Five times the less expensive way is better

5 times the cheaper (less costly) way is actually better.

I was a young adult in the ’80s, a time of conspicuous consumption, a time when if things cost more, they were assumed to be better. Sometimes it is true that “you get what you pay for,” or, another favorite, “buy cheap, buy often.”  But sometimes the less expensive is better.

By “better” I mean more effective or more practical.
1. Can openers—Electric can openers cost more than manual ones. They make either a gratifying or annoying sound, depending on your own ears. I can’t bear the sound of an electric can opener, which is fine, because I prefer manual anyway. Manual can openers are more hygienic. They can be washed easily, and quickly replaced if needed.
2. Drain cleaning—Draino or the like—very effective!! But not more effective than running boiling water down a slow drain. (Do this when it is slow, not totally stopped. It still works to unstop a drain but works more slowly.) If, like me, you have an upstairs bathroom and a downstairs kitchen, running up and down the stairs before the water cools is also gratifying.
3. Flea traps—I don’t even want to explain why I have three cats, but in spring and fall they turn into party buses for parasites. If you don’t like chemicals, you can buy electric flea traps from catalogs. They have lights and sticky stuff. They work fine. But just as effective is putting a bowl of water under a classic kids’ nightlight. If you put some dish soap in the water it will be even more efficient, but you might not want to do that if your animals drink from anything other than their own water dishes.
4. Tap water—While everyone knows by now that bottled water causes the trash of bottles, not everyone is aware that tap water is actually more regulated. So if you want water that is pure, don’t get bottled. Go to the sink.
5. Socks—I learned to knit socks. I thought it would be relaxing. It IS relaxing, but it takes me a minimum of a week’s knitting to make socks that can be machine knit in seconds. I hate to say it, but for me, buying mass produced socks is much more efficient.


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