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Is Expensive Ever Worth It?

Is Expensive Ever Worth It?

Yesterday on MSNBC there was BREAKING NEWS that cheap sunscreen is more effective than expensive brands. Color me surprised. I could have told you that and I didn’t need to spend Lord knows how much on a study to prove it. Since having a child, I have become all kinds of cheap, which is very ironic to those who knew me B.C. (before child) because I was not what one would call thrifty. But, like most parents, I’ve come around to the cheap side. When you have kids, those $300 shoes become a whole lot less important and really make you look downright foolish. I mean, where are you wearing these shoes? To the supermarket? Not to mention the shear amount of toys, diapers, formula and the like that $300 will buy.

Name Brand vs. Store Brand

So, I’ve cut back and in most cases have noticed very little difference between the store brands and the “fancy” brands. Cheerios and Wheat Os taste the same to me. Same goes for medicine, band-aids and obviously, sunscreen. In fact, many of the national brands actually produce store brand products (e.g. Reynolds Aluminum Foil, Birds Eye frozen food). So, I feel good about saving money and I don’t have to spend a ton of time messing with coupons.


One place where I won’t cut back, and in fact where I’ve ramped up my spending? Facial moisturizer. I am very lucky that most of my life I had the sense to stay out of the sun. When all my friends were tan, I was pale. At 36, I am now reaping the benefits of that, something I have in common with my idol, Tina Fey. It’s not a major accomplishment but I’m proud. Trust me when I say, I slather my daughter in sunscreen and put a hat on her and myself anytime we’re in the sun for more than 30 minutes. Still, the hands of time were pulling at my face and my Oil of Olay routine just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

Then I Had a Revelation

Recently, I got my hands on some samples of the expensive stuff and ladies, I am here to tell you, those old women at ________ (fill in whatever expensive “old lady” department store make-up counter you can think of) know what is up. The expensive stuff, and it is EXPENSIVE, is worth it. My skin used to get dry no matter how much lotion I slathered on. Now, I use this creamy concoction at night and no more problems. I’m not naming my brand because I’m not here to shill for the company, but if you were wondering if there is ever a time to splurge on yourself, I am telling you that your FACE is that time.

Spend the money, you’ll be glad you did.


View Comments (6)
  • I totally agree. And if what other people think worries you, 95% the time no one knows that my shoes are from Target and my kids wear consignment. And you TOTALLY need to email me with your new skin care regime.

    • Hay! I don’t mind saying here (just didn’t want it to look like I was trying to sell anything) that I am using Origins Starting Over. I love it but it isn’t cheap and I do use it generously so it’s not you can use just a tiny bit every night and make it last forever. Still, I’ve never had anything else work as well and I really did notice a difference right away. Big thing that stinks about Origins is that there isn’t one here and i LOVE their facewash. So I have to order it online or buy whenever I visit my parents.

  • Being a single mother, I was never one to buy store brands. In fact, after I got my degree and we had a little extra money, my children considered Sears brand clothing to be “brand name.” There were no Levi’s, MUD, LEI, or whatever brand my daughter was begging for at the time. Thankfully my son didn’t care. Nike was never an issue. My daughter would make a big deal about her shoes at the beginning of school, but once she realized that her feet walked to class on time in comfortable cheaper shoes, she quietened down. 🙂

    As for food, the Fruiti-O’s don’t taste as good to me as Froot Loops and my grandchildren will tell me as soon as they take a bite. That’s when I started couponing. To me, it is fun. Sure it takes time, but I have found items to be cheaper than store brands. If not, then I will buy store brand. Now, for clothes? I LOVE thrift stores.

    It is like everything else. What one prefers. I like the security of my stockpile and knowing I am going to have food for weeks to come should something happen. I like knowing I don’t have to rely on store brands all the time (where food is concerned). As before I buy my clothes at thrift stores or will get them for dirt cheap on clearance at department stores. You wrote you splurged on your face, I splurge on my feet. The one thing I do buy name brand and pay a good amount for is my athletic shoes. My feet are high arched, but I walk a little differently from most, so I need a certain shoe to enable me a pain free day. It is well worth the money!

    I enjoyed your article! Have a wonderfully blessed day!!

    • I agree, I think everyone picks their splurge and that’s cool. The real point is that becoming a parent changes your perspective radically when it comes to money. I’m not proud of it, but I used to waste so much money on things that ultimately really did not matter. Having my daughter has helped me prioritize but it’s also good to remember you are important too. For me it’s moisturizer, for you it’s running shoes.

      Thanks for the kudos!

  • That’s how I feel about my make up–I can go cheap on almost anything but if it’s going on my face everyday I will spend the extra money. I swear by Benefit Be Rebel tinted moisturizer. It’s just enough coverage (I hate foundation) with SPF 30 and my skin always looks even and glowy.

    • Good to know. I too hate foundation and while I use Starting Over at night, sometimes (especially summer) it feels too heavy for daytime. I might have to try Benefit.

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