I don't trust these corporations and stores to do everything properly, thus I just don't bother with it. It's all an exploitation in marketing as far as I'm concerned.

I love the look and feel of Whole Foods stores, and the like, but it also has such a pretentious feel to it at the same time. (Not everything in Whole Foods is overpriced, but a LOT of it is. Damn, even eating at their food bar requires a $200k+ salary).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: dinkhelpneeded on June 30, 2016, 01:42:58 PM
Not worth it (but ok to do once so the novelty wears off)

-Flying first class
-Expensive buffets (cant eat half that stuff). I do like the novelty of expensive restaurants (carefully picked out) on special occasions though!
-Expensive vacation things (para-sailing, jet ski etc)
-Expensive Art (This is a tough one for me, we bought a giant piece when we first bought a house) I could never sell it for nearly what I paid and  the marginal satisfaction I get from looking at it has gone down over time.

Not worth it. Period. Strong recommendation to never try it.
-Brand new maternity or baby clothes (currently living this!)
-German cars (always have maintenance issues, got rid of it in a year)
-Subscriptions to anything non essential (Angies list, upgrades on apps, cancelled after MMM)
-Gym subscriptions (buy your own equipment and pay as you go classes if you want them, cancelled after MMM)
-Fancy infused oils (DIY it if you like any)
-Kitchen gadgets that do just one thing (spiralizer, dehydrator, etc)
-Expensive Antique Furniture (I'm all for solid built moderately priced antiques, just not the super expensive hard to resell kinds)
-Expensive Mattress! (needs change over time, now I have a thin mattress. I hate the old $1000 mattress, which is now in a guest bedroom)
-Eating out regularly as an expensive habit (Neither good for health nor the wallet)

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: 4alpacas on June 30, 2016, 01:54:40 PM
On that note, all expensive make-up - I try out freebies whenever I can, just to see if they really are any better, and I've never found one that stood out as being remarkable in any way.

I will swear by the Chanel face powder I use (80$, lasts 2 years, ONLY thing I've ever used that hasn't made my face break out) and Bobbi Brown lipstick (33$, but the colour stays on for 6 hours AND it doesn't make my lips crack and bleed). If you have sensitive skin, I will strongly recommend trying the product at Sephora prior to buying - I can tell if foundation is going to make my face break out within 20 minutes, and it's nice to be able to wash it off and NOT have wasted 40+$ on buying it. Or lipsticks - Nars, MAC, Make-up Forever, all the brands people recommend? Cracking, bleeding lips, and they ain't cheap. For the rest? Drugstore all the way, doesn't seem to make a difference to anything other than my budget.
I'm obsessed with CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara.  I've tried a lot of expensive mascaras over the years--Benefit, YSL, Dior, etc.--but Lash Blast is so much better.  I usually spend about $5/tube, so I don't feel bad tossing it every 3 months.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Zoot on June 30, 2016, 02:10:39 PM
Funny, I came to the conclusion that, since I like very light beer, I was probably wasting my money paying slightly more for Stella Artois when I went out and just embraced Bud Lite and other cheap beers. I'm thinking of doing a blind taste test to see if I'm right. I'm not sure I could tell that much of a difference. To save face around beer snobs I still might order the Stella over the other, but it's totally stupid.

**Note I know neither of these are fancy beers. My husband sometimes buys these $10 a glass microbrews that IMO taste like ass. Sour beer = disgusting.

The best beer is one you like.  :) 

Another way I like to think of it is based on a list of The World's Best Beers I saw online somewhere.  The five best beers in the world are:

1.  The beer you're drinking right now
2.  The beer you'll be drinking next
3.  The best beer you can remember
4.  The beer that's free
5.  The beer you make yourself

I've had all five of them, and I love them all.  :)

Yet another way I like to think of it comes from Amy Dacyczyn of Tightwad Gazette fame.  If Beer A costs twice as much as Beer B, is Beer A really twice as good as Beer B?  Or three times, or four times, or however many times, depending on the relative costs?

Now, I looooooove beer--I love the fancy beers aged in bourbon barrels that taste of vanilla, the ones from Belgium that taste of caramel or banana or orange, the pale ales and IPA's that taste of pine and citrus and grass.  For me, some of the fancy beers pass the Dacyczyn Test--Ommegang Rare Vos (for example) is multiple times as good as Bud Light to me, and I don't mind paying the premium for it.  But some beers do NOT--I can't stand porters and stouts, for instance, because I loathe the taste of coffee; I'd waaaaaaay rather drink a Bud Light than a Guinness, any day.  And there are times when a light lager like Bud Light is just the ticket--after a long day of yard work on a summer day, they are light and refreshing and perfect.  A heavy, thick, complex beer is not what I would want in that situation.

You'll almost certainly be able to tell the difference between Bud Light and Stella Artois in a blind taste test.  But the real question is which one you like--if Stella doesn't pass the Dacyczyn Test, drink your Bud Light with joy and tell your beer snob friends that they can go take a hike.  :)


Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Shinplaster on June 30, 2016, 02:41:54 PM
One thing that did not live up to my expectations (based on many unsolicited reports by various people) is the superiority of train travel over bus travel from city-to-city (like Ottawa-Montreal or Ottawa-Toronto). So many people seem to rave about the train over the bus or over driving yourself but I haven't found the train to be the great upgrade that other people seem to think it is. If the price were the same, sure, I'd probably take the train, but it wouldn't require much of a price difference before I'd opt for the bus.

I think some of this has to do with the state of bus travel north of the Rio Grande as well as the reputation.  Anybody that's been to Latin America recently knows that bus travel can be really nice for not a whole lot of money.

Bus travel in Switzerland is fabulous too.  Locally, we'll take the bus if the times are convenient, the fares are cheaper than train, and we don't care about ambience.

But, for bus vs. train in Canada, note that Via offers business class fares for half price or less if you book early.  Sometimes we have travelled business for less than economy fare.  Business out of Toronto (and probably most big cities) means you get to hang out and drink all the coffee, tea, juices, etc. you want in your private space before you board, then have a full meal (admittedly not all that great, but still...), dessert, beer, wine, cognac, more coffee, tea and soft drinks.  All while sitting in lovely new trains, with tables separating the seats for doubles, and a row of single seats on one side of the car for solo travellers.  I'll take that over rubbing thighs with a stranger on a bus any day!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: bryan995 on June 30, 2016, 03:33:01 PM
A house in a HCOL area :)
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: johndoe on June 30, 2016, 04:14:57 PM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.

I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lanthiriel on June 30, 2016, 04:19:29 PM
My recent trip to Vegas... ugh.

My engagement ring. I stupidly had my wedding ring soldered to it too. I haven't worn the set in at least 5 years. It's pave set and gets absolutely filthy, plus I don't want to have to remember to take it off before I go hiking or to the dog park or... It makes me wish I'd have bought a solitaire (yes, we bought my ring together) since I might actually wear it. I buy a $50 to $100 ring every couple of years and exchange it out for a new one when it gets too beat up. I could do this for the rest of my life and probably not spend what I did on the first ring.

I also totally agree on haircuts. I am too much of a pansy to cut my own, but now I get it cut about every three months when I get a $6.99 Great Clips coupon in the mail.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on June 30, 2016, 04:56:08 PM
[I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)
I agree with that excellent plot. The thing is, the taper starts at a much lower level of price nowadays than many people think - and not just in guitars, either. (Look how good cars are now that only cost $10,000 or less new!)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: markbike528CBX on June 30, 2016, 05:17:06 PM
lobster Thermidor -- company paid so a cheap taste test.  Lobster and butter, yummy.

First Class on domestic flights, how much "free"  booze can you drink? 
        I've only got upgraded, never paid for it. Sometimes slept through it.
        Business class on transpacific flights? Totally worth it on the company dime. 
        I was functional after a 14 hour trip.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kaikou on June 30, 2016, 05:28:00 PM
chick-fil-a
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: justajane on July 01, 2016, 06:22:30 AM
And there are times when a light lager like Bud Light is just the ticket--after a long day of yard work on a summer day, they are light and refreshing and perfect.  A heavy, thick, complex beer is not what I would want in that situation.

You'll almost certainly be able to tell the difference between Bud Light and Stella Artois in a blind taste test.  But the real question is which one you like--if Stella doesn't pass the Dacyczyn Test, drink your Bud Light with joy and tell your beer snob friends that they can go take a hike.  :)

I hear ya on lots of things you write, including the stout earlier and the post-yard work beer. I want something I can gulp down.

You're probably right about the blind taste test, although now I think I'm going to do it out of curiosity. My husband just informed me that the fair comparison would be Stella versus Budweiser (not Bud Lite), though.

What else could I taste test? Costco has generic beer we could taste against the craft brands.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Giro on July 01, 2016, 07:20:44 AM
+1 to not buying organic. It's just a trend that shouldn't exist. The people that insist on only organic generally are the same ones who are against all GMOs, MSG, etc. There's no basis other than the fear tactics placed in stores like Whole Foods. I agree with not eating junk full of preservatives, unhealthy oils and HFCS, but there's very little to zero scientific evidence supporting the fact that organic is better.

To me, it seems all or nothing. If you're going to buy organic only part of the time (when you feel like "splurging", or you are feeling particularly fearful), then what's the point? If at any point in time you're going to expose yourself to the "dangers" of non-organic, then why ever buy organic to begin with? Plus, how do you truly know what you're getting? I don't trust these corporations and stores to do everything properly, thus I just don't bother with it. It's all an exploitation in marketing as far as I'm concerned.

I love the look and feel of Whole Foods stores, and the like, but it also has such a pretentious feel to it at the same time. (Not everything in Whole Foods is overpriced, but a LOT of it is. Damn, even eating at their food bar requires a $200k+ salary).

+1 non-organic.   

I work with a bus load of people who only shop organic but go out to eat 3-4 times a week.  They are also almost all overweight.  If you want to be healthy, don't eat junk (we all know what junk is) and exercise regularly.  That will do 1000 times more good than your organic, free-range, non-GMO, vegan, non-gluten food type substance.

My husband and I buy 20 pounds of 1.99lb chicken breasts every single week and whatever fruits and veggies are in season and CHEAP....THE HORROR.   
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DeltaBond on July 01, 2016, 07:35:49 AM
+1 to not buying organic. It's just a trend that shouldn't exist. The people that insist on only organic generally are the same ones who are against all GMOs, MSG, etc. There's no basis other than the fear tactics placed in stores like Whole Foods. I agree with not eating junk full of preservatives, unhealthy oils and HFCS, but there's very little to zero scientific evidence supporting the fact that organic is better.

To me, it seems all or nothing. If you're going to buy organic only part of the time (when you feel like "splurging", or you are feeling particularly fearful), then what's the point? If at any point in time you're going to expose yourself to the "dangers" of non-organic, then why ever buy organic to begin with? Plus, how do you truly know what you're getting? I don't trust these corporations and stores to do everything properly, thus I just don't bother with it. It's all an exploitation in marketing as far as I'm concerned.

I love the look and feel of Whole Foods stores, and the like, but it also has such a pretentious feel to it at the same time. (Not everything in Whole Foods is overpriced, but a LOT of it is. Damn, even eating at their food bar requires a $200k+ salary).

+1 non-organic.   

I work with a bus load of people who only shop organic but go out to eat 3-4 times a week.  They are also almost all overweight.  If you want to be healthy, don't eat junk (we all know what junk is) and exercise regularly.  That will do 1000 times more good than your organic, free-range, non-GMO, vegan, non-gluten food type substance.

My husband and I buy 20 pounds of 1.99lb chicken breasts every single week and whatever fruits and veggies are in season and CHEAP....THE HORROR.

+1   - I, too, don't fall for the organic fad.  And yes, its a fad based on wonky propoganda that seems to be put out by the CONSUMERS, lol.  I personally don't like pesticides in my food, and I don't like elimating things like gluten when there is no need to.  Those two things alone cause serious health problems.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Slee_stack on July 01, 2016, 08:57:11 AM
If Organic is less than 10% more I might buy it if it is also unwaxed/uncoated.

Sometimes the wax is out of control!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Inaya on July 01, 2016, 09:30:59 AM
Chipotle. I could make 8 burritos at home for the same price as 1 Chipotle burrito, and they'd taste way better. I give my coworker any free coupons I get in the mail, and he gets so excited you'd think I'd given him a raise or something. I don't get it.

Some restaurant meals aren't worth it. I do enjoy eating out, and while some restaurants are worth the price tag--you can't win every time.

Commercial kefir drinks. They're delicious, but packed with sugar, and the probiotics are probably mostly dead. And they're so expensive. You can make it at home with almost zero effort and the only cost is the price of the milk you ferment.

Cat toys. The little idiot plays with a toy about 2 seconds, then goes back to chewing on a cardboard box. But this big idiot can't stop buying them. (However, the $140 backpack carrier and the $70 cat tent were totally worth it.)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Rollin on July 01, 2016, 09:43:14 AM
Women.



