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There Are Some Things We Shouldn’t Compromise On

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Woman Comparing Prices in Supermarket
Image courtesy of Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

For those of us living on a limited budget we often have to forego certain products and brands that we would choose if we could, but our finances prevent us from doing so.

For the most part the cheaper alternatives to products are quite acceptable – and in some cases, just as good, but occasionally we need to bite the bullet and spend that little bit extra in order to enjoy a decent standard of quality in what we purchase.

I have to admit that I will often buy the cheaper brands of products like pasta, flour, sugar, butter, and non-food products like paracetamol and cling wrap, but there are some things that I have to be firm about. I have made the mistake in the past of purchasing a cheaper version of a product, only to find that it wasn't worth the few cents I saved in the long run.

Woman Comparing Prices in Supermarket
Image courtesy of Ambro/ freedigitalphotos.net

It took a little bit of trial and error but I eventually learned which products I was prepared to compromise on and which ones I was not.

Here is a list of products on which I will insist on buying quality only:

- Coffee. If you are like me you enjoy a good quality cup of coffee to start the day.

Woman Comparing Prices in Supermarket
Image courtesy of Ambro/ freedigitalphotos.net

- Cheese – cheaper brand cheeses are often salty, detracting from the natural flavour.

- Washing Powder – Not as effective as other brands and I prefer to make my own anyway.

- Soap – Found it much too drying on my skin.

- Toilet Roll – A bit too harsh on sensitive areas.

- Shampoo – I have a sensitive scalp so I need something gentle. I prefer baby shampoo.

- Hairspray – Same issue –Because I have a sensitive scalp I prefer another brand.

- Mouthwash – In my opinion the home-brand mouthwashes taste too sweet.

Woman Comparing Prices in Supermarket
Image courtesy of Ambro/ freedigitalphotos.net

For many baby products in particular those products that are used on a baby's sensitive skin, cheaper prices very often also means cheaper materials which can lead to skin irritations. Whilst it is frustrating to have to spend money on more expensive skin kind products, it's an area where frugality can have a negative impact. An alternative and popular option is to instead make your own and the internet is full of recipes for home made baby wipes, bath products and baby washes.

It’s fine to compromise in order to save money on our grocery bill, but at the same time we don’t want to compromise our standards. It may take a while to find what works for you, but if you gradually introduce some cheaper brand products here and there, you may be pleasantly surprised and if you’re a little bit savvy in the way you use these products, your family will never know the difference. 

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On the subject of shampoo, I would like to share a little secret. I jumped into the shower one morning to find I had no soap or shampoo to bathe with (I am a mere male bachelor). I stood there wondering what I had that would do the job and could only think of one thing - Morning Fresh dishwashing liquid. It seemed a little strange to use it but I had no option so I grabbed it and used it as a hair and body wash. Well the first thing I noticed was that my hair felt very silky and clean as if I'd used top shelf products. I was squeaky clean all over. No dandruff either, if I don't use anti dandruff items then I get dandruff. Also,I lived in the tropics at the time and your body constantly has a film of perspiration and it served to work the Morning Fresh as a time release deodorant. I had the people I worked with coming up to me and saying that I smelled fresh and clean and asking what was I using. I never told them though because I thought it a bit too left field to admit at the time. That was twenty years ago and I still use it to this day. I put a squirt into the washing machine too for the fresh clean smell. No need for compromise here ladies, the stuff is cheap anyway and it's a win win win product. Go on, I dare you to give it a try. P.S , I only ended up on this site because the lady flirting with the peas is very pretty.
Great tip (and a very entertaining reply.) Thanks Darry. Glad you liked the pic, too.
I think that there is not compromise on most things. Do you have allergies? Do you have pain problems? They are both connected. Look at everything you buy and see if it has the following in the ingredients: sulfate, sulfite or sulfonamide. If you are allergic to sulfa drugs stay away from items with these additives in them. Have a pain problem? The same goes for this. Stay away from these additives. I learned the hard way. This is one of the least known allergy and people complain of arthritis, fibromyalgia and other bone and Joint problems. These additives cause these problems to become worse. I have found a lot of the generic brands don't have them when the name brands do. I can guarantee you will find the additives in the generic when the name brand does not have them. That is the only thing I look at when buying anything.

Baby shampoo - I hadn't thought to try that, but will next time, thank you
Really agree with the thoughts you've shared here. I will buy 'own brands' or cheaper products for basic pantry ingredients but for other 'flavoursome' items I have definitely found that quality is what is needed. For these items I try to look out for when they are on special and will buy in bulk if the date range is lengthy. For personal hygiene items cheaper is often not effective - so for things like deodrant, soaps, moisturiser, I have come to rely on brand names for quality and a little goes a longer way in most cases.
This year, I have also been making more of my own stuff and this has been really enjoyable too.
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