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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Name Brand or Generic?

When we visited my family on Labor Day, I was explaining CVSing to two of my aunts. They were a little perplexed. I was a little sleep-deprived because my daughter hasn't been sleeping well, and I didn't do a very good job of explaining the whole process. One of them said that she didn't bother with clipping coupons because, even with the coupons, the generic brands were still cheaper.

I actually shared her mindset until about six weeks ago when I began CVSing. Before that time, I bought many generic brand items. I was willing to try most generics once to see how they compared to their name brand counterparts. Some of them were terrible, but others were good enough to buy again and again.

Since discovering CVSing, I've been able to purchase many more name brand items. In fact, I've even been able to try some better name brands that I didn't think I could afford before. For example, I have pampered myself with skincare products that are three times more expensive than the Wal-Mart brand facial cleanser that I'm used to using. And I have paid pennies for them!

I have found that I can't be too brand loyal if I want the best deal. I have to be willing to at least try other brands. But I've been pleasantly surprised by a lot of them! I found a shampoo that I love, a new brand of haircolor that's better than my old one, and mineral powder makeup that covers beautifully. I've had a few items that I wouldn't buy again, but that used to happen with generics too. It's fun to try new products and see how they compare to what you're used to. (See my post about getting out of my brand loyal box here.)

So, to address my aunt's concern about name brands being more expensive, I guess I'd have to disagree. If you are diligent and clip all the coupons you can find, patient to wait for items to go on sale, and organized enough to match your coupons to the sales, you can get name brand items for free or almost free each week. I like free much better than generic!


Anonymous said...

That has been our philosophy too--name brands are cheaper. I'm trying to get into the CVS & Walgreens game, but I'm spending way more than you guys do. Please tell me if the following statements are true: 1) You need to split your purchases into more than one transaction, or you need to make multiple trips to use your ECBs for paying. 2) You need to buy mostly ECB-earning items, then donate them if you can't use them yourself. 3) You need to have a coupon stash of all kinds of coupons & constantly check the papers for sales. Help! Losing-Money in MI.