Just kidding just kidding (its Friday before a holiday weekend so I'm feelin' my oats), but I couldn't resist (happily married for many years BTW).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: GrOW on July 01, 2016, 10:16:15 AM
Highend Steakhouses - while their chefs are often masters of their craft and make dishes that are to die for, I am happy grilling my own steaks when I am in the mood.

American beer at a European bar - I love to try a wide variety of beers but on trip, after about 5 days of trying locals beers, I wanted a good old American lager. After paying $9 for one, I decided that $4-5 local beers were just fine again.

Frequent Live sporting events - while I am in to go to a game once every five years or so, my tv room with friends and family is an awesome place to watch a game and it's about 1/20th the cost.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 01, 2016, 10:44:54 AM
Expensive hotels, or even mid-range ones.  Not only is the room more expensive, but you have to pay extra for breakfast (since there's usually a restaurant on-site) and internet.  Cheaper hotels often provide both for free.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SaskyStache on July 01, 2016, 11:13:07 AM
Highend Steakhouses - while their chefs are often masters of their craft and make dishes that are to die for, I am happy grilling my own steaks when I am in the mood.

I second this. I don't mind eating out every now and then, but I don't order steaks. The best steaks always seemed to be the ones I grill myself or that friends and family cook.

Cable
Fancy Hotels
Lobster
Acupuncture (not for me)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: afuera on July 01, 2016, 11:50:15 AM
chick-fil-a
Chick-Fil-A is literally the only place I ever get "fast food" and I rarely go more than once a month (usually a lot less than that).
I love it so much.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: undercover on July 01, 2016, 12:16:03 PM
chick-fil-a
Chick-Fil-A is literally the only place I ever get "fast food" and I rarely go more than once a month (usually a lot less than that).
I love it so much.

Same? I have no idea what Kaikou is smoking.

Chipotle. I could make 8 burritos at home for the same price as 1 Chipotle burrito, and they'd taste way better. I give my coworker any free coupons I get in the mail, and he gets so excited you'd think I'd given him a raise or something. I don't get it.

Say whaaa? I mean I know Chipotle is a bit overrated sometimes, but it's one of the better places to eat if you're going to spend < $10. I would love to see the details behind getting 8 (!?) burritos that big for the price of ~$7.50.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Uturn on July 01, 2016, 12:16:58 PM
Chick-Fil-A are glorious little pieces of chicken deep fried in crack. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Inaya on July 01, 2016, 12:56:22 PM
chick-fil-a
Chick-Fil-A is literally the only place I ever get "fast food" and I rarely go more than once a month (usually a lot less than that).
I love it so much.

Same? I have no idea what Kaikou is smoking.

Chipotle. I could make 8 burritos at home for the same price as 1 Chipotle burrito, and they'd taste way better. I give my coworker any free coupons I get in the mail, and he gets so excited you'd think I'd given him a raise or something. I don't get it.

Say whaaa? I mean I know Chipotle is a bit overrated sometimes, but it's one of the better places to eat if you're going to spend < $10. I would love to see the details behind getting 8 (!?) burritos that big for the price of ~$7.50.


The primary components of burritos are dirt cheap. Maybe 8 was a bit of hyperbole, but you can make a lot of burritos at home for $8. I don't know, maybe it's just the Chipotles I've been to. I feel like it's 75% tortilla and rice/beans, with a little bit of meat and cheese to make it interesting. You get veggies or salsa, you end up with a gloopy starchy mess. Oh and if you love guac, you pay $2 (!!!) extra. (There's a place here that actually doesn't charge extra for the guac, so we go there when my husband wants crappy expensive burritos--I go under protest and get a taco.)

I guess I'm lucky that around here there are lots of good under-$10 options.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kaikou on July 01, 2016, 01:22:47 PM
Women.



Just kidding just kidding (its Friday before a holiday weekend so I'm feelin' my oats), but I couldn't resist (happily married for many years BTW).

Don't worry. Someone already said Husbands...and they weren't joking. Equality
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kaikou on July 01, 2016, 01:24:46 PM
Sorry Chick-fil-a does not taste right. Is it fresh and the workers are nice Yes! The food is disgusting sorry.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: afuera on July 01, 2016, 01:31:11 PM
Chick-Fil-A are glorious little pieces of chicken deep fried in crack.
Agreed. Don't even get me started on their chocolate milkshakes...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kaydedid on July 02, 2016, 07:01:25 PM
1) Baby toys.  They love random stuff like empty water bottles, and relatives always buy too many for birthdays.

2) Hypoallergenic face wash.  Still caused breakouts, rinsing with water or washing with coconut oil doesn't.

3) Too many fireworks.  It's fun for the first 30 min, but after that the enjoyment dips. 

4) Fancy hair masks.  Allergic to most, don't work as well as egg-white-and-oil mixture.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Rollin on July 03, 2016, 01:49:18 PM
Women.



Just kidding just kidding (its Friday before a holiday weekend so I'm feelin' my oats), but I couldn't resist (happily married for many years BTW).

Don't worry. Someone already said Husbands...and they weren't joking. Equality

Yeah, we are like moths to the flame...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Cyaphas on July 03, 2016, 02:28:53 PM
Breville Juicer: The prep and cost of vegetables is almost as ridiculous as the price of the unit. I used it a couple of weeks and then gave it to a friend. I think this Fad is over.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: ArcadeStache on July 03, 2016, 06:23:31 PM

Breville Juicer: The prep and cost of vegetables is almost as ridiculous as the price of the unit. I used it a couple of weeks and then gave it to a friend. I think this Fad is over.

Yep, that's why I sold mine. Plus juice without the fiber isn't all that healthy.

I'm the kind of person that usually regrets meals out at sitdown restaurants as not being worth the $. cheap eats like kabobs are a different story.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 03, 2016, 06:28:41 PM
Trips to Australia. There are so many more beautiful beaches closer to home that don't require hours on an airplane burning through more fuel than might otherwise be used by a normal person in a year.  I'm not sure I'd ever make the trip again.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: NV Teacher on July 03, 2016, 07:53:48 PM
I'm ashamed to admit that I bought $12 a pound hamburger and hot dogs.  The hot dogs were crap and the hamburger was no better than the stuff we got from our last beef that was less than $3 a pound.  I won't make that mistake twice.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: sun and sand on July 03, 2016, 10:05:29 PM
Husbands.   :\

I like your sense of humour!!!

I'd say they're probably not joking. Never had one of my own, but I totally don't understand the appeal


I'd also say that they are not joking.....they are just not worth it. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: englyn on July 03, 2016, 11:51:25 PM
Trips to Australia. There are so many more beautiful beaches closer to home that don't require hours on an airplane burning through more fuel than might otherwise be used by a normal person in a year.  I'm not sure I'd ever make the trip again.
Trips to beaches anywhere. I'm somewhere fascinating like Barcelona or Greece and nearby travellers are raving about the beaches to me and look all deflated when I say "I'm not that fussed, I'm from Australia..."
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 04, 2016, 10:27:10 AM
Trips to beaches anywhere. I'm somewhere fascinating like Barcelona or Greece and nearby travellers are raving about the beaches to me and look all deflated when I say "I'm not that fussed, I'm from Australia..."

Right? I mean, beaches are nice in small doses but there's only so much you can do on a bunch of sterile rock granules bordering some undrinkable water. Give me a mountain lake anytime. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: hollis on July 04, 2016, 08:47:50 PM
High End / Carbon Fiber bicycles. 

I am a bike mechanic and work on all sorts of bikes.  Bikes in the $1000-$1500 range are perfectly fine for even demanding riders.   Beyond that is just fractional gains...and it really isn't worth it unless you are an elite racer.   
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DINKs on July 04, 2016, 08:56:22 PM
Bought a projector for my man cave. It's loud and blows hot air. Used it maybe 10 times.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 05, 2016, 10:51:18 AM
Bought a projector for my man cave. It's loud and blows hot air. Used it maybe 10 times.
Interesting that you haven't used it much.  DW and I use ours a few times per week.  Haven't been to a movie theater in several years.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 05, 2016, 12:07:14 PM
High End / Carbon Fiber bicycles. 

I am a bike mechanic and work on all sorts of bikes.  Bikes in the $1000-$1500 range are perfectly fine for even demanding riders.   Beyond that is just fractional gains...and it really isn't worth it unless you are an elite racer.   

True. I was asked some bike buying advice and was quite surprised what a great bike you can get for $1200. (okay, the wheels probably suck but the wheels on $ 2.5K biks suck just as hard)
But aren't mechanics supposed to ride singlespeeds or parts bin builds? ;-)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: dcheesi on July 05, 2016, 12:19:34 PM
Bought a projector for my man cave. It's loud and blows hot air. Used it maybe 10 times.
Maybe you just got a lemon?

I loved my projector back when I had a place for it. Sure it had some fan noise, but nothing that was noticeable once the movie started. (Protip: calibrate your sound system with the projector turned on, that way it's already factored in to the sound-field.)

And how else are you going to get a 100" display for <$1000?
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Sailor Sam on July 05, 2016, 12:32:07 PM
Trips to beaches anywhere. I'm somewhere fascinating like Barcelona or Greece and nearby travellers are raving about the beaches to me and look all deflated when I say "I'm not that fussed, I'm from Australia..."

Right? I mean, beaches are nice in small doses but there's only so much you can do on a bunch of sterile rock granules bordering some undrinkable water. Give me a mountain lake anytime. :)

Yes! Thank you for the validation, everyone. I work on the ocean, and I can definitively say that the land-sea interface is the least pleasant part. It's where all the ick washes up. I'd rather be 300 miles out.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 05, 2016, 12:42:53 PM
Mountains over beaches for me. But indeed, I don't get all the fuss about beaches.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Jack on July 05, 2016, 01:07:41 PM
The primary components of burritos are dirt cheap. Maybe 8 was a bit of hyperbole, but you can make a lot of burritos at home for $8. I don't know, maybe it's just the Chipotles I've been to. I feel like it's 75% tortilla and rice/beans, with a little bit of meat and cheese to make it interesting. You get veggies or salsa, you end up with a gloopy starchy mess. Oh and if you love guac, you pay $2 (!!!) extra. (There's a place here that actually doesn't charge extra for the guac, so we go there when my husband wants crappy expensive burritos--I go under protest and get a taco.)

I make Americanized-Mexican at home a lot, but also enjoy Chipotle a lot. For me, the thing that makes Chipotle worth it is the barbacoa and carnitas, which are time-consuming to replicate at home and kind of hard to get right. (So far, at least -- if anybody's got a good Chipotle copycat barbacoa recipe, let me know!)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: jengod on July 05, 2016, 01:17:40 PM
* When I was younger and dumber I waltzed into Neiman Marcus and picked up a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. ~$400? I think I told myself they were a BIFL purchase that I would be able to use for work stuff. Well, they are just really painful stiletto high heels, same as it ever was. Also, did you know that pregnancy can cause your shoe size to change? After I had my first kid I went from a 6 to a 6.5/7 and the fancies were unwearable. Also, I became a SAHM. So I sold them on eBay. I'm really more of a Keds/Vans person anyway.

* I have a couple of All-Clad pans that I like just fine (one was steeply discounted when Linens 'N' Things when out of business, one I paid full retail), but I've found that I don't really need it when I have (a) the inherited Revereware I got from my grandma and supplemented with $5 thrift finds and (b) vintage cast-iron skillets and a Dutch oven from estate sales. I have lost any ambition to have a suite of All-Clad cookware. Ditto Le Creuset, at least until pots can become like the characters in Beauty and the Beast and actually do all the work for me.

* Expensive private universities for undergrad. I have been to the mountaintop and trust me, your local state school is a better value. If you have infinity fuck-you money or a specialty field of study, maybe worth it, but for general liberal or technical education, just go to State U and then if you want to specialize, go to Fancy U with grants and government subsidies for grad school. From 18-21, you can network just as damn well locally as you can at Yale, etc.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: dcheesi on July 05, 2016, 01:20:38 PM
The primary components of burritos are dirt cheap. Maybe 8 was a bit of hyperbole, but you can make a lot of burritos at home for $8. I don't know, maybe it's just the Chipotles I've been to. I feel like it's 75% tortilla and rice/beans, with a little bit of meat and cheese to make it interesting. You get veggies or salsa, you end up with a gloopy starchy mess. Oh and if you love guac, you pay $2 (!!!) extra. (There's a place here that actually doesn't charge extra for the guac, so we go there when my husband wants crappy expensive burritos--I go under protest and get a taco.)

