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  #1  
Old 05-15-2017, 02:51 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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What's a specific brand of consumer product that's worth the money and then some?

We spend so much time in life buying things, and a lot of its is overhyped and turns out to be really disappointing, or you go into it knowing it'll suck but you have no choice (Airline travel.) But you know, some brands just deliver the goods. Nothing fancy or stupid expensive, but by God you get what you pay for and then some; they do exactly what they say they will. Stuff like movies or video games and things that are inherently mostly subjective don't belong here; I'm talking about products with a purpose.

Some examples:

1. Sharpies. This thread was inspired by someone mentioning Sharpies. Sharpies are fantastic. I have never, ever been disappointed with a Sharpie. They're affordable and yet work fantastically well, every time. I've been using the same set of permanent Sharpies for by whiteboard (erase by simply drawing over them with a non permanent marker) for a year and they're still going strong. I may as well have bought them yesterday.

2. Heinz Ketchup. My wife is a little cheap and will go out of her way to save 25 cents on a grocery item but when it ocmes to ketchup she'll buy Heinz and nothing else. And she's right. Heinz is delicious. I've tried other ketchups and they all taste exactly like if Heinz ketchup was accidentally not made quite right.

What are your examples?
  #2  
Old 05-15-2017, 02:53 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Philadelphia cream cheese - I've tried the store brands and they don't taste as good.

Pilot G2 ink gel 07 pens - Back when I was working, I had to write a lot of stuff by hand. These pens are so good I went out and paid for them rather than use the ones I got for free at work.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-15-2017 at 02:57 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-15-2017, 03:58 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Pilot G2 ink gel 07 pens - Back when I was working, I had to write a lot of stuff by hand. These pens are so good I went out and paid for them rather than use the ones I got for free at work.
Seconded, after checking my pocket. I use the 1mm pens though.

This is useful to maybe one or two other people here, but I try to buy my river stuff from NRS whenever I can't find what I want at the one or two local outfitters that I'm personally friends with. NRS first tier customer support knows their stuff (or used to, it's been a while since I had to call), and it's nice to start with my question and not have to wait patiently while someone rephrases the catalog descriptions before transferring (Hi, REI, for what little you sell.)
  #4  
Old 08-20-2017, 08:49 PM
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Pilot G2 ink gel 07 pens - Back when I was working, I had to write a lot of stuff by hand. These pens are so good I went out and paid for them rather than use the ones I got for free at work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflakes View Post
Seconded, after checking my pocket. I use the 1mm pens though.
Based on this, and then reading reviews of them versus some competing pens, I ordered a bunch of them. And I have to say thanks, they really are good. Apparently there are a number of clones of other brands that tend to smear or have other issues. Pilots are Japanese made and really good quality.

I tend to prefer medium rather than fine-point ballpoint pens, but these Pilots seem to be rated differently, at least by some sites that consider 0.7 mm to be "fine". They are actually more like medium in other pens. There's also a 0.5 mm in the same line that some call "extra fine". I've seen the 1 mm referred to as "bold".
  #5  
Old 08-25-2017, 09:48 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I tend to prefer medium rather than fine-point ballpoint pens, but these Pilots seem to be rated differently, at least by some sites that consider 0.7 mm to be "fine". They are actually more like medium in other pens. There's also a 0.5 mm in the same line that some call "extra fine". I've seen the 1 mm referred to as "bold".
I use the Pilot Precise V5's (0.5mm) at work but agree that the pen line itself is great. When I started my new job, I brought a couple old pens from my last place and started using them. They got borrowed and, before long, we had the Pilot V5 pens stocked up in the supply closet since that was the type everyone wanted to use.

Last edited by Jophiel; 08-25-2017 at 09:49 AM.
  #6  
Old 05-17-2017, 09:38 AM
kopek kopek is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Philadelphia cream cheese - I've tried the store brands and they don't taste as good.
Agreed.

