Psst, I make money on some of the links in this post at no cost to you. It keeps the lights on around here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like spending money. I cling tightly to my pinched pennies for as long as I can.

I delay purchases for as long as possible, trying to find creative ways to avoid forking over hard-earned cash. And sure, while my behavior occasionally borders on miserly, there are a few things I like to spend money on.

What We Pay Good Money For

We scrimp and save as much as possible, that’s no secret.

But we only do that for one reason: to live better.

Whether it’s to pay off debt or to have a rare and enjoyable experience, we make sure our money is working for us in meaningful ways.

I think it’s important to set limits on what you’ll pay more for. Only you can judge how to spend your money, but there are always going to be expenses that are worth a little extra cheddar, at least in our book.

Here’s what we pay good money for.


I’m not talking about Chik-Fil-A or TGI Friday’s.

Mr. Picky Pincher and I enjoy spending money at unique, well-done dineries. Our most recent excursion was spending our anniversary at a Brazilian steakhouse. The bill was around $200 after tip, but we were so pleased with the food, service, and ambiance that the expense was worth it. This has been a difficult one to master, since our frugal sin is eating out way too much.

We’re trying to focus on making our meals outside of home count more, so they’re more special. We try to eat dishes that are difficult or expensive to make at home, so it’s always a real treat when we go out. It also keeps us inspired to cook better-quality dishes.

Customer Service

I absolutely believe in the power of customer service.

After being saddled with a poorly managed cell phone company and shopping at dingy grocery stores for half of my life, I’m fed up. I only give my money to people who earn it.

That’s why Mr. Picky Pincher and I exclusively shop at a certain HEB for all of our groceries, even though there’s one just down the street. We make sure to spend money at Costco when we need big box items, since their employees are ab-so-lutely outstanding.

As a plus, these stores tend to be cleaner and have more polite clientele. There’s no fighting over parking or arguing over who’s next in line at these stores.

While we might pay a little more, either in time, money, or gas, it’s worth it.

Better Quality Items

It really is true that better quality costs more.

For example, Mr. Picky Pincher and I just discovered that the $10 headphones I buy only last 2-3 months before breaking. The Beats headphones that Mr. Picky Pincher buys last a year or more, but they can be five times the cost. In this case, buying the higher quality item may be cheaper in the long run. It also reduces a lot of waste, which pleases us greatly!

Better quality items, like clothing or electronics, will cost more upfront.

But we’ve found that you make more than your money back over the course of owning a quality item rather than a cheap one. All it takes is some simple math and honest customer reviews to see what’s worth your investment.

Local Businesses

Conscious, frugal living is all about being sustainable and local.

The Picky Pinchers vote with our money.

We would much rather spend money at a farmers market than at the grocery store. Are we paying for a larger markup? Well, yeah, probably.

But we view these extra costs as an investment in our community’s growth. We also love the better customer service and the personal touches at local businesses that big corporations just can’t match.

Great Experiences

For our honeymoon we went to Disney World and did a zip line course over the alligator exhibit. While that experience did cost a pretty penny, it was a rare treat for us.

We also went indoor skydiving, which was scary as HELL, but also crazy fun.

These awesome experiences can cost hundreds of dollars. But we only get to live once, and we’d like to do amazing things every now and then. We would rather use our money to have a grand adventure instead of overpaying on a fancy cell phone plan.

The Bottom Line

Money is precious. Not for its own sake, but because it will ultimately give us the freedom to be independent—and finally free us from worrying about money.

While we’re known for cutting corners, there are many things that we pay a little extra for.

We want to know: What do you think is worth spending more money?

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