Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste

German proverb: Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste

Literal translation: “The cheapest is always the most expensive.


According to the informant, this proverb means that opting for quality is always of greater value, speaking long term,  than opting for something cheap or for greater abundance. This is because quality will sustain if it’s an object and you will learn and improve to a greater degree if dealing with a teacher of some sort.

This is said to be a very old saying in Germany that has been passed down for both personal benefit but also civil. This acts as a reminder that even the property, means to a cause or service must be value in terms of quality and that the people should invest a greater deal of resources into these things to insure a prosperous collective.

The informant values this proverb greatly because when she was young she was subject to dealing with many faulty things and horrible teachers here in the states because of the disregard for quality. Part of this had to do with living through the Great Depression  but looking back she says that there were many instances where procuring quality would have saved her family a great deal of time, energy and money.


I selected this proverb from the informants repertoire because I felt it carried a great deal of merit in an age of synthetic and cheap knockoffs of quality products. Some people obviously still value nice well made things but too many fall for the short term trap. From a business end cheaper is better because it can ensure sales long-term. But if you look to the past many companies and groups of people made solid products regardless of the price. It is as though there’s been a shift of values for the sake of profit.

If we look at the creations of their German people, they are notorious for producing quality products  it is likely this proverb transcended its folk roots into mainstream production philosophy, at least to a good degree


The informant is retired but worked as a secretary for quite some time. She is of German descent and has a great deal of German folklore knowledge that she had learned from her relatives.