The Off Brand Guy team is a huge fan of saving money with off brand products. According to The Penny Hoarder “a shopper at Walmart would save $20.33 or nearly 45%” by purchasing eight common generic products instead of the name brand. We continue to review products and take reader feedback to add to our ever growing list of “Products You Should Buy Generic”. There are certainly some items that make more sense to buy generic than others. In this article we take a look at recent product categories that have recently came to our attention. Off brand food isn’t the only thing to save money on.
Related: The Six Worst Off Brand Products
Does Buying Generic Save Money?
Yes, absolutely. There are many items at the grocery store with outrageous mark ups. This includes breakfast cereal, snack food, prepared foods in the deli, brand name OTC medications, and non grocery items like batteries. One route to getting ahead financially is to save money on the little purchases in life that are made every week.
Items You Should Always Buy Generic
1. T-shirts & Undershirts
There is really no such thing such as a high quality undershirt. Seriously, I have tried them all. This is an item that experiences heavy use. It gets worn, dirty, washed, and dried on a regular basis. It will fall apart one way or another anyways. No reason to worry about it. We recommend savings money with generic t-shirts and undershirts. My favorite brand is Gildan.
2. Facial Exfoliator & Facial Moisturizer
The profit margins on beauty products is ridiculous. You are paying for marketing and over stated claims. There is not exfoliator or moisturizer that is going to make an ugly and sagging face beautiful. These products offer marginal improvements for those that are otherwise prioritize their overall health. Don’t go cheap and get this stuff at Dollar Tree. Save money with a reputable generic product such as Pond’s and St. Ives.
3. Business Backpacks
This one surprised me. I was skeptical at first. Intuitively, an off brand backpack seems like a bad idea. It seems like the kind of thing that would just fall apart. But I kept hearing good things from coworkers so I put one of these Amazon budget backpacks to the test. Now, I don’t go anywhere without one.
4. Coffee Beans (But Not Ground Coffee!)
There are more opportunities for savings with items used everyday when considering “Products You Should Buy Generic”. Coffee has taken me awhile to figure out. I tried to make the cheap Great Value ground coffee from Walmart work. I just couldn’t do it. It was terrible, and I am not even picky. Seriously, I am the type of guy that even enjoys gas station coffee. I gave up on this and went back to the name brand stuff. Then I realized something. It is only the cheap ground coffee that is bad. If you get beans and grind them yourself the budget stuff is pretty good. Seriously, I can’t even taste a difference between the cheap coffee beans and the coffee beans from Starbucks. Lately, I have been all about Eight O’clock Coffee from Walmart. It tastes great and only costs about forty cents an ounce.
5. Guitar Effect Pedals
Okay, so I get that this one is a bit niche. Not everyone cares about saving a few bucks on guitar effect pedals. Let me explain. Guitar effects pedals are super expensive. These are the little stomp boxes that make a guitar sound distorted, or fuzzy, or delayed, or have reverb, etc. Generally, speaking it is pretty simple electronic technology. But companies market them beautifully. They make them appeal to musicians by developing a cult following or making them a work of art. I have some of the name brand pedals and definitely appreciate these. But once I heard about the “Bezos Board” I have been buying and testing some of the cheap guitar pedals available on Amazon. Not bad.
6. Greeting Cards
This is an underrated item on our “Products You Should Buy Generic” list. Greeting cards are a rip off. Buying an expensive Papyrus card does not show that you care more about a loved one. It just demonstrates that you are stupid enough to waste eight dollars on a piece of paper that will end up in the trash. Dollar Tree has an amazing selection of greeting cards for every occasion. Plus, they only cost fifty cents. Did you know that many of these are name brand Hallmark cards?
Related: Popular Off Brand Examples