Friday, April 23, 2010

Fit in a Fun Friday - Stuff We Don't Skimp On

My husband suggested this post and the idea caught my fancy. We skimp on a lot if there is a viable alternative EXCEPT the following:

Name Brands We Buy Regularly
  • Nature’s Own Honey Wheat (hubby was right, this is good bread)
  • Kroger Brand Brownies (taste better to us than the name brands)
  • Kroger Brand Real Mayo or Hellman’s (Miracle Whip makes me gag)
  • Kellogg’s Poptarts (my morning crack)
  • General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios (my other morning crack)
  • Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats (my I’m-not-eating-lunch-for-a-while option)
  • Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coca-Cola cans (yeah, yeah, I know. I wait for the 4 packs for $10 sales at Kroger and stock up...we try to keep the habit to a pack or less every three weeks)
  • Charmin Toilet Paper (hubby scoffs at Scott’s…this is soft, but it’s only tp)
  • Tide for regular clothes (hubby swears it’s better…I’ve decided this is a battle I’ll forfeit)
  • Oxyclean for grass and mud stains from sports officiating (it does work and saves freaking expensive reffing gear)
  • French’s Mustard (this is totally my hubby…I cannot taste a difference to save my life, but again, I choose to forfeit)
  • Wolfbrand Chili with no beans for hot dogs (smells like wet dog food, but it gets my hubby to eat hot dogs at home sometimes)
  • Foo-foo dog food like Nutro and allergy free stuff for the Pug (I have to have a dog food that's first ingredient is a meat or I feel taken advantage of)
Other Items We Have Splurged On
  • Tempurpedic mattress (my husband hasn’t had back pain since we got one a year ago...I think it’s too hot during the summer months)
  • Dream Fit Sheets (they fit and don’t come off when we toss around at night…plus they have lasted us 5 years already, which is good since they cost about $100 a set)
  • Miche Bag (I love the magnetic shells and I never have to move my stuff to a new purse)
  • Crocs (they aren’t all clown shoes anymore and feel great…you can also find big discounts online like my $60 leather work Crocs for $35 on Ebay)
There are probably a few more things I can’t think of right now, but you get the point. There are some things we have become loyal to…gladly we didn’t discover these addictions until we could afford them, but I sort of wish I never tasted the difference between $1 bread and Nature’s Own Honey Wheat...

What about you? Any favorite brands? Anything you refuse to skimp on?


  1. Let me say, "here here!" on the great mattress. We always have one, regardless of how much $ we do or don't have to spare each month.

  2. We also love our Tempurpedic even though it does get toasty hot in the summer :)

    I also have a few things I don't skimp on:

    - organic produce, especially local organic produce. I do have a farm share during the summer months so that saves us quite a bit. (about $20 a week for 24 weeks during the summer for a full share)
    - Free-range grass fed organic beef and chicken. Once you have had free range chicken, it's hard to go back. (2.99/lb for 1/4 cow, chicken is inexpensive, too -- buy from farm directly)
    -Bread - I either make it with whole grains, nuts, and flax seed or we get the kind without high fructose corn syrup and whole grains in it. It has to do with me vomiting every time I had anything with HFCS in it with daughter #1 and just never going back.
    -organic milk (4.99 a gallon on sale or 3.50 per 1/2 gallon)
    -really raw honey (helps my allergies) (buy with group so about $30 for 5 gallon container)
    -Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free soap for the babies (Dr. Bronner's baby mild by the gallon) (I run Frontier co-ops so I get this with free shipping for about $30/gallon).
    -Rice Milk while I am breasfeeding (I find that the babies are less gassy when I cut out cow's milk as much as I can.
    -organic brown rice (About $1/lb at costco)
    - wild caught Alaskan salmon vs. farmed (less mercury) (usually $5/lb)
    -real Italian cookies (about $20/ lb or 12 cookies around here)
    -edamame - my daughter and my husband love it so I buy a lot of it.
    -Country Save detergent - rinses clean. Tide actually leaves a lot of stuff on the clothes, and I am allergic to the fragrance (and to most fragrances)
    -dijon mustard - GREAT for cooking fish and other things
    -Clothing for my girls. It's sad how Gerber, Old Navy, and other cheaper brands won't last past our first kid when Gymboree and Gap wash and wear better and can be found for about the same prices on sale. I have bought shirts and pants at Gymboree for as low as 1.99. My daughters' closets are kind of exploding with too much clothes at this point.
    -shoes for the kiddos. My older daughter's shoes are more expensive than mine. She also has a pair or 2 of real Crocs. My 1-month old has been gifted with several pairs of Burberry crib shoes which are super-cute but ridiculous for the price. I don't really believe in buying crib shoes, but good soft-soled shoes for a new walker are a must. In fact, my walker has been walking for 6 months and I still keep her in soft soled shoes such as Riley Roos, Pedipeds, Robeez Tredz, or the super-soft soled Stride Rites.
    -nursing bras - I only buy Bravado. Trust me, they are the only ones who work for me without causing mastitis
    -pots - I have a full set of Le Creuset pots and pans. Once you have made things in them it's hard to go back.
    -We have also splurged on hardwood floors throughout our house--good for my allergies
    -Strollers. I have about 9 strollers. Interesting ones are: Mountain Buggy Urban Double with carrycot, Emmaljunga double with one carrycot, I'coo Targo, Valco Buggster, Silver Cross Dazzle, Silver Cross Pop, and Zooper Buddy All-Terrain. I think the first 3 were about $600 a pop, but my husband said I could buy more strollers if I was pregnant with a second child so... I don't anticipate buying anymore strollers but I will probably buy a buggy board to hook onto them for our oldest when #3 is on his/her way.

