One simple way to save money is to consider cheaper versions of the products and items you buy the most. The generics, the not-at-eye-level-at-the-grocery-store stuff, off brands—these can be your budget’s best friends. But you have to know how to pick and choose, for not all generics are created equally. At times you can feel free to go generic and other times you should just get real.
My favorite generics:
Costco’s Kirkland brand weight loss shakes. These are awesome, taste just as good as You-Know-Who Fast and actually better if you ask me, and they are much cheaper.
Medicine. Over the counter, prescription, pretty much all kinds of medication. You are going to save a bundle and because there are such strict regulations over drugs in the USA you can feel secure in the fact that the product will be of high quality and give you the results you are looking for. I can’t survive allergy season without my 24 hour Alerclear.
Aluminum foil. You won’t even be able to tell the difference, I assure you. I realize how silly this will seem in light of the fact that in the next section I insist that you get name brand Saran Wrap. But just trust me.
Pantry staples. Even Julia Child would be challenged to pick out the generic ingredients in my dishes. Flour, sugar, spices, and other single ingredient items work just the same no matter what bag or bottle they come in.
Saran Wrap. Those other brands are frankly a waste of cellophane! John C. Riley would be appalled. (for the record, I know that plastic wrap in not cellophane but that would kill my joke, right Chicago fans? Right?) They don’t stick, they don’t hold. You will end up wrapping yourself and the cat up together in it before you get it around your leftover casserole. Saran has the secret folks.
Feminine hygiene products. I don’t want to get too personal here and I definitely won’t get graphic but ladies—avoid these if at all possible. I recently fell for the siren song of “buy 2 boxes get 1 free” and I am sorely regretting it. The purpose of these products is to keep you comfortable and clean. Generics do neither.
Breakfast cereals. That Capt’n Crunch runs a tight ship, while the Marshmallow Mateys have a mutiny on their hands! And I wouldn’t want to go to war against General Mills. Look, the generic cereals will work in a pinch but they are never going to stand up to the real thing, or the soggying powers of milk.
Overnight diapers. Let the little beasts run around all day in their generic diapers but for 12 hour leak protection and to save you a ton of time, laundry soap and dryer power stick to the brands we all know and love with the TV commercials with the cute babies. This is especially true when your baby is closer to the upper rather than lower weight guideline of his current diaper size.
Here’s one more juicy tip for you: Beware the Compare! When they print the words on a package *Compare to “Wonderbrand,” proceed with caution. You see, they may not actually be comparable at all, in fact they may not have anything more in common than being intended for the same purpose, and even that can be iffy. So the next time you think, “Oh, hey they say this is the same as the other one except it is cheaper and therefore preferable…” tread lightly, they are actually under no obligation to produce similar results or satisfaction.
A small disclaimer. This information is all based solely on my personal experiences and opinions. I am sure some of you out there would beg to differ. Well, you don’t have to beg! Just go ahead and sound off in the comments. Also, if you know some other off brand items we should be trying let us know.