I can be a bit of a snob. Looking around my apartment, one wouldn’t be able to tell because I don’t keep it meticulously clean nor do I have high-priced furniture (most of it has come from Target and Ikea). But when it comes to buying groceries, I’ve been known to spend more just to get a brand name. I know I’m not the only one to do this; millions of people do it every day. Most of the time we don’t think about it. It’s ingrained in us to just pick up the soda brand that we’ve been drinking for the past twenty-some years or to purchase Kraft’s frozen pizza because Kraft is well-known and it, therefore, must be good.
Years ago I saw a report on a show like Dateline about generics versus brand names. The report even had a blind taste test and most people went for the generic over the brand name. They also reported that many of the products were produced by the same people as the brand name one; the only difference was the label. Even after seeing this report, I was in full denial. I wouldn’t change my shopping habits. Once I did experiment a little and tried the grocer’s version of Honey Nut Cheerios but I was disappointed. The taste was alright but the crunch was not the same. I didn’t buy them again.
Fred, on the other hand, is a firm believer in generics. Why pay more when you can get the same thing for less? So, it was because of him that I tried my grocer’s version of Diet Dr. Pepper. I was surprised. It was actually pretty good, even a little better than the “real” thing. The next time I was at the grocer, I picked up a couple of packs and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was $2 for a 12-pack. The brand name 12-packs are at least twice that much. No, thank you!
Now, I haven’t completely switched over to buying all generics, but I’ve come quite a way. Bread? Sure! There’s another $1.50 in savings. Chips? Throw that in the basket as well! Yet another $2 in savings. It’s a great natural high to see how much less I spend at the grocery store now. With each trip, I think about how I the $5 or $10 I saved right then will add up greatly over time. Maybe one day I can actually have a decent savings account.