And Liquid Wrench; best penetrating oil ever created.
  #7  
Old 05-15-2017, 02:59 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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The Right Shoes. If you get a pair of shoes that are fitted properly for your feet, built with your required use in mind (running, basketball, walking, hiking, standing, etc) and have the right mechanics to support your specific foot needs (low arch, pronation, supination, heel spurs, etc) you will do so much more for your entire body than you will save by buying cheap shoes.

I'm a big person who wears New Balance shoes with pronation support and walks miles each week in them, and has zero leg and back problems. Well well well worth the $120 every year or so for the right shoes.
  #8  
Old 05-15-2017, 03:06 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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Bounty paper towels. No other brand absorbs liquids as well.

Tropicana orange juice. Other brands taste like water by comparison.

I'll second the Heinz Ketchup.
  #9  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:52 PM
Atamasama Atamasama is offline
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Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
I'll second the Heinz Ketchup.
I'll third that unless you're talking ketchup flavored with something "extra" like sriracha or Tabasco. In that case you can either buy the cheaper generic flavored version or just buy cheap ketchup and doctor it yourself.

I also vouch for Charmin and Bounty. If I buy generic I regret it.
  #10  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:03 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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High quality toilet paper. Charmin or cottonelle
  #11  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:03 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
High quality toilet paper. Charmin or cottonelle
I use Marcal, and just had a case delivered today. It will probably last me a year.

Either Bounty or Brawny for paper towels too.

Also Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

I'm going to add Tampax tampons, Always pads with wings (wings would have made my teenage periods a lot less unhappy, that's for sure) and Jockey women's underwear to the list. Jockey is about $25 for 3 pairs, but they last, like, forever, or so it seems, and they fit my middle-aged body.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 05-16-2017 at 12:06 AM.
  #12  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:06 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
The Right Shoes. If you get a pair of shoes that are fitted properly for your feet, built with your required use in mind (running, basketball, walking, hiking, standing, etc) and have the right mechanics to support your specific foot needs (low arch, pronation, supination, heel spurs, etc) you will do so much more for your entire body than you will save by buying cheap shoes.

I'm a big person who wears New Balance shoes with pronation support and walks miles each week in them, and has zero leg and back problems. Well well well worth the $120 every year or so for the right shoes.
What new balance do you wear? I like the 927 and 928 models.
  #13  
Old 05-15-2017, 07:27 PM
astro astro is offline
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Kraft grated sprinkle cheese. I get that fresh cheese is better but if we're comparing grated sprinkle cheese in the shaker containers nothing comes close to Kraft.

Mid tier Logitech mice give very good service and value for the money.
  #14  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:27 PM
Annoying Buzz Annoying Buzz is offline
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I was pretty skeptical about 3-bladed razors, and only bought one (a Gilette Mach 3) because I'd forgotten my razor on a trip and that was all the store had. I don't know what made it so different, but I was totally blown away by how much better it was than the 1- and 2-bladed disposables I'd been using. No nicks, no hairs left behind, and easier to keep clean. When the 4- and 5-blade razor came out, I started hoarding Mach 3 blades in a panic, but luckily they're still available.

For pens, the $1 Zebra Sarasa 0.5mm Gel is the only one I ever want to use. It has the perfect combination of reliability, line thickness, line sharpness and comfort. I wouldn't trade it for a Mont Blanc.
  #15  
Old 06-19-2017, 10:38 AM
CelticKnot CelticKnot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
The Right Shoes. If you get a pair of shoes that are fitted properly for your feet, built with your required use in mind (running, basketball, walking, hiking, standing, etc) and have the right mechanics to support your specific foot needs (low arch, pronation, supination, heel spurs, etc) you will do so much more for your entire body than you will save by buying cheap shoes.

