Do you purchase many generic items? While I love pinching pennies with coupons, there are a ton of easy ways to save simply by choosing to shop generic.
But are all things created equally? Here are 8 items that you should always buy generic ~ I'd love to hear if you agree or disagree!
1. Over the counter medications.
Choosing to purchase the generic version of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and other name brand medicines can save you a bundle, and include the same active ingredients as the more expensive name brands. Unless I have a very high value coupon that I can match up with a great sale, I never pay full price for the name on the bottle. I've found the lowest prices on these to be at Walmart, but watch your drug and grocery stores as well to get a great deal!
2. Cleaning supplies.
Most (not all), cleaning supplies work well, whether they're generic or name brand. While there are a few items that I really do believe in (Dawn Dish Soap, Tide, and Scrubbing Bubbles), most store cleaners work just as well. To save even more, try out homemade cleaning products (a few of my favorites are homemade window cleaner and carpet cleaner.)
3. Baking products.
While I've heard White Lily Flour is absolutely the best, the truth is just about all flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt are made the same, and adhere to FDA requirements on their ingredients. So, unless those name brand items are on sale at a deeply discounted price, make your life easy and pinch a few pennies by picking up the store brand!
4. (Sometimes) diapers.
I won't say that all diapers are created the same (because they're just not, at least from my experience!) However if you have an older baby or toddler, using generic brand diapers at least during the day can save you a bundle, without clipping any coupons. Also try out Luvs (much less expensive than Huggies or Pampers), offers good quality for a fraction of the cost.
The gas from your local Kroger or Walmart station will fill your tank just as well as the name brand kinds, and you can always save by skipping premium gas! If you have a car that requires premium gas, then you may be in a different boat, but for most folks regular gas works just fine. (Read more HERE.)
6. Baby formula.
Okay, I'm going to be honest with you all and tell you this is one I don't know perfectly, so I'd recommend a good conversation with your pediatrician as a possible way to save money here. I nursed my kiddos until they were between six months old and one year old, and at that point did supplement with store brand formula. At that time (it's been eight years!), my pediatrician felt that using the generic brand was fine, as typically manufacturers sold off the right to “last year's” formula recipe to the generic company. I was totally okay with this (and have three healthy children!), but this one's worth having a conversation with your pediatrician to decide if it's worth saving there.
As long as the sunscreen you're purchasing has the UVB protection you want, the store brand or name brand are virtually the same. Purchasing the store brand (especially on sale), can save you between 40-50%, and will easily save you quite a few pennies over the summer months!
If your family drinks soda, save a ton by choosing the store brand version of Coke or Pepsi. This literally will save as much as 50% off the retail price, which can add up quickly during the course of a year if you regularly drink soda products.
So what would you add to (or take off of) the list? I'd love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment to share your tips!
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