Brace yourselves, because this is insane. I saw this show on TLC the other night called Extreme Couponing. It was about people who clip hundreds of coupons and then go on massive shopping trips. That by itself doesn't sound so bad, but the people on the show clip hundreds of the SAME coupon, and then hoard ridiculous amounts of items in their house. Observe:
WHAAAAAAT? On the show, the couple above purchased nine carts of pasta, some kind of Dinty Moore noodle thing, Butterfingers, and Gatorade. That's it. No produce, no meat, just a bunch of starch and sugar. By using coupons they whittled their $1,000+ total down to about $50, so I guess I'll give them credit for that, but what the hell are they going to do with 200 candy bars? (Seriously, do you WANT diabetes?)
Instead of wasting a bunch of space in my house to buy four products that don't exactly balance the food pyramid, I try another approach when I hit the grocery store: buy the generic brand.
I visited my BFF Target on the way home from work today and decided to do a little experiment. I made note of how much the generic brand cost vs. the "real" deal. Here's what I got:
granola bars: $1.97 vs. $2.19
contact lens cleaner: $6.69 vs. $8.34
drain cleaner: $4.99 vs. $6.45
kleenex: $1.39 vs. $1.57
toilet paper: $9.99 vs. $11.99
It wasn't a huge shopping trip, but by switching to the Archer Farms or Up & Up brands I saved $5.60. (And don't forget about getting things on sale! Everything else I purchased that didn't have a generic replacement, like organic mac & cheese, was a sale item. I saved another $5.06.)
So maybe I could save more than $10.66 using the extreme method, but I'd rather not have a bedroom full of salad dressing and shampoo, ya dig? Anybody else a fan of the generic brands? Or maybe you have some other grocery store secret?