Budget Boot Camp Challenge III + Hanes Giveaway

90-Day Budget Boot Camp – Challenge #III + Giveaway

This is Challenge #III, sponsored by Hanes , in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. Scroll down to find out how to enter their exciting giveaway! If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Are you ready for the next challenge in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp? Here it is!
I live in an area that doesn’t double coupon and therefore we don’t often use coupons for food to get it free. In fact, we don’t often use coupons for food. You see a lot of the food I buy is generic and those brands don’t come with coupons but they do come with savings.

One common question I get is, “Would you really clip a 25 cent coupon to pair with an expensive product?” The simple answer (greeted by sighs of relief) is “no.” The key to saving is to couple great sales on brand name products with great savings. For example for months I would constantly clip a familiar brand’s frosting coupon for $.35 off. Although the frosting would go on sale it would never get cheaper than $1.75 and with the coupon that made it $1.45. A store brand’s frosting? Always $1.20! Why oh why was I clipping a coupon for a product we never used? Needless to say I quit and this week’s challenge is all about why you should really look at those name brands and work out if you can live without them.

In our house,

* If it’s frozen pizza it’s gotta be Jack’s

* If it’s bbq sauce it’s gotta be Sweet Baby Ray’s

* And if it’s Mac N Cheese only Kraft will do.

However, all these items are brand names and therefore cost more than their store brand equivalent and over time we’ve tried out different options. You may feel loyal to one particular brand and only ever buy what they make but if you want to save money, it’s better to at least try store brands.

One place that saves you big is ALDI. Compare Ragu pasta sauce at around $2 to the ALDI brand at $.99 and the savings is big. ALDI chips are a mere $1.19 compared to most brands at $2 or even more. While the savings are huge what keeps us from buying store brands? What keeps even a seasoned frugalite like myself from breaking down and buying a cheaper BBQ sauce?

Is the taste in our heads or not?
I’ve questioned that time and time again and have even been known to buy cheaper pasta sauce or pizzas and add ingredients like oregano and cheese to make them taste better and more like the name brand. I spend nowhere near as much as if I’d bought the brand name but it’s as good.

Are those diapers really as good?

When I first had Isaac a few friends told me to avoid a certain store bought diaper so I did. One day my friend brought me over a diaper cake with the cutest diapers in it. I had no idea what brand they were and started using them and loved them. It turns out that they were the same ones I’d been told to avoid! I’ve used Huggies, Pampers, Target, Wal-Mart, ALDI and Walgreens brands and you’d be surprised by which I like the most! What I’ve found is that different brands work for different sizes. For example, Size 1 Target diapers are great but when he was in a Size 2 I preferred Walgreens ones. I think it’s all a little bit about experimenting but what I do know is that store brand diapers are just as good.

Consider store bought baby food and snacks or even formula.

I have compared ingredients on formula and found them to be exactly the same. The only difference? About $10 in price. That is huge! Even with a great coupon, store bought formulas are cheaper and just as good.

A lot of the time the reason that brand names are more is because of the marketing. If I asked you to name a famous baby lotion brand few of you would say Burt’s Bees or Aveeno. I bet most of you would name the one that our parents used on us: Johnson & Johnson. Does it make it better or simply more well known? I think it’s worth trying the other brands out and watching how much you can save. If pasta sauce saves you $1 by buying generic and you switch 20 items in your cart, that’s a $20 savings per grocery shop!

If you are like us and loyal to a few specific brands, watch out for sales and know what’s a good deal. We only buy MacN Cheese when it gets to about $.60/box and BBQ sauce right before grilling season when it’s $1 in most stores. By doing that we can still enjoy a few brand products without paying brand name prices.


Snacks are necessary with kids and yet they will quickly put a dent in your budget. Quite simply the best place to buy snacks is ALDI . Even with a coupon, they simply can’t be beaten. Here’s my list:

1. Big bag of chips. ALDI $1.19 all the time. Other stores 2/$4 on sale.

2. Rice crackers. ALDI $1.79. Other stores $2.50

3. Tortillas. ALDI $.99. Other stores $2

4. Nuts. ALDI $1.99. Other stores $2.50

5. Peanut butter. ALDI $1.25. Other stores $1.75

If you think your family may not deal well with generic items, bring them home and put the snacks in a sealed container. I swear they won’t know the difference.

100 Calorie Packs

Marketed to help people lose weight these things are really just a whole lotta air without substance! For $2.50 you can be the proud owner of 6 small packs of perfectly portioned snacks that you can not only pack yourself but save money on.

Don’t get me wrong, we all love convenience so why not grab some ziploc bags, a huge bag of chips/your favourite snacks and portion them out. Read the back and see how many make a portion and then add that amount to the bag. Trust me, you’ll save mega moolah!

Prescription Drugs

Now this one I can understand. You want the best when it comes to your body and are hesitant to skimp on cheap prescriptions just to save a few bucks. But, I would highly recommend checking to see if your pharmacy offers a generic version before shelling out for the name brand. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients and are approved by the FDA like brand names drugs.

This week’s challenge: You may only put generic items into your cart. These can be store brands only or no-name products. At the end of the week we’re gonna see how much you saved from the products you normally purchase!


This week’s giveaway is generously sponsored by Hanes and is for one (1) package of men’s Lay Flat Collar Tees in the size of their choice.

Hanes is a brand we all know as they’ve been around for years. But evolving with the times isn’t their only good quality: While their materials are good quality and reliable, their prices aren’t outrageous. They’re a brand that consistantly gives great quality and yet you know you’re getting a good deal. Both of our Hubs have tried various Hanes items and are fans.

Required Entry:

What one brand and you going to commit to changing this week? Tell us in the comment section to enter.

Bonus Entries:

Each task below that is completed is worth one (1) additional entry. All are option, but give you more changes to win!

1. “Like”
the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp on Facebook!

2. Follow @MummyDeals and @InGoodCents on Twitter and tweetI’m kicking my budget’s butt w/ @ingoodcents & @mummydeals! Could your budget survive? #budgetbootcamp #giveaway http://bit.ly/b1UbEu

3. Add the button for the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp to your website’s sidebar.

4. Blog about your personal experiences with this challenge and link back, so your readers can start kicking their budget’s butt!

5. Subscribe to Mummy Deals via RSS or e-mail

6. Subscribe to In Good Cents via RSS or e-mail

The Fine Print – Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20 at midnight Eastern. Winners will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Mummy Deals on Wednesday, July 21. This giveaway was sponsored by Hanes. We were not compensated for this post, but did receive free products for us . Regardless, as always, all opinions are my own!

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