Are you sick and tired of paying too much for flu and non-flu medicine? Here's a list of a few popular generic substitutes for the more expensive brand-name medications.
We turned up lots and lots of men's and women's watches for less than $35, which is good news for frugal buyers. Watches reviews indicate that you'll have no trouble finding a nice-looking, reliable model that fits your style, be it a simple, classic analog watch or a more feature-oriented digital model.
Watches Crystal.The "crystal" on a watch doesn't refer to any gems or stones that may be set in the watch but to the clear cover that sits on top of the watch dial. The three most common watch crystals are mineral, acrylic, or sapphire. Mineral crystals are relatively scratch-resistant but not shatter-proof. Most cheap watches, including our top picks -- the men's Timex Easy Reader T20041 (starting at $29, Amazon) and Casio WS210HD-1AVCF (starting at $33, Amazon) and the women's Timex 1440 T5J151 (starting at $12, Amazon) and Casio LTP1237D-7A (starting at $21, Amazon) -- feature a mineral crystal. Acrylic is the least expensive crystal to manufacture and the least likely to shatter, but it does scratch easily (buffing may remove shallow scratches). If durability is high on your list of critical attributes, the Timex 30-Lap Ironman T53151 with its acrylic crystal may be your best choice.
At higher price points you'll find watches with a sapphire crystal, which is the most expensive to produce and the most susceptible to shattering but is notably scratch-resistant. A few watches boast a mineral-sapphire crystal (mineral base and sapphire coating), which reduces the likelihood of scratching or shattering. Invicta has developed a hybrid mineral-sapphire crystal called a "flame fusion" crystal, a key feature of the Invicta Men's 9938 Pro Diver (starting at $279, Amazon).
We found few complaints in watches reviews about scratched crystals on our top picks. Watches reviews posted at Walmart, for example, say the women's Timex 1440 T5J151 survives inadvertent knocks and bangs, fitness workouts, showers, and dish washing without ill effect. The men's Timex T20041 Easy Reader also passes the scratch test in watches reviews found on several sites, including Overstock. Several watches reviews at Amazon about the men's Casio S210HD-1AVCF refer to scratches on the "soft" mineral crystal that appear within days of first use or when fitting the metallic band. (User tip: Buy a protective cover for the face.) The women's Casio LTP1237D-7A is a dress watch and unlikely to suffer much exposure; indeed, we came across only one complaint about scratching in a watches review, although the wearer says the watch still looks classy. Several watches reviews on Amazon about the men's Armitron 408177 report the mineral crystal is susceptible to scratching. Reviewers of the woman's Geneva SW-6886 are mum about scratched crystals but do suggest that this model may have limited durability and usefulness.
Watches Movement.Specifications for a watch always make reference to its "movement," which is the mechanism that keeps the time. Quartz movements are usually battery powered and are the most common, especially in the budget watches segment. Among the watches we researched, the women's Timex 1440 T5J151, Casio LTP1237D-7A, and Geneva SW-6886 and the men's Timex Easy Reader T20041, Armitron 408177, and Timex 30-Lap Ironman T53151 feature a quartz movement. A variant on the quartz theme is the men's Casio WS210HD-1AVCF, whose solar-powered battery draws energy from the sun and doesn't ever need replacing.
The two other types of watch movements are found in models priced far above the Cheapism ceiling. Some upmarket watches use the classic spring-powered, or mechanical movement -- wind it up to set the mechanism and the spring powers the watch hands. Watches with mechanical movements are very intricate, requiring tiny gears and other parts, and thus quite expensive. Watches with an automatic movement, like the Invicta 9938 Pro Diver, are similar to mechanical watches except that your natural motion while wearing the watch provides the energy to keep it running. An automatic watch may need occasional resetting because it can lose a few seconds or minutes over the course of several weeks or if you don't wear it regularly. Alternatively, you can attach the watch to an automatic watch winder, like the Belocia winder (starting at $40, Amazon), which watches reviews indicate does a fine job keeping an automatic watch ticking on-time while sitting at rest on an inanimate object.
Watches with battery-powered quartz movements should keep good time as long as the battery is working. Again, we found very few negative reports in watches reviews about inaccurate time-keeping by any of our top picks. The men's Casio WS210HD-1AVCF scores for reliability in watches reviews posted at Walmart and Amazon, although a few users note that the tides function needs resetting every few days to maintain accuracy. The men's Timex Easy Reader T20041 also earns kudos for accurate time keeping in watches reviews at several sites, including Amazon. Users say the pricey Invicta 9938 Pro Diver, with its automatic movement, keeps good time if worn regularly or placed in a watch winder, although one watches review at Ashford reports that it gains a couple of minutes every day.
Wearers have little to say about the time-keeping skills of the women's Timex 1440 T5J151 or Casio LTP1237D-7A, which leads us to conclude that these two budget watches hit the mark on time. Numerous watches reviews of the former posted at Amazon and Walmart, though, run on about the sports-oriented features that accurately track workout times and pre-set durations. The Casio LTP1237D-7A is also lauded in watches reviews on Amazon, but largely for its classic and feminine styling. Female users also appreciate the accuracy and reliability of the dressy Timex 2H351 Easy Reader, according to comments posted at Walmart. The women's Geneva SW-6886 gets dinged on the time-keeping front in a couple of watches reviews that report it starts to run slow after a few months.
Watches Extra Features.Fancy watch makers refer to a watch's extra features as "complications." Cheap analog watches tend to have few if any complications (that may mean no second hand), although models like the men's Timex Easy Reader T20041 and women's Timex 2H351 Easy Reader boast a date display. These two watches also feature the company's energy-efficient Indiglo technology, which illuminates the watch in the dark.
Digital watches, even cheap models, often sport several complications. Chronographs (a stopwatch feature), countdown timers, calendars, and alarms are popular extra features in digital watches. Some also come with lap counters and other tools; the men's Casio WS210HD-1AVCF includes a graph to track tides and moon phases. The men's Armitron 408177 features a stopwatch, lap counter, and alarms but users complain that the beeping sound that accompanies every button press to set these functions gets annoying in a hurry.
All but one of the watches we researched are water resistant to at least 99 feet. Specs for the women's Geneva SW-6886 don't mention this feature. Again, reports generally indicate that these models hold true to the stated claims.
Don't Bother Cheap Watches
Men's Invicta 9938 Pro Diver Review
Men's Timex 30-Lap Ironman T53151 Review
Geneva Women's SW-6886 Review
Men's Armitron 408177 Review
Casio Men's WS210HD-1AVCF Review
Casio Women's LTP1237D-7A Review
Timex Women's 1440 T5J151 Review
Timex Men's Easy Reader T20041 Review
Out with the old and in with the new - lots of posts from us to you this week. Renew yourself ...
Unfortunately this year's cold and flu season is particularity severe. Protect yourself and your family with these frugal common cold tips and remedies.