July 29, 2012

QUALITY IS A HOAX:

Buy generic. Go ahead, try it. : For each name-brand product you usually buy, try the  generic version at least once. More often than not, you won't notice the difference. (Trent Hamm, July 29, 2012, CS Monitor)

Let's be pessimists and say that you decide that only four of them are worth buying again. On future store visits, you'll save $0.75 each time you buy that generic item instead of the name brand version. If you buy these four items each an average of once a month, you're going to be saving $36 a year and you won't notice a difference compared to what you already buy.

Of course, that's a low-end estimate for your family. We use store-brand paper towels, salad dressings, saltine crackers, liquid soap, Kleenexes, and many other items. I would estimate that we save a couple hundred dollars a year simply by focusing on generics.

Many of those items, such as ketchup and applesauce, have identical ingredient lists and nutrition facts labels as name brand versions. As far as we can tell, they're the same product - except that the generic version is substantially cheaper.

There are other items that might not be quite as good as the name brand version, but the quality difference is small enough that it doesn't really matter. Kleenexes are a good example of this. The only time you'll see a difference is if it's going to be an intense use of the item, in which case you just double up on the generic (or, in my case, use a handkerchief). You'll still save money.

In my experience, the big challenge with generics is getting past the mental block that name brands are somehow better.

Posted by at July 29, 2012 10:29 AM
  

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