For these 7 products, generic is best
You know that generic products are cheaper than name-brand ones, but are you clinging to the belief they're also inferior?
Save just $5 a day for 30 years, earn 10% on it, and you'll end up with a nest egg of $342,000. Would that make a difference in your life? (By the way, if you're wondering how the heck you can make 10% on your savings, you can't -- at least without risk. It is possible, however: See my stock portfolio.)
The tricky part is saving that $5 without sacrificing your quality of life. And one of many ways of doing that is to pay for name brands only when name brands make a difference. Sound obvious? Take a quick stroll around any grocery store and you'll see that it must not be at all obvious, because the shelves are stuffed with products that cost extra -- sometimes a whole lot extra -- in exchange for nothing more than a name.
I recently took a camera into a local grocery store and found some amazing price differences between name-brand items and their generic equivalents. Check out the video below, then meet me on the other side for more.
As we walked around my local Publix to shoot that video, I jotted down the prices of some of the stuff we were looking at. Check out this list. It's amazing that people will pay this much extra for substantially identical products, presumably simply because some commercial told them to.
- Name-brand acetaminophen: $10.99.
- Store-brand acetaminophen: $6.99.
- Difference: $4 (57%).
- Name-brand water: $1.25.
- Store-brand water: 85 cents.
- Difference: 40 cents (48%).
- Name-brand milk: $5.45.
- Store-brand milk: $3.39.
- Difference: $2.06 (60%).
- Name-brand margarine: $1.79.
- Store-brand margarine: $1.19.
- Difference: 60 cents (50%).
- Name-brand bleach: $2.25.
- Store-brand bleach: $1.67.
- Difference: 58 cents (35%).
- Name-brand cleaner with bleach: $3.29.
- Store-brand cleaner with bleach: $2.39.
- Difference: 90 cents (38%).
- Name-brand oregano: $5.48 per ounce.
- Store-brand oregano: $1.24 per ounce.
- Difference: $4.24 (342%).
Am I saying that name brands are never worth the money? Of course not. I can tell the difference between Dunkin' Donuts coffee and store-brand -- that's why I pay extra for it. But I certainly can't tell the difference between brands of oregano, bleach, orange juice, bananas, flour, sugar and a plethora of other products.
Paying extra for name brands that don't offer higher quality in return is a waste. If you can use that money to instead build a $342,000 nest egg, you absolutely should. Even if you don't need the money, maybe you should still refuse to do what the commercials tell you and donate the difference to charity. In either case, the world ends up a better place.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Your Easter celebration, from ham and eggs to spring clothes, will take a bigger toll on your wallet this year.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'