Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bought Wit

As a kid growing up, I heard "Bought wit is better than told…" often. I had no idea what it meant. I only know that it was used whenever someone did something they had been warned against doing. I can still hear it to this day, "bought wit is better than told." It rings loud and clear whenever my gut says not to do something.

By the time I married and had my first two children I had become the frugal little housewife/mother. Not much excited me more than finding a great bargain. I preferred garage sales and thrift shops over shopping at the big department stores. Coupons were like dollars to me, the more I had the better I felt. I couponed like a champ.

Deep inside my frugality there was an innocent ignorance though. Little did I know that "cheap" was not the best criteria for judging if you had a good bargain. So, time after time when that "cheap" package of toilet tissue or that store brand of dish washing liquid ran out before I could get it home and put away, I still did not "get-it". Even when 4 cups of detergent didn't make suds in the washer, I couldn't go down without a fight. I switched to another "cheap" brand. Same thing. No suds. Had to use almost half a box to wash one load of clothes.

It took a while, along with quite a bit of visual research - in other words, watching how other people's things did or didn't last. The real kicker was a bit of sarcastic humorous teasing from my brother. He laughed, talked, and joked for days about my "cheaply" pitiful paper towels, said they fall apart so badly I might as well take some dollar bills out of my wallet and throw them in the trash. After all this, something began to sink in - "this bargain hunting and frugal couponing is NOT working."

Not being stupid, I gradually began buying quality name brands. It hurt my pride as much as it hurt my wallet to buy the three dollar and something (almost four dollars) 4-roll pack of toilet tissue so I said nothing - not to anyone. I noticed the difference immediately but, still said nothing. Instead of the usual three to four days that the cheap brand lasted, the name brand was still around three weeks to a month later. WOW, big difference - and savings ( didn't have to keep going back every few days to buy more cheap stuff.

Same thing happened with the dish washing liquid. I drug myself kicking and screaming into the store to pay a dollar and something for dish liquid as compared to my usual sixty-nine cents. But, wonder of wonders, the name brand lasted a good two to three weeks. Cheap stuff? Only lasted four days. And, so it went, on and on, right? Each time I bought quality over cheapness -- quality won.

"My bought wit"? - I paid the price and learned my lesson - the hard way.

So, there it is…

"Bought wit is Better Than Told".


  1. Yes, quality does make difference. Learning to read labels helps, too. I am a freak about money because I haven't much and try to be an educated, frugal consumer. If I find something I want that's too expensive, I wait for it to go on sale and I wait until it's a price I'm willing to pay. I use eBay a lot, too. If you are careful in choosing who you buy from and have a good rep yourself, you can get lots of great stuff seriously cheap!!!!!

  2. my hubby is that way quality while I have always bought cheap and over again. lessons are sometimes hard to learn

  3. So true! It seems like all the really important lessons have to be learned that way.

  4. Hi Leona,
    how are you doing ? Well i am back to my full time dental practice,so lagging behind in blogger.Thanks for remembering me.

    Quality does matter a lot.The expensive diapers i used for my kids were so comfortable and lasted for a longer period.Once my hubby and my mother in law bought an extra large pack of a cheaper brand and whoa i had to change the diaper very frequently.
    But attractive schemes attached to the expensive stuff are something that i really look forward to.

  5. Yep...that's what my Dad always told me. Quality goes a LONG way.

    It's the same principle with speeding. You'll find that if you go the speed limit consistently, you reach your destination at about the same time as the "speeder" will, but without having to break the law and without putting yourself and others in unnecessary danger.

    By the way...I have given you an award, Leona. Come to my blog and check it out!

    Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

  6. A lesson well learnt, dellgirl! As a kid growing up, I just had to learn for myself, from my own mistakes. As an adult I eventually learned it can be a lot cheaper to learn from other people's!!

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  8. First time here.
    I loved this post; so true!
    I never buy cheap stuff.I just know that quality does matter a lot!
    Have a great time!:)

  9. Ha, how true! Funny how we learn these lessons. :)

  10. I had never heard this, but it makes sense. You did a good job describing it and you are so right. Every time I think that cheap chocolate is a treat ... er, not so much. WAY better to go ahead and buy the good stuff and then savor it.

    can you tell I'm in the mood for chocolate? Easter is coming!

  11. I tagged you yesterday on my blog, check it out. Lin

  12. Just make sure to have coupons for the quality stuff! :) You're right about this for sure. I've never actually heard that saying though.

  13. I'm still not altogether sure I completely understand the "Bought wit" quote that you grew up with. But,I like the sound of it...so I may use it anyway.

    As for the main body of your post... Que es verdad!!! It is true! With laundry soap, shoes, furniture, jeans and t-shirts. It's better to pay the price and have something of substance to show for it. I'd much rather have the 6 pair of good fitting, high quality jeans that I have now hanging in my closet, than the nearly three dozen pair of ill fitting, cheap denims that I used to have.

    I still love garage sales and thrift shops, though! Some habits just don't want to be broken.... er, uh, ahhhh... I mean, I just don't want to break some habits. Might as well own up to it.


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