Grocery Budget Killers and Ways to Avoid Them Part V
Here’s the final piece in my 5 part series for you to enjoy. It’s one that needs some comments so don’t be shy, let us all know your success stories/advice!!
By now you’re learning some of the things that we as a family eat from my posts but maybe what you don’t know is that:
- 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 I’ve mentioned before which saves you big is ALDI. Sure they have their own brands but could you name them? 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 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!
One final note: 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.
So, what store brands do you love? Anyone had any success with generic diapers?