Cheap is Expensive

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Cheap is expensive. When my mom was alive, she always used to say that, and I didn’t quite get the impact of what she meant… until now.

With just about everything we purchase and consume, the idea of “cheap is expensive” applies. What do I mean?

Let’s take clothes, for example. Have you ever wanted to buy the more expensive pair of jeans, dress, suit, shirt or a great pair of shoes, but your practical side got the best of you? Maybe you reasoned that the price didn’t justify the purchase because of how infrequently you’d wear it, or you thought about the other more necessary things you needed to buy on your list, so you purchased the cheaper version instead. Do you remember what happened next? 

Chances are, you didn’t feel quite as smokin’ hot when you put on the “I’ll settle for this” version, if you even chose to wear it at all once it was sitting in your closet. If it really got to you, you may have purchased a few more things to “spice up” the lesser version, and with all those extras, it may even have cost you more than if you had waited until you could afford it, then gotten the one you really wanted instead. Finally, made from lesser materials or cheaper construction, the cheaper version simply didn’t last as long or wear as well, so eventually it needed to be replaced.

Now, of course we love a bargain and often celebrate when we “score” a great deal. If the item makes you feel great, that’s fine. What I’m talking about is when you regret the purchase and wind up paying more in some other way because of it. That’s when cheap is expensive.

That’s a simple example of how this idea applies to purchases. But when it comes to our health, not only does this same idea apply… it can be downright dangerous.

For example, many of us are eating more cheap, processed, nutrient-void foods than ever. It seems as if we’re saving some money by purchasing these types of foods, but they’re filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, and substances that are barely recognizable once within our bodies. We may falsely believe we’re saving money on food but the price we’re paying is very, very high.

Not only do these sub-optimal food choices create rapid weight gain, they set the groundwork for conditions like diabetes, heart disease and inflammation, which leads to a host of other chronic illnesses, as well. The high sugar content, as well as easy-to-prepare-and-eat design (purposely intended when creating these foods), makes it so we barely need to chew in order for the food to be rapidly consumed. Not only are we taking in large amounts of foods that do nothing to nourish and support us, we need large quantities of these types of foods to give us a sense of satiety and fullness.

As if these foods aren’t bad enough for our health, they’re damaging to our confidence and wellness, as well.

Because these foods are so easy to eat, many of us eat lots of them. It’s these easily ingestible foods packed with grains and sugar that are also mildly addictive. We get angry, frustrated and discouraged with our lack of willpower when it’s these choices of foods largely holding us hostage. The pounds pack on quickly and we eventually get fed up with how we look and feel. Because of this, money is now spent on larger clothes, quick and often expensive diet solutions, pills, programs, rapid-weight-loss fitness promises, and medical bills that inevitably show up over time. So what can we do?

Consider the decisions you’re making on a daily basis. Will the cheap price now create an even bigger expense later on? Ask yourself this question when it comes to what you buy, what you eat, use and purchase for yourself and those you love. Sure, you may be saving a few dollars now, but consider the real price you may be paying later for some of the choices you’re making right now.

Has cheap shown itself to be expensive for you? I’d love to know, comment and share!

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December 2022