Posts Tagged ‘generic’

Yesterday I talked at length about the art of stocking your pantry. Today I want to offer three quick and easy tips to help you save money while you stock. As long as you’re buying ahead, you should look for ways to save a few bucks, right?

Consider generic brands

Maybe you notice a taste difference with stand-alone products like soda or salad dressing, but can you really tell the difference when it comes to ingredients like chicken broth or baking powder? Generic brands offer some real savings since they run at sometimes a fraction of the cost of name brands. I said it before when speaking about hair-care products, and I’ll say it again here: if you can’t tell the difference, why not make the switch? Believe me, you won’t be sorry.

Buy in bulk

In addition to switching to generic brands, you might think about the money saving possibilities involved with buying in bulk. If space allows, purchasing a larger size of any given food product usually results in savings. Some stores display the price per ounce for various products and you can use this data to decide which size is most cost-effective. For example, when I buy olive oil, I try to buy the largest size even though the upfront cost is rather high. After studying the price per volume of all the available sizes, it’s really a no-brainer. Olive oil lasts a long time, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and I use it constantly…so why not buy big! And of course an added benefit of buying in bulk is that larger items last longer, meaning you won’t have to re-stock them as often!

Buy on sale

Since you’ll be buying ahead anyway, you might as well watch for sales at your local grocery stores and buy when prices are low. I have particular items I watch for in my weekly sale flyers, like meat, fruit and vegetable produce, ice cream, frozen juice concentrate, or cereal. I buy them only when they go on sale, making sure to purchase enough quantity so they last until the next time a sale occurs. If you study the habits of your grocery stores, you’ll begin to see patterns in how often various foods go on sale.

Reader Reflection

Do you have any tricks of the trade to share when it comes to saving money in stocking your pantry?

Coming up…

So far in this series we’ve looked at how stocking your pantry saves time and how creative buying habits can save money. Tomorrow we’ll explore one final facet of the pantry…how to organize it!


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When thinking about ways to cut cost, people often focus on the big things rather than on the little things in life. But I’m here to tell you that the little things matter! If you cut cost in small ways, but do it all across the board, those savings will really begin to add up! Here are two quick and easy tips about how to save some money in your bathroom when it comes to hair care products.

Consider how much you use

Evaluate how much shampoo and conditioner you are using each time you wash your hair.  Are you just squeezing the bottle until you fill your hand up with a nice big glob? I’ve found that I use excessive amounts of these products if I’m not paying attention. Figure out how much you really need (i.e. how much hair do you have?), and then be careful to use only that amount each time you take a shower. Also feel free to experiment with varying amounts if you’re not sure. Your bottles of expensive hair care products will last much longer if you use them sparingly.

Go generic

Speaking of expensive hair care products, consider giving generic brands a try. I personally have tried lots of different brands of shampoo and conditioner. I sometimes shop at Walmart and can’t help but notice their Equate brands that often can cost half as much as the name brands. I’m not saying that all generic brands are as good as non-generics, but it doesn’t hurt to give them a try, considering the money that could be saved. And in the end if you can’t tell the difference, then why not switch?

So what happens if you think you might be too biased to tell the difference? In other words, you just can’t let yourself believe that a generic brand of your favorite shampoo could be as good, so you won’t ultimately be honest with yourself? Here’s what you should do: have your spouse or a friend prepare both the name brand and the generic version in unmarked bottles, so only they know which one is which. Then you can try them a few times and really be honest with yourself about which one you prefer. And it’s okay to prefer your name brands, because it’s true sometimes they are superior. Just keep in mind that sometimes they aren’t.

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