When I think of college I think of cheap moving boxes and cheap Chinese. I was pretty young when I left home, just barely seventeen. To my untrained mind “cheap” was the answer to everything. I had come to understand that when something was cheap you got more and at less of a price, which didn’t make sense, but perhaps the rest of the world just hadn’t figured it out yet. So that’s how it went for me. The off brand all the way. Granted, I still don’t buy much name brand stuff as an adult, married and with a family. Unless we are talking about shells and cheese. I have yet to find an off brand that beats Velveeta, but I think you have to like Velveeta in the first place, which many people do not.
There is a different between “off brand” and “way off brand” (although I must clarify that none of this applies to cheap moving boxes or cheap Chinese). Usually on the shelf you will see the name brand item, take Fruit Loops for example. Next to them will be the store brand (off brand choice number one), and they are probably calling it something like Fruit Rounds. Basically as close as they can get to the real deal.
Then, off to the side, are the bags of the way off brand, and the only name they can afford to mass produce is Os. Stay away from the Os, man. There is probably not more than three ingredients in those things, and two of them are bound to be sugars. Did I mention that there is something that far exceeds the name brand? I don’t know what this brand would be called, but I think “organic” does the trick. Usually these brands are in their own section, so they don’t have to associate with the lowers classes, and their names are usually tribal and sympathetic: Wallabee Planet Happiness, The Crunchies that Love the Rainforest, Sans Gluten Wafer Goodness… you get the point.
Well, I stayed away from all brands unless the product was so cheap you could see through the plastic silverware and the thread count was no more than, like, 30 or 40. Of course as I grew older I also outgrew the naivety that cheap means best. Let’s just say that I “upgraded”. But two things that never need to be upgraded? Cheap moving boxes and cheap Chinese. They will never let you down, no matter how little you are paying.