When is buying the brand name worth it?

A major tip that personal finance experts give is “don’t buy brand-name food, you’re just paying for the marketing.” And while I largely agree that you’re just throwing your money out the window if you opt for brand-name rice cakes over no-name rice cakes, there is one grocery store item I refuse to save on.

Maybe it’s something about being born in the decade in which it was produced, but I’m mildly addicted and truly believe nothing tastes like the real thing.  I’ve tried President’s Choice diet cola and I’ve tried RC diet cola and I’ve even tried  random European brands of the  brown stuff, but nothing comes close to the authentic stuff.

There’s just something about the refreshing feel of the icy can in my hand. The sound the can make when I crack the tab open with my index finger. The crackling of the carbonation rising to the surface. But all of that can be replicated with any brand. But what can’t be so easily replicated is the crisp taste of the first sip.

I’ll shell out whatever I need to pay to get it and don’t even bother looking at the price of the no-name competitors because it simply isn’t relevant to me–whatever mark-up I’m paying for the name, is 100% worth it to me. I’d rather eliminate the drink entirely (as I have for my $100/month food budget challenge) than bother going cheap.

What’s the one item that you simply can’t buy the no-name version of?