A lot of us who manage households on a monthly basis look for ways to cut corners and save whatever cash we can. Off-brand items can be a great and easy way to do that is not to pay the money for a brand name when you don’t have to.

How do you know when it’s ok to swap things out, though? Is it just trial and error?

Well, if you’re trying to decide, these people have some advice as far as what brand names they will always pay more for – because they really do work that much better.

1. You’ll regret the cheap paint by your 3rd coat.

Any paints. House paint, car, boat, trains and planes. Usually the higher the cost, the better the paint. Love Sherwin Williams “Emerald” products as house paint.

Always buy the premium brands unless you want to spend all day painting the same walls 20 times. Customers always bought the cheapest paint we had and complained that they needed 5 to 10 coats to cover a wall.

2. Takes a beating.

KitchenAid stand mixer.

I’ve had mine for over 10 years now, use it at least once a week and takes a beating during Christmas time and it still works like a charm.

3. It’s bliss.

Ticonderoga pencils >>>>

i’ll write a whole 10 page essay by hand with one of those babies

My engineering teacher did an entire lesson on why they r the best pencils ever made

4. A lifetime warranty.

Fiskars stuff: axes, shovels, hammers, but also scissors.

Don’t know if you realize, but Fiskars have a life-time warranty. Go on their web site, take a snap of the broken item, and send it to them.

They will replace it, no questions asked. Some of their sewing scissors do break occasionally and I’ve gotten replacements when they do.

5. They will haunt you.


Rose Art crayons have haunted me since I was a child! Till the day I pass. Rose Art crayons are like trying to color with a candle.

6. Go thrifting!

Corelle ware.

That s*%t is damn near indestructible and bonus it’s been around for forever so you often find it super cheap at thrift shops.

7. For lefties.

As a lefty, Zebra F-402 pens.

Fine point, no smear, no pressing hard to get a clean line. Since I discovered them I can’t go back to other ball point pens

8. The only one.

Dawn dishwashing liquid. I haven’t found anything else that works as well.

I bought budget once, and never again.

I had to use far too much to actually get clean dishes, so the bottle only lasted maybe a third of the time that the same-sized Dawn did.

9. A specific skill set.

3M Post-It Notes.

Making an adhesive strong enough to stop the notes curling up at the edge and falling off, but weak enough that you can remove and replace them at will, seems to be outside the skill set of every other company.

10. Good for your wrists.

I always pay the little extra for a Bic lighter over the cheap transparent ones. They rarely break and they’re more ergonomic.

They also last forever. I’ve maybe managed to keep one long enough for it to become empty once or twice

11. They’ll save your back.

Herman-miller. My chair from them saved my back over quarantine.

I once sat in a chair at my public library and even though it seemed basic (four legs, plastic and metal), I felt its balance and quality ergonomics over the course of the hours I spent there. Despite having no padding it was the most comfortable chair I’ve ever experienced.

I was so impressed I had to check the manufacturer, turned out it was Herman-Miller, have been on the lookout for a secondhand deal on one ever since.

12. For the cyclists.

Shimano Ultegra bicycle components. Works smoothly. Reliable. Can’t complain.

They make damn good fishing reels too.

13. You won’t look back.

Corelle dishware. It’s sleek, durable and lightweight.

It’s basically the kevlar of dishes.

14. Splurge or regret it.

Bra. I never had one fit me properly until I was fitted at Nordstrom and then handed a $60 bra with a size I didn’t know was even made and it fit like a glove and was comfortable AND it made my boobs look good.

Edit: Thank you to dimpletown for suggesting I edit this comment to add the brand, which is Natori, they make my 30DD “over the shoulder boulder holder”.

Also, all the silly and ridiculous individuals who comment about pics for proof, please reference the first two adjectives in this sentence.

15. Perfect coffee all day.

Stanley stainless steel vacuum/thermos bottles. I have one that holds a 12-cup pot of coffee that I bought at a neighbor’s estate sale 30 years ago and it was probably 20 years old then. It still works exactly as promised.

I did have trouble cleaning the coffee crud out of the bottom of it until I saw a Heloise Hint on this: Fill it about 1/3 full of hot tap water and drop in about 4 denture-cleaning tablets and let it sit overnight. You wouldn’t believe how clean it is after that treatment!

16. Just ask the Roadrunner.

acme brand dynamite

I highly recommend this to all my fellow coyotes with a roadrunner nemesis.

