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Store Brand vs Name Brand – Frugal Finds During Naptime

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It's a common misconception that it is cheaper to purchase the store brand vs the name brand; however, this is not always the case.

When deciding on which product to purchase, do you often wonder, “Would it be cheaper to purchase the store brand vs name brand of (said) product?” At first glance, it appears the store brand is cheaper; however, looks can be deceiving. Even though the store brand is $1.00 less than the name brand, it is cheaper to purchase the name brand. Oftentimes, coupons for name brand items are more accessible and a higher value compared to coupons for a store brand item. When you pair a coupon with a name brand item, it usually brings the price lower than the name brand. If you do not have a coupon for the name brand, usually purchasing the store brand is cheaper. I have an example to illustrate this.

The Store Brand: If you purchase the Target (Up & Up) Brand of pull-ups, you will pay $7.99 for 23 pull-ups. This ends up costing $0.35 per pull-up.

The Name Brand: There is a printable coupon for $1.50 off ONE Pampers Easy Ups Trainers. When you use the coupon, you will pay $7.49 for the pack. This ends up costing $0.33 each.

In this case, if you did not have the $1.50 coupon for the Pampers, it would be cheaper to purchase the store brand. When I don’t have a coupon for the item I’m needing, I do these things:

1.) Compare the amount to the price – You can do this with any product. If you are deciding between a store brand or name brand salad dressing, you would take the amount and divide it by the ounces of salad dressing. If you’re deciding on a medication, divide the cost by the doses of medicine. If you’re deciding on laundry soap, divide the cost by load of laundry.

2.) Research the product – If you don’t have a coupon, and you see that the store brand is cheaper, do a little research. See if the store brand of (whatever said) product causes a rash, doesn’t work as well, or something else. For example, if you opted to purchase the Up & Up pull-ups, but your son or daughter leaks through them during the night or nap time, it will cost you more money to purchase the store brand (extra laundry, extra wipes, soap, paper towels, etc.). Not to mention, you’re probably going to have to make an extra trip to the store to purchase the name brand, and the half-used package of store brand will go to waste.

3.) Look at the ingredients and/or materials in the product – Look at the ingredients and/or materials on the back of both the store and name brand. If they are just about the same, you don’t have a coupon, and don’t see any issues with the product, the store brand is the cheaper way to go. If you look at the back, and one of the things that is different is an ingredient and/or material you are allergic to, causes behavioral issues in your children, or something else, paying a little more for the name brand is the better option.

Next time you find yourself wondering “Is it really cheaper to buy the store brand vs name brand?” try doing the three things I listed, and see if it is cheaper. You may be surprised when you count the cost of extra trips to the store, extra supplies to clean up a mess the name brand was supposed to fix, or an extra trip to the doctor because the ingredient/material caused an allergic reaction.

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