    Things I don't really spend too much on --
    -electronics - as long as it functions, I don't need an iPhone. I rarely use the ipod i got by trading in our Marriott reward points or the one I won right after from a raffle at work, and I use laptops until they die. As long as our cell phones have email and web capability, I don't care. I usually get the super-cheap deal from the carrier.
    -wii and games - haven't touched in a year. We are now discovering that the wii is better for netflix streaming than the roku box so it is not a total loss. Plus, my mom likes WiiFit when she comes over.
    -my clothes

  3. Simple in France, my hubby completely agrees. :-) I think I'm just going to suck it up since it helps his back so much.

  4. Julie, wow...what I'm seeing is that your kids get the absolute best for them including food. You're a good mommy.

    So you don't react well to high fructose corn syrup? That would take out 25% of my diet (yeah, that is a me problem).

    Thanks so much for making a list too. I love it when people participate and now I feel like I know you better.

    You know, I don't know if I've ever had free-range chicken...maybe that will be an option in the coming weeks...

  5. Okay, I'll play.

    * LL Bean pants - they actually fit
    * leather accessories
    * organic milk, meat, chocolate
    * non-GMO corn tortillas
    * fiber (whole grain products--check out Fiber One pop tarts--ahem, "toaster pastries"--$2 at my local Target)
    * real vanilla instead of imitation
    * glass glasses (instead of plastic - except for visiting kids)
    * stainless steel pans (instead of aluminum--easier to clean)
    * a pizza cutter with a big blade (at least 3 inches in diameter--works better than the small ones)
    * cars that are reliable
    * a house that was well-built and well-located
    * Craftsman (or better) hand tools
    * furniture made of wood or metal (instead of cardboard or even particle board--I'm moving up in the world now!)
    * fragrance-free stuff (soap, shampoo, lotion, laundry detergent, etc.)
    * recycled paper products
    * native plants (for the yard--better food for wildlife, requires less care)
    * the foam pillows seem to be lasting much longer

  6. Debbie M, isn't real furniture awesome! We also got our first big pizza cutter as a freebie and will never go back.

    I've never thought about "native wildlife"...maybe Blue Bonnets or Indian Paint Brushes as our color...they are pretty. :-)

  7. Our biggest splurge was our beautiful house (old, not big). Mr. FS buys good paint. I bought good art supplies for my kids. Cabot extrasharp cheddar...must think of more things.

    BTW, frugal tip: crocs have been showing up at Big Lots for around $10. The ones at my close by one were all team clogs (!). The ones where I work were much nicer--but only 2 sizes.

  8. frugalscholar, yeah, our biggest splurge was buying our house too. I can't believe that was three years ago already...

    Thanks for the Crocs tip! I'll check out our Big Lots next time we're out that way.

  9. There aren't too many things I "splurge" on, since I'm more than happy to use a cheaper brand of most things (food-wise):

    Bigelow French Vanilla tea -- I have a cup every morning. $3 for 20 teabags, but I can't do without it.

    And just like Debbie, gotta have true vanilla extract (the imitation is terrible) when I use it for baking.

    Wow, I can't think of anything more than those right now!

  10. Rainy Day Saver, your budget must kick butt! Very cool. :-)

  11. I will not skimp on toilet paper! Charmin all the way!

  12. Best Foods! Also (formerly) one of my no-skimps! These days I buy Trader Joe's Organic Mayonnaise. It has no sugar in it. Best Foods now contains a hefty dose of sugar, which it didn't when I was a young thing. Trader Joe's tastes just like mayo used to taste when men were men and mayo was mayo. :-D

  13. Funny about Money, I don't know how much sugar my mayo has...I'm usually upset when people take away my sweets, but sugar in mayo sounds wrong. I'll check it out.

    Loved your last line btw!

  14. Please tell me that DH doesn't stand for Dennis H----s