I make Americanized-Mexican at home a lot, but also enjoy Chipotle a lot. For me, the thing that makes Chipotle worth it is the barbacoa and carnitas, which are time-consuming to replicate at home and kind of hard to get right. (So far, at least -- if anybody's got a good Chipotle copycat barbacoa recipe, let me know!)
Agreed; it's all about the barbacoa! Otherwise there's nothing exciting about the burritos from Chipotle or any of its competitors.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: chesebert on July 05, 2016, 01:30:17 PM
* When I was younger and dumber I waltzed into Neiman Marcus and picked up a pair of Christian Louboutin heels. ~$400? I think I told myself they were a BIFL purchase that I would be able to use for work stuff. Well, they are just really painful stiletto high heels, same as it ever was. Also, did you know that pregnancy can cause your shoe size to change? After I had my first kid I went from a 6 to a 6.5/7 and the fancies were unwearable. Also, I became a SAHM. So I sold them on eBay. I'm really more of a Keds/Vans person anyway.

* I have a couple of All-Clad pans that I like just fine (one was steeply discounted when Linens 'N' Things when out of business, one I paid full retail), but I've found that I don't really need it when I have (a) the inherited Revereware I got from my grandma and supplemented with $5 thrift finds and (b) vintage cast-iron skillets and a Dutch oven from estate sales. I have lost any ambition to have a suite of All-Clad cookware. Ditto Le Creuset, at least until pots can become like the characters in Beauty and the Beast and actually do all the work for me.

* Expensive private universities for undergrad. I have been to the mountaintop and trust me, your local state school is a better value. If you have infinity fuck-you money or a specialty field of study, maybe worth it, but for general liberal or technical education, just go to State U and then if you want to specialize, go to Fancy U with grants and government subsidies for grad school. From 18-21, you can network just as damn well locally as you can at Yale, etc.

I got 1 All-Clad pan, which I paid retail for, and I agree a full suite of All-Clad is stupid. The only reason to get the pan is for the way All-Clad retains heat for pan searing and stir fry. I don't think this thermo property translates well into items that you cook in a pot - I can use pretty much any pot and cook the same thing. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Jack on July 05, 2016, 01:49:35 PM
I got 1 All-Clad pan, which I paid retail for, and I agree a full suite of All-Clad is stupid. The only reason to get the pan is for the way All-Clad retains heat for pan searing and stir fry. I don't think this thermo property translates well into items that you cook in a pot - I can use pretty much any pot and cook the same thing.

I have an All-Clad 10" frying pan and a 4 qt. saute pan, both bought on sale, but would also like to eventually get a small 2 or 3 qt. sauce pan to use for making fancy French sauces. Tasks calling for every other kind of pan (roasting pan, stock pot, dutch oven, etc.) can be handled just fine with cheaper alternatives.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pdxbator on July 05, 2016, 01:50:43 PM
When I was graduating from college my parents wanted to get me something nice. I suggested a Tag Heuer watch. Now I have an expensive watch which I hate to wear because it is weight and I don't like things on my wrists.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 05, 2016, 03:12:58 PM
Good one.

I've been considering getting a 'nice' watch for ages, but decided I don't need it. F*ck costly signals.

My phone knows what time it is anyway.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 05, 2016, 03:27:33 PM
I got 1 All-Clad pan, which I paid retail for, and I agree a full suite of All-Clad is stupid. The only reason to get the pan is for the way All-Clad retains heat for pan searing and stir fry. I don't think this thermo property translates well into items that you cook in a pot - I can use pretty much any pot and cook the same thing.

I have an All-Clad 10" frying pan and a 4 qt. saute pan, both bought on sale, but would also like to eventually get a small 2 or 3 qt. sauce pan to use for making fancy French sauces. Tasks calling for every other kind of pan (roasting pan, stock pot, dutch oven, etc.) can be handled just fine with cheaper alternatives.

I received an All-Clad set as a gift a few years back. I find the handles really uncomfortable and awkward, so I don't really like using most of them. If I lost them I'd buy something more practical/ergonomic. But the little saucier is indeed a really nice pan for making whisked sauces like bechamel, and it's small/light enough so the handle isn't a problem. It might be the only one in the set I would get again if I had to start over.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 05, 2016, 03:38:00 PM
True. I was asked some bike buying advice and was quite surprised what a great bike you can get for $1200. (okay, the wheels probably suck but the wheels on $ 2.5K biks suck just as hard)

Heaven knows what you think of the wheels on my $150-used, mid-'90s hybrid commuter then. And yet magically it gets me everywhere I need to go! ;) (Yes, I know it would suck for road racing, but that's a money pit so I don't do that ;) )

Yes! Thank you for the validation, everyone. I work on the ocean, and I can definitively say that the land-sea interface is the least pleasant part. It's where all the ick washes up. I'd rather be 300 miles out.

Yep, sometimes it's nice when others think like you do. Then when you want to reaffirm our message, you can - get ready for this one, because it's a howler - always parrot us. Thank you! I'll be here all week.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 05, 2016, 03:50:21 PM
Heaven knows what you think of the wheels on my $150-used, mid-'90s hybrid commuter then. And yet magically it gets me everywhere I need to go! ;)
(Yes, I know it would suck for road racing, but that's a money pit so I don't do that ;) )
Those are probably sturdy 32 or 36 spoke wheels. Nothing wrong with that, easy to true, replace a broken spoke etc.

Cheap road racing bikes often feature crappy complete wheelsets (like Shimano WH-RS11, Mavic Aksium etc) with too low spoke count, proprietary parts, etc.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Tamster on July 05, 2016, 03:59:27 PM
Way back in my youth, newly married and not paying attention to anything, then husband and I traded in my paid for Chevy cavalier  for a BMW 325i. With payments. It was fun to drive --- in my corporate world and my suits and ridiculous life that was before kids. It was sweet to smoke the tires and crank it up to 120. The payments were 512.55 per month (still remember the exact amount).

We got rid of it after the second kiddo, there was no way two car seats could fit in the back seat. Plus the repairs were horrible. Sigh. But man, no hesitation when you hit the gas.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 05, 2016, 06:04:15 PM
When I was graduating from college my parents wanted to get me something nice. I suggested a Tag Heuer watch. Now I have an expensive watch which I hate to wear because it is weight and I don't like things on my wrists.

I had thought about one day getting my husband a Tag - it's a big thing in his industry.

But he takes his watch off at every opportunity. Work, hotels, restaurants, etc. This is the person who once left his wedding ring on a plane. He doesn't get to own expensive watches, and he knows this.

The second reason is that one of the giants of his industry commented on my husband's ($350, got it for $80) watch and said something about "that plastic piece of shit you wear".

That totally cemented my decision. That wanker might wear a $25,000 watch, but he's still a fucking wanker.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 05, 2016, 07:34:41 PM
The second reason is that one of the giants of his industry commented on my husband's ($350, got it for $80) watch and said something about "that plastic piece of shit you wear".

I'm reminded of the wonderfully backwards logic of the person who once showed obvious disdain that I'd been a STEM major because, obviously, what you do is major in something useless because Father will get you a job on Wall Street anyway!

These people are cancer, and we must avoid them. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 05, 2016, 07:35:58 PM
I tried the expensive watch thing. Sold it. I was too worried about it to wear it. And it was heavy.


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Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Helvegen on July 07, 2016, 04:05:47 PM
Expensive restaurants!! Even travelling to exotic places I'd much rather have meals in a traditional pub/bodega/canteen/cantina/diner than a swanky place with cloth tableclothes, a maitre 'd, hors d'oeuvres, where you get a few leaves of lettuce and a chocolate drizzle on a coin-sized piece of meat with some person who's job it is to stand in the washroom all day and hand you a towel.  The rich people environments make me uncomfortable and the food leaves me hungry.


We were in Italy recently and learned quickly not to waste money in restaurants. The best food we ate there came from local markets/supermarkets. We would go and buy local/regional breads, pizzas, cheeses, meats, different varieties of basil and heirloom tomatoes, desserts. Buffalo butter is incredible, guys. At our hotel, they had a bunch of orange trees in the common area and every morning, they would set out breakfast with fresh squeezed OJ from the oranges. I am not really a fan of juice, but I had to admit that was goooood.

In Iceland, we loved everything we did there except the Blue Lagoon. Avoid that expensive and pointless tourist trap. None of us really enjoyed it and it took weeks for my hair to recover from that water.



W
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Northern gal on July 09, 2016, 05:36:55 AM
Pretty much anything that my mother and mother in law blow money on

Expensive holidays. Coming home to an empty account and a job you hate just zaps all new found energy.
New baby stuff
Weddings
Expensive home extensions and improvements. Like that pool no one uses and the entertainers area in a suburb no one wants to go to
New cars
Bad cleaners / hair dressers / manicures
Getting drunk in expensive bars / having too many beers at the pub / too many lattes/ a smoothie each day
And friends / colleagues you feel you need to impress.

Essentially anything that involves spending money to fill an emotional void or buy love. It never works.


Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: MoolahLula on July 09, 2016, 06:30:22 AM
Root canals.  Pull my teeth any day over a root canal. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Thrifty Snail on July 09, 2016, 07:05:57 AM
Expensive fishing tackle-I sold mine. There are guys from central america who can out fish anyone with some old line wrapped around a board.

Bicycles- i traded in my fancy one for a good chunk of the cost of a hybrid/commuter type and a trailer. Am getting way more use now.

Cars-We stumbled into a mercedes (long story) but the repairs are too expensive. Its on the way out soon. Mass market vehicles with cheap parts are more reliable and demand less maintance.

Whole Foods-enough said!


Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 09, 2016, 07:10:53 AM
More house than can be easily managed.

Any shoes with skinny heels, no matter how expensive. Chunky heels are walkable.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: PMG on July 09, 2016, 09:41:07 AM
Continuing off topic: I've only had chipotle once, while I was on a week long visit with family. It was such a relief after all the heavy holiday and restaurant food I have to eat with them!   Of course the portion size was too big and I could have made it myself for much less expense, but it was finally "home" food and rice and beans tasted so good after holiday food.



chick-fil-a
Chick-Fil-A is literally the only place I ever get "fast food" and I rarely go more than once a month (usually a lot less than that).
I love it so much.

Same? I have no idea what Kaikou is smoking.

Chipotle. I could make 8 burritos at home for the same price as 1 Chipotle burrito, and they'd taste way better. I give my coworker any free coupons I get in the mail, and he gets so excited you'd think I'd given him a raise or something. I don't get it.

Say whaaa? I mean I know Chipotle is a bit overrated sometimes, but it's one of the better places to eat if you're going to spend < $10. I would love to see the details behind getting 8 (!?) burritos that big for the price of ~$7.50.


The primary components of burritos are dirt cheap. Maybe 8 was a bit of hyperbole, but you can make a lot of burritos at home for $8. I don't know, maybe it's just the Chipotles I've been to. I feel like it's 75% tortilla and rice/beans, with a little bit of meat and cheese to make it interesting. You get veggies or salsa, you end up with a gloopy starchy mess. Oh and if you love guac, you pay $2 (!!!) extra. (There's a place here that actually doesn't charge extra for the guac, so we go there when my husband wants crappy expensive burritos--I go under protest and get a taco.)

I guess I'm lucky that around here there are lots of good under-$10 options.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Prairie Gal on July 09, 2016, 09:42:41 AM
Designer handbags. (Although I have never had one.)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 09, 2016, 10:02:13 AM
Designer handbags. (Although I have never had one.)

Wrong thread, then! ;)

Not to say I disagree with you though...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 09, 2016, 10:02:45 AM
Root canals.  Pull my teeth any day over a root canal.

+1

Fml root canals.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: laka on July 09, 2016, 01:15:03 PM
I got 1 All-Clad pan, which I paid retail for, and I agree a full suite of All-Clad is stupid. The only reason to get the pan is for the way All-Clad retains heat for pan searing and stir fry. I don't think this thermo property translates well into items that you cook in a pot - I can use pretty much any pot and cook the same thing.

I have an All-Clad 10" frying pan and a 4 qt. saute pan, both bought on sale, but would also like to eventually get a small 2 or 3 qt. sauce pan to use for making fancy French sauces. Tasks calling for every other kind of pan (roasting pan, stock pot, dutch oven, etc.) can be handled just fine with cheaper alternatives.

I received an All-Clad set as a gift a few years back. I find the handles really uncomfortable and awkward, so I don't really like using most of them. If I lost them I'd buy something more practical/ergonomic. But the little saucier is indeed a really nice pan for making whisked sauces like bechamel, and it's small/light enough so the handle isn't a problem. It might be the only one in the set I would get again if I had to start over.

My husband used to work at a fancy-pants kitchen store (long, LONG ago) and learned more than I thought was possible about cookware. When we decided to replace the pans we had, he found us a set from JC Penny that he deemed as good as All-Clad.  It seems that All-Clad used to have a patent on the three-ply system they use, but it expired, and so other started making knockoffs. Some are crap - shoddy workmanship, etc.- but if you know what you're looking for you can find really good cookware for very little money. 

We do have a couple of All-Clad brand pans that were gifts (and in uncommon sizes/shapes).  I don't see any difference between those and our knock-off set. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lagom on July 09, 2016, 01:24:01 PM
Root canals.  Pull my teeth any day over a root canal.

