Recent conversations with friends, family and coworkers have spawned a discussion that often elicits strong, passionate reactions - "real" or generic? Brand loyalty is something that companies of all kinds spend millions of dollars in advertising trying to convince you that their product is the best, always has been, always will be. What we ate as children is usually what we want as adults, which is why these companies start advertising aimed at little ones just old enough to ask their mommies for things in the grocery store.
Upon moving out on my own into the wild blue yonder (read: Greenwood) a few years ago, I began to appreciate the savings generic products provide. I learned when generic will do and when cheapness doesn't cut it, and it developed into a amateur "nature vs. nurture" study of my own. Here are a few of my findings; check them out and see if you can find the pattern:
Acceptable penny-pinching products...
1) To me, if you are throwing something away after its use or literally flushing it into oblivion, it is ridiculous to spend big bucks on it. I'll buy the cheapest napkins, toilet paper and paper towels I can find (KK disagrees with me on the paper towels.), and if the State of Mississippi would let me buy whatever they use in the bathrooms, I would in a minute.
2) In an effort to incorporate more veggies into my diet AND be more fiscally conservative, I've started purchasing generic canned vegetables - I mostly only get the green beans and black-eyed peas and occasionally mandarin oranges, but they are just as good as the real stuff.
3) I never hesitate to take medicine if I think it will help me. Got a headache? Take some medicine and feel better. Car sick? Take some medicine and feel better. Stuffy nose? Take some medicine and feel better. Not to sound like a pill popper, but it's a no-brainer. It's cheaper and just as effective to stock your medicine cabinet with Equate.
4) I can remember my Sunday School teacher one Sunday telling me that a sin is a sin is a sin just like bleach is bleach is bleach. Seriously, it's a chemical compound. It's all the same, people.
5) Thanks to MK, I have painted my nails more in the past 6 months or so than I have in 5 years. And, I'm getting better at it, I must say. But, I'm known to occasionally paint my whole finger, and when I do, I use the cheapest nail polish remover I can find to correct my little masterpiece.
Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby...
1) Few products draw such intense emotions as which ketchup to use. I personally don't care for it (unless combined mustard and pickle on a cheeseburger), but those that do are loyal to the point of severity. For most, I've found Heinz reigns supreme here.
2) I grew up eating rice and cream of mushroom soup, so it was natural for me to indulge in this as an adult occasionally. Those of you NOT using Campbell's are doing yourselves a disservice. Seriously, none of that other junk will do.
3) My dear friend Beth Williams showed me the light when she introduced me to Jif peanut butter. I pretty much bought whatever brand was cheapest prior to her intervention. It really is superior.
4) I don't have ice cream a lot in my house - too many points, and I would be inclined to eat a scoop every time I walked past the freezer. But when I do and I want to top with chocolate syrup, I only use Hershey's.
5) Cereal may not pop into everyone's head when one thinks of a "comfort food," but Cheerios is. What are those others trying to prove? Give it up, Brand X - you'll never get it right.
What do YOU think? Let me know what I may have left out...