Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unfrugalities and Must-Have Name Brands

Image from drugstore.com
I floss every night. I feel gross if I don't floss. But I don't use the regular floss where you pull the string out of the container. I use those wonderful eco-unfriendly disposable floss picks. I prefer the Butler brand, like in the picture to the right.

Image from traderscity.comI have tried another brand or two, but I cannot stand the ones I've tried. They are way too thin and flimsy. JunkMale + thin-and-flimsy-plastic is not a good idea, because JunkMale is a stranger to subtlety and gentleness. Those thin ones always end up breaking prematurely. Look at how thin these are! Butler brand is fairly sturdy. They used to be even sturdier, but I guess they reduced the bulk in order to save money.

At a glance while in the hygiene aisle, all of the cheaper brands appear to be of the thin and flimsy variety, which I Cannot Have. So this is one area where I will not use a cheaper imitation. There is a difference between Butler and most of the others. Do not tell me that there isn't, because there is, and if you flossed regularly with floss picks, you would know.

For many other products, we are willing to go with the store brand. But there are just some things for which we require the more expensive version. Yes, require, as in, you will expire prematurely if you don't have it. When Harmony wants Cheerios, she wants Cheerios (tm). She doesn't want Toasty O's or Aldi-O's or whatever cheap knock-off. It's Cheerios (tm) or bust.

What about you? What are some wonderfully unfrugal items whose cheaper counterparts you consider woefully pitiful?

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8 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Harmony

    I have to have special floss, too, remember. ;-) My tiny little mouth with teeth very close together is death to most brands of floss. In fact, I get floss stuck in my teeth the way most people get popcorn. *sigh* Even some of the easy floss brands (like Glide) don't work for me. For me, it's waxed Reach or bust. And by that I mean that I might be able to use another kind, but odds are that the string will break and/or I'll end up flossing twice - to remove the floss!

    Ingles store brand butter beans. Okay, so those are actually store brands, but There Is A Difference. I refuse to buy Kroger or Publix or any other store brand butter bean or butter pea. Ingles is the only one that comes close to the butter beans Grandmother makes. Of course, fresh from the garden is even closer, but when you must buy frozen, it must be Ingles.

    And you, my dear, have a thing for Charmin toilet paper, if I remember right. ;-)

  • JunkMale

    Oh yes, I love my Charmin. Infinitely better than that awful quarter ply, see-through toilet "paper" that your mom buys. (I don't see how that saves money, because I end up using much more of it to make up for the fact that it's ghostly thin)

  • Anne Marie@Married to the Empire

    Ziploc freezer bags. I can't stand any other brand.

  • eeyore-fan

    I remember when I told Harmony I didn't like store brand Cheerios (esp. the Wal-mart brand), and she said she only likes the real Cheerios. :)

    I am not too picky with store brand vs. national brands. I used to buy Publix brand fat free yogurt until I stopped trying to buy food with aspartame in it. I recently found out that the Wal-mart brand (Equate) equivalent to Garnier Fructis does not meet the standards of its well-known counterpart. Or I think it's more the fact that the hard water I have over here makes it hard to tell if there is a difference.

    I prefer Opti-Free Express contact lens solution over Equate. I also prefer national brands over Equate when it comes to some women personal care products.

  • Alan

    Bread. (not brand-specific... just buy the best!)

    It just isn't worth it to buy cheap bread. The difference in quality is far greater than the difference in price. Buy cheap peanut butter and put it on high end bread, that's my philosophy!

  • Laura

    Kleenex. Actually, I recently discovered that it's only the Wal-mart brand (Great Value) that is as scratchy as sandpaper. Target, as well as our local grocery stores, are as soft as Kleenex (though not as soft as Puffs).

    But if I have a cold, it's got to be brand name with lotion or my nose starts peeling and blistering like I gave it a sunburn.

    And I learned the hard way this year, but I agree -- off-brands of Cheerios don't even compare.

  • Ginny

    If I want a cold cereal I prefer Cheerios. Don't know why... I can eat others, but I LOVE Cheerios, and, yes, the off brands are "off".


  • Sherry

    I'm the one that started this Cheerios thing in our family. I have tried the other off-brands & they never compared. It's the one cereal I have to have the real thing. I don't like the thicker toilet paper. I also can't stand toilet paper with scents (or Kleenex for that matter) so I go for the brands that are soft, thin, & no scent. If you use more, OK, but I think you end up using close to the same. Off brands are OK for me as long as they are as good or almost as good as the expensive brands.