May 27 2010

Steve Tip 5 – Paying for the Differential of Quality

Paying for the Differential of Quality

Here’s one way to think about paying for quality. If you planned on spending $10 for a serviceable olive oil and instead spent $18 for a really good bottle, the cost of the really good bottle was only the differential, or $8. A standard hothouse tomato may be $1, compared to a $2.50 heirloom tomato for a salad. That’s a difference of 250 percent, but it’s just a $1.50 differential, and the difference in quality is great, at least 250 percent. If you’re worried about cost, you can decide to use less of a really good ingredient. Have a small tomato salad. Use a few drops of olive oil. Eat a 6-ounce portion of a really fine steak rather than 8 ounces of a just-okay steak. If you calculate the lifetime cost of selectively, paying for quality isn’t substantial — but your enjoyment is.