So, with us being on unemployment and all, we've had to cut costs on stuff. But there are still some things that we refuse to buy the cheap stuff on. Why? Because it ends up not being cost effective if you do. I'll give you a few examples.
The first was on onion soup mix. I have several recipes that call for the dry onion soup mix. I normally get Lipton's recipe secrets. One time, I got the generic store brand. My recipe did not taste the same. It's no wonder. If you look at the stuff in the package, the Lipton's has actual dehydrated onions in it. The store brand was just all powder. Not worth the couple cents of savings.
One time my husband was making peach cobbler. He got a can of generic peach pie mix at Wal-Mart. It was mostly syrup with little peaches and didn't fill the pan so he needed a second can. So, he went to Albertson's and got the national brand. It was all peaches with very little syrup. Again, not worth the couple cents of savings.
Now, to be fair, sometimes the generic stuff is good but it depends on which store's generic brand. We have found that the Wal-Mart "Great Value" is generally anything but. We've tried their spaghetti sauce and found it lacking. Kroger, on the other hand, has a generic spaghetti sauce that we like even better than Prego or Ragu and most of the time it's 10 for $10 so it's cheap.
I also have been converted to King Arthur flour. It just seems to work better than Gold Medal even though it's more expensive.
On the other hand, last time I made lasagna, I tried these more expensive imported noodles because they were on sale. I found no difference between them and Barilla so I won't be getting those again.
The non-food item that we're picky on is dishwashing liquid. We used to get the cheapo Wal-Mart stuff. But it didn't clean the dishes the first time so we'd have to run them again. Waste of water. We switched to the Finish tabs and got clean dishes every time. One week when we were short on money we tried the Ajax tabs. Didn't clean nearly as well, so we stick to Finish because it saves us in extra water. On a side note, we don't notice a difference between the regular and the Platinum Finish tabs. Also, you don't have to worry about trying to get the last bit of liquid out of the bottle which is an impossible task generally.
So, is there anything you refuse to skimp on?