Monday, May 5, 2008

My Money Saving Monday Lessons

Boy, I just opened a stack of bills from the weekend so I can't think of a better day to have a "Money Saving Monday"!

I hope to learn more here than I will teach you. We have a long way to go in the area of being frugal. For years, we both worked and had the attitude of, "we worked hard, we should be able to spend it how we want." I shudder to think of the money we might have today if we had been frugal from the beginning of our marriage.

So I choose not to think about it.

My first lesson in frugality was in college. My roommates and I went grocery shopping and I saw "aluminum foil" on the list. I reached for Reynold's Wrap, which was what my parents bought at home. THEN I saw the price! And the other choices available. And I entered the world of generic brands.

Generic brands is a tricky area, but don't be afraid of them. I watch what people have in their carts at the grocery store and I wonder sometimes if their "image" causes them to choose name brand foods as well as clothing. I personally don't care if you see that I have generic brands in MY pantry, but obviously other people do.

Now there are things we do not buy generic on. My husband bit into a sandwich years ago with generic brand sliced cheese in it and said, "Gross. Don't ever buy that again." So I don't. There are items that we choose to buy the "real" thing instead of generic.

Years ago as a teacher I went to the bread factory on a field trip. It was there that we saw they not only made the name brand bread, but about 10 other generic brands--right there at the same factory. The same is true of sugar and many other foods, I'm sure.

In fact, no offense to you who are super coupon shoppers, but I have also found that generic brands many times beat out name brands even with a coupon.

That's my tip. Obviously, I need help. Looking forward to what I can learn from everyone else! Head over to Karly's blog and get better ideas than mine! :)


  1. Brenda, this is a great tip! I am still having to tell myself on things that generic is okay. But, like you, I have found the price is still better than name-brand plus a coupon, and the quality (as far as I can tell, on most things) is the same, or comparable.

    Oh, and I am with your husband. We only buy name-brand plastic cheese, as my husband calls it. :)

    Thanks so much for participating!

  2. This was the tip I would have chosen to write on as it is probably my number one saving idea. Even when I do use coupons, I only use them when the name brand is on sale. If it's not cheaper than the generic, the generic is chosen. There is a learning curve to which generics are to be avoided. I'm looking forward to checking out Karly's blog for other ideas.

  3. I'm with you on the generics, except for cheese, peanut butter, and ketchup. This was a good tip. It saves us a ton. And you're also right that in many cases the store brand price beats the name brand even if you have a coupon.

    Something your readers may not know: most store brand items are made by the same distributors who produce the name brands. The stores just pay them to put their names on them. Which is why you don't usually notice any difference in quality.

    Oh yeah, I took your dare. Pregnancy picture on the blog today! It's not big, but if you look close...

  4. I had a friend who worked in a processing plant in PA that made pasta. The pasta was prepaered and then it got packaged under several different labels - everything from the generic and store brands to the expensive, gourmet brands.
    SAME pasta DIFFERENT price!

  5. Yep, generics are a great way to save money. I have found a couple of things I can't tolerate like tomato soup and generic salad dressing.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought generic green beans, they aren't as good as the name brand (Butter Kernel) I bought but they are passable with seasoning.

  6. Brenda, have you ever been over to ? She introduced me to CVS shopping, taking advantage of their Extra Care Bucks program. I was skeptical for a long time, but have finally made the plunge and am getting stuff like toothbrushes, hair gel, shampoo & etc. for almost FREE! It really, really works. And it's such an adrenalin rush. LoL


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)