In a time when people often pay more for items because of their brand name, I am buying to store brands to save money.
I'm usually very picky about the products I use, so switching from a name brand to a store brand isn't easy for me to do. In fact, I usually buy store brand items and try them before I completely run out of my favorite brand. This way I have something to fall back on if the store brand doesn't meet my standards. That said, I have found several store brand products that I like just as much as the more expensive name brands.
Here are some of the store brand products I purchase, and how much money I save.
I must admit that I'm extremely picky when it comes to the medicines I buy for my family. For a long time I was afraid that store brand medicines were somehow less effective than other brands. However, I decided to give them a try on the advice of my doctor, and they worked just as well. On average I pay around $1 less for the store brand, which means I save around $20 over the course of a year.
My husband and I once used a gallon of milk in a week, but now that we've made some major lifestyle changes including changes to our diet we are using far less. Despite the fact that we are using less milk, I still like to save on the milk I do have to purchase it. On average we save $1 per half-gallon of milk by buying the store brand, and since we buy milk once a week we save around $52 a year.
I've always been a fan of vegetables, but I hate that I can't buy them in bulk if they are fresh. In recent months I've tried to steer clear of canned vegetables because of all the added sodium, so I'm left with frozen vegetables. The name brands of frozen vegetables can cost as much as $3 a bag, but I can buy bags of store brand vegetables for $1 each. On average we buy about six bags of vegetables a week, so we save around $12 a week, or $624 a year.
All told, we save around $696 a year buy opting for store brand products over the more expensive name brands. That money can then be used to cover other must-have items on our shopping list.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: First Person: 3 Financial Lessons I Learned in My 20sFirst Person: We Pay Higher Federal Taxes on Purpose