What saving "tip" is totally wrong?

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What saving "tip" is totally wrong?

What's something that you hear being said all the time but you found doesn't really work?

Ohhh Ohhh.... let me answer! :-) I just wrote about this in the coupon section and it will fit in here, too. The saving tip I've always heard that has often proven to be wrong (great question there, Oakster!) is that it's just not true that generic store brands always cost less that national brands bought with coupons.

Sometimes, of course... but I so often get a national brand of something for considerably less than the store brand just because I had a coupon. This is true a lot with foods and household items, but also with health and beauty items.

I disagree about the coupon thing, actually. That's one of the first things I stopped doing when I started trying to really save money at the grocery store. The fact is, pretty much every coupon you'll find will be for a processed food. If you switch to a whole-foods diet, eating entirely things like fresh produce, dried beans, meat from the butcher etc., you'll be eating healthier, cheaper and without need of coupons.

Coupons do come in handy for those few packaged items you buy routinely, though, like yogurt or cereal. But it's just not worth spending the time clipping them, imo.

I think I mentioned this in another thread, but it's unrealistic when financial sites tell you to give up your daily Starbucks latte.

I don't know any truly frugal people who are drinking $7 coffees every day, so who is that piece of advice targeted at?

I don't even spend $7 a week on coffee let alone $7 a day.

They also say to stop dining out so much, but I haven't been to a sit down restaurant in years. Clearly this saving advice is for upper middle class people, not regular Joes.

I thought of another one... I think that pushing credit cards as a way to save money (cash back, etc.) is not as great as the "pushers" claim it to be. Credit costs... if you're using credit, the credit card company isn't losing the fees... the customer is.

If you're getting 3% back thinking it's a great deal but you're actually paying 5% MORE for the "privilege" of using credit... well yeah! :-)

The statement was about the cost of the same item in generic vs. national brand, Ersatz, not about the fact that something else may be healthier.

Sorry if I didn't make that clear in my post. It was a simple "generic peaches 98 cents, DelMonte $1.19 with a 50 cent coupon is a better deal" statement.

The one saving tip I dislike is to buy cheap stuff. I personally think that buying more expensive stuff sometimes ends up saving you a lot more. I don't think saving is entirely about just finding the cheapest price, but more about being a smart consumer by buying the wise choices even if they sometimes turn out to be the more expensive option.

That's true. For example if you buy cheap dish soap for $1 ,but it doesn't make any suds, then you end up wasting more of it than if you had just bought a decent bottle of dishwashing liquid to begin with. If you buy the cheapest 1 ply toilet paper, you end up using more of it because it's so thin. There are certain things that you shouldn't cheap out on because it's not a true bargain.

I absolutely agree with these thoughts... I've noticed it both with dish detergent and with shampoo.

The cheaper stuff is a lot thinner, so too much of it spills out (especially shampoo). The bottle empties sooner, so I'd need to buy more of it and it doesn't do a good job on my hair if it's very thin and not sudsy either. In the long run, the more expensive brands last a lot longer.

Oh, and toilet paper, yes, ACSAPA... that is one thing I will NEVER try to "go cheap" on.

It absolutely pains me to see people buying these products sometimes, but I do understand that most of the time it's a necessity, and I do appreciate that they exist in the market for that reason, but I do wish they try to at least put more quality into their product, which is of course easier said than done, but still a worthy ideal to get behind.

I think a lot of this is consumers not realizing they're buying twice as much of the cheap stuff. I've done it myself in the past. If a cheap watery dish detergent is $1, and I need to buy twice as many to last as long as the $2 bottle, it just doesn't make a lot of sense.

So true. I think the most important thing about wanting to save is to first become observant and see how everything stacks up objectively. In our area, the biggest thing is to buy as small a packet as possible, which is the total opposite of buying in bulk and is probably a lot more expensive, but the fact that you can buy small amounts without too much immediate damage to the wallet is what gets the people, I think.

What saving "tip" is totally wrong? | ConsumerFu


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