There are times when being loyal to certain brands, products, or services can save you money. For instance, you can usually use your loyalty or long-standing membership to an insurance company, phone company, or cable provider to get a discount on your bill.
On the flip side, sometimes that loyalty to your providers is working against you. Many of these types of companies offer special discounts for first-time customers or for switching over to them from one of their competitors. Surely, you’ve seen the commercials about the discounts or fees you can get waived for switching to a different cell phone company right? Here are 4 other times being brand loyal is costing you more money.
Canned and Boxed Groceries
One of the ways that brand loyalty is seriously costing you some money is at the grocery store. Canned goods and boxed foods, like pasta and rice, are things where you can usually buy the store brand instead of the name brand and never notice a difference.
You may save only $0.20 here and $0.50 there, but if that adds up to $2-3 at every weekly shopping trip, that could be $100-150 a year! Just think what you could do with that money instead – you could make an extra payment (or partial payment) on one of your debts, or you could throw it into your emergency fund. If you don’t need either one of those, you could use it to help pay for a vacation!
All you have to do to save this $100-150/year is not be brand loyal when you buy your groceries.
OTC Medicines and Personal Care
Another place where you can release your brand loyalty is when you are buying OTC medicines. Store brand pain reliever, anti-itch cream, and other personal care products – like sunscreen and Q-tips – work just as well as the name brands do. These swaps add up even faster than the $0.50 food swaps because the price difference between some of these items is $1-2, or more, each time you buy them. For instance, buying generic pain reliever instead of “Tylenol” can save you at least $2, and it has the exact same ingredients in it!
Are you a name brand snob when it comes to clothing? I know a few of those and I do struggle with this one myself sometimes. I suppose it comes from not wanting to look cheap when I’m out in public, but still doesn’t mean you have to have name brand everything with huge labels proclaiming how much you spent on one pair of jeans.
I’m getting better about not caring so much about brand names and labels on my clothes, but there is a fine line between buying high quality clothes that last longer and not spending too much on clothes and wasting money.
The final area where you should reject brand loyalty is in home décor. Sure, I like to have an attractive home with nice decorations, but no one is going to know if my new throw pillows cost $50 each or $15 each (as long as they don’t look cheap). When buying home décor, you can usually avoid the most expensive stuff and opt for something more moderately priced without anyone noticing. If they do notice that your pillows aren’t designer, you don’t need them in your life anyway (the friends, not the pillows). 😉
Are you brand loyal? Has being brand loyal ever cost you extra money?