+1

Fml root canals.

Interesting. I've had two and honestly found them more annoying that anything else. No real pain other than some heat/pressure and a twinge or two when the first batch of anesthetic started to wear off. Keeping my mouth open that long was quite tiring, though, and I was going mildly batty over it by the end. I will say spending whatever $ it takes on proper dental hygiene >>> getting a bunch of fillings/crowns. Learned that the hard way after going a 6 year stretch without visiting the dentist.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 09, 2016, 02:58:50 PM
Root canals.  Pull my teeth any day over a root canal.

+1

Fml root canals.

Interesting. I've had two and honestly found them more annoying that anything else. No real pain other than some heat/pressure and a twinge or two when the first batch of anesthetic started to wear off. Keeping my mouth open that long was quite tiring, though, and I was going mildly batty over it by the end. I will say spending whatever $ it takes on proper dental hygiene >>> getting a bunch of fillings/crowns. Learned that the hard way after going a 6 year stretch without visiting the dentist.

Haha yeah - expensive things that ARE worth it - visits to the dentist! At least for me. But I don't want to hijack my own thread so nvm... ;)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: StartingEarly on July 09, 2016, 03:23:12 PM
Expensive pants, I can get jeans with just as nice of styling from Sam's and then I don't feel like I have to change just work on my truck so I look nice more often. Generally expensive liquor, I can't tell much difference. Really expensive t shirts, they actually seem to not hold up as well as my cheaper stuff.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Luckyvik on July 10, 2016, 12:47:01 AM
I second expensive haircuts and hair colour, often they're no better than cheaper ones or worse they are bad.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 12, 2016, 02:09:20 AM
Expensive liquid hand soap*.

I used a particular brand at an expensive restaurant (work function) one night.

It smelt amazing, so when I saw it for sale a couple of weeks later I bought a bottle.

(It was five times the price of my usual hand soap. I think I was justifying it to myself as an affordable luxury. Stupid. So stupid.)

Got it home and it still had the amazing citrus scent, but the beautifully-designed pump pack was awful. It just wouldn't work. I ended up decanting it into another pump pack but it sort of tarnished the experienced.


*I would include foam soap dispensers just based on the price, rationale and marketing behind them, but can't say I've used one.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 12, 2016, 06:26:12 AM


*I would include foam soap dispensers just based on the price, rationale and marketing behind them, but can't say I've used one.

I have a foam dispenser that was given to me, and I've used it for years! I love it because it works best when you dilute the dish soap with water... hence stretching out your dish soap :)
Plus the foaming is nice.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 12, 2016, 04:06:37 PM


*I would include foam soap dispensers just based on the price, rationale and marketing behind them, but can't say I've used one.

I have a foam dispenser that was given to me, and I've used it for years! I love it because it works best when you dilute the dish soap with water... hence stretching out your dish soap :)
Plus the foaming is nice.

Sorry, should have specified the motion-sensor dispensers.

I have a friend who is insistent that it's unhygienic to use a normal dispenser.

"You touch the lid of the soap bottle!"
"Yes. And then the very next thing you do is wash your hands."
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: DagobertDuck on July 12, 2016, 04:26:24 PM
I have a friend who is insistent that it's unhygienic to use a normal dispenser. [/i]."

Tell him how many bacteria per square inch there are on his smartphone screen. He'll scream in agony ;-)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: jrhampt on July 12, 2016, 05:37:51 PM
Manicures and pedicures.  SO not worth it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 12, 2016, 07:12:20 PM


*I would include foam soap dispensers just based on the price, rationale and marketing behind them, but can't say I've used one.

I have a foam dispenser that was given to me, and I've used it for years! I love it because it works best when you dilute the dish soap with water... hence stretching out your dish soap :)
Plus the foaming is nice.

Sorry, should have specified the motion-sensor dispensers.

I have a friend who is insistent that it's unhygienic to use a normal dispenser.

"You touch the lid of the soap bottle!"
"Yes. And then the very next thing you do is wash your hands."

Gotcha. That does sound like a totally not worth it expensive purchase!!
Title: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 12, 2016, 07:14:12 PM
Any clothing or bags that cost more than $50 - too worried about ruining it somehow.

There are many expensive things that I haven't tried because I think they're not worth it, e.g. iphones, cars, kids. Do we have a side-thread on expensive things that are worth it? There must be some even if we're frugal folk.

There are! I'm bad at finding and linking, but some that come to mind are: "buy it for life", "what are things that make you feel rich", and... Some kind of thread about luxuries you indulge in and it's worth it and probably anti-mustachian to others.

Oh - and +1 to anything I can wear that costs more than $50!!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 12, 2016, 07:17:21 PM
Manicures and pedicures.  SO not worth it.

Curious to know if you paint your own nails or skip it all together?
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 12, 2016, 07:20:02 PM
Manicures and pedicures.  SO not worth it.

Curious to know if you paint your own nails or skip it all together?

I can't for the life of me keep polish on my fingers from chipping, so I buff my finger nails. And paint my toe nails. I like it. *shrugs* 20 minutes every few weeks, and 20$ worth of polish that I've been using for the past year and a half.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 12, 2016, 08:27:00 PM
Manicures and pedicures.  SO not worth it.

Curious to know if you paint your own nails or skip it all together?

I can't for the life of me keep polish on my fingers from chipping, so I buff my finger nails. And paint my toe nails. I like it. *shrugs* 20 minutes every few weeks, and 20$ worth of polish that I've been using for the past year and a half.

I can't for the life of me apply nail polish without it looking like it was applied with a carrot, so I stick to short nails and a clear, nail-strengthening polish on fingers and toes.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JoeBlow on July 12, 2016, 10:47:17 PM
Mountains over beaches for me. But indeed, I don't get all the fuss about beaches.

I agree, I am a mountain person myself.  However, The Lost Coast in Northern California is a pretty amazing backpacking trip.  No freeways in that section of the coast and beautiful scenery.  Make sure you have a tide table and watch out for the rattlesnakes!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: englyn on July 13, 2016, 12:54:14 AM
I have a friend who is insistent that it's unhygienic to use a normal dispenser.

"You touch the lid of the soap bottle!"
"Yes. And then the very next thing you do is wash your hands."

I'm boggled, how do people who use this reasoning turn off the tap...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on July 13, 2016, 02:08:09 AM
I'm boggled, how do people who use this reasoning turn off the tap...

I don't use that reasoning, but I do reason that the handles can be dirty (e.g., someone had a poopy accident). I usually use a paper towel to dry my hands and then turn it off, or use the heel of my hand because at least that won't contact my eyes/mouth
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: plainjane on July 13, 2016, 03:03:03 AM
I have a friend who is insistent that it's unhygienic to use a normal dispenser.
"You touch the lid of the soap bottle!"
"Yes. And then the very next thing you do is wash your hands."
I'm boggled, how do people who use this reasoning turn off the tap...

With a paper towel.  I also used to work with someone who used a paper towel to press the lever to flush the toilet.  They said that this was better than using their foot (which they knew someone else to do).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: jrhampt on July 13, 2016, 04:48:16 AM
Manicures and pedicures.  SO not worth it.

Curious to know if you paint your own nails or skip it all together?

I skip it.  It just seems silly to me (although it was fun in junior high school for a brief period), in addition to being impractical.  I do stuff with my hands, and toenail polish gets trashed really quickly by backpacking and running.  Just one of those useless activities I'd rather not bother with.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: BlueHouse on July 13, 2016, 04:56:20 AM
Furniture. I bought designer couches for one room then saw knockoffs that we're practically identical for less than half the price. Then I wanted wishbone chairs and found knocks for $600 less PER CHAIR! 
You literally cannot tell the difference.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 13, 2016, 07:27:18 AM
Expensive pants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fgICBJG6xI
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: GrumpyPenguin on July 13, 2016, 11:48:35 AM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.

I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)

Did anyone notice that in this graph, as price levels off, quality goes to infinity?  That's hilarious, I'm trying to come up with a real world example, but infinite quality is kind of hard to find ;).  Now, plotted with the axis reversed, I can see it...

Have to say I disagree with the person talking about an espresso machine here.  I have a Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder and have easily made over 3000 lattes with them over the years.  Suppose we all get value from different things...
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 13, 2016, 12:06:51 PM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.

I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)

Did anyone notice that in this graph, as price levels off, quality goes to infinity?  That's hilarious, I'm trying to come up with a real world example, but infinite quality is kind of hard to find ;).  Now, plotted with the axis reversed, I can see it...

Have to say I disagree with the person talking about an espresso machine here.  I have a Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder and have easily made over 3000 lattes with them over the years.  Suppose we all get value from different things...

Our espresso machine is a Breville Cafe Roma. Cost 150$ CAD when we bought it 4.5 years ago, and has made 3+ espressos and lattes a day since then. Rough calculation is that the cost of the machine is averaging out to around 3 cents per coffee... Not terrible. And it's going strong, no repairs needed, very little maintenance (the occasional decalcifying with vinegar, that's it. Excellent latte supplier all around.

My parents have a coffee maker that they paid about 2800$ for (one of those schmancy ones where you pour in milk and beans and a latte pops out). They've had it for 2.5 years. It has broken down MINIMUM once a year (expensive repair bills - I recall them mentioning they'd spent a grand on repairs over the time they've had it, and they're frustrated with it) and they actually buy demineralized water to use in it so as to minimize the repairs ($$ water for your $$ coffee maker). They make 3 cups of coffee a day, on average. That's over 1.25$/cup of coffe FOR THE MACHINE, PLUS the expensive water, milk, coffee beans... honestly, at that point, I can see a Starbucks run every morning being comparatively affordable!

And the killer: the coffee my machine makes is BETTER.

In short: I have no regrets about my espresso machine, and would likely replace it with one of the same if it gave out (or a stovetop model. I like those fine too.  It's just that my husband melted the last one into the stove by forgetting to put water in it while half-asleep, and we thought a plug-in model would have less risk of setting the house on fire). But never, ever would I buy an uber-schancy all-automated model. They're expensive as hell, make Starbucks look affordable, and produce mediocre coffee. No thanks.

Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 13, 2016, 01:28:56 PM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.

I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)

The problem with that graph is that is lacks scale.  This graph is moderately accurate if one considers that the Y axis scales from 0 USD to approximately 500 USD.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Redstone5 on July 13, 2016, 01:30:59 PM
Home ownership. Hate the stress and all the upkeep. Can't wait to go back to renting and let everything be the landlord's problem.

Salon hair cuts. I always seem to get talked into an expensive cut I hate.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: GrumpyPenguin on July 14, 2016, 01:20:45 PM
Cable
On-contract cell phones
Caviar
Wine
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 14, 2016, 01:39:30 PM
Cable
On-contract cell phones
Caviar
Wine

Disagreement about the on-contract cell phones: I have a Samsung S4, which I quite love. I had the option of a contract, or a non-contract at 15$ less per month if I brought my own phone. Buying my own phone would have been 380$ at the cheapest place I could find (Amazon, at the time). The contract is actually cheaper, after 24 months. And here, provincial regulations state that if I want to break the contract, I just need to pay off what's left of the phone... so even if after a year I was like 'nope, I'm done', I wouldn't have lost money by having a contract. You have to make SURE that this is the case before signing a contract, though, because I will agree that most of them are rip-offs. :)

Also disagree on wine, but I like decently-priced wine, so I'll chalk that up to personal indulgence. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: GrumpyPenguin on July 14, 2016, 01:45:17 PM
Cable
On-contract cell phones
Caviar
Wine

Disagreement about the on-contract cell phones: I have a Samsung S4, which I quite love. I had the option of a contract, or a non-contract at 15$ less per month if I brought my own phone. Buying my own phone would have been 380$ at the cheapest place I could find (Amazon, at the time). The contract is actually cheaper, after 24 months. And here, provincial regulations state that if I want to break the contract, I just need to pay off what's left of the phone... so even if after a year I was like 'nope, I'm done', I wouldn't have lost money by having a contract. You have to make SURE that this is the case before signing a contract, though, because I will agree that most of them are rip-offs. :)

Also disagree on wine, but I like decently-priced wine, so I'll chalk that up to personal indulgence. :)

Yeah, I tend to think most of the things in this forum post is subjective to each individual and circumstance. 

We have Ringplus here in the U.S., which gives me 4000 minutes, 4000 texts and 2.5 GB of data a month with tethering for free, I just had to bring my own cellphone (bought a used iPhone 6 on eBay about a year ago)... it sure beats any plan I have ever seen, contract or otherwise. 

