For some people large purchases or big ticket items seem so impossible to reach. It’s quite understandable since very few of us have been lucky enough to be taught how to save up for things. Think about it, when was the last time that you thought to get a large purchase without reaching for a credit card? See — loans and credit seem to be your go-to for the bigger spendings. The beauty of the digital age is that you can learn nearly anything and everything online. You have a virtually unlimited source of information on anything you want to learn and improve — including saving money. One of the easiest, yet underrated ways, for you to save up on a sizeable chunk of money is to switch from branded to generic brands. Times are tough, so it’s prudent for you to take as many opportunities to save. When your goal is as big as a car to get to work, every little bit counts. This is why more and more people are opting for generic brands compared to their more expensive and branded counterparts. Of course, despite the restraints in budget, you’d still want to make sure that you’re still getting quality items and are actually saving on costs.To help you save a few extra dollars without settling for junk products, here are some everyday items you can and should switch to generic now.
When it comes to your everyday pantry items like flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda, there is virtually no difference in taste or composition. Remember that your basic pantry ingredients like salt and sugar are regulated compounds. This means that no matter what brand you buy, the only difference you’ll get is packaging. The same goes for eggs, spices, cereal, and grain products. Sure there’ll be a difference in colour and maybe size but there is virtually no difference in taste. If you’re lucky, the generic brands of cereal might have less sugar and fat content too.
Some people swear that branded drugs are better than generic ones. In essence, they’re actually made of the same stuff. You see, drug patents only last 20 years. This means that after 20 years, the active ingredient is fair game for all manufacturers. Remember that drug manufacturers are required by law to have the same active ingredient, dosage form, strength, and route of administration as its brand name counterpart. The difference would be that generic manufacturers are allowed to make drugs with up to 15% dilution to keep costs down. In most cases, like your everyday pain killer, the 15% difference in the active ingredient is inconsequential. But if it’s prescription medicine for serious illnesses, it can make a slight difference.
Bleach, dust repellent liquids, and other cleaning products, whether generic or branded, are all essentially the same. This is in the sense that they all actually clean. Some may be easier for you to use than others, but by base of it all, they’re all just bleaches and detergents. So unless you’re partial to the way one brand smells, or how much “easier” one brand glides through surfaces — you’re better off with generic. If you’re feeling really thrifty, you can always use vinegar and baking soda. Just know that they’re going to take a little more time and effort than your household cleaning products.
When it comes to your everyday cosmetic and skin care, like lotions and soaps, there is almost no difference in chemical composition with most products in this category. With makeup, cosmetic chemist Rob Robinson states “There are no rules against making an exact copy”, meaning you could have the exact same product in different packages. This goes for majority of your basic skin care and cosmetics. Of course, some of the high-tech products like anti-aging creams may be patented. By the end of the day, all that matters is understanding what is actually in your creams and makeup (which you should be able to find in the label), and knowing which of those ingredients your skin doesn’t react well to. Remember that just because you can switch to generic doesn’t mean you can go running to the cheapest brands. But for your trusted local generic brands like Aldi’s and Woollies, you can actually get away with saving that extra dollar without compromising quality and taste. Before you know it, you would have been hundreds of dollars closer to that lease for a late model car. Good luck! This is part 1 of a three-part series on little ways to help you save up for a big ticket item.