Generic products, or store branded products, first came onto the market strongly during the recession of the early 1980s. Because of economic pressure in the middle class, retailers responded by offering generic labeling of popular items at cheaper prices.
It’s been known by savvy buyers ever since that generics are usually as good as, or better, than their brand name counterparts. You just can’t beat the savings — as much as 30% by choosing store brands over national brands. The best thing to do is to find out for yourself. Perform taste tests or product comparisons. The generic version of these items might surprise you.
Store-bought water is now a staple and has become its own industry. Water producers have created highly successful marketing campaigns and bad publicity for some urban water supplies has pushed consumers into paying over $15 billion per year for bottled water. But, is there a difference between Crystal Geyser and Safeway water? And if there is, is it worth the extra money? Test it out yourself.
Staple items are products that are used most often and are, therefore, generally always available. Traditionally, stores have had lower margins on staple products, and there has even been some government oversite on pricing in order to protect consumers from price hikes on what are considered necessities, such as flour, sugar, and salt.
In fact the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has set standards for some staples, and some are so simple that it is unlikely you would be able to tell one product from another, except for the expensive brand name label. Generic salt is the same as name brand salt. Why pay more?
Spices, such as dried garlic and basil, are also covered by the FDA. Packaging must contain a list of ingredients. But really, a leaf of basil is a leaf of basil. With brand name spices selling for double or even quadruple the generic brand, it’s worth a taste test to save money on spices.
Items like bleach can cost double for a national brand versus a store brand. And what is the difference? Bleach is a chemical; the national brand manufacturer is not providing any added benefit to its bleach, except perhaps a prettier scent or color. So, if you are not attached to the smell of your bleach, go generic on cleaning products.
Generic drugs now make up a large segment of the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. Because the FDA regulates drugs, consumers feel they have a certain amount of safety when buying generics. You may not want to perform your own test of whether one is better than another, and you don’t have to, because there is plenty of clinical and anecdotal evidence available that generics are the same, and work the same, as the brand name drug. Why not save money?
Changing Your Mindset Can Save You Money
Some generic products still live with a stigma that they are not as good as brand name alternatives. However in these times, with prices rapidly squeezing your already tight budget, a new look at generics versus store brands could save you a lot of money. And, by using the SideMoney app you can save even more money by earning free points for filling out surveys, watching videos, and downloading apps.