What goes in to making a creatively thrifty purchase?
I usually do my research for a long time before I purchase anything. I make sure that the product I'm buying is high quality, so that I don't end up having to replace it in the future. It might seem like a good idea to just buy the cheapest possible product, but I know from experience that it actually ends up costing more money in the long-term by doing this. For instance, when I lived in New Zealand I thought that, since I was only going to be there for 1 year, I should just buy whatever I needed with the least amount of money. Just about everything ended up breaking within months! It was a complete waste of money, since I had to replace things.
Where do I do research?
One of the places where you can do a bit of research before buying something is the Become.com site. On the front page you click on the category you want and then it will take you to a special page for that. I've been looking for a new camera lately, so I checked out the Camera and Photo page. On the page there are links to discussion boards, buying guides, and product reviews. These reviews and guides are not just linked to the specific site, but elsewhere to give you a really good, broad view of how people feel about the product from a variety of sources. After figuring out the best product to buy to suit your needs, you'll be looking to buy it at the best price possible, right? You can buy directly from the online store once you've checked around for prices. There is a section on the same page which shows you different prices, in order to compare. I love that the prices quoted include shipping and taxes, so there are no surprises.
Do you comparison shop when you buy products?