Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Frugal Foul

Sometimes, what seems like a frugal choice isn't. Sure, it might be cheap(er), but in the end, you didn't get your money's worth. In our house, we call that a Frugal Foul! You might also say, "you get what you pay for", but we think the term "Frugal Foul" is much more fun :) Here are some recent examples of "Frugal Fouls" in our house. In both cases, I thought, "Wow, what a great deal!" Closer inspection or time revealed the FOUL associated with each.

First up is a piece of cookware. A couple years ago, as I was spending more time cooking, I found this great nonstick pan on sale for a fabulous price. I did my research, I knew it was a good deal. It was just the size and type of pan I needed, so I snatched it up. Here's what it looks like now:

So how did this foul occur? Part of the description of this item included the claim that metal utensils could be used, even with the nonstick coating. Obviously, this claim turned out to be untrue. Lesson learned: be skeptical of claims like this, even if it's by a well-known brand. 

Here's another example. I've spent some time recently going to each of the grocery stores within my normal shopping radius. I wanted to know who would have the best everyday prices for things I buy most often. One of the stores was an independent outlet, claiming to be no frills and cheaper prices than the big chains. Since I wasn't familiar with many of the brands offered, it was difficult to draw a conclusion. One of the items I did buy was something I use often: tomato sauce. While the brand was unknown, it was much cheaper than even the store brands of the other stores I frequent. Here's where the foul came in:

Yep, that's corn syrup listed as an ingredient. Also, this sauce is made from tomato paste, not fresh tomatoes. There are also dried peppers. Wait, I thought this was supposed to be tomato sauce?

This is what happens when you leap before looking. We're all busy, and sometimes these things slip by. My message is the old adage: Buyer beware! If it seems too good to be true, it very well might be. Read labels and know what you're buying. If you don't, you may end up in possession of a Frugal Foul!

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