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Saving Money in the Kitchen

Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

I recently embarked on a diet that involved a lot of protein, consequently I was making myself a one egg omelette every morning for breakfast (talk about “frugal living” – this diet was particularly frugal on the variety).  Using our large frypan for this meagre meal seemed a little ridiculous, so I headed to a local department store to pick up a smaller “one egg” style pan.

When I found the kitchen utensil section I was presented with quite a choice of frypan; non-stick, copper-based, everything from your designer frypan chic (yes, there is such a thing) to your department store branded product.frypan

I had previously been convinced that when it comes to frypans, to go for the better quality – pay that little bit more and get a product that will last longer and do the job much better.  However, feeling particularly dollar conscious that day, I was experiencing quite a dilemma.  Should I go for the “home designer” $26-99 version or would the $9-95 generic department store brand job be enough?

I stood for ages going backwards and forward in my head “it’s just one little egg every morning, do I really need to spend 26-99?”, “my partner will never use this pan, so is it selfish spending so much on my dietary whims, particularly when I could blow this diet in three days?”  Ok, by now, you’re probably thinking “just by the damn frypan already!” or seek some professional help.

Then it hit me (not the frypan), as my eyes had been going from one product to the other - this was the same frypan.  The exact same frypan with a different label!     I picked them both up and examined them closely, same handle, same silver bit at the end of the hand, same grooved pattern on the base, same colouring on the outside.  The ONLY difference between these two products was the cardboard they were wrapped in – oh, and of course the $17-04 difference in the price tag!   I wanted to scream out to all the other shoppers to come and have a look!

I know that “home brand” grocery lines can be a good buy, as supermarket chains simply go to the branded food manufacturer and put their label on it, instead of the brand name.   But I hadn’t realised the same was true of other products.  I nearly paid over $17 more for the same product, just because of the cardboard it came in.

Has this happened to you with another product?  If so, please feel free to share.   I’ll be keeping my eye out from now on.    By the way, frypan doing well, diet not so good.

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