Not having to stick with certain expensive name brands has been another one of the big ways that we have saved a lot. Actually, this was a "rule" I have followed since I started buying things for myself when I was a teenager, not just one that I have implemented since I am married. For me it hasn't been too hard, but I know for some of you, it's a toughie.
Now don't hear me wrong, it's not that I am against name brand products, it is simply that as a general rule, I am against spending extra money on name brand products. Because of this, there are two main reasons why I believe you should generally forget brand loyalty.
The first is simply because the similar generic product is almost always just as good as the name brand or at least good enough that you won't mind the difference. For instance, I virtually never buy name brand cream soups because I can save at least $0.20 t0 $0.30 per can by buying store brand at Wal-mart or Aldi. And I for one can't tell any difference- especially since I almost always use them in casseroles and soups. Same goes for store brand body wash, vegetable oil, eggs, butter etc.
Now there are some things that I agree just simply aren't quite as good as the name brand but that I am willing to fudge a bit on the flavor or quality for the sake of money. Cereal is one of those things. I know that the name brand cereals are usually tastier but not enough that I am willing to spend a considerable amount more on them!
The second reason I think you should generally forget brand loyalty is related to using coupons. Now coupons are pretty much always for name brand products, right? So just what am I getting at here? Well, I am all about getting good deals and if I can get name brand products for the same price or cheaper than off-brand, hurray for me! But if you think you MUST have Skippy brand peanut butter and so you pass over the coupon for Peter Pan brand peanut butter which with the coupon would be cheaper than both the store brand or the Skippy brand well,... then you are essentially wasting money.
Now I will admit, there are a few things that I do like to have my name brands of. Kraft mayonnaise happens to be one of them as does Scott toilet paper. And there are a few recipes, including my chocolate chip cookie and my pie crust, that take Gold Metal flour and just don't turn out right without it. So that means that I keep an eagle eye out for ways that I can get these things as cheap as possible and honestly I think I usually get them cheaper than I could store brand anyways.
So, I am not saying that you should NEVER buy name brand products or even that it's wrong to have some things that you just LIKE to have your brands of. My point is to be open minded about using other brands and I think often you'll find out that you don't even know it is an off brand or the brand you don't typically use. AND you can save money in the process, which is what it is all about!