Why I don’t often buy Generic

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It seems like an ages old back and forth about what might be best — Named Brands or Generic.

Back in the 70’s, when generic products first started to gain market share, I thought to myself, “Sure, I’ll try it because it’s cheaper”.

Fast forward 40+ years and it’s a completely different story. Generic products have become somewhat of a boon these days with regard to low quality. It’s been said that “you get what you pay for”. If you don’t pay much, then chances are likely that you won’t be getting much either.

Generic products are limited in their effectiveness, and can only perform as their manufacturer intended. Your generic laundry detergent works great just as long as your pants and shirts aren’t really dirty. If you wore that pair of pants for only 6 hours sitting at your desk and tossed them into the hamper afterwards, then your generic laundry detergent will perform miracles. If you wore that pair of pants all day out doing yard work or gardening, then your generic laundry detergent is virtually worthless.

Tide laundry detergent is pretty expensive, but when you stack it’s cost up against all of the pre/rewashing you’ll do with generic laundry detergent, the price for Tide seems much more reasonable. After a hard day of yard work and gardening, you only have to wash that pair of pants once, as opposed to the two or three rewashes you’ll have to do with your generic equivalent. To make matters even worse when it comes to your laundry, they don’t make washing machines like they use to either, They don’t vigorously  agitate like they used to, use less water to wash and rinse, and rinse in cold water, thus causing your dryer to use more energy just to warm your clothes up enough before they can start drying.

If you were raised on generic cereal for instance, and have been brainwashed into believing that low fat and sugar free is the end-all to life, then that pasty box of tasteless wafers are going to taste pretty darn good. If on the other hand you were raised eating real food, then that very same pasty box of tasteless wafers is either going to stay on the store shelf, or on your own shelf at home growing mold.

When it comes down to it, I don’t scrimp on certain products. Buying the named brand actually saves me money at the end of the day. Tide laundry detergent, Dawn dish washing liquid, Caress bar soap, and Folgers Coffee, to name just a few, are pretty much a given in this house.  Hand lotion is another thing we don’t scrimp on … Curel hand lotion might cost more, but you use less of it in each instance to get the same effect that multiple instances of  the generic brand gives you.

Economics is a concept that most people in this country seemingly always fail to grasp. That fact that something that might be more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean that advertising costs are so much or that the fancy package costs so much (Tide hasn’t changed their *fancy packaging in over 30 years and you very rarely see commercials on TV for it). The product might cost so much because it’s popular with the consumer. If a product is in high demand, it’s naturally going to cost more.  Quality goes hand in hand with saving money. You’ll save more money by buying Tide laundry detergent than you would buying the generic brand simply because Tide lasts longer and it does a better job.

Generic, though advertised as the cheaper alternative, invariably costs you more at the end of the day due to it’s poor quality.

This is why I don’t often buy Generic.

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