Last week a neighbor who was going on an extended vacation emptied her refrigerator and asked if I could use the food that would spoil before she returned.
Free food? You bet I said yes.
One item was an unopened package of Thomas' English Muffins. Now I love English muffins. I eat at least two a day, with butter and strawberry jam. But it's been years since I've purchased the Thomas brand because they are several times as expensive as the sale-priced store brands I normally get. I'm the kind of person who stocks up when a store sells its own brand at three for a dollar, and freezes the extras.
The store brands are serviceable. I like them.
BUT, they are SO not as good as the Thomas' variety.
I was forcibly reminded of this as I worked my way through the package left to me by my neighbor. These muffins were fluffier, fresher, with all kinds of nooks and crannies to hold the butter and jam. They were so good, I actually had a dream about them one night.
Still, they didn't last forever and now they are gone.
What's a cheapskate to do?
Would it have been better not to have had the finer brand when I will have to go back to my usual mediocre brands? That doesn't sound right. Why would I deny myself the occasional treat just because I can't have it all the time?
Should I change my frugal habits and start purchasing the Thomas brand? Not likely since I eat too many of them per week.
In the meantime, I read far too many articles on frugality that tell me store brands (of almost anything) are just as good. Can we admit that this is often NOT TRUE? Sometimes I just don't care. For example store brand tomato sauce may not be as good as something more expensive, but once it is in my spaghetti sauce, I don't find that any difference is worth the additional expense.
But for my daily English Muffin fix? Hmm--tougher question.