As a long-time cheapskate and more recently one of the unemployed masses, I’m no stranger to counting the pennies. Particularly when it comes to the mundane matters like grocery shopping – waste not, want not!
Does this cheese smell funny?
If there’s no green fur, it’s fine.
Actually, there is a little green fur.
Scrape it off and carry on.
There’s more green fur underneath the green fur.
It adds flavour.
I jest (well about the last bit anyway). Seriously though, I would rather spend my precious shillings on
gin and chocolate having a good time than boring stuff like vegetables and toilet roll. Naturally, supermarket brands are my absolute favourite. The tackier the packaging, the better – I am a value whore.
There are, however, some exceptions to the no-brands rule. Some products that even I will not accept a garishly-labelled substitute for. There are times in a girl’s life when she just has to set a standard, and these are mine:
(Note: none of the brands mentioned anywhere in this post have offered me any form of remuneration for my endorsement. Yet.)
Milk. Or should I say, SUPERMILK (no, it doesn’t wear a cape, but it’s got extra calcium and Vitamin D). The low-fat variety, to be precise. I am a new convert to this philosophy. Previously, once it was white and I was fairly certain it had come out of a cow, I would settle for the cheapest milk available. However, having since been lectured on the astoundingly high incidence of osteoporosis, osteopenia and generally shite bone health of Irish ladies (damn those clouds…and the menopause…), I am happy to fork out the extra few quid if it means I might make it to fifty without my skeletal system turning to dust.
Tampons/sanitary towels. I don’t think this one needs much explaining. They have an important job to do and this is one instance where you really do get what you pay for.
(Huh. I’m not really sure how I’ve managed to reference both menopause and menstruation already in this post.)
Conditioner. It’s difficult to remain upbeat about life when your hair is continually greasy/dull/frizzy. I make the trip to Lush, brave the painfully cheery banter of the staff and fork out a significant number of my favourite euros just to keep my hair shiny. But in my defence…it’s really shiny.
Chocolate spread. Relevant particularly in times of heartache and wavering discipline – ONLY NUTELLA WILL DO!!
Teabags. Oh good God. Perish the day we run out of teabags. Even thinking about it has me in a sweat. The argument is Lyons vs Barrys. Take your pick but there is no question of cheap imposters here. There is a reason it is considered perfectly acceptable to pack your teabags in a Ziploc bag prior to going on holiday (isn’t it…?).
Eggs. Haven’t you seen enough heart-rending images of those poor, poor battery hens? I can’t bring myself to do an image search for fear of what it might return but you know what I’m talking about. Buy the free range ones you heartless bastard! Yes, they’re 50c dearer – suck it up! You’re making a chicken’s life worth living – THINK OF THE CHICKENS.
Baked beans. The specific brand isn’t too important. The cheap ones are just shite and seem to have several spoonfuls of sugar stirred into the sauce in a vain attempt to distract you.
Judging by how easy it was to come up with that list (and how many other little luxuries didn’t quite make the cut) I’m beginning to question my self-perception as a bargain hunter. I guess I’m not above a bit of label lust after all…