Wine has a tendency to give me headaches (not the next morning, but immediately) so I really don't place much value on it :p.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: M2 pilot on July 15, 2016, 07:53:50 PM
Many years ago a girlfriend gave me a gold & stainless Concorde watch.  Retail was around $6K.  Worst watch I've ever owned. Was selfwinding & lost about a minute/day. Was allegedly water resistant & had water condense under the crystal after brief rinse off when leaving a beach.
Title: Re: Expensive things that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: electriceagle on July 17, 2016, 02:25:05 PM
Expensive guitars. It turns out that my white Les Paul Custom (~$4,000) wasn't really so much of an advance on the Korean-made $350 guitar-store-used-rack find.

Still. I only lost 500 bucks when I sold it. (Where was that 'biggest financial blunders' thread again? ... cough)

Shit. You beat me to it.

I must respectfully disagree...to a point.  A Google search yielded this; I suppose it applies to most things:
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1HNfoQD5PHE/S5yQkkhEHgI/AAAAAAAAAEE/sXDNDIc5AUA/s320/image2.jpg)

Did anyone notice that in this graph, as price levels off, quality goes to infinity?  That's hilarious, I'm trying to come up with a real world example, but infinite quality is kind of hard to find ;).  Now, plotted with the axis reversed, I can see it...

Have to say I disagree with the person talking about an espresso machine here.  I have a Gaggia Classic and MDF grinder and have easily made over 3000 lattes with them over the years.  Suppose we all get value from different things...

Yep, that graph is a bit absurd.

However, it wouldn't be useful for products in modern, "high-marketing" economies even if the axes were reversed -- presuming that the graph is intended to represent the efficient frontier.

In high-marketing economies, companies often sell things as loss leaders (price < cost of production) or see products dumped after a product/business failure (again, price < cost of production). In competitive areas, companies are always coming and going, so prices have more to do with who is trying to capture market share than with the cost of production.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: rosarugosa on July 17, 2016, 05:24:23 PM
Beluga caviar.  I was so excited about trying it, thought it sounded so glamorous, and it just tasted like fishy saltiness.  I could have bought a lot of oysters for the same money!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Bo-rrific G on July 18, 2016, 07:03:31 AM
(1) Burberry trench coat (bought out of sheer curiosity after "wanting" one for years).  The quality just didn't meet my expectations.  The fabric didn't seem as sturdy as I had imagined it.  I returned it the same day it arrived and got 100% of my money back.

(2) Stuart Weitzman pumps.  I bought these after months of excruciating foot pain.  I couldn't find anything comfortable so I tried something of "high quality."  The shoes were worse than anything I owned.  Unfortunately, I kept these and I wear them every few weeks to remind myself not to buy stupid things again.  It turned out that I had plantar fasciitis.  A few foot exercises per day and new pair of running shoes fixed my feet.  I can wear heels now when they are business expected.

(3) Cashmere sweater.  I bought two cashmere sweaters at a second hand store.  They both look like crap after only 1 season of wear.  I'm sticking to wool and cotton for my clothing.  Cashmere needs too much attention.

I'm sure there are other things, but I can't think of them for now.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on July 18, 2016, 09:29:33 AM
Posting this because I just saw it and it seems relevant:

http://nypost.com/2016/07/10/the-truth-behind-how-were-scammed-into-eating-phony-food/

In other words, just give up on trying to source your food, buying authentic etc, and just get the cheapest meats/seafood possible. Or go vegetarian. Why pay more to be duped?
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 18, 2016, 09:32:27 AM
Posting this because I just saw it and it seems relevant:

http://nypost.com/2016/07/10/the-truth-behind-how-were-scammed-into-eating-phony-food/

In other words, just give up on trying to source your food, buying authentic etc, and just get the cheapest meats/seafood possible. Or go vegetarian. Why pay more to be duped?

Or buy in bulk directly from the farmer, which is cheaper (depending on where you are, obv) AND sustainable and well-raised. And if you're cooking tomato sauce in bulk, don't go to the farmer's market and pay 80 cents/lb for tomatoes. Drive out to the farm and spend an hour picking, and they're 10 cents/lb. Makes a difference when you're making a year's worth.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pudding on July 18, 2016, 09:54:52 AM
Ex wifes ;)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pudding on July 18, 2016, 09:56:39 AM
Some of the holidays / trips overseas that I've been on. If I'm real at times I've wondered if some of them were worth it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 18, 2016, 11:25:03 AM
Ex wifes ;)
They say divorce costs so much because it's worth it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lunasol on July 18, 2016, 11:30:03 AM
False eyelashes, the type that they put one by one and lasts about a month, it costs around $26 and you have to pay for maintenance later on.

My friend urged me to get those for my birthday, as you wake up with curly and full eyelashes and don't need to use mascara anymore, errrrrr, I kindly replied I wasn't interested in spending money on that, and that I'm being somewhat frugal these days...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: margarita on July 18, 2016, 11:47:14 AM
Hair extensions!  Okay, this was my daughter not me.  Seriously STOP cutting your hair and then getting hair extensions.  Finally she did stop after a couple of years of this nonsense.  I can't even remember how much they were but it was insane. 

Mascara.  Ever single expensive mascara I tried smeared. Never again.

Lipstick.  Never wasting money again on expensive lipstick.  Burts Bees lip balm (in Pink Blossom colour) is the bomb!  I love it!  Never will waste another dollar buying anything else.

Basically every single thing sold in Sephora.  I bought (after debating for years) a "YSL tout éclat" (at Sephora!).  It is a concealer for around the eyes.  Every makeup artist and article I read swore this was the "best". 
Yeah, no so much.  Didn't seem to be any better than the cheap stuff I bought at Walmart. 
That is $50 I will never seen again. 

Sephora makes me crazy.  I see it crowded full of young women buying this overpriced stuff because, you know, Covergirl and Maybelline and that stuff we bought when we were younger (and still do) is "crap" in their eyes. 

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: KMMK on July 18, 2016, 12:51:26 PM
Stainless steel appliances. God, I hate our fridge. Maybe there's a way to not have it look gross immediately after wiping it but I don't know what it is. I've just given up. For the new house I strongly prefer black or white appliances.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Yankuba on July 18, 2016, 12:53:23 PM
Peter Luger's - Most overrated steak I ever ate.

Honestly I think every steakhouse is overrated. It's easy to BBQ your own meat for a fraction of the price.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 18, 2016, 12:56:47 PM
Stainless steel appliances. God, I hate our fridge. Maybe there's a way to not have it look gross immediately after wiping it but I don't know what it is. I've just given up. For the new house I strongly prefer black or white appliances.

Word. We have stainless because they were on sale and cheaper than the white ones... But oh man, toddler handprints everywhere. And I'm not washing the front of the fridge every day, I HAVE a life, thanks.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JustTrying on July 18, 2016, 01:28:57 PM
My dog??? Oh, that's sad. I love her so much, and I'd never get rid of her. But I recognize that she is a waste of money!

Any piece of white clothing. I spill and stain more than the average person.

I also am a stainless steel appliance hater, but it's because I don't like the look. I've just never understood the appeal! We have white appliances.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mjones1234 on July 18, 2016, 01:50:41 PM
STARBUCKS

Steak dinners at places known to have the best steaks

Most theme parks, haunted houses and water parks

Woodford Reserve

Delta Airlines (Southwest is fine by me)

Premium gasoline in a car that only calls for 87 octane







Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Inaya on July 18, 2016, 01:54:57 PM

Delta Airlines (Southwest is fine by me)

Virgin Airlines. I normally fly Southwest, but it was a trip for work so I figured I'd try out Virgin, since I'd heard great things about it. It was a flight on a plane. I guess the seatback TV and outlets were nice-ish. Almost everything on the in-flight food menu was sold out, and the games didn't work all that well. It wasn't a bad flight, but definitely didn't live up to the hype. I'll continue flying Southwest, both on my own dime and the company's (I get the points even when my company pays).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lagom on July 18, 2016, 01:56:11 PM
My dog??? Oh, that's sad. I love her so much, and I'd never get rid of her. But I recognize that she is a waste of money!

Any piece of white clothing. I spill and stain more than the average person.

I also am a stainless steel appliance hater, but it's because I don't like the look. I've just never understood the appeal! We have white appliances.

I feel you on the pet, but I also think the "pets are a luxury/waste of money" sentiment that gets thrown around here sometimes is not completely accurate. Certainly, I love my dog and value her mostly for completely "frivolous" reasons such as she brings happiness to my life (of course that's something I would argue is a worthwhile justification for any expense). But I think there is also a strong argument to be made that dogs are the best home defense option around, better than alarm systems, shotguns, etc. While the latter are ultimately cheaper than the former, especially if large medical expenses come into play, the dramatically reduced likelihood of a burglary or home invasion because of my dog does have material value. Dogs may not be for everyone, but I personally believe they are a justifiable expense, especially if you get a breed that works well as a watchdog.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pbkmaine on July 18, 2016, 02:00:20 PM
Stainless steel appliances. God, I hate our fridge. Maybe there's a way to not have it look gross immediately after wiping it but I don't know what it is. I've just given up. For the new house I strongly prefer black or white appliances.

Yeah, me too. The only thing that helps even a little is a thin coat of mineral oil.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Well Respected Man on July 18, 2016, 02:31:50 PM
+1 on spa services, specifically, the combination face treatment + hot shave. Something like $90 + tip, and my face looked and felt like I had been treated with a nutmeg grater.

Regarding beer, the 750 ml and 22.4 ounce bottles are almost always more expensive per ounce than the same stuff in smaller bottles, if available.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: BlueHouse on July 18, 2016, 02:43:29 PM
I bought a fancy-pants designer Scandinavian chair for about $3k and I hate it.  I'm finally selling it. It's like new, because I rarely sat in it.  I'm asking $600, but no takers so far.  Eventually I'll give it away.  And when I do, I won't ever think about it again.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JustTrying on July 18, 2016, 02:48:04 PM
My dog??? Oh, that's sad. I love her so much, and I'd never get rid of her. But I recognize that she is a waste of money!

Any piece of white clothing. I spill and stain more than the average person.

I also am a stainless steel appliance hater, but it's because I don't like the look. I've just never understood the appeal! We have white appliances.

I feel you on the pet, but I also think the "pets are a luxury/waste of money" sentiment that gets thrown around here sometimes is not completely accurate. Certainly, I love my dog and value her mostly for completely "frivolous" reasons such as she brings happiness to my life (of course that's something I would argue is a worthwhile justification for any expense). But I think there is also a strong argument to be made that dogs are the best home defense option around, better than alarm systems, shotguns, etc. While the latter are ultimately cheaper than the former, especially if large medical expenses come into play, the dramatically reduced likelihood of a burglary or home invasion because of my dog does have material value. Dogs may not be for everyone, but I personally believe they are a justifiable expense, especially if you get a breed that works well as a watchdog.

My dog thanks you for pointing out her value! :) We've talked about not getting another dog when she passes away because of the expense, but most likely we will get one because dogs really do bring a lot of joy! (And home security, apparently).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: gggggg on July 18, 2016, 03:00:38 PM
New car is #1 by far, never again will I take that depreciation hit.

HOA's- I hate them. You're paying someone to tell you what to do. No thanks.

Expensive colleges- Not worth it usually.

Expensive clothes- I'm hard on clothes and go through them quick, not worth it to me to buy expensive ones just to ruin them.

Expensive sports/hobbies- I'm guilty of this, still have one or two, generally not worth it.



 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 18, 2016, 03:02:02 PM
]Lipstick.  Never wasting money again on expensive lipstick.  Burts Bees lip balm (in Pink Blossom colour) is the bomb!  I love it!  Never will waste another dollar buying anything else.

Yep, tinted lip balm all the way. One in pink, one in peach shimmer is all I need.

For me, lipstick is something my mum wears. I would feel like I was playing dress-up if I wore it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 18, 2016, 05:10:50 PM
]Lipstick.  Never wasting money again on expensive lipstick.  Burts Bees lip balm (in Pink Blossom colour) is the bomb!  I love it!  Never will waste another dollar buying anything else.

Yep, tinted lip balm all the way. One in pink, one in peach shimmer is all I need.

For me, lipstick is something my mum wears. I would feel like I was playing dress-up if I wore it.

Whereas I have one super-bright-red that I wear all the time - somehow makes me look made-up when it's the only thing I'm wearing, and I've had tons of ladies compliment it and ask which one it was. 1 swipe of lipstick and make-up done? Sign me up!

Waste of money: ANY mascara. I rub my eyes when people say something stupid. If I wear it to work, I look like a raccoon by 10am.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 18, 2016, 05:29:59 PM
Stainless steel appliances. God, I hate our fridge. Maybe there's a way to not have it look gross immediately after wiping it but I don't know what it is. I've just given up. For the new house I strongly prefer black or white appliances.

I was kind of excited when I moved into a rental with a stainless steel fridge because it looked so cool and modern... right up until I tried to stick my fridge magnets on it. How the hell did someone invent a fridge that is both made of steel and non-magnetic? And more importantly, why??
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: With This Herring on July 18, 2016, 06:52:16 PM
Lipstick.  Never wasting money again on expensive lipstick.  Burts Bees lip balm (in Pink Blossom colour) is the bomb!  I love it!  Never will waste another dollar buying anything else.

