Buying expensive items won’t always get you quality. Of course, some expensive items are definitely worth their money. In today’s guide we will share with you ourtop 10 low-budget finds that are simply awesome!
1. Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux – $12-$15
I know it is a mouthful but bear with me. Remember when we shot the video on Is it worth it, Dom Perignon champagne? In the comments, a viewer shared with us his favorite budget alternative which is the Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux from France and so I tried it and it’s a really amazing sparkling wine that tastes pretty much like a champagne but it only costs $12-$15.
Now you might wonder, isn’t it just a cheap knockoff? Now, usually you will argue against knockoffs and fakes; actually, Benedictine monks in the abbey of Saint Hilaire invented this sparkling wine over 450 years ago which was a hundred years earlier than champagne. Obviously, even though they were first, champagne did a much better marketing and today, it is much more well known and much more expensive but that is good for you because you can get a quality sparkling wine at a fraction of the cost.
Of all the sparkling wines I have tasted, the Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux is really a great price to value ratio and best of all, it all comes in vintages which means in specific years so you get a top-notch quality but different every time.
2. Bar Soap – $2-$25
Most people use shower gels today which is also cheap, it is basically just soap with water and so the cost per use is much higher with bar soap. A regular bar of soap will cost you anywhere between $2-$3 and maybe $20-$25 but even the lower priced models are oftentimes very good in quality, they have good fats like cocoa butter and shea butter and so I suggest you take a look at ingredients first.
You can find bigger bars or smaller bars; one soap that I have been using over and over again is the l’occitane verbena soap, it comes in a 3 1/2 or 100-gram piece and it cost about $14 in the US. It smells of lemongrass, it is very nice for your skin and I personally love it. Usually, a bar lasts our entire family for half a year.
3. Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen – $15
It costs about $15 and if you remember, we recently did a video on IS IT WORTH IT? The Montblanc fountain pen. Now Montblanc is very well-known and you can easily spend over a thousand dollars. A lot of people complains that “Well, that’s crazy!” So with the Pilot Metropolitan, you get a quality made in Japan pen that is very balanced, with a nice ink flow and a nice nib in its price range, and it won’t break the bank and anyone can afford it.
You can also personalize it in many different colors including very popular black and silver colors, it also comes in two nib sizes; M for medium and F for fine and while M is the standard nib size in the fountain pen world, F is really fine in this case, even the fine in other brands I think and if you’re used to writing with a rollerball or a ballpoint pen that will be a good transitional pen for you.
4. Kai N5210 – $13
In my experience, a good pair of scissors is highly underrated. Personally, I get lots of packages when I design things, I have to cut fabrics and leather and so a good pair of scissors is always on my desk. In the past, I would use those scotch titanium blades which you can get in three packs for five or six dollars at Costco and they did the job, but once I had the Kai N5210, it was all different.
They really cut consistently better with less effort and they really just stay sharp for a long time. I’ve had it for over a year, I cut a lot with it, and it’s still great. It’s so good you can even cut the chicken bones with it and any other kind of meat in the kitchen which is really not something you can usually do with a pair of scissors.
5. Shoelaces – $12
They’re very inexpensive but it can really change the entire look of your shoe. As you know, buying new shoes, especially quality shoes, is very expensive, so if a new pair of shoes is not on a table for you right now, consider shoelaces.
You can get them in 15 or 20 different colors we have boot laces as well as shoelaces that are round and flat in quality waxed cotton and as you can see, on the same shoe, you create an entirely different look. Best of all, the look is versatile even if you have just one or two pairs of quality shoes and maybe four or even ten shoelaces, you can immediately create 10 or 20 different looks.
6. Rada Knife – $13
It’s a serrated knife and I bought it three years ago at an antique show in Brimfield. At first, it seemed too cheap, it was a new knife for just five dollars, made in the USA, and I figured how good can it really be? Because I was used to Japanese knives and German Wusthof knives, after using it for a little bit, turns out it’s a really excellent knife.
Originally, it’s called a tomato knife and you can slice Tomatoes excellently with it, but it also works for steak, it has a flexible blade and because of that, you can cut melons, anything with a curve, any kinds of vegetables, apples, fruits, it’s just a wonderful all-purpose knife and I strongly suggest getting it.
7. Tailor’s Ham – $12
It costs about twelve bucks and it’s a little pillow filled with sawdust. It’s much stiffer than a regular pillow that you may have on your couch, on your bed, and it’s used to iron trousers or jackets, especially all the round parts which wouldn’t quite work on a flat iron table.
By the way, if you’re into ironing and you want quality creases in your shirt on your pants or anywhere else, I suggest getting a clapper because it really helps to get perfect results. It’s a simple piece of oak wood that has no sap and no rough edges and if you buy it online, it cost about $25 but you can easily make it yourself.
8. Nivea Sensitive Shave Balm – $5 – $8
As you might know, I’m really into shaving and we created an in-depth shaving guide. I tested over 300 products and one item that I come back to over and over again is the Nivea sensitive shaving balm, it costs between 5 and 8 bucks, it’s widely available in drugstores all over the world, as well as online. Works for all skin types, it smells good, it leaves a smooth result, and I’ve been using it for so long that I can safely say it doesn’t harm your skin or is aggressive in any way.
9. Red Boat Fish Sauce – $12
People who like Thai food or Vietnamese food are very much familiar with fish sauce but it can also be used in any kind of other cuisines such as American, French, or European cuisine. It has this characteristic umami flavor which you can also find in meat, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. It’s that fifth sense of taste that we, in the Western world, are not so familiar with but it’s very prevalent in places like Japan.
Whenever they serve dishes to people that contain fish sauce ,they’re always like “mmm this is so good.” “wow how did you get this flavor?” and they can never tell it’s fish sauce but they always really like it a lot because it’s flavorful, strong, but not fishy at all. You don’t have to overdo it, a spot or two is enough to really boost the flavor of the dishes you create.
Another thing I also use a lot is Better than Bouillon. Basically, it’s reduced broth or stock that you can keep in your fridge. It’s very easy to use and you can concentrate the broth in the way you would like, so you can have a very strong flavor or light flavor.
It comes in many different varieties such as chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom, or fish, and so you can create nice bouillabaisse for example, or other fish stews very easily without having to cook out any bones.
10. Gentleman’s Gazette eBooks – FREE
Right now, we’re giving away three of them FOR FREE. I mean, what’s better than free right? So it’s over 200 pages of in-depth content about classic men’s style such as black tie guides, white tie guides, or how to wear and combine shoes with socks and pants.
Head over to our shop now, add it to your cart and of course, if you want to buy something else we’re honored, but you don’t have to. Simply download them, enjoy them, and tell us what you think, maybe even leave a review, really appreciate it, thank you.