In an effort to save money, I've been investigating a lot of "off-brand" alternatives to the stuff I buy. This is a complete 180 from my previous attitude where I'd always pay extra for the "good one." Then I read an article about how often times the "cheap one" is times made by the same company and is identical in every way except the packaging.
This has not always proven true, but it's been true often enough that I have switched my buying habits as a result.
Where this has saved me the most money is food. As an example... instead of buying Hunts tomato paste, I buy the Safeway Signature Select. There is no difference except I save a little by buying Safeway brand. And that little bit of cash adds up to quite a lot in the long run.
I was thinking of this when I took a photo of my cupboard after I was tagged in one of those "SHOW US A PHOTO OF YOUR..." memes (the last one I did was my refrigerator). There's a significant amount of off-brand stuff in there...
There are two things I can think of that I don't buy off-brand. I like Campbell's Tomato Bisque and Tomato Rice soups. All you can get as an alternative is plain old tomato soup, which I don't like as well. The other thing is pasta sauce. I prefer to make my own from scratch, but I always keep jars on hand in case I don't have time. The Classico is my favorite, and often times tastes as good as what I make. The off-brand is not as good, so I pay double to get something I enjoy eating.
I have been buying off-brand for more more than just food.
Today I received new air filters for my Coway Air Purifiers. Surprisngly, there are a number of off-brand alternatives. Most of them are cheaper because they are not true HEPA filters. But, if you shop carefully, you can find off-brand that are HEPA. One of the off-brand filter sets by Cabiclean was highly reviewed and $5 cheaper so I decided to go for it. Much to my amusement, this was printed on the box...
Clearly this wasn't written by somebody with great English skills but, hey, I don't need great marketing if it saves me $5... this is perfectly fine so long as it works. I guess time will tell, but I honestly couldn't see a difference between my new and old filters when I looked closely, so I'm guessing it's all good.
Well, maybe not "all good," but hopefully it's EFFECTIVE ENOUGH!