So just how do I save our family $500 a month? Simple, By switching from the big name brand products to the off-brand products. I typically shop Walmart. So this post will mention mostly Great Value brand items. I do have some other off brands mixed in as well. By doing this one simple thing I have cut our grocery budget for our family of 7 from $1000 a month to just $500 a month. I will go into greater details below.
Today I’m going to share with you how switching to off-brand products saved our family $500 each month. We will discuss what off-brand products are just as good as the name brands, how much money they can save you, and which off-brand products just aren’t that great.
For the longest time, we only purchased name brand products. I think it was mainly out of habit and using things I know that our family liked. I guess I was scared to spend money on something we wouldn’t like so that justified not savings those few dollars? Then I used coupons for a while. When I did use coupons I could still get those great name brand products for a good price so again I was not worried about buying off brand. But still, we were spending way too much each month.
Really quickly I want to tell you a little back story.
About 8 short years ago we were a young couple with a growing family. We had just gotten married and purchased a nice home, 2 new vehicles, new furniture, and all that good stuff. And we financed everything. We were just doing what everyone else did. That’s what we were supposed to do right? WRONG! While we could technically afford these things we realized quickly how big of a mistake we had made. We knew neither of us wanted to spend the rest of our life working to pay someone else and have that debt follow us around. We then spent the next 5 years digging ourselves out of the hole we created. We changed our ways and worked hard to pay off what we could and get back to the basics. Fast forward 8 years and we are on our way to living a debt free life. We have a home that is paid for, no credit card debt, and no medical bills.
Slashing our household essentials and grocery budget in half
Every month groceries and household products are where we would spend the most money. It is so easy to overspend at stores and just throw things in the cart without even thinking about it. I am the world’s worst at buying junk we don’t need. I am still no pro y’all. I struggle every single time we go into Walmart. Junk food and prepackaged things are just so convenient!
If you have been following How I Feed My Family Of 7 For $85 A Week Budget From Walmart Meal Plans you will know I have tried it all!
From meal planning, freezer cooking, bulk cooking, couponing. I have just tried it ALL! Yes, it all works if you can keep up with it. I never could. I’m busy all the time. We have a practice or game of some sort every day most weeks and I just need to be able to walk run into Walmart buy what I need and not break the bank. If it takes much more effort than that I get overwhelmed and I resort back to my old ways of throwing junk in the cart and just getting what I need to make my life easier. Then about 2 years ago I was like ok I’m at my wits in. Somethings got to give. And so I started researching high and low for ways to save my family money.
Buying off-brand products are what came up time and time again. For some reason, I was so skeptical to try off brand. It’s crazy I know now! I think I was just in a routine and didn’t want to change that. But then I did! Thankfully. So what I decided to do was every week buy 1 off-brand product to replace the name brand I was currently using. I started small with milk, cheese, bread, etc.
I found most tasted the same or better! I felt so silly. Like these gold mines had been under my nose all this time and I just looked right past them. If this is you also do not feel bad. I found out grocery stores are set up to appeal to your senses. Someone’s job is to actually design that store so that it appeals to you and you hopefully impulse buy more products than you typically would. For example, your name brand products are often at eye level, brightly packaged, with nice clean packages. Whereas your off-brand is usually way on the top or the bottom shelf in not so pretty packaging. I was shocked when I started looking for the off-brands only to find they were right there but I had never noticed them before. Those stores sure know what they are doing when appealing to your senses. Do not let them keep tricking you.
So basically I started to do my own little experiments. With each product, I would try the off brand product out. See how we liked it and compare it side by side to the name brand. Almost every single thing we have tried we have switched to the off-brand. There have been a few exceptions which I will go into more detail about below.
Do not let the name brand trick you anymore! Take control of your finances and give the off brand products a chance.
THESE are my favorite off-brand products that save our family A TON OF money
- White Cloud Toilet Paper– Ranked #1 toilet paper at just $6.27 for 12 giant size rolls.
- Arm And Hammer Laundry Detergent $7.97 – I was a devoted Tide user until I tried Arm And Hammer. Really I was convinced it was the only one that worked. I paid $19.97 for 81 Tide Pods. With a household of 7 and my husband’s dirty work clothes, We do 3-4 loads of laundry every single day! That added up (more about this below). I was shocked how well Arm And Hammer cleaned our clothes. I seriously did comparisons about 4 times before being thoroughly convinced. My youngest son has also suffered from eczema since birth. When we made the switch to Arm And Hammer his eczema improved significantly! If you try nothing else off this list you have to try this.
- Great Value Dish Washing Tabs– I don’t have a lot to say about these other than they get the job done just as well as the Cascade.
- Great Value Trash Bags – Just as strong as sturdy as the name brand without the high price tags.
- Great Value Paper Towels– Great and super absorbent.
- Great Value Dish Soap– I had always been a Dawn lover. I still love it but ya know I’m cheap. Walmart’s Great Value brand is just as good as the name brands.
- Great Value Brand milk – I actually researched this pretty thoroughly. I found that all milk is created equally. Seriously they all have to meet the same standards. Please don’t pay $2-3 more for the name brands.
