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Good enough is good enough

November 27th, 2005 at 01:50 pm

What Flash said an entry or two ago hit home with me. I'm also very tempted, as in her example, to spend $5 more for a larger box of chocolate than is necessary because it's a better buy per pound.

I also saw myself in a book I read this week, Save Karyn. This is the young woman who ran up $20,000 in credit card debt and then put up a website, www.savekaryn.com, and asked people for help paying it off. She described her thought processes as she decided to spend money, and a lot of the things she told herself sounded just like me. Like, "Why not get the top of the line thingie, it's only a few dollars more."

I've been doing a lot of shopping this week, and I tried to keep reminding myself not to let those kinds of thoughts take over. And it's worked pretty well.

Here's an example. We started out married life with 8 place settings of silverware. But lately we've kept running out of silverware between dishwasher loads. I counted, and we were down to 4 place settings. I guess I can't complain about losing 1 piece a year Wink, but I'd chosen it carefully and it was good stuff.

I figured these were my options:

--Buy replacement pieces, which would come to $200 using replacements.com (and this is stainless, not sterling silver!), or through Ebay, which would be cheaper but very slow, because it doesn't get listed very often.

--Buy a good new set for 8. I was very close to getting a set on Amazon for $71.99, which seemed like a great buy for what it was. But even amongst the supposedly good stuff (marked 18/10 and made by a well-known company) I was reading bad reviews about knives getting rust spots, knife handles coming loose, and so forth. It hardly seemed worth spending that much if, 1) I'm going to keep losing 1 piece a year, and 2) there's no guarantee of quality even at this price.

--Buy a cheap new set for 8. But I have my limits for cheapness. I don't want fork tines that bend. And if I'm really being cheap, and we really only need 4 more place settings, why spend money for 8?

--What I ended up doing was buying a cheap set of 4 place settings, for $10, at Target. The forks seem strong, and the knives are nice and heavy. The style is similar enough we can just mix and match with the original set. They're good enough to serve the purpose, which is to carry us between daily dishwasher loads. We're not preparing to give a state dinner.

I actually think I'm happier than I would have been if I'd spend the $71.99. And I have to say I'm surprised. I just wish this "good enough" mentality was more engrained in me. I sure spent a lot of time shopping and thinking, just to come to the decision that most other people might have made automatically.

2 Responses to “Good enough is good enough”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    When DH and I purchased our silverware, we actually found Oneida at WalMart. But we bought 15 or 20 settings so we would have replacements for the pieces that got lost/bent/broken along the way. Five years later and its all holding up very well.

    We also do the same for glasses. We found some very good quality, brand name at Big Lots. We bought three boxes and are only using two right now. The other one is packed away for when we need replacements.

    So far no plates or bowls need to be replaced, but we will do the same when that day comes.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I actually have the reverse problem...I tend to gravitate toward the absolute cheapest of everything, meaning sometimes I get burned a little. But that also means that I find some good deals that other people may not give a second look to. I guess the answer is to do your homework and know what you have to spend a little more on.
    Nice find on the silverware!

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