Great Savings Tip: 69

Another way to save is to buy more generics.Great Savings Tip #69

This post is part of our continuing Great Savings Tips series, designed to help find ways to spend less and save more.  Over the course of the next couple months, we plan to add 4 to 5 new tips every week until we bring our tip count “All The Way To 100!”  Today’s tip shows how you can save $15,600 by switching to generics!

Comparing Brands

Tip #69) Learn to love generics: Regularly buying a generic product over a brand name can save thousands of dollars over the long-run.  Now, if you’re already convinced that a particular brand product offers the best quality, and no other product will be able to match it, then by all means keep buying it.  On the other hand, if you have even the smallest doubt about the difference, try the generic instead.

It’s All In The Label

What matters to you when choosing products?

How much less does a generic have to cost before you consider it?

Generics are typically made by the same firms that make brand name products.  The only difference is the label.  True, if you like Crest toothpaste and look for a generic equivalent you won’t know whether the makers of Crest, the makers of Colgate, or some other firm manufactured it.  Still, if it saves a dollar a tube, and you use several tubes up every year, and then you multiply those savings by all the other generics you can buy in place of brand name products, it starts to add up.  For example, let’s say you regularly spend $100 a week at the grocery store.  If you can cut just $10 a week from your bill by switching to generics, the savings add up to $520 a year, $5,200 for ten years, or $15,600 over the course of thirty years.  Something to think about, right?

What Generic Items Save The Most?

Flour is flour.

Buy the cheapest staples you can find.

What kinds of generics save the most money?  Look for high-volume, mass marketed items.  For example, staples like flour, sugar, rice, and pasta will taste the same no matter who stuffs them in a bag so buy the generic.  Breakfast cereal is another product worth buying generic.  Just compare prices and you’ll often end up paying $1 to $2 more per box for the brand name over the generic.  When it comes to any food or beverage, as long as it passes your taste test, buy generic!  Other items to consider buying generic are make-up, shampoos and other beauty products.  Drug and grocery store chains have learned to compete with much more expensive department stores when it comes to these items.  And since the generics they offer are often as good or better than the original, you can save big time by avoiding the malls.

Consider A Generic Drug

Generic drugs cost way less.

If it works for you, a generic drug can save hundreds a year.

When your doctor pulls out a pad to write your prescription, ask whether there’s a generic drug that works just as well as the brand name.  Generic drugs often cost hundreds less over the course of a year.  Plus, your insurance company may charge you a bigger deductible if you aren’t using a generic.  If you’re worried the generic just won’t work as well for you as the brand name, do a bit of online sleuthing first.  Just go to your favorite search engine and type the name of your drug or the drug and “generic” in the search box.

Take Precautions

Do you consider over the counter generics?

Don't forget to save with over the counter generics.

Your health and safety are critical, so be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect the medication you are taking is causing side effects.  Health care professionals also advise patients to stick with either a brand name or a generic, not switch back and forth between the two.  Before switching any prescription medication, talk it over with your doctor first.  If you’re worried about a particular drug’s side effects, you can look them up on a number of internet sites including

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By Bob Anderson

© 2011 Javabird LLC.  All rights reserved.


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2 Responses to Great Savings Tip: 69

  • connie says:

    I am always careful to ascertain if the generics were made or processed in the US. If I have doubts, (China?) I go with the known product, even at greater expense)

  • Javabird says:

    Thanks Connie. A good reminder to take care.


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