Have we blown up our enemy once? No. Have we blown up ourselves an irresponsible number of times? Yes. But when we do, we’re doing it with Acme- a quality explosives manufacturer.

10/10 would self detonate again.

17. A lot more expensive.

Miele vacuums.

Used to buy a new vacuum cleaner, every year an a half. Bought one Miele and it’s still going strong after 12 years. I don’t care if was four times as expensive to purchase.

The cost per year for the Miele is actually lower!

18. What about the lids?

In all honesty, tupperware.

My mom has some tupperware containers that are almost as old as me and they are still in good condition. It’s rare that I can find plastic containers that are even close in quality and durability.

19. For generations.

Zippo lighters

Amazing quality. Lifetime guarantee with a no questions asked repair or replacement policy. You can find a broken one randomly on the street, mail it to them and they will repair or replace it.

A zippo lighter will last generations.

For anyone interested but doesn’t like using lighter fluid. Zippo now makes inserts for both butane and electric arc lighters.

20. You don’t want to be more uncomfortable.

According to my wife, Feminine products that aren’t name brand either don’t function well or are extremely uncomfortable. Having a more comfortable time during that part of the month is far superior to using uncomfortable products to make it twice as bad. (Her words, not mine.)

To add: I’m 33 and been with my wife since we were in high school. I’ve purchased a lot of these products myself, even when I was first dating her. It’s either being a paper or cardboard insert that is rough/uncomfortable or the cotton is just not safe and doesn’t stay together as it should (as a few have stated here as well). This is mostly from store or off brands at Fred Meyer (Kroger) as that’s where we’ve always shopped, or the occasional Safeway trip. We don’t have any Walmart or Costcos near us so we have no idea how their brands are.

21. Truth in advertising.

Darn Tough socks….they really are.

22. Something to pass along.

I’m a chef. Kitchen knives, you never cheap out on. I suggest Wusthof. Or Shun. I mean look at this thing, it’s gorgeous.

Buy a good knife once and you’ll be giving it to your kids one day.

23. It’s not just you.


I don’t know what all the other brands and generics are doing, but I swear their cotton to stick ratio is always off. Too pokey or too soft. Can’t be just me…

24. The cheapies just dry out.

As a teacher, Expo whiteboard markers.

25. Worth the splurge.

Knipex hand tools Milwaukee power tools.

Klein prices went insane during the oil boom. I bought a pair of Knipex linesman’s pliers and they were great.

I’ve got a Milwaukee power ratchet. I’ve never used a tool so much! I call it Frank, like the hot sauce. I use it for everything!

26. No bones about it.

KitchenAid. All other stand mixers suck in comparison.

27. They don’t last like they used to.

Don’t cheap out on appliances.

I got a Bosch set for my washer/dryer and so far they’ve outlasted 3 sets of my father-in-law’s LGs, Samsungs, and another one I don’t remember. People complain appliances don’t last as long as they used to, and while I don’t disagree, it’s often because they buy the cheap models.

28. Fork over the dough.

Kerrygold salted butter.

Honestly. KGold absolutely ruined regular conventional American butter for me, forever.

Can’t pay me to go back.

29. Take care of your feet.

Carhartt socks. I am super picky about my socks. If they’re too tight, my feet sweat and get cold. If too loose, they bunch up in my shoes as I walk. Too thin and they’re useless in winter. Too thick and they are too tight when I’m wearing shoes.

Carhartt produces several socks that are perfect, especially for winter. Loose enough to let my feet breathe, not too thick to feel uncomfortable in my shoes, and no bunching as I walk.

30. It won’t crack.

Pyrex glass cookware and food storage containers.

I’ve had cheaper things crack on me, lids break. But Pyrex lasts forever.

31. Worth every penny.

3M. Their products are worth every penny compared to other brands and third party sellers.

Their tape alone is a complete world apart from everything else in the market. Worth it!

I remember the first time I used 3M electrical tape instead of just getting the cheapest stuff the store had. The difference is absolutely unbelievable.

32. Like it’s brand new.

Vitamix blenders. I’ve had mine for years, and it still blends like it is brand new.

33. The perfect pen.

Pilot G2 Pens.

My dad actually orders his with a .38 tip. He loves the flow, doesn’t smudge as much.

I’m taking all of these to heart, y’all. It will save us money in the long run.

What about you? What brands do you think are always worth it? Let us know in the comments!