to name brand or not to name brand?

Living on the cheap means sometimes (or often) buying crappy store-brand versions of your favourite products.  Or at least those necessary products that you don't really like but have to buy.  Sometimes you get a product that is just as good for way less money.  Sometimes you get crap that will hang around in your make up bag, cupboard, and under the bathroom sink for the rest of your life, clinging to you like the residue on your glasses.  This creates an aisle dilemma: to name brand or not to name brand?

Here is my own personal, easy to use guide on what products you should really jump the wallet and go name brand for:
  1. Q-Tips (The name brand has become synonymous with the product for a reason.  These little sticks with cotton on the tips are harder to make than one might initially imagine.  Problems with the dollar store version: they only seam to put enough cotton on one side of the stick, so you will stab your ear if you start with the wrong side.  Also, the little stick part is super weak and will bend/break faster than I would in an interrogation.)
  2. Honey Nut Cheerios (Nutty-O's or whatever they call the off-brand versions of this are gross and don't provide any happiness whatsoever.)
  3. Nail Polish Remover (The cheap stuff doesn't even work at all!  It just smudges your nail polish around without removing any!)
  4. Pantyliners  (First let me apologize for using the word "panty", as it's gross.  Second, the glue/sticky bottom on the cheap version just doesn't work at all.  These guys bunch like none other.  Spring for the Kotex or Always.  It's so very worth it.)
So now you have it.  Learn from my mistakes.  Save yourselves from stabbed ears, unhappy breakfasts, smudgey toe nail polish, and bunchy pantyliners, and live better lives than I do, now that I have these cheap, crappy Q-Tips in my life that I can't throw out.  Oh, sorry, I mean "two-sided cotton swabs", because Q-Tip is the name brand, and I can't throw them out because that would be just wasteful, so I will use them and be annoyed every morning for the next million years because there are SO MANY Q-Tips (I mean two-sided cotton swabs, ARGH!) in a box!

Happiness: it's science!

Science says that you'll be happier if you spend your money on experiences over material goods*.

Case in point: every cell phone I have ever bought made me unendingly happy when I first bought it.  I always referred to my new phones as "sexy".  How long did it take for them to be annoying and lame?  (HINT: not very long).  Now, this might have something to do with the fact that I mostly get the cheapest phones that have decent reviews online, but still.

Speaking of, does anyone remember what it used to be like to buy things before every product was extensively reviewed online?  Because I don't, even though it seems I used to do it all the time.

*I am assuming that they are assuming you've already spent some money on, you know, food.

Some artists are smarter than me

I would have never thought of doing this.  Neither would you have.  This is why we need artists.  This particular artist is named Sergei Larenkov and I found him in a really old Boing Boing post that I starred a couple years ago in my Google Reader (pro tip: sometimes it's fun to look back at things you saved for yourself to look at!)

Smart guy, smart quote

"Children need to go to the theatre as much as they need to run about in the fresh air. They need to hear real music played by real musicians on real instruments as much as they need food and drink. They need to read and listen to proper stories as much as they need to be loved and cared for."
-Philip Pullman

Strong Female Characters

This comes from my favourite web comic of all time: Hark! A Vagrant.  The brain on the lady who writes/draws this stuff is amazing and just like mine (but smarter/funnier).  I love her.  Turns out she was recently in Vancouver and I missed her, which makes me want to claw my eyes out, but instead I will share with you one of my favourite of her comics.  If you have trouble reading it because I might not be able to get it to post big enough, view it on her website.  If you don't have trouble reading it here, go to her website anyways, we all need a new web comic to obsess over.