Burts Bees lip balm.  Never again.  Someone gave me a pack of various Burts Bees products as a gift.  I tried that lip balm three separate months.  Each time, I got deep acne cysts next to my lips.  I gave the rest of the products away.  Fifty-cent ChapStick for me!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: jengod on July 18, 2016, 11:31:23 PM
Eyebrow waxing! Turns out the shape of my eyebrows is just fine, dammit, and if I want to divide the unibrow back into two parts, I can just shave it for free.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Crusader on July 19, 2016, 04:04:27 PM
Off the top of my head it would be expensive drinks and meals. Though as long as it is very occasional I am not too worried about it. Though I still try to avoid paying too much for food or drinks.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Redstone5 on July 19, 2016, 04:15:18 PM
Stainless steel appliances. God, I hate our fridge. Maybe there's a way to not have it look gross immediately after wiping it but I don't know what it is. I've just given up. For the new house I strongly prefer black or white appliances.

I was kind of excited when I moved into a rental with a stainless steel fridge because it looked so cool and modern... right up until I tried to stick my fridge magnets on it. How the hell did someone invent a fridge that is both made of steel and non-magnetic? And more importantly, why??

And the fingerprints!! Such a nightmare. Why?
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: YogiKitti on July 19, 2016, 04:49:19 PM
I bought pretty weck glass jars for pantry storage. I researched and read lots of reviews on them, so I thought I was well informed. They are a huge pain to use! The rubber falls off every time you open the lid and the lid chipped within the first use. I'm pretty sure all the reviews I read about them were from people who never actually used them.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Cannot Wait! on July 19, 2016, 04:59:59 PM
That wanker might wear a $25,000 watch, but he's still a fucking wanker.

I love this line.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: RetiredAt63 on July 19, 2016, 06:35:35 PM
Built-in appliances.  I am thinking ovens and microwave ovens. And especially combination oven/microwave oven.  Hard to get out when they die, and they usually have an expensive motherboard.  I had that in one house, never again.
Front-load washing machines.  They don't work well, don't get clothes clean, they tend to smell.  The newest ones are top-loading, but they somehow swoosh the clothes around without an agitator so we shall see how they do.  I'm holding on to my old washing machine, my old dryer (and the clothesline), my old stove with it's nice easy-to repair oven.  All of which are nice easy-to-clean white enamel.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 19, 2016, 06:36:20 PM
Recently reminded of this: Very expensive kitchen knives for occasional home use. Yes, if you cook a lot you probably need a decent chef knife, paring knife etc. But 'decent' enough for home purposes means say $30 per knife, or even $10. But not $300! (Fortunately, it cost me nothing to learn this lesson, as the super-pricey knives were borrowed.)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 23, 2016, 01:04:04 PM
Expensive shampoo. Not worth it!!! I've tried $60 shampoo and $1 shampoo :)

They're practically identical (in my experience)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: PMG on July 23, 2016, 01:27:26 PM
ExOfficio Panties.  Full retail at REI is $24 a pair.  I got mine on clearance for $9(?) when I was buying other things.  No extra shipping.  I was headed out for two months of backpack traveling.  Moisture wicking. Quick dry.  Odor resistant.  Sounds great.  Sheesh!  It's not true. 


Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: MicroRN on July 23, 2016, 07:08:10 PM
Posting this because I just saw it and it seems relevant:

http://nypost.com/2016/07/10/the-truth-behind-how-were-scammed-into-eating-phony-food/

In other words, just give up on trying to source your food, buying authentic etc, and just get the cheapest meats/seafood possible. Or go vegetarian. Why pay more to be duped?

Or buy in bulk directly from the farmer, which is cheaper (depending on where you are, obv) AND sustainable and well-raised. And if you're cooking tomato sauce in bulk, don't go to the farmer's market and pay 80 cents/lb for tomatoes. Drive out to the farm and spend an hour picking, and they're 10 cents/lb. Makes a difference when you're making a year's worth.

Yup.  I don't care about organic - none of the local farms are certified organic, though some are no-spray.  They have farmstands with a hodge-podge of whatever's in season at the time, in whatever quantity they have.  Prices are competitive with the grocery store, sometimes quite a bit cheaper, and it supports our neighbors.  We're eating sweet corn, tomatoes, and yellow squash almost every day right now.  Eggs are $3-4/dozen vs. commercial "free range" eggs at $5.50+.   

Stuff that wasn't worth it:
- A sailboat.  Between depreciation, maintenance, upgrades, slip fees, and being too busy to sail it we probably paid over $500/hour that we actually sailed. 
- An expensive "skincare regimen."  I just use a wet washcloth now, and protect my skin from the sun.
- Makeup.  I even skipped it this most recent interview (and still got the job).  Plus, it saves a ton of time in the morning.
- Haircuts.  I've been cutting my own hair for 16 years now.
- Expensive clothes.  I'll make an exception for moderately expensive shoes, because it makes a huge comfort difference.  My $100 Ariat clogs have kept me comfortable for 3 years, while the cheapie $30 clogs would start hurting 4 hours into my shift. 
- That goes double for expensive clothes for kids.  They just destroy them anyway.
- Wine glasses.  Our Riedels have broken one after another.  The no-names hold up just fine.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: esq on July 24, 2016, 07:01:19 AM
Facials - a friend gave me a $100 gift certificate that she wasn't going to use.  It was to a fancy pants spa with lots of different services.  I chose a facial just to see what all the fuss was about.  It was ok, I suppose, but after I was done I walked out, thinking to myself, "people spend A HUNDRED DOLLARS for that??????"

Basically everything at Sur La Table, a fancy pants French version of Williams Sonoma in Houston.  It was fun to go in a look around; my daughter and I found a display of coffee machines that started at $1500, going up to about $4k.  There were cups/stirrers/sugar/creamer out, so we made ourselves some coffee from the display.  I chose the most expensive machine, of course.  Sales lady wasn't too happy with us - apparently you're supposed to ask, although there was no sign saying as such.  Yes, the coffee was good.   But not that much better than my $30 one at home.

Years ago on Oprah, I saw a group of stars talking about experiences that changed their lives.  Julia Roberts talked about how she visited Tibet, lived with the people in their huts, ate their food, helped tend goats, care for babies, etc.  Oprah turned to Billy Crystal and asked him to share.  Without missing a beat he replied, "I shopped retail once".

Every time I'm in a nice store and I see all the full price, expensive displays of whatever, I wonder who on earth pays full price for this stuff?  I've done it on occasion for loved ones,  not for me, and just don't do it any more.

I have a friend with connections who got me and three friends one night in a beautiful suite at the Waldorf in NYC.  Cost us about $80 apiece.  I'm glad I did it, will never in my life forget this breathtaking hotel with it's art deco ambience, but would never pay the full price for it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pancakes on July 24, 2016, 07:32:59 AM
False eyelashes, the type that they put one by one and lasts about a month, it costs around $26 and you have to pay for maintenance later on.
$26 is a bargain. The ladies I work with pay $130 every 6 - 8 weeks.

For me:

Expensive shampoo
Scented toilet paper
Le Creuset cookware (vs cast iron cookware from Aldi) 
Perfume

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: aperture on July 24, 2016, 09:28:17 AM
I used to work in a high-end liquor store and the owner's son opened a bottle of french champagne at the end of the shift on Saturday nights.  I have had Dom Peringon, Veuve Cliquot's Grande Damme, Crystal and etc. They are wonderful wines, but at $125 - $185/bottle (in 1984) they were certainly not worth it.
-Ap.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 24, 2016, 10:20:14 AM
I used to work in a high-end liquor store and the owner's son opened a bottle of french champagne at the end of the shift on Saturday nights.  I have had Dom Peringon, Veuve Cliquot's Grande Damme, Crystal and etc. They are wonderful wines, but at $125 - $185/bottle (in 1984) they were certainly not worth it.
-Ap.
Good to know!!
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: slowsynapse on July 24, 2016, 10:37:34 AM
I used to work in a high-end liquor store and the owner's son opened a bottle of french champagne at the end of the shift on Saturday nights.  I have had Dom Peringon, Veuve Cliquot's Grande Damme, Crystal and etc. They are wonderful wines, but at $125 - $185/bottle (in 1984) they were certainly not worth it.
-Ap.

I also have tried many high end champagnes through my job and agree that they are all good but probably not worth it.  Crystal is by far my favorite but at about $300 per bottle is, pardon the pun, hard to swallow.

What I learned when selling wines is that many of the producers have lower end versions that many people cannot tell the difference from their higher end cousins.  For example, Moet Brut, made by Moet and Chandon makers of Dom Perignon, is a very good sparkling wine at 1/3 of the price.  My wine rep used to bring me bottles of wines that he said "were similar to XYZ brand" and I would have them with oenophile friends and they would almost always say the choice was really good.  Like with all mustachian ways, a little knowledge can sure save you money.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 24, 2016, 11:05:23 AM
I used to work in a high-end liquor store and the owner's son opened a bottle of french champagne at the end of the shift on Saturday nights.  I have had Dom Peringon, Veuve Cliquot's Grande Damme, Crystal and etc. They are wonderful wines, but at $125 - $185/bottle (in 1984) they were certainly not worth it.
-Ap.

I also have tried many high end champagnes through my job and agree that they are all good but probably not worth it.  Crystal is by far my favorite but at about $300 per bottle is, pardon the pun, hard to swallow.

What I learned when selling wines is that many of the producers have lower end versions that many people cannot tell the difference from their higher end cousins.  For example, Moet Brut, made by Moet and Chandon makers of Dom Perignon, is a very good sparkling wine at 1/3 of the price.  My wine rep used to bring me bottles of wines that he said "were similar to XYZ brand" and I would have them with oenophile friends and they would almost always say the choice was really good.  Like with all mustachian ways, a little knowledge can sure save you money.

Great pun! And good point: a little knowledge goes a long way. I'm hoping this thread will educate me on all the things I don't need to buy :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: chesebert on July 24, 2016, 02:35:46 PM
I used to work in a high-end liquor store and the owner's son opened a bottle of french champagne at the end of the shift on Saturday nights.  I have had Dom Peringon, Veuve Cliquot's Grande Damme, Crystal and etc. They are wonderful wines, but at $125 - $185/bottle (in 1984) they were certainly not worth it.
-Ap.
Champagnes are over priced. I have migrated from French to Italian sparkling wines. I in particular like Ferrari. You should try their Perle line.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: v8rx7guy on July 24, 2016, 04:31:58 PM
Snap-on tools

Seems like the people that buy them are forced to convince you to pay 4x for your tools too just to  justify their purchase
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: secondcor521 on July 24, 2016, 05:04:15 PM
I know many people who like them (including my parents), but for me, cruises are not worth it.  It's a decent hotel bolted on top of a barge and you get to pay for the privilege of sailing with 2,000 of your closest friends and pay more for the chance to go on pre-packaged shore excursions.  Did it once in about 1993, haven't even been tempted to go on one since.

My parents probably went on forty of them though, so different strokes...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 24, 2016, 05:28:39 PM
A bread maker.

I either use my stand mixer, or do a super-long rise with very wet dough (artisan bread in 5 minutes-style). A loaf of homemade bread is under 25 cents and doesn't need me to store a clunky piece of single-use gear.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 24, 2016, 06:43:37 PM
A bread maker.

Right? I know they're convenient, but last I checked, I still had two working hands, and haven't succumbed to RSI or arthritis yet :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: JeffS on July 24, 2016, 07:01:00 PM
Snap-on tools

Seems like the people that buy them are forced to convince you to pay 4x for your tools too just to  justify their purchase

When I worked for the Honda dealership, there was a guy who had probably spent close to $60k on Snap On. Top of the line tool box was $15k, locker was another $12k, every piece of diagnostic testing and electric tool and hand tool. If it had the Snap On name on it, he probably had it.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mustachepungoeshere on July 24, 2016, 10:34:55 PM
Snap-on tools

Seems like the people that buy them are forced to convince you to pay 4x for your tools too just to  justify their purchase

When I worked for the Honda dealership, there was a guy who had probably spent close to $60k on Snap On. Top of the line tool box was $15k, locker was another $12k, every piece of diagnostic testing and electric tool and hand tool. If it had the Snap On name on it, he probably had it.

My dad has a bit of Snap-On gear. Some of it purchased, some of it gifted from a loving daughter or generous bosses. He has a road chest that he bought before I was born, after going through half a dozen cheap versions in a couple of years. The Snap-On chest was expensive, but it was BIFL. The same with his tools. He's done a lot of work in places where replacing a certain socket set would take weeks.

That said, he's also the first person to tear strips off anyone who wastes money on tools they don't need or don't know how to use.

