Whether you’re shopping for clothes, a home appliance, or a car, there are often two options available: buy something cheap, or invest in a higher quality item with a bigger price tag. This age-old battle between cheap and expensive is a quandary for millions of shoppers all around the world, leaving them torn between the savings of a cheap purchase and the assurance of quality that more expensive items can offer.

The “cheap” option is the obvious choice for anyone looking to save money and present reality. Successful shopping under this model requires extensive research more often than not and involves buying from outlets that specialize in offering deeply discounted prices, such as discount stores, factory outlets, and online auction sites (like eBay!). Consumers who choose this approach don’t always get the most out of their purchases, however, as item quality is typically sacrificed for the rapid discount and tight budget.

For those looking for a more assured purchase, the “expensive” option reigns. Consumers may pay full price and seek out the immediate assurance of quality, looking only to designer and premium brand items. Shopping this way also typically comes with a wide selection of guarantee and warranty plans tailored to the customer’s protection. The downside of this approach, of course, is the direct link between expensive items and expensive prices.

So, which is the right approach? The common answer is that it depends on the item being bought, the individual’s needs, and the satisfaction of ownership versus only having the satisfaction of price. Some will swear by the cheap approach, while others swear by investing in the most expensive option—it’s really a personal choice to make. The only thing to really consider is if one chooses to buy something cheap, never make the mistake of equating cheap with good value. In the end, you really get what you pay for. Choose wisely, save money where you can, and make sure that you use the same judgement when deciding between the cheap and the expensive.