Thursday, May 05, 2011


Ten things to never buy generic
  1. KY jelly, Astroglide, etc.  I firmly believe that if you're looking over your budget trying to find places to cut back, and it's your lube expenses that are really killing you, you have issues bigger than buying generic. Also, generic stuff is sticky, which is the exact opposite of what you want in a lubricant.
  2. Spaghetti sauce. It's all red and lumpy in a jar, but seasoning counts for something. Unless you want tomato paste with pepper, buy the Ragu.
  3. Chocolate. Especially if it says "chocolately" instead.  Chocolately coated or chocolately flavored are just bad. Always. Without exception.
  4. Diapers.  Plenty of people swear by store brand diapers but I've never been lucky enough to have a kid who can pee solely within the confines of a generic diaper's limited padding.
  5. Tampons.  Whoever engineered Tampax must have been a genius, because getting the actual tampon to absorb rather than having the string just wick blood into clothing seems to be a very difficult feat.  Also, cotton must be woven just so to keep it from dissolving inside of body cavities.  No one wants to expel lint for a week post-menses.
  6. Cheez-Its. Generic cheese crackers, and I've tried them all, are bad.  They're oily and taste bad.  
  7. Laundry detergent.  I once loaned a 5 year old t shirt to a friend.  I got it back a month later completely faded because she washed it 3 times in generic detergent, as opposed to dozens (hundreds?) of times with my Tide.  
  8. Toys. Fun Dough is not Play Doh. Transmorphers aren't Transformers.  Elmo doesn't have eyebrows. Kids know these things.  I think every girl my age received, at one point, a "fashion doll" as a gift with thin hollow limbs held on by very loosely molded ball and socket joints.  I think they still sell them at dollar stores.
  9. Electronics.  A $200 big screen television probably won't save you money in the long run, not after you buy it, realize it's a cheap POS, and then go buy the full price one to replace it with anyway.
  10. Ice cream. Vanilla should be beige, with flecks of black. If it's Clorox commercial white, it'll taste like shit and be a waste of empty calories. Splurge for the good stuff and just eat less.

Ten things to always buy generic
  1.  Ibuprofen/acetaminophen.  There's no reason to pop for Motrin or Tylenol when the FDA ensures that it's all the same.  Plus, when's the last time you heard about a generic recall?
  2. Paper.  Construction paper for the kids, notebooks, printer paper.  It's all pretty much the same. And if one generic "brand" sucks, just try another one next time.
  3. Butter.  Most of us are so used to margarine that we aren't going to notice if one box of salted butter is less salty than another. Usually it's for baking anyway, so just buy generic. You can read the ingredients and make sure it's the same.
  4. Saltines.  They're bisquick, water, and salt.  Kinda hard to mess up.
  5. Bread.  With a few exceptions, store brand white bread is just like Wonder Bread, and whole wheat split top is the same as Sara Lee, but without the advertising budget.
  6. Meat. Boneless skinless chicken breasts don't differ much, whether they're store brand or Tyson. Same with fish fillets, shrimp, ground beef, just about anything that just gets killed, butchered, and sold. Not a lot of room for error there.
  7. Pasta. As much as they want you to believe otherwise, Creamette, Barilla, and Great Value are all pretty much the same.
  8. Light bulbs. I suppose specialty bulbs might be different but regular 40 watt bulbs are differentiated by type (incandescent, LED, flourescent) rather than by brand quality.
  9. Rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bandages, gauze.  Unless your wound really really requires Spongebob graphics, just about any bandage will work. There's no reason to spring for Band-Aid when Curad is the same. 
  10. Kitty litter.  It's all basically clay with baking soda in it. They haven't yet invented the self-cleaning always-sterile kitty litter.

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