Oh, and just don't ask to borrow them. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on July 25, 2016, 07:56:15 AM
Expensive shampoo. Not worth it!!! I've tried $60 shampoo and $1 shampoo :)

They're practically identical (in my experience)

+++1

A couple of years ago, I was having terrible dandruff issues that lasted for years. It improved when I cut out conditioner (yay to saving money AND time!) so I was doing generic dandruff shampoo only (then using hair oils instead of the conditioner). One day, my hairdresser convinced me to try a $30 bottle of shampoo (my previous "most expensive shampoo" was about $8). In a weak moment, I bought it. I ended up REALLY liking it and bought it twice more. But noticed by the 3rd round it wasn't working as well and my dandruff was still driving me crazy. I used the cheap bottle of Suave I had bought for my daughter and had awesome hair again!

Lesson learned - switch shampoo brands about every bottle or so and my hair will be just fine. Now I had two kinds of Suave shampoo (one for $1 and one for $3-4 that I keep buying for the pretty bottle and fancy words).
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 25, 2016, 10:28:19 AM
Expensive shampoo. Not worth it!!! I've tried $60 shampoo and $1 shampoo :)

They're practically identical (in my experience)

+++1

A couple of years ago, I was having terrible dandruff issues that lasted for years. It improved when I cut out conditioner (yay to saving money AND time!) so I was doing generic dandruff shampoo only (then using hair oils instead of the conditioner). One day, my hairdresser convinced me to try a $30 bottle of shampoo (my previous "most expensive shampoo" was about $8). In a weak moment, I bought it. I ended up REALLY liking it and bought it twice more. But noticed by the 3rd round it wasn't working as well and my dandruff was still driving me crazy. I used the cheap bottle of Suave I had bought for my daughter and had awesome hair again!

Lesson learned - switch shampoo brands about every bottle or so and my hair will be just fine. Now I had two kinds of Suave shampoo (one for $1 and one for $3-4 that I keep buying for the pretty bottle and fancy words).

Sauve is my fave!! And long hair forums support it :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: tomatops on July 25, 2016, 11:15:26 AM
Chain restaurants, in my pre-MMM days. They're awful when you compare to what you can make yourself or what you can get from nice independent ones.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 25, 2016, 11:35:02 AM
Chain restaurants, in my pre-MMM days. They're awful when you compare to what you can make yourself or what you can get from nice independent ones.

Seconding. And thirding, just for the hell of it.

I'm a big fan of city-based (Montreal is my reference, here) 'ethnic' fast food. Shish Taouk sandwiches for 4$, souvlaki pita for 3.50$, etc, all of it amazing (could I feed the family for 2$ cheaper than buying 4 excellent pitas? Sure. But some days, 2$ extra for reasonably healthy and super tasty food is totally worth not cooking). Or excellent and decently-priced restaurants, for a nice occasional night out.

But chains? TGIF-type, or Mikes, or whatever? 15$ for substandard blech. No thanks.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on July 25, 2016, 01:45:09 PM
Chain restaurants, in my pre-MMM days. They're awful when you compare to what you can make yourself or what you can get from nice independent ones.

Seconding. And thirding, just for the hell of it.

I'm a big fan of city-based (Montreal is my reference, here) 'ethnic' fast food. Shish Taouk sandwiches for 4$, souvlaki pita for 3.50$, etc, all of it amazing (could I feed the family for 2$ cheaper than buying 4 excellent pitas? Sure. But some days, 2$ extra for reasonably healthy and super tasty food is totally worth not cooking). Or excellent and decently-priced restaurants, for a nice occasional night out.

But chains? TGIF-type, or Mikes, or whatever? 15$ for substandard blech. No thanks.

I do agree that ethnic fast food is awesome if you find them at the right prices. Dirt cheap lunch specials are right up my alley! We lucked out once with a decent cheap lunch of gyros in super $$ Switzerland. On the other hand, while I love the whole idea of them, we don't eat at food trucks often because they are usually pretty expensive (I assume because they are trendy).

Still, being an independent restaurant does not mean u have amazing food. Even if you do use locally-sourced everything. Recently, we were visiting a tourist town known for its good food and I decided we should splurge on dinner in one of the town's cool urban locally-sourced restaurants. I found one with good reviews that offered small plates so could be done relatively affordably. It turned out just OK and frankly, the food wasn't worth the price. On the other hand, we all loved the vibe so that was worth something!

I will say that the one time I ate in a restaurant (that was thankfully very reasonably priced) with a Michelin-starred chef, every single thing we ate was the stuff of dreams.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: abiteveryday on July 25, 2016, 05:43:38 PM
AWD vehicles.   I can tell the difference and appreciate it, but winter tires are a lot cheaper and don't come with a fuel economy hit.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: SoccerLounge on July 25, 2016, 07:08:21 PM
On the other hand, while I love the whole idea of them, we don't eat at food trucks often because they are usually pretty expensive (I assume because they are trendy).

THANK YOU! A big, resounding second for food trucks. The gentrification of food trucks has resulted in some truly comical price-vs-food ratios out there. The only food trucks I now go to are the kind where they only sell Mexican food, the trucks are shabby, all the writing is Spanish, nobody speaks English, and everything is cheap. And delicious.
Title: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on July 25, 2016, 07:24:37 PM
DH still cannot wrap his head around food trucks lol. He cannot stand the thought of paying $10-15 per person to eat with our hands standing up. I drag him to some here or there, but he's not a fan.

While we are on the subject, what is with food festivals? You pay $10-30 (or more!) to go in the gates for the privilege of paying at least $7-10 each for small plates from food trucks. The last one we attended was a cultural festival and the food was overpriced and terrible. Ugh. Even worse if u pay for overpriced wine/beer (we don't drink much so rarely do). I much prefer the one price all u can eat style of food festival (DH and I scored a crazy good Groupon to a local one recently and had a blast)


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Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: pachnik on July 25, 2016, 08:51:44 PM
On the other hand, while I love the whole idea of them, we don't eat at food trucks often because they are usually pretty expensive (I assume because they are trendy).

THANK YOU! A big, resounding second for food trucks. The gentrification of food trucks has resulted in some truly comical price-vs-food ratios out there. The only food trucks I now go to are the kind where they only sell Mexican food, the trucks are shabby, all the writing is Spanish, nobody speaks English, and everything is cheap. And delicious.

I would love to check out a food truck like the one described above. 

I used to work downtown and one of the more popular food trucks was one that made grilled cheese sandwiches.  They cost about $6 or $8 each and no sides included if I recall correctly.  I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for a grilled cheese sandwich though my former co-workers said the sandwiches were great. 
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Metric Mouse on July 26, 2016, 04:34:45 AM
On the other hand, while I love the whole idea of them, we don't eat at food trucks often because they are usually pretty expensive (I assume because they are trendy).

THANK YOU! A big, resounding second for food trucks. The gentrification of food trucks has resulted in some truly comical price-vs-food ratios out there. The only food trucks I now go to are the kind where they only sell Mexican food, the trucks are shabby, all the writing is Spanish, nobody speaks English, and everything is cheap. And delicious.

I would love to check out a food truck like the one described above. 

I used to work downtown and one of the more popular food trucks was one that made grilled cheese sandwiches.  They cost about $6 or $8 each and no sides included if I recall correctly.  I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for a grilled cheese sandwich though my former co-workers said the sandwiches were great.

Mmm... the little family owned-ones, where the kids help out making the food or taking care of the truck. It's truly an experience.  We have a great Thai one here; it's always exciting because I don't read thai so I'm never quite sure what I'm getting and for some reason the pictures don't look anything like what I thought I ordered. :D Just gives another excuse to go back.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Kitsune on July 26, 2016, 07:19:40 AM
While we are on the subject, what is with food festivals? You pay $10-30 (or more!) to go in the gates for the privilege of paying at least $7-10 each for small plates from food trucks. The last one we attended was a cultural festival and the food was overpriced and terrible. Ugh. Even worse if u pay for overpriced wine/beer (we don't drink much so rarely do). I much prefer the one price all u can eat style of food festival (DH and I scored a crazy good Groupon to a local one recently and had a blast)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This is basically EVERY city-based food festival I've been to. 100% not worth it.

I'd advise looking at the country-based ones, though. A town near me (Compton, Quebec) does the Comptonales every year, where 7 food 'locations' (cheese factory, apple orchards, etc) open up and set up booths with 6-7 other organizations (meat producers, restaurants, etc) in each spot. No entry fee, and bites of food are 2-3$ per. At last year's prices: 2$ gets you a small plate of amazing cheese fondue, or a hand-held apple pie. 3$ gets you, say, a lamb meatball kofta with an amazing salad and sauce in a mini-pita. Unless you have an appetite of doom, you can't eat more than 15$ worth of food without being full, and it's a great way to get introduced to local food producers (who sell direct-to-consumer, usually cheaper than the grocery store, but you have to know where to find them.) Totally different experience and different goals. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: rockstache on July 26, 2016, 07:49:14 AM
Expensive shampoo. Not worth it!!! I've tried $60 shampoo and $1 shampoo :)

They're practically identical (in my experience)

+++1

A couple of years ago, I was having terrible dandruff issues that lasted for years. It improved when I cut out conditioner (yay to saving money AND time!) so I was doing generic dandruff shampoo only (then using hair oils instead of the conditioner). One day, my hairdresser convinced me to try a $30 bottle of shampoo (my previous "most expensive shampoo" was about $8). In a weak moment, I bought it. I ended up REALLY liking it and bought it twice more. But noticed by the 3rd round it wasn't working as well and my dandruff was still driving me crazy. I used the cheap bottle of Suave I had bought for my daughter and had awesome hair again!

Lesson learned - switch shampoo brands about every bottle or so and my hair will be just fine. Now I had two kinds of Suave shampoo (one for $1 and one for $3-4 that I keep buying for the pretty bottle and fancy words).

This is me! Please help! Do you use any conditioner or hair oil now, or just shampoo and go? I do have long hair and I switch shampoos all the time/have tried all the dandruff shampoos/asked experts etc.. and I am so self conscious of the flakes. It is absolutely awful in winter, but it still happens in summer too.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Lunasol on July 26, 2016, 09:42:12 AM
False eyelashes, the type that they put one by one and lasts about a month, it costs around $26 and you have to pay for maintenance later on.
$26 is a bargain. The ladies I work with pay $130 every 6 - 8 weeks.

For me:

Expensive shampoo
Scented toilet paper
Le Creuset cookware (vs cast iron cookware from Aldi) 
Perfume

If I made $150+ per day, it might seem cheap, but I'm in Mexico where we make around $30-$40 per day
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Cranky on July 26, 2016, 10:01:47 AM
I bought pretty weck glass jars for pantry storage. I researched and read lots of reviews on them, so I thought I was well informed. They are a huge pain to use! The rubber falls off every time you open the lid and the lid chipped within the first use. I'm pretty sure all the reviews I read about them were from people who never actually used them.

You can get plastic lids for them! I have two boxes of assorted Weck jars that I bought at the thrift store, and they came with both the glass lids and plastic snap on lids.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Cranky on July 26, 2016, 10:07:07 AM
Chain restaurants, in my pre-MMM days. They're awful when you compare to what you can make yourself or what you can get from nice independent ones.

Seconding. And thirding, just for the hell of it.

I'm a big fan of city-based (Montreal is my reference, here) 'ethnic' fast food. Shish Taouk sandwiches for 4$, souvlaki pita for 3.50$, etc, all of it amazing (could I feed the family for 2$ cheaper than buying 4 excellent pitas? Sure. But some days, 2$ extra for reasonably healthy and super tasty food is totally worth not cooking). Or excellent and decently-priced restaurants, for a nice occasional night out.

But chains? TGIF-type, or Mikes, or whatever? 15$ for substandard blech. No thanks.

I do agree that ethnic fast food is awesome if you find them at the right prices. Dirt cheap lunch specials are right up my alley! We lucked out once with a decent cheap lunch of gyros in super $$ Switzerland. On the other hand, while I love the whole idea of them, we don't eat at food trucks often because they are usually pretty expensive (I assume because they are trendy).

Still, being an independent restaurant does not mean u have amazing food. Even if you do use locally-sourced everything. Recently, we were visiting a tourist town known for its good food and I decided we should splurge on dinner in one of the town's cool urban locally-sourced restaurants. I found one with good reviews that offered small plates so could be done relatively affordably. It turned out just OK and frankly, the food wasn't worth the price. On the other hand, we all loved the vibe so that was worth something!

I will say that the one time I ate in a restaurant (that was thankfully very reasonably priced) with a Michelin-starred chef, every single thing we ate was the stuff of dreams.

Small local restaurants do more of their shopping at Gordon Food Service than a lot of people realize. ;-)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 26, 2016, 10:07:28 AM
This is me! Please help! Do you use any conditioner or hair oil now, or just shampoo and go? I do have long hair and I switch shampoos all the time/have tried all the dandruff shampoos/asked experts etc.. and I am so self conscious of the flakes. It is absolutely awful in winter, but it still happens in summer too.