I'm a big person who wears New Balance shoes with pronation support and walks miles each week in them, and has zero leg and back problems. Well well well worth the $120 every year or so for the right shoes.
Absolutely. Shoes are an investment. I was born with bad knees, a genetic predisposition to be overweight, and I have EEEE feet and plantar fasciitis. New Balance for work (at a retail mega-mart), Drew or Klogs for dress and future teaching job. Really expensive, but I watch my husband need new shoes every few months because he buys cheap shoes and wonders why he has so many problems with his feet and knees.
  #16  
Old 05-15-2017, 03:05 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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Chili-Cheese Fritos. Haven't found an alternate brand yet that comes close.
  #17  
Old 05-15-2017, 03:09 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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The Wilson Evolution indoor basketball is so far and away the best product in its segment, I don't know why stores even sell others in that price range. The bounce and the grip blow away other leather and composite leather basketballs. I've bought 3 of them at around $55, and I'd probably pay double the price for that ball.
  #18  
Old 05-15-2017, 04:14 PM
Fiendish Astronaut Fiendish Astronaut is offline
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The electronic calculator. You can get a solar powered one for a dollar and they'll last a life time giving you accurate calculations that only a few generations ago would have been hugely complicated and time consuming for a single person to perform.
  #19  
Old 05-15-2017, 04:50 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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NRS, Chaco, REI.
  #20  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:33 PM
D'Anconia D'Anconia is offline
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Originally Posted by chacoguy View Post
NRS, Chaco, REI.
What's a Chaco?
  #21  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:11 PM
astro astro is offline
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What's a Chaco?

These
  #22  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:38 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Bad link.
  #23  
Old 05-17-2017, 02:29 AM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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What's a Chaco?
Here.
  #24  
Old 05-16-2017, 04:29 AM
pullin pullin is offline
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Originally Posted by chacoguy View Post
NRS, Chaco, REI.
Not challenging you, just curious. Is REI really that much better? Or is it mainly better for heavy/rugged users (who actually get out in the wilderness)? I'm asking mainly about hardware like stoves, lanterns, etc. I think Coleman or even the Cabelas/Gander brands are OK for the average "outdoorsman".

To the OP: Craftsman or Snap-On tools. My info may be dated because I haven't had to buy replacements* for either brand in 35 years. At least at the time, they were worth the higher price.

*I have a picture from 1981 of myself working on an engine with my tools/toolbox beside me. This week I used the same tools, out of the same box, to fix the garage door.

Last edited by pullin; 05-16-2017 at 04:30 AM.
  #25  
Old 05-16-2017, 10:49 AM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Originally Posted by pullin View Post
Not challenging you, just curious. Is REI really that much better? Or is it mainly better for heavy/rugged users (who actually get out in the wilderness)?
REI makes decent gear, quite useful for actual adventure. There are many better brands out there that are top end, but most REI brand gear will suffice for rugged adventures.

Having said that, I have only a few pieces of gear from REI other than basic clothing items.
  #26  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:46 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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What are variously called "side", "safety", "safe-cut", or "smooth-edge" can openers: The ones which pry the lid off instead of cutting it, which is both easier and safer compared to the classic can openers which required you to cut metal and left a gratuitously sharp edge. The smooth-edge can openers are how can openers always should have been, and they make the older kind seem like a bodge job perpetrated by someone who didn't fully understand the problem.

Also, the lid can't fall into the can when the lid is bigger than the can, as it is when you've taken off the whole top, as opposed to just cut off a piece of the top.
  #27  
Old 05-18-2017, 02:05 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pullin View Post
Not challenging you, just curious. Is REI really that much better? Or is it mainly better for heavy/rugged users (who actually get out in the wilderness)? I'm asking mainly about hardware like stoves, lanterns, etc. I think Coleman or even the Cabelas/Gander brands are OK for the average "outdoorsman".
Not really what you're asking about OR in the spirit of the thread, and I'm only a dilettante dayhiker, but I have found REI's house brand to be a fantastic value when it comes to hiking clothing (have a couple pairs of shorts and a few shirts from them) and backpacks.

