Can’t Afford the Real Thing? Try These Knockoffs

If you’re having a hard time deciding when to go fake and when to go Faberge, you should know that there is a lot of money that  can be saved with knockoffs and generic items.

And although investing in them can sometimes be a complete waste of funds, due to poor quality, there are a few circumstances when affordable replicas are better than the real thing.

We’ve compiled a list of five knockoffs that are both good for your wallet and everyday life.

Velveeta Cheese

What exactly is Velveeta anyway? Maybe you’ve eaten many times in your chile con queso or gooey grilled cheese and thought it was real cheese. Well, it’s not. Slightly sweet and creamy, Velveeta is actually a “pasteurized processed cheese food.” Pasteurized processed cheese foods contain one or more cheeses, as well as whey solids and dry milk. This mixture is heated up with an emulsifier (process used to mix things that ordinarily would not mix together) such as potassium or sodium phosphate. Then flavoring and color are added, before it’s poured into molds to congeal. Mmmm. Yummy.

We think life would be missing something if this stuff didn’t exist.

Fake diamonds

As far as aesthetics go, if you wore a lab-grown diamond instead of a polished Tiffany’s diamond , you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. This is because both synthetic and mined diamonds are chemically identical and neither a microscope or the naked eye can detect disparities. Only jewelers can determine if the diamond is genuine by reading a laser inscription, which is required by the Federal Trade Commission. Otherwise, it takes very high-tech equipment to analyze the crystal structure of the diamond.

Recently, the Gemological Institute of America — the organization that invented the cut, color, clarity and carat diamond standards over 50 years ago — began grading the quality of lab-grown diamonds. Their findings are quite surprising. Consumers who are wary of the ecological harms of mining, as well as the damage to human lives through the illicit diamond trade in Africa, tend to lean more towards purchasing lab-grown gems. Additionally, after being polished, cut and set, the synthetic stones cost 15 percent less than mined diamonds.

Fake Mashed Potatoes

Not interested in boiling a dozen spuds to make some mashed potatoes? You should opt for instant ones. Plus, if you’re too lazy to peel and boil a few potatoes, you deserve to eat instant.

For starters, they are made from real potatoes, except they are dehydrated and put into a box. And although many would agree that these instant, whipped taters aren’t good for human consumption (or are not as good as homemade), they’re pretty darn good. We just so happen to LOVE Idahoans. How can anyone not like that buttery taste?! Done in less than seven minutes. Oh, and one of the best uses for them is breading homemade chicken tenders!

Fake Tans

Everyone knows that when it comes to getting a fake tan versus a real tan that there is definitely a distinct difference.  The popular notion is that fake tans make you look like an Oompa-Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sure, this may be true for some people, but the upside is you won’t be exposing your skin to the dangers associated with UV rays from the sun. Fake tans also have the ability to cover up an entire range of blemishes on the body and forms a protective layer over the skin.

Can’t afford getting skin cancer or aging skin from sun exposure? A fake tan is the way to go.

Faux Fur

Faux fur is just what you imagine it to be — fake fur. In the past, these synthetic representations were often associated with the lower classes, but today, many people love this alternative to real fur, especially since it means that no animal had to be raised and killed for the purpose of fashion. The best faux fur tend to be made of fine acrylic fibers, which can be dyed to represent the patterns and colors of real animals.