BREAKING NEWS!! I'm actually composing this top 5 list ON Tuesday! It's a Top 5 Miracle! I've been dwelling on this topic for quite some time, and find it particularly relevant now, as we all attempt to save every spare penny and adjust our budgets accordingly. You may find this last comment ironic when you discover that I'm about to list the top 5 items that I feel aren't worth the savings when faced with generic, store brand products versus name brand products. Ultimately, though, I am being frugal. When it comes right down to it, after really analyzing the numbers, you might discover that your efforts to save have been in vain, due to the poor quality of the cheaper product.
Before you judge, you should know that I've just come off a rather large victory at a bridal luncheon game, when I correctly guessed (to the very last cent, in three cases!) the amounts of six grocery items. Clearly a reflection of the amount of time I spend scrutinizing prices whilst grocery shopping! I try my very best to be conscientious, without being too miserly. I'd love to hear what you think, by the way. I may have forgotten something crucial!
5. Moisturizer. Every girl, at some point, needs a decent light and oil-free moisturizer that boasts SPF protection. It's for this very reason that I fear buying a cheaper product is a bad idea. There is probably no need to splurge on fancy department store brands, although they'll undoubtedly feel nicer. I've been pleased with both Neutrogena and Aveeno.
4. Wheat Thins, or really any sort of cracker. I love, love, LOVE a good Wheat Thin or Triscuit, preferably dipped into some sort of hummus or topped with a hearty chunk of sharp cheddar. Unfortunately, the store brand versions are almost exclusively dry and tasteless. Cardboard is conjured in the mind almost immediately after struggling to swallow a single parched bite. The rule applies to graham crackers as well.
3. Grape Nuts. Most store brand cereals are wretched, but the worst experience I ever had was with a bowl of Safeway brand Grape Nuts. I usually love the deliciously crunchy, brimming over with health and goodness cereal, but I could barely handle a spoonful of the the cheap junk. Imagine cardboard shredded into tiny pieces! I will tell you that HEB, my beloved Texas grocery, is the exception to the rule. My SH and I loved their version of Honey Bunches of Oats!
2. Dress shirts/blouses. As much as I would like to say that buying blouses or shirts at various inexpensive stores is a great idea, I have to caution anyone who relies upon them for professional garb. You'll almost always be better off buying the shirts you'll wear over and over from a middle-range store, such as Gap or Banana Republic. Use those stores for basic items, and purchase the more unique, fun stuff at places like H & M or Forever 21.
1. Paper products. There's simply no getting around this one-name brands are best! Every time I try the bargain route, I find that I have to use at least twice as much to get the job done. I've tested various name brands versus a heap of store brands (Target, Safeway, etc.) and my results are always the same.
Perhaps next week I should compose a list of the best generic products, IMHO. What do you think?