I was in the market for a real hiking backpack with pole storage and space for a hydration bladder and that sort of thing, enough pack to do anything short of actual backpacking-where-you-sleep-outside, and I was looking at Osprey, but REI's packs actually had more features for cheaper (come with their own rain covers, for example) so I ordered one to try, knowing I could count on their satisfaction guarantee, and I have been so satisfied with this pack that I'm now their best free advertising. I tell everyone how great this pack is. I'm sure part of it is that I've never had a woman-specific pack before, but I could seriously not improve this pack unless it was by having somebody else carry my stuff for me. AAA+ would buy again, and I got it for about $60 with a coupon.

In other words, in my opinion the REI Co-op stuff is cheaper than similar prestige brands and just as nice if not nicer. I like the shorts I bought from them better than any others I've found, for example.

ETA - next time they send me a coupon code I'm upgrading my trekking poles to their house brand, BTW. I think I want the $90 ones with the cork handles, but I keep considering the $140 lighter ones. Decisions, decisions.

Last edited by Zsofia; 05-18-2017 at 02:07 PM.
  #28  
Old 05-18-2017, 03:12 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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In other words, in my opinion the REI Co-op stuff is cheaper than similar prestige brands and just as nice if not nicer.
REI stuff is a good value, and some of their products are quite good, but they're not up to the workmanship and materials of a real high end pack or jacket, for example. Good enough for most anything, but not really better. Granted, most folks don't need the "better" stuff. I have an REI pack that I use frequently, but I also have several others. Now, they've made an effort in recent years to re-position their house gear as high end, but IMO that's had limited success. The two areas they've done best at are packs and tents. Most of the other stuff is good, but not really premier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
ETA - next time they send me a coupon code I'm upgrading my trekking poles to their house brand, BTW. I think I want the $90 ones with the cork handles, but I keep considering the $140 lighter ones. Decisions, decisions.
Here's a case in point, the Black Diamond Flicklock poles are the best I've used, and I've gone through well over half a dozen pairs from various manufactures over the years. They work more reliably and stand up to abuse better than any of the others. BTW, I think Leki makes the REI branded poles.
  #29  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:44 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Fiendish Astronaut View Post
The electronic calculator. You can get a solar powered one for a dollar and they'll last a life time giving you accurate calculations that only a few generations ago would have been hugely complicated and time consuming for a single person to perform.
A lot of the electronic devices available today—computers, TVs, tablets, smartphones, ereaders, etc.—give you so much for your money compared to what you could get for the same price thirty or twenty or ten or even five years ago. But I don't think that's the kind of thing the OP had in mind unless we're specifying a particular brand that's great value compared to its current competitors.

At one time I would have said Band-Aids, since I hadn't ever found a competing brand or generic version that stayed on nearly as well; but I don't think that's true any longer.
  #30  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:26 PM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
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Puffs an Charmin.
  #31  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:31 AM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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Originally Posted by igor frankensteen View Post
Puffs an Charmin.
Just don't get them mixed up.

As for me, it's Diet Coke. I will, and have, drink nothing if my only choice is that other big brand of soda.
  #32  
Old 05-16-2017, 09:53 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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S&W canned beans. Store brand beans are just uniformly bad.

Kettle brand potato chips.

Lie-Nielsen woodworking tools, if you're really serious about the hobby. Also pre-1950 Stanley blade tools, if you're on a budget.

Lucini olive oil.

Kerrygold butter.
  #33  
Old 05-15-2017, 05:50 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot barley wine.
  #34  
Old 05-15-2017, 06:33 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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OP mentioned Sharpies, which reminded me of Pilot G2 pens. I don't think anyone mentioned them yet.

Don't buy the cheapest blank DVDs. I don't get the really expensive ones either, but I find that Verbatim has the best price vs. quality point. That said, DVDs shouldn't be used for long term storage,

I am perfectly happy buying generic medications, and still feel that way about pills. But the name brand Catapres transdermal patches (generic is Clonidine) lasted a full week while generic brands are a crapshoot. Some worked just as well while others, while cheaper, ended up falling off after a few days so there is little price savings. And you couldn't really choose which generic supplier they had in stock.
  #35  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:07 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
What new balance do you wear? I like the 927 and 928 models.