Did you ever try Nizoral? It's expensive-ish (you can get it online for like $12/bottle, but the bottles are not that big) but it worked for me. It comes in a prescription strength version too. There are multiple causes for flaky scalp problems, so solutions are not always one-size-fits-all, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: rockstache on July 26, 2016, 10:24:15 AM
This is me! Please help! Do you use any conditioner or hair oil now, or just shampoo and go? I do have long hair and I switch shampoos all the time/have tried all the dandruff shampoos/asked experts etc.. and I am so self conscious of the flakes. It is absolutely awful in winter, but it still happens in summer too.

Did you ever try Nizoral? It's expensive-ish (you can get it online for like $12/bottle, but the bottles are not that big) but it worked for me. It comes in a prescription strength version too. There are multiple causes for flaky scalp problems, so solutions are not always one-size-fits-all, unfortunately.

Thanks, I have it on my wish list but haven't tried it because of the price. Do you have to use it always now, or did it clear it up altogether?
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Dollar Slice on July 26, 2016, 10:45:51 AM
Thanks, I have it on my wish list but haven't tried it because of the price. Do you have to use it always now, or did it clear it up altogether?

I honestly haven't tried switching back to anything else. It was such a relief to have a happy scalp, it never occurred to me stop doing whatever made it happy in the first place.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Sailor Sam on July 26, 2016, 11:03:00 AM
This is me! Please help! Do you use any conditioner or hair oil now, or just shampoo and go? I do have long hair and I switch shampoos all the time/have tried all the dandruff shampoos/asked experts etc.. and I am so self conscious of the flakes. It is absolutely awful in winter, but it still happens in summer too.

Did you ever try Nizoral? It's expensive-ish (you can get it online for like $12/bottle, but the bottles are not that big) but it worked for me. It comes in a prescription strength version too. There are multiple causes for flaky scalp problems, so solutions are not always one-size-fits-all, unfortunately.

Thanks, I have it on my wish list but haven't tried it because of the price. Do you have to use it always now, or did it clear it up altogether?

Hey Rockstach, have you ever ask a dermatologist if you have psoriasis? It's very common, frequently affects the scalp, causes flakes, and needs a coal tar shampoo instead of a dandruff shampoo. I've got psoriasis, and using the right shampoo is a game changer.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: rockstache on July 26, 2016, 12:23:14 PM
This is me! Please help! Do you use any conditioner or hair oil now, or just shampoo and go? I do have long hair and I switch shampoos all the time/have tried all the dandruff shampoos/asked experts etc.. and I am so self conscious of the flakes. It is absolutely awful in winter, but it still happens in summer too.

Did you ever try Nizoral? It's expensive-ish (you can get it online for like $12/bottle, but the bottles are not that big) but it worked for me. It comes in a prescription strength version too. There are multiple causes for flaky scalp problems, so solutions are not always one-size-fits-all, unfortunately.

Thanks, I have it on my wish list but haven't tried it because of the price. Do you have to use it always now, or did it clear it up altogether?

Hey Rockstach, have you ever ask a dermatologist if you have psoriasis? It's very common, frequently affects the scalp, causes flakes, and needs a coal tar shampoo instead of a dandruff shampoo. I've got psoriasis, and using the right shampoo is a game changer.
That didn't occur to me since I don't deal with it anywhere except the scalp, but it's a good thought, thanks.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on July 27, 2016, 10:17:35 PM
@rockstache I tried a very expensive coal tar shampoo and it worked pretty well. But the dandruff battle continued. Then I bought the $30 shampoo (Living Proof) It worked even better. One day I tried some Suave clarifying shampoo (the $1 stuff) and it worked just as well as all the other stuff! Now I use the $3 extra moisturizing Suave with keratin, etc and every few weeks, wash with the Suave clarifying shampoo. Haven't had any dandruff problems since :) its amazing considering it was so bad that I'd pick out giant flakes several hours after washing my hair.

Instead of conditioner, I use hair oils/creams. I like a macadamia oil or an argan oil (get them from Sally's Beauty Supply) for pretty cheap. Nowadays though, I found a miracle hair cream - Frizz Ease by John Frieda. Just a few bucks and controls the frizz better than all the expensive oils/creams/serums I have tried before. I skip the hair oil step and just go straight to this now.


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Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: mikefixac on July 28, 2016, 12:05:06 AM
A boat. It worked for me being that it was a cheap home, but soon got over it. Lots of upkeep and expenditure.

A cabin. Fun for the first couple of years, but the law of diminishing returns soon punishes a long term owner.

Golf club membership. I wanted to be a big wig and see what it felt like. Don't mean to be mean, but many of the patrons were spoiled brats.

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Playing with Fire UK on July 28, 2016, 05:05:09 AM
Basically every single thing sold in Sephora.  I bought (after debating for years) a "YSL tout éclat" (at Sephora!).  It is a concealer for around the eyes.  Every makeup artist and article I read swore this was the "best". 
Yeah, no so much.  Didn't seem to be any better than the cheap stuff I bought at Walmart. 
That is $50 I will never seen again. 

Sephora makes me crazy. 

Sephora is a rip off. Uncontested.

But using or selling YSL TE as a concealer is even worse.

It's designed as a face-coloured highlighter, not a concealer. For concealing around the eyes it will often do a worse job than a $1 concealer, because it will highlight the uneven skin. If you are going to use TE, use it for contouring your face, not as a concealer. And if you are wearing it for photos for a special occasion, check it out with the flash first. TE reflects light in a weird way, so with some camera set ups it will look like you have day-glo paint on your face.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: StarBright on July 29, 2016, 09:48:43 AM
Basically every single thing sold in Sephora.  I bought (after debating for years) a "YSL tout éclat" (at Sephora!).  It is a concealer for around the eyes.  Every makeup artist and article I read swore this was the "best". 
Yeah, no so much.  Didn't seem to be any better than the cheap stuff I bought at Walmart. 
That is $50 I will never seen again. 

Sephora makes me crazy. 

Sephora is a rip off. Uncontested.

But using or selling YSL TE as a concealer is even worse.

It's designed as a face-coloured highlighter, not a concealer. For concealing around the eyes it will often do a worse job than a $1 concealer, because it will highlight the uneven skin. If you are going to use TE, use it for contouring your face, not as a concealer. And if you are wearing it for photos for a special occasion, check it out with the flash first. TE reflects light in a weird way, so with some camera set ups it will look like you have day-glo paint on your face.

Ahh! I love Sephora and consider it one of my frugal secret weapons. They are great at giving large samples so you can try something multiple times before you buy it and make sure it really works for you. I went through three large sized face sunscreen samples before I found the right one for me. Now I know exactly what works and I buy it during the yearly sale. I also love their free birthday presents and haven't had to buy lipstick in two years due to the annual birthday gifts. I even went ahead and joined Play! and it is my single subscription box but I have enough make up for the next two years and for some gifts too and it is only 10 dollars of my fun money every month.

Is there an expensive things that are worth it thread? Because expensive face care and sunscreen would go on that list for me and I buy them at Sephora  :)

On the not worth it side of things I'll throw my hat in with the wine and champers folks - I had an ex that was really into high end super tuscans for a while and while they were good, the definitely weren't 200-300 dollars good. And for me personally - technology. I don't need gaming systems or fancy TVs, or high quality sound systems and I am actually the last person I know that still has a flip phone. To each their own though I know my husband would love a fancy sound system if we ever upgrade our entertainment stuff.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: lifejoy on July 30, 2016, 04:22:55 PM
I will say that Sephora is really good about accepting reruns if you've tried a product and it doesn't work for you. That being said I've tried $80 foundation and no way is it vastly superior to the $8 bb cream from Maybelline that I now use :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: bobechs on July 30, 2016, 04:29:03 PM
One thing that did not live up to my expectations (based on many unsolicited reports by various people) is the superiority of train travel over bus travel from city-to-city (like Ottawa-Montreal or Ottawa-Toronto). So many people seem to rave about the train over the bus or over driving yourself but I haven't found the train to be the great upgrade that other people seem to think it is. If the price were the same, sure, I'd probably take the train, but it wouldn't require much of a price difference before I'd opt for the bus.

Ridin' the dawg in Canada is where you run into the cannibals.

Which I guess is okay, if you want to meet cannibals...
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: icemodeled on July 30, 2016, 10:11:42 PM
Fancy restaurants. One in particular actually. Had amazing reviews and way way overpriced food. It was a special occasion and against better judgement we decided to go. The food was horrible. It was bizarre things that they called 'art'. Food.. Is food and I just don't understand those upscale restaurants that serve an amount of food for a bird because they made a fancy looking drizzle on the plate. Anyways.. I much prefer normal meals. We make some great fantastic meals at home and that restaurant(well, many) are not worth the price!

As for the posts about Sephora, I have only ever been inside but never purchased. Prices are crazy. The drugstore makeup does just fine, least for me.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: bobechs on July 31, 2016, 12:31:33 AM
Fancy restaurants. One in particular actually. Had amazing reviews and way way overpriced food. It was a special occasion and against better judgement we decided to go. The food was horrible. It was bizarre things that they called 'art'. Food.. Is food and I just don't understand those upscale restaurants that serve an amount of food for a bird because they made a fancy looking drizzle on the plate. Anyways.. I much prefer normal meals. We make some great fantastic meals at home and that restaurant(well, many) are not worth the price!

As for the posts about Sephora, I have only ever been inside but never purchased. Prices are crazy. The drugstore makeup does just fine, least for me.

Annie Hall (1977)

Alvy Singer: [addressing the camera] There's an old joke - um... two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of 'em says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions."

Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: alsoknownasDean on July 31, 2016, 01:30:24 AM
1440p displays on smartphones.

I don't think the 1440p display is worth the penalty to performance and battery life over a 1080p display (or even 720p if the screen is small enough).

The difference between the 538ppi (1440p) display on my current phone and the 326ppi display on my previous iPhone isn't all that much, really. I'd rather a lower pixel density display and better performance. :)
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 31, 2016, 08:10:59 AM
1440p displays on smartphones.

I don't think the 1440p display is worth the penalty to performance and battery life over a 1080p display (or even 720p if the screen is small enough).

The difference between the 538ppi (1440p) display on my current phone and the 326ppi display on my previous iPhone isn't all that much, really. I'd rather a lower pixel density display and better performance. :)
Yeah, pretty much anything beyond 300dpi is beyond your eye's ability to distinguish, at reasonable viewing distances.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: VladTheImpaler on July 31, 2016, 09:29:26 AM
The evidence says (http://www.wired.com/2011/04/should-we-buy-expensive-wine/) expensive wine.

I'd bet a similar effect holds for coffee and beer, but I expect people to be much more defensive about those ones, since it's easy to think wine drinkers = the "others", snobs, etc.

Funny, I came to the conclusion that, since I like very light beer, I was probably wasting my money paying slightly more for Stella Artois when I went out and just embraced Bud Lite and other cheap beers. I'm thinking of doing a blind taste test to see if I'm right. I'm not sure I could tell that much of a difference. To save face around beer snobs I still might order the Stella over the other, but it's totally stupid.

**Note I know neither of these are fancy beers. My husband sometimes buys these $10 a glass microbrews that IMO taste like ass. Sour beer = disgusting.

Stella Artois and Bud Light are both owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Now Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are merging, which will create an industry giant accounting for about 30 percent of global beer sales.

All beers (regardless of price) are made of water, malted barley, yeast, and hops.
Beer is 90-95% water.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: StartingEarly on July 31, 2016, 04:18:22 PM
Schuberth helmets. Loudest, most uncomfortable helmet I have ever owned and I have owned HJC helmets that were only 200
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Astatine on July 31, 2016, 04:39:08 PM
Most sparkling wine that is >$20. I do love Moet-Chandon and can taste the difference. However, I like the $9 per bottle pink Yellowglen sparkling as much as I like sparkling wines that are >$20 per bottle.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: Melisande on August 05, 2016, 07:41:30 AM
$500+ for a private helicopter tour of a national park. Worst $500 ever spent. Noisy, scary & you can't really interact with nature when you're encased in a bubble way up in the air. My husband claims he really enjoyed it though, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.
Title: Re: Expensive things you've tried that just aren't worth it (add to the list!)
Post by: elaine amj on August 05, 2016, 10:53:23 AM
$500+ for a private helicopter tour of a national park. Worst $500 ever spent. Noisy, scary & you can't really interact with nature when you're encased in a bubble way up in the air. My husband claims he really enjoyed it though, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.

I've been in a helicopter, parasailing, and up super tall towers. Meh. I LOVE nature and gorgeous scenery. And yes, its pretty for a few minutes. But get bored just looking at it from up high. Just let me go hiking/canoeing/cycling. Or even lay on a blanket on a hill and soak in the view. I can't fathom spending the big bucks to go on stuff like those giant ferris wheels. Most people I know who have done it love it though and say its worth it. Not for me and thankfully my family feels the same way.