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Frugal myths - Collection of Mental Lint and other Minutia
July 3rd, 2013
11:58 pm


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Frugal myths
And before you ask, yes, I'm trying not to think about my cousin's death to focus my energy on something positive, so just let me distract myself rambling about something I'm good at.

One of the largest perpetuated frugal myths is that you should buy store brands. "Store brands are just as good, and my family can't tell the difference." Frequently, that is true. In fact, when I was in my early twenties, my then boyfriend was working at the local creamery. He informed me that if I ever wasted money on name brand milk, I was an idiot. Our creamery bottled their own brand, and was also the local Hood bottler, and did all the local store brands. The only difference, my boyfriend told me, was they put different labels on the bottles. They all came from the same batch of milk, went through the same set of machines, got loaded on the same truck and taken to market together. The only difference was the label and the price. I tried telling people who swore Hood was superior to the creamery brand, but they didn't want to hear it.

So why is this a myth. Well, I forgot to add "and the store brand is cheaper." People who not only believe but perpetuate this myth frequently admit that they don't even look at the name brand product pricing. This is the same level of brand loyal blindness practiced by the snooty people who look askance at your cart full of store brand product and think/say things like "I would NEVER use any detergent other than Tide."

Is the store brand cheaper? Sometimes. If you're looking at the regular price, always. If you're paying attention to sales and remaining brand neutral, rarely.

Don't get me wrong, if I find myself in the position of needing something, the store brand gets consideration. If I have a desperate hankering for tacos, and don't have tortillas, I'll grab the store brand if they're the cheapest most of the time (I think it was the Food Lion brand of tortillas I picked up, and they had HFCS as an ingredient. WTF? Pass).

Do your research, check unit pricing and get the product that's actually cheapest. You can get high quality product cheaper than store brand if you watch the sales, anticipate your needs and stock up a little.

I know, I KNOW, I'm always talking about stockpiling. It is the single greatest tool in my arsenal for saving money.

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