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Question of the Week - Pricey Isn't Always Better

I had a fabulous weekend, and I hope you all did too. A few weeks ago, my wonderful husband had given me a "pushing" present, that really was more of a "I-know-how-hard-this-has-been-on-you-and-that-you-hate-being-pregnant-but-I-appreciate-what-you-are-doing" present, that was a gift certificate to Red Door Spa. His friend had given his wife (who is now a friend of mine) an early anniversary present that was also a gift certificate to the spa. They had us coordinate the spa day to be on the same day as the football draft so they could sit around all day playing cards and watching the draft. Londo also took care of who would watch the Pumpkin (his mom came up to visit for the weekend).

So Saturday, we had a lovely day at the spa! I got a prenatal massage and a facial, plus a complimentary make-up refresh. I love the way she did my makeup and learned a few tips from her. I'm a makeup girl, and I have been one since preteens. I love makeup and always appreciate new tips, especially as I get older and my makeup needs change. I've spent years and years (let's not count, shall we?) trying new makeup brands and styles.

But as much as I love what she did and the makeup she used, I didn't buy any makeup. It turns out, I've got very sensitive, combination skin. I have tried so many expensive brands of blush or powders only to discover that they all make me break out. But I won't leave the house without loose powder and some blush on my face. People said that those mineral makeups were excellent for people with skin like mine. So I even tried The Brand (Bare Minerals), and though I loved how you put it on and the whole system, it made me break out.

One day, I finally just grabbed something inexpensive from the grocery store. It was some loose powder that was oil-free by Maybelline. Lo and behold, it gave me just the coverage I needed and DIDN'T make me break out!! I was thrilled. A few years later, I had another aha moment when the brand of blush I had been buying was no longer being made, and I bought the Maybelline blush. You guessed it, no break outs from that!

So now I've decided that I'm going to stop spending all that money I spend on the department store and other high-price brands and buy Maybelline from the grocery store. I'm taking the tips and color schemes I liked from my makeup refresher and going to the grocery store to buy some new things in my new favorite brand. Who knew that the inexpensive stuff was sometimes the right way to go?

Which is why the question of the week is:

What do you buy that is a less expensive brand but you like as much or more than the more expensive stuff?

This can be anything from makeup to clothes to foods. Whatever you want to share. I would love to hear some good ideas. But don't bother trying to convince me that the generic cereals at the grocery are as good as the name brand, like Londo used to try to make me believe. I have tasted both, and name brands win out by far for me in that genre!


Becoming Mommy said…
Hubby used to be all into brand-name stuff.
Until one day he shopped for clothes at WalMart.
Now he only wants the cheapo $9 jeans and khakis from there. They wear longer, fit him better, and so not only are they as good...they're BETTER.
Also, when it came to maternity and children's wear, I am all for Old Navy--home of the $3 maternity jeans and the only baby clothes that seem made perfectly for Sasha's Big-Headed/Short-legged/Long-waisted/Buddha-bellied body.
I'm Not Skippy said…
Almost anything, food, health and beauty products, clothes. Most generic products (especially food) are not only the same ingredients but are often manufactured in the same place as the name brand.

I'm OK with generic on everything but computers. I'm an apple guy, but that's because I know they're better.
AmyinMotown said…
Yep--if I had the cash I would shop exclusively at Anthroplogie. But I don't, so I find tons of cute things at Target--kid's clothes too. Also Old Navy -- especially their women's plus line (online only).

Almost any private label stuff at Trader Joe's is as good as the name brand equivalent (except their low cal bread, ick). And dairy items, flour, sugar, etc. (except for "eating" cheese) I just refuse to spring for name brand.

I bought some great mineral makeup at Costco of all places that I hope they still have. Great shade and it covered well.
Katie said…
Ooo, TJ's is a good one, hadn't thought of that - but our savings may not exist there, as the nearest store is 45 min away, curse them.

Mine is yarn. Not all yarn - the fancy stuffs really have no replacement - but for workhorse wool, I go cheap. Knit Picks Wool of the Andes is just as good as Cascade 220 - itself an inexpensive yarn, but WotA is significantly cheaper.

I know, you all are as obsessed with knitting as I am, so this info is super helpful. ;P
This is not name brand vs. not but def. how I save money cleaning. I use a spray bottle with water and vinegar with a little bit of essential oil (orange or lavender) in it to clean EVERYTHING. I bought microfiber clothes to use and now wont ever have to spend money on cleaning supplies again (or just about). Seriously... vinegar is cheep! and my wood floors, windows, mirrors, and kitchen and bath look just as clean.

Trader Jo's organic canned beans are a GREAT price (most of their bulk or general items are the best priced.

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