Is it more frugal to buy quality items or to shop for the lowest price? That question frequently comes up in discussions about living frugally. There’s no doubt that quality is important. After all, it’s not very frugal to have to replace broken items frequently.

However, many people who are trying to live frugally are doing so because they have no extra money to spare. Price is important, and many people out there cannot afford top quality. Or can they?

Does it have to be a question of quality or price? Can you not try to have both?

Shop for Quality…at the Lowest Price

I stopped at our local Fred Meyer last week to pick up a few groceries. As I entered the store, I looked to my right and saw a HUGE clothing clearance sale! Everything was 70% off the lowest marked clearance price.

Of course I put off the grocery shopping to look around. The sale must have been going on for a while, because the pickin’s were slim. However, I found some Dockers pants in just my size, clearanced to $34. After the 70% off, I paid less than $11 for a pair of Dockers.

You can find quality at low prices. You just have to plan ahead. The pants I bought were cords, so I won’t be able to wear them much longer, as the weather warms up. But when the weather cools down in the fall, I’ll pull out my $11 Dockers, instead of paying $49 for new good quality pants that are in season, or paying $11 for a cheap pair of pants that will wear out in a few weeks.

Don’t Forget About Yard Sales and Craigslist

Years ago, when my youngest was a baby, I did a brief stint in the eBay business. I would go to yard sales and pick up high quality children’s clothing, priced under a dollar, and I’d resell them for several dollars a piece.

I frequently found high quality pieces of clothing for mere pennies! Last summer I found a whole summer wardrobe for my daughter at 50 cents per piece of clothing. Some of it was brand new. A grandmother was getting rid of it, because she had bought it for her grandchild, who didn’t like it.

Craigslist is another good place to look for high quality items at low prices. Often when people need money quickly, they will sell possessions on Craigslist. So if you’re looking for something in particular, you may find it on Craigslist for much less than you’d pay if you were to buy it brand new.

So it is possible to find high quality items at low prices. You just need to plan ahead and be patient enough to wait until you find the right deal.