Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cheaper isn't always better

Cheaper isn't always better. This concept was illustrated twice for us this week.

First, we started feeding some of the big round bales of alfalfa we made during our second crop harvest. We made some of the second crop into large square bales and small square bales as well. When you compare the hay from the three different bale types, the hay in the big round bales has significantly less leaves than the large and small square bales.

We had heard that round balers knock leaves off, but we'd never seen it so clearly demonstrated. Glen's father and brother own a round baler, so those bales cost much less to make, compared to the $8 a bale we spend for the big square bales. In the long run, though, the feed quality we lost by knocking all the leaves off will probably cost us more than the expense of hiring a custom operator to make big squares.

Second, when I picked up diapers this week, I purchased a generic brand. I usually buy name brand diapers, despite their higher cost, because they perform better. I've used generic diapers in the past with unsatisfactory results. But since money is tight I thought I'd give the generic diapers another try. It only took about two diaper changes before Glen asked, "Just how much did you save on these diapers?" He can't stand them. And I have to agree. We've had more leaks and more diaper rash and spent more time trying to put them on than we ever had with the name brand diapers. Plus, the material used to make them is so stiff it can't be comfortable.

Then, yesterday in the barn, Dan told me, "My diapee fallin' off." The inferior velcro used to fasten the diaper had indeed come undone, so he was running around with his diaper between his knees.

When you add up the time spent fussing with these diapers and doing extra laundry, not to mention the bottle of Spray n' Wash it will take to treat all of Monika's leaks, I'm beginning to think the generic diapers might not be more economical after all.

A penny saved isn't always a penny earned, despite what the price tag says.

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