My daughter baked cookies the other day, and while her cookies are usually fabulous, these ones had a little ‘taste’ I was not familiar with. Of course, I didn’t say a word to her as she is a very good baker/cook. So I thought about it, “what could be different”?
I reviewed the ingredients in my mind, and a light went off. I had run out of vanilla, and I bought Kroger Brand Imitation Vanilla Flavor a couple weeks ago. It was a great deal – just $1.99 for a rather large bottle. (As opposed to $8.00 for a smaller bottle.) Could the vanilla have caused the new funky flavor?
Well, today my daughter baked cookie batch number two, except this time, with the new and improved ‘real’ vanilla I purchased earlier in the day. I took a bite, and my old cookies were back!
The impact of the cruddy vanilla caused me to think about all the items that I refuse to buy generic for. My list (which now includes vanilla) is as follows:
- Dryer sheets. I bought a generic brand dryer sheet once, and my youngest son ended up with a huge rash. I rewashed all the clothes, and the rash was gone a few days later.
- Laundry Soap. Some of the cheaper brands are just plain bad for your washing machine. Same is true for dishwasher detergent.
- Meat. Although it isn’t slapped with a ‘generic’ label, I only buy highest-quality meats. I have bought some pretty scary pork tenderloin and chicken with a ‘value’ label. Never again.
- Salad dressings. I am very particular about my dressings, and I can’t stand any flavor variance.
- Pop. I don’t buy much soda, but when I do, I go with the old standbys of Coke or Sprite. Meijer brand pop brings back memories of being broke in college and eating frozen pizza and drinking generic pop. Not to mention pop is almost always on sale and not super-expensive in the first place.
- Shredded cheese. I will buy store-brand block cheese, but the generic shredded cheese doesn’t seem to taste or melt correctly to me.
- Chocolate chips. This was a purchase that was definitely not worth the savings to me. The chips were cheaper, but I would have been better off leaving them out altogether.
- Tissue. We were out of town and stopped at Aldi for their version of Kleenex, and they were super thin and scratchy. No more ‘Clarissa’s’ for us. (That is their store brand tissue.)
Believe me, I am all for saving money, but even I have my limits! Are there items you refuse to buy generic?