The words Frugal and Frugality have been some very popular words lately. With the economy the way it is, it’s not very hard to see why. Even so, I still know people who claim to be frugal, but refuse to buy anything but the brand name products.
There is very little room for brand names in a frugal lifestyle. The good news is that many of the non-brand name products are very similar products. In some cases, they are the exact same product. In other cases, they are not even close to the same thing. In those cases, you have to weigh how much you want that exact product against your desire to save money and live frugally. Is the extra $1 worth it? Depending on the product, you might make an exception.
If you decide it is worth it, here are some things you can do to try and help cut that cost.
- Coupons! Check the manufacturer’s website. Many have customer loyalty programs that you can sign up for and get occasional coupons. Look through the Sunday paper. Or, see if you can find a coupon train to join up with. Swap Mamas has one, and I’m sure many other sites do as well. There are also coupon trading sites that you can make use of.
- Buy in bulk. If you’ve just got to have it, buying in bulk can sometimes help cut the cost. My favorites are Sam’s Club/Costco and Amazon. If the item is perishable, maybe you can find a friend that will split it with you and you can still reap the frugal benefits. Sometimes it’s worth the cost of a Costco membership.
- Cash back rebates. If you have a credit card that gives cash back, you can use it to help cut the cost of the item. Just make sure you’re paying off that card every month, or the interest will eliminate any benefit.
- Supermarket Loyalty programs. Some supermarkets have a loyalty program. Spend $XXX and get $X off! It’s usually not anything spectacular, but every little bit helps.
Sometimes the brand name is worth it. But, I encourage you to try the generic stuff too. You just might be surprised to find that it is a very sufficient replacement.