To my shock the woman started yelling at me, "Anna! Why on Earth didn't you get the cheapest coffee?! I would have gotten the cheapest I could have found if I was just putting it in soap!" She really let me know how terrible she thought it was that I put a a few cents extra into my batch of soap. But here is how I figured it....
When all the calculations were said and done, using the much better quality coffee only added about another 25 to 30 cents to my entire batch of soap. If I am selling in competition with other people that make coffee soap, I certainly want mine to be the one that sells. If I use the cheapest coffee there is out there, my soap won't look as dark and pretty, and it won't remove odors nearly so well from hands, but my soap won't cost as much to make, giving me a better profit margin. But then if my competition spends the few cents more and uses the better quality coffee in their soap, their soap will look much more attractive, work much better and sell MUCH faster. The end result? I will be left with an entire batch of soap that won't sell, which means absolutely NO profit and I will be out quite a bit of money that I can't recoup.... far, far, FAR more money than the price difference between the cheap coffee and the top quality coffee. But the woman could not understand this. She thought I was nuts for putting such a good quality coffee in SOAP. So cheaper isn't always cheaper.
Now I will admit that, initially, we did end up spending a little extra. You see, Dave and I decided we needed to try the coffee before we started selling the soaps made out of it. It was so good that, before we knew it, we had drank it all and had to go get more to make soap with! Fortunately it was the kind you get by the pound and grind fresh so we were able to just get a little at a time.
This same concept, Cheaper isn't always Cheaper, can be applied to so many things that you purchase on a regular basis. Paper towels are an excellent example. That package that is just $1 is ever so tempting, especially when the other package is $2.50. Sometimes the cheaper package may actually be the better buy, but you will usually find that, when you figure in the number of plies, the number of sheets per roll, the thickness of each sheet, and the total square feet of each roll... that cheaper package may actually end up costing quite a bit more by the time you buy enough of it to equal the same amount that is in the more costly package.
So the gist of this post is READ THOSE LABELS! Take the time to break down the costs and do some comparisons. The long-term savings could be enormous! Sometimes, the cheapest item isn't the cheapest for your needs.
We would love to hear examples of similar examples you have run into on this topic.