She’s been using Brand X

When Darling Husband and I first moved in together, we were pretty poor. 
I was still in school and he went through a period of unemployment, so things were tight. We lived in an apartment overlooking Wal-Mart, and took the bus everywhere. Going to the movies was too expensive, so for entertainment, we would sometimes occassionally regularly scowl at eagerly watch kids beating each other up by the cart corral.
In those early days — before I developed Aisle Angst — we food-shopped together. We had both come from brand-loving households where you ate Eggo Waffles — not generic toaster waffles. So we naturally found ourselves buying brand-name groceries. Except for one thing … 

Store-brand juice from concentrate.
Is that even how you say it? Or is it concentrated O.J.? O.J. concentrate? Anyway, it tasted terrible, but we bought it because it was cheap. I still remember dumping the can of goop into our plastic pitcher, adding water, and stirring its murkiness. Blah.
Looking back, I have no idea why we “took a stand” with orange juice. Why we thought that saving a dollar or two on juice alone would make a big difference in our budget. 
Eventually, we started making more money and graduated to Tropicana. I didn’t think much of it, until yesterday when I was in the grocery store. 
I bought store-brand shampoo and conditioner.
And you know what? It was good.

I compared the prices between a couple of different brands, and decided it was just shampoo. Anything was going to work, so I might as well get the cheaper kind. And in the interest of tightening our belts, I think I’m going to be more flexible in the future, brand-wise.
I don’t think I will ever be able to buy only store-brand, no-name products. I hear about people who only buy store-brands, and save tons of money on groceries every year, but I just can’t go that far. I don’t want my cupboards to be an ugly yellow no-name blur.
I don’t mind buying store-brand shampoo, baggies, or canned corn. But I will probably always buy brand-name juice, cereal and toothpaste. And Diet Coke. And cheese. Don’t even get me started on store-brand moisurizers and cosmetics!
There are some things were you can choose to skimp, and there are some things where you want to buy the best. 
And as long as I don’t skimp on my face cream, I’m content.

2 Comments on “She’s been using Brand X

  1. Truer words were never spoken… er… blogged. I buy a lot of no-names, but there are a few names I must have, and am pleased to fork over for. My favorite brand loyalty is Flexitol Heel Balm. No callouses, cracks, or dry feet in this home, nu-uh!

    Love the blog! Just dropping in from SITS. 🙂


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