Those who know me well tend to describe my financial style using words like “frugal” and “budget-minded” and “cheap-ass tightwad.” And I will very readily confess to being all of the above. While my friends are out buying giant televisions and laser-guided hovercraft, I’m just as content at home playing with my ball on a stick. And while everyone else is purchasing the 12-dollar organic whole-grain cereals harvested by Buddhist monks, I’m totally fine sticking with the generic brand cereals like Fruity Rings and Marshmallow Remnants.
But there are a few cases where I’ve totally dedicated my wallet in an almost cult-like fashion to the following of a particular brand name item. I mentioned one of these brand names a few weeks ago—Shell gasoline—but there are a few others to which I am particularly loyal, as well as a slew of others to which I am so disloyal that, were they my wife and we were in a loveless marriage, I would not hesitate to cheat on them with a product a few shelves down the shopping aisle. Let’s take a look at some of the good and the bad items that have made their way into (and sometimes quickly out of) the Punny Money Family household over the years.
My brand name choice: Schick. It’s taken me nearly a decade to find a semi-disposable safety razor that lasts a long time and gives me a good, clean, comfortable shave. I finally found it a few months ago when I received a free sample of the Schick Quattro Titanium. I’ve been using the same replaceable blade for nearly two months now, and it still shaves as close as the first day. I know I’ll have to replace it eventually, and the nearly $20 price tag for eight more blades stings a bit at first until you consider that those eight blades will likely last me over a year at this rate.
I stay far away from… Gillette and store brands. Gillette, your safety razors just suck. They wear out after a few uses, they always miss spots the Schicks don’t, and they’re just as expensive. And don’t even get me started on store brand razors; you might as well just shave with a chainsaw instead.
My brand name choice: Raid. Living in an old 1940s house, there are numerous tiny holes that equally tiny bugs sometimes manage to worm their way through to get inside. It’s by no means a big problem, but we are sure to keep a can of bug spray nearby anyway just in case. Raid’s slogan that it “Kills on Contact!” may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it does seem to kill bugs after a minute or two of horrendous torture that’ll teach them terrorist critters to stay outta our home.
I stay far away from… Black Flag. This crap just doesn’t work. There could be a tiny little fly sitting on the wall and I could empty an entire can of Black Flag onto its diseased little butt and it would just sit there and act like it’s a refreshing summer rain.
My brand name choice: Sam Adams. I was not much of a beer drinker until a couple years ago because all of my previous beer drinking experiences were with crappy American beers. Then someone gave me a fancy imported beer and it tasted pretty good. One day, I tried one of Sam Adams’ seasonal brews and thought that it must have been imported from some country who also had a revolutionary war hero named Sam Adams. Fortunately I was mistaken, and now I’m a Sam Adams fan for life. I’m especially fond of their Oktoberfest brew, especially when it’s served by a sexy lady in one of those tiny beer girl outfits.
I stay far away from… any other American beer. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever been drunk enough to tolerate the taste of Miller Lite or Budweiser or any other domestic beer. I would sooner drink water or the girliest drink available than an American beer other than Sam Adams.
My brand name choice: Hershey’s. Hershey’s makes Kit Kats, Mr. Goodbars, and the best dark chocolate around. That’s all the chocolate I need.
I stay far away from… Store brands and “home made.” Sure, those store brand chocolate bars might cost 50% less than their Hershey’s counterparts, but I think that 50% cost savings comes from the fact that they use a blend of chocolate and crap. As for home-made chocolates… unless your home is in a chocolate factory, chances are you have no business making chocolate meant for people to enjoy.
My brand name choice: Energizer. I’ve tried all of the other brands over the years as well as a variety of store brands, and Energizer always seems to have the best cost-to-life ratio. Yes, they’re pricier than all the rest, but their long life and reliability more than make up for the added cost.
I stay far away from… Duracell and store brands. Yes, those Duracell commercials say they’re what powers the space shuttle and Walt Disney’s cryogenic chamber, but they’re just not as long-lasting as Energizer in my mind. The difference is even more apparent when comparing Energizer rechargeable batteries to other brands of rechargeables.
I hope you’ll forgive me for indulging in a “Nick’s Favorite Things” list, but I also did this to strike up some conversations with you to see what some of your favorite products are. So please feel free to share with the rest of the class, and if anyone knows a particularly effective hair regrowth product… please share that with everyone else too. You know, for everyone’s benefit.