Friday, July 11, 2008

The Truth Is Out There

Tip Of The Day: The pricey lies we all buy (HA! pun) into, even when we know we’re being lied to. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the flow. But the flowing can get pretty expensive, folks.

Tip For The Weekend: Stop back this Sunday for Manager Mom’s Open House
. I do so love that she’s holding it on a Sunday, just like a proper Realtor.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Just the other day – well, a week ago Thursday, to be exact – I killed a half an hour by watching the Tyra Banks Show. The episode was about People Who Waste Money on Over-Priced Stuff. It seems that Miss Ty-Ty is also a frugal lass, which kind of makes me love her.

Tyra was taking to task the women (sorry ladies) who insist on wearing designed labels, dressing their kids in spendy clothing, even drinking fancy bottled water. All because they KNOW QUALITY WHEN THEY SEE IT. And quality costs gazillions, right?

Wrong. Tyra handily showed these folks they wouldn’t know high-quality designer loot if it came up and smacked them in the ass. Which is really the whole point. No, not random consumer goods whacking people in the posterior. The point is that no one knows if an item is designer or not unless they are told it is so. In short, you can’t judge a book by its title.

Furthermore, designer big-buck stuff isn’t necessarily better quality than the things you buy at K-mart. The only thing you know for sure is that it costs more. And that got me thinking about other “truths” we believe, starting with water.

Bottled water has less bad-for-you-chemicals in it than tap water. Time and time again, People Who Know More Than I Do have proven this to be untrue. Bottled water is no better for you than tap – and in fact, could be worse because of all the chemicals leeching in from the plastic bottle. Blech.
The only time it makes sense to buy bottled water is when you’re traveling about and have forgotten to bring along your refillable water bottle. Otherwise, save yourself and the environment and drink from the tap. Heck, knock yourself out and drink from the hose. I won’t tell.

Fresh veggies are better for you and better tasting than frozen. This is true only if you are growing your own vegetable garden. Otherwise, experts (the aforementioned People Who Know More Than I Do) have shown that frozen trumps fresh on quality and nutrients. Plus, frozen is WAY CHEAPER.
If a veggie is in season and locally grown and you can get it for a good price, buy it. If not, cheap out with frozen – spend less money and get more nutritional value.
Notice I didn’t even touch on organic vs. non. Well, I’m not going to, and you can’t make me.

Designer clothes fit better and last longer than lesser brands. Yeah, I bought this one, too. Until I bought a designer dress and had it fall apart after I wore it only a few times. Clothing, especially women’s clothing, is soooo hit or miss when it comes to quality. My advice? Buy what you like, what fits you, and what flatters you, at a price you can COMFORTABLY afford. Who cares who made it?
Don’t let anyone bully you into wearing a particular brand or designer. We’re no longer in junior high, and the popular kids don’t get to dictate what is fashionable anymore. So I say screw the Guess jeans! I’m busting out my Lee’s, and everyone can just DEAL.

Name-brand products are better than store-brand. Please. This is just SO untrue. In fact, I’ve found this to be true for just ONE product – Wheat Thins. Target’s store-brand Thin Wheats are just disgusting. But that product aside, pretty much every other store-brand I’ve tried has been just as good as the fancy brand.
Some people say, ‘use a coupon and you can buy the name-brands for less.’ I’ve found that even with a coupon, store-brands are still cheaper than the name-brands. Plus I LOATHE clipping coupons. Shocking of me, I know.
My favorite store-brand thingee? Target’s version of Jergen’s gradual tan lotion. It’s a near perfect product, and the cheapest self-tanner I’ve found. Best of all, it stops my legs from being so pale that they glow in the dark. Which is NOT a pretty look on me.

So. What consumer lies chap YOUR hide? What fallacies are we buying into that you are just dying to shine the light on? Share with the group and let the TRUTH BE KNOWN.


mia said...

This reminds me of a story I read in the paper (LA times, I think?) about how some very fancy boutiques got busted for selling Forever 21 clothes. They were buying the stuff at F21 and just putting new tags in it and marking up the prices.

mia said...

Another fallacy--"with running shoes, more expensive is always better." Obviously you want shoes made with real leather and with high-quality cushioning,so you do not want the cheapest pairs. But I can't count how many people I know who bought the wrong shoe for their foot type or paid a lot for trendy touches that do nothing for their running because they bought the most expensive pair on the rack and were convinced it was therefore the "best" for their running. The best performing and "safest" shoe is the one that fits YOUR foot and stride the best, NOT necessarily the most expensive or the trendiest.

mia said...

oops, I didn't mean to say real leather, since most running shoes are made with synthetics. I just meant good quality materials, ones that ventilate well. But anyhow, my point remains that people shouldn't just grab the most expensive pair.

mia said...

Another fallacy: "You can never find clothing/shoes in popular sizes or popular or classic styles for cheap." Yeah, you might be screwed if you shop exclusively at the sale racks of Nordstrom and Macys, but what about consignment? Or outlets? Or discounters? I wear a size 7.5 shoe, which is one of the most popular sizes, and I haven't had any problems finding shoes on sale and clearance.

And with that rant, I am done--for now.

LaRue said...

Here you go: I hate that people think you can only buy quality cotton fabric at Quilt Stores. Sorry, but they actually have some pretty decent stuff at Joanns these days.

And I will say that Fiji water just tastes better to me than tap water. I'm not sure why - maybe it is that calming picture on the bottle. And once again, what is with the Expiration Date on a bottle of water?

mia said...

Larue: Here's your answer on the bottled water question. Looks like it has to do with state laws and retailers' rules that cover all food items.

mia said...

Michelle said...

I agree, the Target version of Wheat Thins is nasty. However, the Trader Joe's version is delicious--and "reduced guilt", too!

Tundrababe said...

This is a great post! These are all things that drive me a little bonkers. Including Tyra - sorry, but she's not buying store brand, I don't care what she says!

The frozen veggies get frozen at the location, so they stay much fresher than the fresh veggies that get put in trucks that are shipped across the country, then sit in a store.

I just thought of something that bugs me - 100 calorie snack packs. Just buy a big box and some baggies, people! Saves a lot of money.

Bionic Beauty said...

Perfect article.
You know what? I think hose water tastes better anyhow. I know, I'm weird. But it's usually when you are all super hot and sweaty from working in the yard and the hose water just tastes soooo good!

I cheap out on all my clothes, except (and it takes guts to confess this on here) my jeans. I have really really tried to wear Target, Old Navy, etc jeans... but my beloved junk-in-the-trunk just won't fit! So I buy 7 for all Mankind *when* I find them on sale (like 2 for one closeouts at Off Saks or Marshalls). I don't buy them for the label but for the fit.

Otherwise, I never shop at the mall. Only Ross, Marshalls and the like. I hate paying full price for clothes. Ick.