More Little Things That Add Up

We can do more to save money than we often realize. A big problem in America is that we are a society that is driven by consumerism and advertising. We get the idea in our heads that, if we haven’t seen it on TV, it must not be worth having. This is the reason that Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola, two of the largest companies in the world, makers of the number one and number two soft drinks on the shelves, continue to advertise. If commercials for Pepsi and Coke went away tomorrow, would you forget that they were out there? Of course not. Yet huge corporations like McDonald’s, American Express, Visa, and the aforementioned soft drink companies spend millions on advertising every year. They do it to keep themselves fresh in our minds, and it works.

A good way to save money is to cut all the brand names out of your shopping trips. Are Del Monte green beans any greener or…um… beanier than the store brand? The price difference on any one item may be only a few cents, but those pennies add up considerably and can affect your grocery bill each month. A recent trip to the local market showed interesting results when the shopper compiled a group of brand name items and a group of the same items in store brands:

• Eggo Frozen Waffles 19.8oz $3.99
• Store Brand Frozen Waffles 19.8 oz $2.75
• Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 18oz $3.59
• Store Brand Corn Flakes 18oz $2.99
• Diet Coke 2 Liter bottle $1.25 (4 for $5.00 sale)
• Store Brand Diet Cola $0.75 (4 for $3.00 sale)
• Hormel Canned Chili 15oz $1.79
• Store Brand Canned Chili 15oz $1.49
• Ajax Dishwashing Liquid 25 fl oz $1.99 (on sale)
• Store Brand Dishwashing Liquid 25 fl oz $1.99 (regular price)

With this short grocery list, the shopper would spend $12.61 for the combination of brand name goods, and $9.97 for the store brand items. That difference is only $2.64, but what if we were doing a full two weeks’ shopping? Or a full month? Setting aside the instinctive need to buy a brand name item because we think it is “better” can save us considerably.

When combined with other methods of cutting back and saving money, selecting generic or store brand items can make a real difference in our budgets.

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