Why Not . . . Purchase Quality Worth the High Price Tag?
Wednesday May 17, 2017

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Quality over quantity. Such an approach to living simply luxuriously is regularly adhered to here on the blog. Whether in clothing purchases, the relationships we choose to build or the food we put into our bodies, choosing quality over quantity plays a paramount role in the overall contentment of our lives. And so, as savvy marketers understand many of their customers take this approach, some will inch their price tags ever upward even if their item isn’t of the quality it professes; however, it is the test of time that a product proves whether such a price is warranted.

Just this week I found myself realizing there was one particular item in my daily routine that wasn’t performing and hasn’t ever really been performing, but I hadn’t taken the time to investigate if I should indeed invest in a quality product and pay a significantly higher price. What was that product you may be wondering? Shampoo.

For years I have invested in quality conditioners, deep conditioners and a well-trained stylist and colorist, but not in my shampoo. Something my hair was exposed to, assaulted or caressed by each and every day. Needless to say, the extremely dry climate in Bend has made me realize that I had to care for and protect my hair far better than what I had been doing. So finally, this week I began using a quality shampoo. Indeed, it was worth the high price tag.

My recent revelation made me ponder more broadly what else was worth the high price tag in our everyday lives, and below is a list of 20 items I have found to be wholeheartedly worth the extra pennies.

1. Shampoo and Conditioner

As I mentioned, investing in quality shampoo and conditioner to care for your hair is worth the purchase price if it is in your budget. Having used a $8 grocery shampoo for years, my stylist brought to my attention the wax build-up that can occur as well as the false appearance of a silky finish that is actually stripping our hair of its natural oils and dehydrating it. While these cheaper options may contain some of the high-grade ingredients, it is only in little amounts, unlike the professional products. Read more here to understand why investing in haircare products is worth considering.

2. What you feed your body – Food!

Fuel it well and it will perform at its optimal level.

3. Bedroom pillows

Not only should your bedroom beckon you to sleep, it should also enable you to sleep soundly and in deep comfort. Everyone has a preference for the perfect pillow, and these are my favorite down pillows: they are malleable, soft and offer my head a cozy place to land at the end of a long day.

4. Essential Wardrobe Items

We’ve talked about building a capsule wardrobe for years now on TSLL, created with 10-15 investment items for each season (fall & spring). Choosing a cost per wear approach. Learn more here.

5. Shoes

Quality shoes last. Quality shoes protect your feet and look like new for years if properly cared for. From high heels to running shoes, caring for one of the most needed parts of our body for mobilization, exercise and exploration is vital, so cover them thoughtfully.

6. Cutlery

A good knife in the kitchen is not only a finger saver, but a time saver. Not only will the cooking experience become far more enjoyable, but you will slice through your food with precision. Shop my recommendations in TSLL Shop “Kitchen“.

7. Bed linens

Similar to #3, since a third of our lives is spent in bed, purchasing quality linens (minimum 400 Egyptian cotton thread count sheets) is a necessity rather than a luxury. Needing sheets to breathe, feel soft on our skin and last with each wash, spending $50-$100 more will make a noticeable difference in the quality of your sleep. My purchase last year from Matouk was an investment, but one I would make again in a heartbeat (the good news is, however, I don’t have to because they are well-made and will last for years).

8. Lingerie

A well fit bra, fabric such as lace or silk that gently lays upon the body, and style that holds its shape and color, it’s an investment, but one you will notice immediately upon trying on. Don’t delay. So long as your budget allows, treat yourself.

9. Amazon Prime

If you purchase somewhat regularly from Amazon, you will save money and time when you become an Amazon Prime subscriber. The annual cost is $99 (fewer that $9/month) which includes free two-day shipping. Along with the subscription endless music and movies are available as well.

10. A Non-stop Flight

Unless your budget is tight, the purchase of a non-stop flight to your destination will purchase you the time, ease and comfort that is irreplaceable if your time is limited where you’re heading. Having experienced both multiple-stop and non-stop flights, my mind is able to rest easier and my exhaustion is far less when I arrive after choosing the non-stop option.

