I wrote about buying your favourite quality brands in my previous blog post, but as most people already know, you pay more for brands. Famous quality brands, such as Apple, Mercedes Benz and Nike cost more because they are famous and have done an excellent job in branding and spent a lot of money in advertising. But what if you can get a good quality pair of sneakers without the Nike logo or a quality German car that is not a Mercedes Benz?
When you’re saving money or living with a very tight budget, it’s important to spend your money wisely. There’s a reason why so many companies cut in marketing and branding costs first when they are in financial trouble. Branding in many cases is a luxury. Celebrities buy luxury brands because they want to show off their status and it can go to ridiculous lengths too. (E.g. MTV Cribs)
Here’s my list of items that are as good as their expensive brand friends:
- Sneakers. You can get a good pair for 25 euros ($28) if you don’t run marathons or do high intensity aerobics with them. You need indoor, outdoor and walking sneakers, so at least one pair can be cheaper depending on your activities.
- Sports equipment. Yoga mats, weights, skipping ropes etc. You can buy them without expensive logos on them.
- Food. Cheap supermarkets are great when you’re living on a budget and stretching your pennies. I live in Finland where food prices are one of the most expensive in Europe, so without a job you can really forget about eating luxuriously here.😄 Eating healthy is a whole different story however, so here’s my article about cheap home cooked meals.
- Bedsheets. As long as they’re cotton, who needs a Ralph Lauren Home logo on them?
- Chocolate. Fancy pralines are an expensive luxury. You can get tasty quality chocolate for 3 euros ($3,40) from the supermarket for your sweet tooth. The only thing you need to pay attention to if you buy dark chocolate is that it should be 70% cacao. Sometimes, reputations also speak for themselves. Swiss, Swedish and Finnish chocolate have a good reputation for quality and in my opinion, have a better flavour than Hershey’s chocolate.
- Cats. I have one Scottish Straight cat named London and one random cat named Bronx. Both are equally adorable and lovable furry babies I couldn’t live without. The cute part is that the more expensive breed cat has her unique way of showing me she loves me to the moon and back and my other cat has his adorable unique way. (Not about the cat’s sex because I had non-breed female cats before.) 😊😻
- Hand soap. You can spend 15 euros ($16,85) or 2 euros ($2,25) on hand soap. When you’re tight with money, you’ll skip the fancy ones. ☺️The ingredients are the same anyways.
- Hair salons. I’ve had my hair screwed up in a well-known brand salon by a popular hair stylist. Deliberate or not, you can find students do a better job for half the price. Students are also fair and don’t ask for payment if you don’t like it.
- Bottled water. This is a debated topic, but the reality is that it’s mainly about branding and a cool bottle. For example, expensive luxury water Voss is just Norwegian tap water. Though I strongly believe some waters simply taste much better than others. Due to this experience, I can’t say luxury waters are any better. I do have a favourite bottled water brand though! It’s the best water in the world in my opinion and it’s not very expensive either. 😍 Buy my budgeting guide to find out which one. (coming soon to my Shop.)
- Earphones. I have an older iPhone model and after my cat had chewed TWO of my Apple earphones, I decided to buy cheap stuff instead. I spent less than half of the price of NORMAL Apple earphones (and 1/13 of Apple AirPods price!) and the sound is exactly the same. Just make sure when you buy 5-10 euro ($5,60- $11) earphones that they fit your phone model. 🎶🎵