- Faded Glory Jeans – Here me out. I can honestly say I hadn’t purchased many jeans from Walmart before the past year. I had just had my name brand jeans and stuck with those. the last year I have lost a significant amount of weight and one day while at Walmart decided to grab a pair to try to I’ve been buying my jeans there ever since. I actually just purchased the ones pictured below about 2 weeks ago. I’m not kidding you they are the most comfortable skinny jeans I have ever owned. I went back and bought 3 pairs exactly like them the next day. Give Walmart clothing a try. Especially for the kids.
- Great Value chips – Do not pay $3-4 for a bag of name brand chips. Just please do not. It will literally hurt my heart to know you did. We have tried every single flavor Great Value brand chips and not once have we tasted a difference and they are just $1.98 a bag for the same size as the name brands bags that are $3-4 each!
- Great Value Flour – Flour and #11 Sugar go hand in hand. Along with any staple items, it is always smart to go with the off-brand. They taste them same and do the same thing so no need to spend more for fancy labels.
- Great Value Sugar. See above.
- Malt O Meal Cereals – We love these cereals. I love it comes in the big bags and has a resealable top. Why keep paying more for box cereal with less in them and they do not have resealable tops? Nothing will drive a mom more insane than finding a stale box of cereal because someone left the top open. The only exception to this is the chocolate puffs. They have a funky taste and just don’t compare to Coco Puffs. We just don’t buy either and try to stick with the healthier options.
By switching from name brand to off-brand products, planning our meals, stopping eating out unless necessary, and not buying as many prepackaged items. We have cut our grocery and household budget for our family of 7 from $250 a week to just $125 a week! That is an $500-month savings!
Here are a few sample price breakdowns
just to give you an idea of the money you could be saving
White Cloud Toilet Paper Verse Cottonelle
We use roughly 12 rolls a week (plus extra for summertime and potty training my toddler twins)
That Comes to 52-12 packs a year
Great Value Brand cost is $6.23 per 12 pack
52 – packs per year Totals= $323.96 a year
Cottonelle Brand cost $7.35 per 12 pack
28 packs per year totals =$382.20 a year
That is a $58.24 savings per year
Arm And Hammer Laundry Detergent Verse Tide Pods
We do 3-4 loads of laundry a day. Let’s say roughly 100 loads each month
Arm And Hammer cost $7.97 per 109 loads
Cost per year $95.64
Tide Pods cost $19.97 per 81 loads
Cost per year $259.61
Total savings per year $163.97
Great Value Dish Washing Tabs Verse Cascade
We do 1-2 loads per day roughly 700 loads a year
Great Value $12.47 for 110
Cost per year $87.29
Cascade $16.97 for 78 pods
Cost per year $169.70
Total savings per year $82.41
Great Value Trash Bags Verse Glad Trash Bags
Use roughly 720 bags a year
Great Value cost $12.52 for 100 bags
Total cost per year $150.24
Glade cost $16.97 per 120 bags
Total cost per year $203.64
Total savings per year $53.40
While that might not seem like huge savings just these 4 items save me $29.52 a month. So you can see how just saving cents to a dollar on items you buy every single month can really add up.
what products we don’t buy in the off-brand
- Bread – I prefer the Bunny brand over Great Value. Great Value is not bad by any means it’s just not as soft as we like it to be.
- Shampoos and conditioners -Since I am a licensed Cosmetologist I get discounts on some products and prefer better quality shampoos at least for myself since I have color treated hair.
- Jiffy Peanut Butter – It is just the best out there and the Great Value does not have that creamy smooth texture.
Now I know some of you may not shop Walmart like I do. I only shop Walmart because it’s the only store in our small town and anything else would be a 1-hour drive. It’s all about what is convenient for you! If you have access to Target, Sams, Aldi’s etc. of course shop those stores. Give they’re off brands a try to just see if you like them. I think you will be surprised at the great quality.
If you still prefer certain name brand products always use IBOTTA to get rebates. Ibotta is not just for groceries, They have tons of great rebates on all types of products. I typically get back $5-$10 a week just from Ibotta! All you need to do is scan in your receipt on the app. It’s like free money. You can sign up through this link (If you do sign up please use my link so I will get a small referral credit. You will be saving money and helping out my little family all at the same time) https://ibotta.com/register?friend=CDRGHXO
WALMART SAVINGS CATCHER APP (CLICK HERE TO VIEW APP)
If you do shop Walmart be sure to scan in your receipts to Savings Catcher App. This app is great because they search competitors prices for you and if someone’s price is cheaper they give you the difference on Egift card. I usually only make $2-$3 a week here since we purchase mainly off brands but hey money is money! Another perk is you can then toss your receipts once you scan them and when you need to make a return you can just have the cashier scan the receipt on your phone.
Did I miss something? Do you just have more questions? Please feel free to leave them below or email me at email@example.com I always respond to each comment and email. It’s important to me my readers to know I’m a real mom, wife, and women. Not just some person behind a computer screen. I started this blog to share what I have learned and with a goal to help other moms struggling like I was. I would never recommend a product I don’t honestly recommend and use myself.
Have a lovely day 🙂