Frugality and the Price vs. Cost Debate
Sometimes the frugal way requires an upfront investment that looks more expensive, but is really less expensive in the long run.
You sometimes have to step back and decide what you are really looking at-- price or cost?
Price is usually a one time investment that you have to make-- compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for example. They traditionally have been and still are more expensive than traditional light bulbs. CFLs sell for dollars and traditional bulbs sell for cents. The "cheap" way out is traditional bulbs-- or is it?
This is where the cost end of the equation comes in. Cost is the ongoing investment of operating the light bulbs be they CFLs or traditional. This is what you don't necessarily see of consider. CFLs use far fewer watts compared to their traditional counterparts-- we are talking a fraction here (15 watts to 60 watts)-- less watts means lower electric bills-- much lower. Furthermore, CFLs last longer than traditional bulbs-- which means fewer bulb purchases (money saved) and spending less time replacing spent bulbs.
So the next time you are shopping around for something, always ask yourself-- what am I really concerned with price or cost to operate?