This post I read this morning over at Remodeling This Life was very timely for me. Emily writes about readers of her blog judging her based upon the type of cookware she has stacked on her kitchen shelves.
Forget about the judging part. We're all human and I think we all make snap judgments - however large or small or frequent or occasional - based upon the things we see people have or do. I'm not saying it's ok to judge, but that's a post for another day.
What I appreciated about that post today was affirmation of the idea that spending a little more for quality items does not make us any less aware of where our dollars are going, and certainly, simply owning items that retail for hundreds of dollars does not make us any less frugal or our lives any less simple.
We have become quite adept at finding bargains at Goodwill, garage sales, and through gifts and hand-me-downs. Yet over the past couple of weeks as the mail lady dropped off several L.L. Bean packages at our house, I couldn't help but feel that twinge of guilt, that nagging thought that maybe I should have looked harder at the thrift stores for some winter outerwear that would suit my children, and I perhaps could have saved hundreds of dollars on these items.
I spent more than I ever have on coats, snow pants and boots for the kids this year. I spent so much I'm embarrassed to even think about the total. But ya' know what? I likely won't have to do it again next year. More times than not, quality wins. And I'm fine with spending a few more dollars to purchase items that will last my children - who play HARD outdoors in the winter - for a minimum of two years (and yes, everything was purchased just a littlebit big) and they will still be nice enough when my kids outgrow them to pass along to someone else. Our experience with L.L. Bean has always been positive. Every item I have ever ordered from the company has been pure quality and worth every penny. The kids aren't always happy with this because it means they don't get a new backpack for school every year, but who cares? If the Bean backpack can take the abuse my son doles out, it deserves another year or two of service.
I also chuckled a little when I read Emily's post because just last night I posted on Facebook that I am in dire need of new pots and pans and I wondered if anyone had seen any Black Friday ads with wicked good deals on them. Our pots and pans have been in bad shape for some time, but I have put off buying new because I want to get really good ones that will last forever, or close to it. This might be the inspiration I need to start shopping!
FYI, I love L.L. Bean, but L.L. Bean has no idea who I am, aside from a happy customer with a debit card and two growing children.