11. Fragrance

Purchasing a quality fragrance from a reputable boutique, designer store or department store is worth the extra money as often at other discount shops the ingredients are inferior diluting the smell and endurance of the scent.

12. SoniCare toothbrush

Okay, I will admit, I need to jump on this recommendation. My dentist has been on me to purchase a SoniCare and made a very sound argument to pick one up on my next stop to Costco. A more thoroughly, consistent clean. Need we say more?

13. Face Creams

Similar to shampoo and conditioner, quality professional facial creams/serums/etc. are worth the price if you can afford them. With far more high-grade ingredients and far less water (check the ingredients), the results you seek for younger, brighter skin are  going to take some extra cash. Case in point, last year I had a scar below my lip I wanted to heal. After doing some research, I chose to purchase La Mer’s The Concentrate. A one-time purchase, as it was expensive. But I knew if it worked, it would be worth it, and I wouldn’t need it anymore. It worked and far quicker than I had ever imagined. Within just a few weeks, the scar was nearly unrecognizable and in one month’s time it was gone.

While simply having a high price tag doesn’t mean a beauty product is worth it, there are items that are. Do your homework, look at the reviews and how long it has been available for purchase. Time and positive results from a wide array of users is worth considering. Here are a few more beauty items I recommend as well as my top 8 high and low beauty products that I use and love.

14. Quality Cookware – Copper, Le Creuset, All-Clad, etc.

Late last year I proposed the idea of cooking with copper for the primary reason of consistency of cooking. Quality cookware changes the entire experience in the kitchen. All of a sudden items, when cooked in dependable pans and skillets, render the results expected by the recipe writers in our favorite cookbooks. Much like cooking with quality food ingredients, the meals just work and the flavor is exactly as you had hoped.

15. A Goose or Duck Down Duvet

All I had to do was sleep under a quality down duvet at a top tier hotel to notice the difference between the inferior duvet I had at home to recognize the difference. The fill was higher (the puff remained even after moving about), the warmth was immediate and I didn’t need extra sheets and blankets. I am currently sleeping under this beauty and loving each night.

16. KitchenAid Mixer

All you will need is one KitchenAid Mixer for your entire life. They truly last that long and most likely the person’s life whom you hand it down to as well. Now the choice between tilt-head and lift-stand mixer. Personally, I prefer the tilt-head which makes it easier to add ingredients, but as I have the lift-stand, it works well too. Choose wisely for your style of cooking. Otherwise you will be quite pleased for a very long time to come indeed.

17. Concert Tickets to Your Favorite Band/Singer

Listening in person to the musician that makes you tap your toes or sway spontaneously is worth the wait in line. The entire experience amplifies the evening as you for a moment are in the same space as the talent you appreciate. While purchasing front row tickets or the VIP section isn’t necessary, just being present is something to go ahead and splurge on.

18. The theatre! A Broadway play or its equivalent

Speaking of experiencing something in person. Each time I see a Broadway play or a play in the London theater district in person time stops and I am completely present. To see some of my favorite and most referred actors in person, working their craft are memories I won’t soon forget and cannot compare to watching them on the silver screen.

19. Travel or Anything on Your Bucket List

Perhaps you love to travel, or maybe you have something else on your bucket list. Save up and do it. Even if you have to reserve the tickets or reservations more than a year in advance, do it. Not only will you have the experience to savor, but something to look forward to for quite some time. Study after study has proven that purchasing experiences is far more influential on our overall happiness, so determine what you would love to see or do and start saving.

20. Hydroflask Water Bottle

The Hydroflask water bottle was crafted right here in Bend, Oregon. In fact their head office is not that far from where I call home. And while it began here in Oregon, athletes and outdoors enthusiast and anyone who wants to stay hydrated from around the country continue rave about this product. One of the first items my students said I needed to purchase upon moving here was a Hydroflask. Initially I was skeptical. After all, there are hundreds of water bottles to tote my H2O in. Why was this one so special? Here it is. Hydroflask bottles keep your cold liquids cold and your hot liquids hot for 24 hours and that is not an exaggeration. It’s true. And the bottles are durable (noisy when they fall on the ground as they are made with stainless steel). So, yes, the initially stick price of $40 may seem steep, but if it lasts your entire life or even just 10 years before you lose it, that’s not a bad purchase.

