Stay Away From the Cheapest… Somtimes

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comI like to save money as much as the next guy.

I don’t obsess over it like some people, though. I think that’s because my parents were so — shall we say — thrifty.

Mama wouldn’t get the car out to run just one errand. She would always wait until she had two or three places to go before she went out. 

She would save the wrapper from the stick of butter to grease a pan.

When we would go to a ballgame, I could get a Coke or popcorn, but rarely ever both.

I think I sometimes subconsciously rebel from them being that way.

Lots of times though, I do buy the cheapest product when I have an option, but only when it makes sense.

Sometimes the cheapest product is just as good as the name brand, and sometimes it isn’t.

Here are a few examples.

I’m a name-brand guy when it comes to trash bags. One of the worst feelings in the world is the catastrophe caused when a full garbage bag breaks.

We don’t buy the cheapest paper towels at my house, either. Our paper towels don’t have to be the quicker-picker-upper, but they can’t be the never-picker-upper, either.

The same goes for toilet paper. Single-ply toilet paper should be illegal.

Kim bought three pairs of reading glasses at one of those everything-costs-a-buck stores the other day.

The first pair broke and fell right off her head the first time she wore them.

The second pair didn’t last much longer.

I’m not sure whether or not she has tried on pair No. 3 yet, but I have a pretty good idea how it will end up when she does. I also have a pretty good idea that moving forward, she will spring for the ones that cost $2.75.

With some things, quality doesn’t depend on how much something costs.

I’m mystified by how quickly socks get holes in them, regardless if they’re cheap or expensive.

The other day, I saw a pair of socks I liked, but they cost $22.

I will never pay $22 for a pair of socks, especially when I figure a couple of toes will make an appearance before Thanksgiving.

I make fun of grocery stores a lot. They deserve it, though.

For a long time now, we’ve had a couple of name brands for each product along with the cheaper store brand.

Nowadays, almost every product has an even cheaper brand than the store brand.

When it comes to canned foods, or things like mustard and ketchup, I always go for the cheapest option. I know for a fact many times these things come from the same factory with different labels on them.

I have a friend in the snack cake business, and let’s just say you can spend the extra money if you want to see that little girl’s picture on the box, but it’s unnecessary.

I learned my lesson buying cheap tires a long time ago. They wear out quicker and slip and slide more than good tires do.

I don’t buy cheap tools, either. Few things in the world are more useless than a shovel with a broken handle.

This week’s column, however, appears to come pretty close.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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