I used to think “generic” was a derogatory term. It probably stems from a childhood visit from my snobbish cousin who called everything I had or liked “generic” and everything he had or liked “special.”
Kids can be cruel.
But that was a long time ago. I’d like to think I moved on as soon as I hit adulthood, but I didn’t. All during college I held on to my trusty name brands. Perhaps buying them was like having a little piece of home in my dorm/apartment. Or maybe I was just a sucker for the clever marketing.
I think I finally let my guard down after I started to acquire some bills. Like a lot of graduates, I lived with roommates for the first couple of years after graduating. This really helped cut down on expenses. In fact I don’t think I had any real “bills” until I bought a new car. No, No, that is incorrect. I started to accumulate real bills a little before then…when I met my future wife.
Girlfriends are expensive.
So I think it was around this time that I started to shy away from the name brands that I was loyal to until that point to these new mysterious brands that I never heard of. They were familiar yet different. Some didn’t measure up to the original, and some were better. But one thing was for sure.
They were cheaper!
I remember an early episode after I found out a buddy of mine was taking a daily multi-vitamin, I figured it was time that I too start taking one. So there I was at the store trying to figure out which one to take, so I asked the pharmacist what the difference was between a couple of choices?
That was the tipping point. Right after that I started buying practically every store brand that was offered. Some things didn’t take, like toilet paper. Others did, like mac’n’cheese.
Now generic mac’n’cheese is a sore subject in our house. That’s because it didn’t take for my wife, but I do the shopping, so when I pass by the 5 for a $1 rack, I can’t help but load up. I am sympathetic to her cause because I too had a holdout.
For years I couldn’t get used to the taste of the “cheaper” juice. I grew up on Minute Maid, but switched to Simply Orange a couple of years ago (let me tell you…Good stuff). But I’m proud to announce that since we’ve started using the envelope system, which limits our grocery budget, I’ve finally acquired the taste for “Land-O-Lakes” O.J.
Hey I figure if my wife can suffer through Flavorite mac’n’cheese, then I can sacrifice something too.
So how about you? Do you utilize store brands? What were the hardest things to let go of? What is off limits?
Remember, we’re all in this together.
Until next time,