While I am sure I could add to this list, today it all began with shampoo. Do it, purchase a quality shampoo. Your visage and of course your locks will thank you tomorrow. But seriously, smart shopping means knowing first what you can afford and then purchasing the best quality you can find that will do what you purchased it to do/provide and/or last long enough to warrant the high price tag (cost/use per wear).

Now I am curious. What would you add to this list? Feel free to share in the comments section.

13 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Purchase Quality Worth the High Price Tag?

  1. I will have to try some professional grade shampoos and conditioners. I generally buy something from Whole Foods, and like it initially. But after a while, it stops working as well. Maybe build-up is the culprit? Even though I’m careful about the ingredients that are in the listing (I know to stay away from sulfates, parabens, and dimethicone), they may use cheaper ingredients as “filler”.

    I totally agree about the best cookware you can afford. I bought All-Clad one pot at a time from B-cubed (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) with a coupon each time. Same way with a chef’s knife. It does make a difference.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I think you will notice the improved difference with the high quality shampoo and conditioner. My hair certainly looks and feels different for the better.

  2. Apparently I’m already doing pretty well since I’ve invested highly in all of these things (ok, my down comforter is from Bed, Bath & Beyond!). But my favorite purchases have been among your last few items. The past two years I have bought season tickets to the Broadway theatre in Salt Lake City, and this year bought tickets to see Ed Sheeran! That, and my husband and I have been traveling for the past six weeks! Investing in experiences is truly worth it in my book. Best money I’ve ever spent. Hope you’re doing well girl!

  3. Hi Shannon! Of course I totally agree about quality. I bought a Hermes cashmere/silk huge scarf in Paris and wear it almost every day and cherish it every moment, Now that I am 55, I am buying myself a pair of black patent leather Salvatore Ferragamos with a kitten heel and retiring my Stuart Weitzman pumps that served me for years at galas, theatre, etc. I recently heard that the Queen has a staff member wear her shoes around the castle so they are utterly comfortable. Hello wool socks and skipping around my house in my new classic shoes!

  4. I love your list – it gave me a few things to think about! I agree about the Hydroflasks – I got one from the end-of-the-year school lost and found grab bag, and it was so awesome that I bought some for everyone in the family. What a great way to encourage everybody to stay hydrated! My sons use it for athletic workouts, and I keep mine on my desk at school.

    1. I have never been a “fan” of any water bottle, but cold water (or hot tea) is a treat and encouragement in knowing it will be exactly as you had imagined no matter what time of day or how long ago you filled it is a motivator to hydrate the body well. I too bring my Hydroflask to work everyday.

  5. I think you missed listing a quality bed. You spend 7 to 8 hours each night on that bed, so it really must be of good quality to give you the best night’s sleep. Also, if you spend a lot of time sitting, what you sit on (your desk chair, tv couch, etc.) should be ergonomimically designed and be comfortable for your particular body too. I do like your list and do recommend that SoniCare toothbrush. Best wishes.

  6. Hi Shannon: Yes, I highly recommend the SoniCare toothbrushes as well. You can get them at Costco , like you said. As an older person who loves your blog (age 62), I can’t emphasize enough the importance of good oral care. As we age, our gums recede, creating pockets which trap bacteria. Without all the gory details, a person’s smile is one of their greatest asset, and if you can’t smile confidently, that’s something that stays with you in a negative way. I have always practiced good oral care with quarterly cleanings, fillings when/if necessary, and I’m still having problems as I age. See the dentist regularly, follow their recommendations and take care of your teeth. Your older self will thank you for it.

  7. Hello Shannon,

    I agree with your list. I buy salon quality products through Ulta. On a regular basis they offer a buy two items receive one for free. Twice a year in January and July they offer salon quality products on what they call a liter sale. So an @ $30.00 + bottle of shampoo or conditioner will be @ $15.00 or less if you have the $3.00/ $3.50 coupon found online or if you receive their catalogs. Before the Christmas holiday they usually offer a 20% of your entire purchase. I used this last year to purchase a pricey salon quality flat iron I had my eye on. So worth the wait.


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