A confirmed cheapskate and thrify person for most of my life, as I've grown I've found there are several things that ARE worth spending a little more on, for reasons of comfort and economy. There's only so much budget-buying that one person can take, after all. Making savings is all well and good, but economy has to be balanced sensibly with SOME nice things which are essential for one's mental resilience (in my humble opinion). Even our grandmothers got around war-time austerity sometimes!
Ever since ruining my feet with years cheap of cardboard-soled ballet flats (there's a lesson there ladies!) I have been grumpy about paying lots more for orthopedic-friendly shoes. But honestly, I have never been more comfortable in the foot department. The higher price tag also delivers better quality, so I'm wearing my pared-down shoe wardrobe for much longer. Excellent price-per-wear return. SO STOP BUYING CHEAP SHOES. Wish I could tell my younger self that.
I've always been jealous of my mother's quilted Cottonnelle dunny paper and recently my own financial circumstances have allowed a modest increase in the grocery budget. Thus, the move from the cheapest 2-ply to the loveliest of loo paper has been made. Trust me, you're worth it, in your own ensuite at the very least.
Champagne and wine
If there's one thing I detest, it's cheap and nasty booze. Selecting a wine or champers based on lowest price occasionally pays off, but not often enough to make it worthwhile in my opinion. Unfortunately, you have to spend money to know what labels you like best... but once you've figured that out, the stress goes out of the whole choice drama and you'll probably be happy to pay a little more if you have end up having posh preferences. The happy thing is you most likely will enjoy a mid-range bottle as much as an expensive one.
I don't care what anyone says - there are amazing expensive crackers; cute, kitsch crackers and there are cheap and nasty ones. I remember one year the little gifts inside some $2 shop crackers were so strange and disappointing we were all left deflated. There wasn't even any lame jokes! Spend a bit more and make sure you get some novelty plastic bits along with a paper hat that will last more than 2 minutes to have fun with around the dinner table. Make sure you tweet the jokes too, there's usually a hashtag on Xmas day that is groan-worthily hilarious.
Tea and coffee
I don't want to sound like a Goddamn Hipster, but caffeine is an area you just don't want to muck around with budget options in. One of my old workplaces was such a Scrooge it used to buy us all Andronicus teabags because they were the cheapest thing offered by the office supply company. I inititated a petition to spend a little more and an upgrade to Lipton was granted. I swear productivity increased. And although I don't drink coffee, we all know that International Roast is the Devil's Work.
So, now I have shared my wisdom, tell me - what items do you always spend more on, and why? What's worth the extra dough if you can afford it?