Money is tight and things — be they sound systems or vacuums, ice cream or cookies — are expensive, especially now, with inflation still on a rampage.
Even when we have the cash to spare, it’s not always easy to know exactly how to spend it. For instance, should we pass up brand-name products in exchange for cheaper or generic brands? There are plenty of instances when the answer is “yes.” Do brand-name Cheerios really have one over the generic alternatives? Most would argue that they don’t.
But then there are the brands that, though costing more than similar brands, are hands down worth the extra money. Let’s consider 10 brands that, though often not the most affordable option available, always give you your money’s worth.
Good & Gather
“This is one of Target’s store brands so it’s already more affordable than some of the other big brands, but the quality is so good it makes a good mid-tier choice between expensive name brands and ultra cheap generics,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com. “Honestly, some items — like their hot cocoa mix — are even better to me than huge brands like Starbucks, so it’s a top-tier pick for me every time.”
Take Our Poll: What’s the Table Time Limit on a $400 Restaurant Meal?
“Will the cheese and ice cream cost more than other brands? Definitely. Is it worth it? Absolutely,” Ramhold said. “The ice cream is some of the best you can find because they use more cream than is legally required for a product to be called ice cream, so it’s always ultra smooth and creamy. Their ice cream sandwiches are also completely different, because instead of a cakey cookie, they use thin pieces of waffle cone to sandwich their premium ice cream. Their cheese is also a premium choice for sandwiches, including burgers and melts, but the brand also makes yogurt, cream cheese spreads, sour cream and butter.”
“Known primarily for office chairs, this is a brand that is definitely an investment but it can seriously make all the difference,” Ramhold said. “Office chairs can be customized so the arm rests, height, back and more are all suited to your specifications — which means you end up with an office chair that’s more comfortable than anything else you’ve ever sat in.”
“Yes, Hydrox came first, but most generics these days are trying to mimic the chocolatey goodness of Oreos — and just can’t quite cut it,” Ramhold said. “There are perfectly serviceable knockoffs of ‘milk’s favorite cookie,’ but the truth is that nothing is as good as the classic. There are obviously certain flavors of Oreos that aren’t as good as others, but the OG is the best.”
“These blenders are going to require a commitment, especially if you’re prone to sticker shock, but they can blend practically anything,” Ramhold said. “For the smoothest smoothies, milkshakes, even soups, you can’t go wrong with one of these. They make quick work of frozen ingredients without you having to blend for multiple rounds.”
“This is another one that some shoppers will balk at and I can’t speak for their entire lineup, but the vacuums are absolutely worth their price,” Ramhold said. “Once I made the switch to a Dyson, I knew there was no going back; it picks up dust, cat hair and more like no other vacuum I’ve ever used before.”
“The brand caters mainly to menswear, but there’s a small selection of women’s clothing as well,” Ramhold said. “The shirts are pricey — close to $100 each with some items going over that — but the quality can’t be beat. There are frequent sales that help to drop the cost of these items, and the return policy is great, too, although obviously some items are final sale and can’t be returned. I’ve never had trouble returning something that didn’t fit right and their shirts are my absolute favorite dress shirts.”
There are no shortage of technology companies, but only one reigns so supreme that it can charge upwards of a thousand bucks for a phone and sell over 40 million of them within a couple months: Apple. This brand may be exorbitantly pricey, but there’s simply no close duplicate. What’s more, once you’re an iOS user, you’re probably hooked for life. And finally, you can often get a nice price for your device if you sell it when you upgrade.
Peloton has its fair share of haters, but the fitness brand, born in 2012, has gained a following like no other company famed for a spin bike. A new Peloton bike can set you back more than $1,800; but, if you’re an avid fan of spin and devoted to regular workouts, Peloton is probably the way to go — if only for its live on-demand workouts and in-app library.
But the fitness brand has evolved into one of the most hyped brands in the world and its products score generous reviews. You may not need a Peloton specifically to burn calories, but you do need a Peloton in order to get the most out of the classes, which are worth the membership. Also, with exercise equipment, value matters — especially as home gyms become more in demand.
Hailed by Wirecutter as making the best multiroom wireless speaker system, Sonos has won over the ears of listeners around the globe. Going easily for a few hundred bucks, Sonos speakers are surely not the cheapest on the market, but the sound is so clean and precise that you likely won’t be lured away even by competitors like BOSE, which tend to rank below Sonos in reviews of home speaker systems.
More From GOBankingRates