I'm a 990 kinda gal. They're stylish too!
  #36  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:25 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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JIF
  #37  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:42 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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Dr. Pepper - I can spot a (poor) imitation at first sip.

Adidas running shoes - models change, but the quality construction remains.
  #38  
Old 05-15-2017, 11:35 PM
octopus octopus is offline
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Publix ice cream.
  #39  
Old 05-16-2017, 12:11 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Hypafix
Comes in 2,4,6 inch widths x 10 yds.

Hypoallergenic adhesive, stays on when wet but pulls off without tearing skin. Besides dressing wounds(which is where I heard of it) it can also secure medical devices.
  #40  
Old 05-16-2017, 05:31 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Merrell shoes and boots.
  #41  
Old 05-16-2017, 05:31 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Saran Wrap.
  #42  
Old 05-16-2017, 06:03 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Another Heinz Ketchup lover, even though the company passed on my marketing idea.
SPOILER:
Heinz, because Hunts is for *****.


A friend of mine is in love with Bose products. I'm hearing impaired, so I'm a poor judge of audio. But he's given me a few Bose products (headphones, stereo) and I'm impressed by the quality construction.
  #43  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:13 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Another devotee of Pilot G2 Gels. People complain they smear all the time. Just give it an extra couple seconds on glossier stuff before swiping something against it.

Consumer Reports did an article on toilet paper some time back. They recommended the 3-ply Walmart store brand White Cloud. Mrs. FtG is never going to buy another brand again. While cheap being a store brand, there is still cheaper stuff out there so it is worth the little bit of money.
  #44  
Old 05-20-2017, 12:56 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Grass fed beef -- a few years ago my sister's friend brought over some burgers, and it was so much better.

Count me as another Heinz fan. (Any self-respecting Yinzer that eats anything else should be tossed into the Allegheny)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Another Heinz Ketchup lover, even though the company passed on my marketing idea.
SPOILER:
Heinz, because Hunts is for *****.

SPOILER:

People from Cleveland?
  #45  
Old 05-20-2017, 04:18 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
SPOILER:

People from Cleveland?
same, same.

(Apologies to my friends in Cleveland)
  #46  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:40 AM
boffking boffking is offline
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Cabot cheese.
  #47  
Old 05-16-2017, 11:36 AM
xizor xizor is offline
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Cabot cheese.
Seconded. As it is the only lactose free brand of real cheese I have ever found, it is all I buy.

As for shoes, I bought a pair of Skechers running shoes with memory foam padding. It was like running on pillows. I am on my 5th pair and still love them.
  #48  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:42 AM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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Another vote for Pilot G2 pens. My only complaint is that the grips can get a little gummy after a while, but they probably weren't designed to be used for years at a time.

At one time I would have said Clarks. I needed some dress shoes for my first job out of college, tried on a pair, and decided I had to have them. They cost more than what I had planned on spending, but those shoes lasted me almost ten years. And sooo comfortable -- they are what led me to coin the word "footgasm". When they finally wore out, I bought another pair, and they were just as good. But I bought a pair a few years back and was not as impressed. Maybe they had outsourced to China by then.
  #49  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:46 AM
Mr Shine Mr Shine is offline
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Coca-cola zero. None of the the generic brands I've tried have come close.
  #50  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:54 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Another vote for Pilot G2 pens. My only complaint is that the grips can get a little gummy after a while, but they probably weren't designed to be used for years at a time.

At one time I would have said Clarks. I needed some dress shoes for my first job out of college, tried on a pair, and decided I had to have them. They cost more than what I had planned on spending, but those shoes lasted me almost ten years. And sooo comfortable -- they are what led me to coin the word "footgasm". When they finally wore out, I bought another pair, and they were just as good. But I bought a pair a few years back and was not as impressed. Maybe they had outsourced to China by then.
*looks at username*
There are other brands to try.

Last edited by running coach; 05-16-2017 at 07:54 AM.
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