Friday, April 04, 2008

Battle of the Brands

There is a never-ending battle raging in my home, and it has nothing to do with my hormones.

It has to do with groceries.

Do you do the grocery shopping for your family? I do, and I'm sure as there is rain and sun and God above that if I didn't my family would subsist on nothing but hamburgers, Subway sandwiches, and Cheerios scraped off of the kitchen floor. And if and when they DID venture into a grocery store, they would buy nothing but NAME-BRAND MERCHANDISE, because as we all know, the less expensive generic-type stuff that you can actually buy and SAVE MONEY WHILE DOING SO tastes "different" and "gross" and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.

Can you tell I'm on a bit of a tirade here?

Yes, I was brought up on all the name-brand stuff, just the same as many of you were. Mom bought name-brand bread, cereal, canned goods, cleaning name it, it was name-brand. I was brought up to think that the "store brand" was less than the best, and we couldn't have ANYTHING that was less than the best! I even remember spending the night with a friend when I was in junior high school and being embarrassed for her because her mother used off-brand plastic wrap.

I have since been educated and am no longer as judgmental or ignorant, thankyouverymuch.

Since I both bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan, I decided it would be worth my while to try out some of those "store brands" to see if I could save a little money. And guess what? I DID!

Try to pick yourselves up off of the floor. It's an unattractive position. Really.

Unfortunately, my family has what you might call champagne taste on our beer budget. The Hubster can not only taste an off brand a mile away, but refuses to touch it with a ten-foot pole. He has trained the children well, has he. They have become not-so-little snobs when it comes to drinking any brand other than Kool-Aid drink mix, eating any other snack cracker than Cheez-Its, and using any other peanut butter than Skippy. If I bring home the cereal in the bag and try to pass it off as the cereal in the box by filling the box with the stuff from the bag, they can tell with the first bite.

My problem is that I can and do make small sacrifices in order to save money. I can eat frosted flakes that are thicker in texture than the name-brand. I can drink Wyler's instead of Kool-Aid. I can even eat off-brand potato chips and drink off-brand pop, and it doesn't bother me a bit. Why? Because I know that I'm saving money doing so, and it's not that much different from the "real stuff" I'm used to.

So my question is this: WHY CAN'T THEY???

Tonight the battle was over biscuits that "didn't look right" after they came out of the oven. Tomorrow it may be pancake syrup, or sugar, or who knows what else. But I'm not giving up.

I'm waiting for the day when one of the kids comes to me and says, "Hey Mom, did you know you can save a whole lot of money if you buy the 'store brand' stuff....?"

Then, no matter how old I am, you'll see me dancing the happy dance....all the way to the grocery store.


Susanne said...

I can get away with some store brand items but some of them I definitely cannot. Cereal seems to be one of the ones I can't either. Too bad as a box of the name brand is starting to cost an arm and a leg. The canned soups is another. I don't dare bring anything but Campbell's home or they won't touch it.

HeyJules said...

Wha? Two posts in two days? I'm at "His Unfinished Work", right? Yeah...looks that way.

Well, I'll be darned.

Good to have you back, sugar.

And, in the future, when the kids ask how much you've put away for their college educations, be sure to tell them they ate their college educations. :-)

Linds said...

I SO agree with the last comment about eating their college education. Perfect!

I have changed to a lot of store brands. Adn the kids learnt fast. If they want to eat they shut up. Or go and buy what they prefer with their own money. And so many of the things like cereals are made by the main suppliers anyway! Don't give up!