One way to save a great deal of money on your grocery budget is to learn to like and use a variety of brands. The sooner you can get over being a brand-snob, the more your pocketbook will thank you.
Be Brave; Try New Things!
I have a confession to make: when we first started shopping at Aldi, I was really leery of buying their products. I figured they’d taste icky and cheap.
But since my husband and I were living on a beans-and-rice budget, we had to make a meager budget work. It was either that – or pretty much starve! So we hesitantly started trying different items from Aldi.
And guess what? We were pleasantly surprised! Not only was most of it not icky or cheap-tasting, we actually liked some of the food better than the brands we were used to buying.
Base Your Purchases on the Price Rather Than the Brand
Let’s say your shampoo stockpile is running low and it’s time to build it back up. If you’re stuck on only buying Herbal Essence shampoo, the cheapest you may be able to buy it is for $1.50 by combining a sale with a coupon. If, however, you’re willing to look for the lowest price on any brand of shampoo, you may very well be able to find shampoo priced at $0.50 per bottle after coupon and sale.
While the savings of $1 per bottle of shampoo might not seem too significant, think about how the savings could add up if you saved $1 on 15 different items each week at the grocery store because you choose price over brand. That would be a savings of $60 per month — or$720 per year. And in most people’s cases, the savings would likely be much more than that.
Don’t Stockpile 35 Bottles of Something If You’ve Never Tried the Brand Before
While I’m all for trying new things and looking at the purchase price rather than the brand, I do want to caution you not to go overboard. If you’ve never tried Cheeseburger and Cream shampoo before and it’s on a great sale and there’s a good coupon out for it, I’d suggest you buy a bottle or two and determine whether you like it or not before you stock up for the rest of the year.
It’s not saving money if you get a sweet deal on 30 bottles of shampoo and then they stay in the stockpile closet for five years because no one will use them!
Yes, Brand Does Matter Sometimes — But Not Much of the Time
Okay, before any diehard brand-dependent person flips out on me, I must clarify that I believe it’s totally acceptable to have a few items where you are stuck 100% on a certain brand.
For instance, we only use Pampers diapers. I have two children with extremely sensitive skin and we’ve tried multiple brands of cloth diapers, Huggies, Luvs, store-brand, you name it and Pampers are the only diapers who don’t break them out in severe diaper rash. So it’s worth it to me to spend the extra money on Pampers (though, since the advent of Swagbucks, I’ve not been paying for diapers out of pocket, so the extra costs don’t hurt as much!).
We also use Shout almost exclusively for stain removal. We have three young children and oh do we have need of a good stain remover! Shout is the only stain remover I’ve found which consistently gets out pretty much 100% of the stains. However, I can usually get it for under $0.75 per bottle by matching a coupon with a great sale, so I’m not really spending much more on it.
Other than Shout and Pampers, we try to keep a pretty open mind when it comes to brands and shopping. And we save so much money by doing so!
What brands are you non-negotiable on? Have you been pleasantly surprised when trying new brands?