One great way to keep the expenses down is to stop buying those brand name products and buy the cheaper generic alternatives. Companies enjoy brand marketing, they spent millions on creating, marketing, and selling a brand, so you darn well will pay for it.

There are industries where the entire product differential is just brand marketing (the soft drink industry falls into that category easily). It’s no secret that we all know brand name products cost more, but do all of us know that a brand name does not necessary translate to a better quality product?

Crunch Berries, it's a life choice.Take one of my life obsession, Cap’N Crunch’s Crunch Berries cereal for example. I have consistently purchased Crunch Berries for the past 6-7 years. They’re fairly expensive when not purchased during sales price. $4 or so for a 15 oz box, $6 for a 21 oz box. The minute you put a scoop in your mouth, you’ll know that they’re decisively unhealthy. (But it’s oh so good!)

I finally went to look for an alternative recently.

So there I was 10 PM at night, making one of those important life changing decision, and of all places at Wal-Mart.

In my hand, I held a bag of Malt-O-Meal’s Berry Colossal Crunch.

Colossal Crunch? A blue kangaroo? Why am I holding this monstrosity?

“Sir, are you okay?” asked a helpful Wal-Mart associate.

She was probably wondering why I’ve been standing there for over 10 minutes.

I noticed the “How may I help you?” slogan on her uniform.

“Yes, you can definitely help me,” I told her as I held up the bag and pointed towards the boxes of Crunch Berries, “tell me, which one of these do you think I should buy?”

“Cap’N Crunch is a better brand right?” she said. For whatever reason, she had this look of what’s wrong with you on her face as she said that.

“Hmm… okay, thanks.”
Blue kangaroo says, I taste the same

So I went ahead and bought the bag of Berry Colossal Crunch, because this whole post would have been pointless had I gone with the Crunch Berries.

The Berry Colossal Crunch is a two pound bag, costing only $3.68 at Wallyworld. There is little nutritional difference between the two brand, although Crunch Berries do contain more folic acid. Seeing as how I’m not going to give birth anytime soon (human male), I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

So does it taste the same?

You betcha. In fact, it may even taste better. Or maybe I was experiencing a savings high. The bag is re-sealable, quite handy if you ask me.

Will I ever buy Crunch Berries again? Sure, if its on sale and at a cheaper price.

Should I stop my addiction of eating unhealthy, sugar filled cereals? My new best friend the blue kangaroo, says no.

So shop around! Sometimes those store or generic brands aren’t half as bad as you think. This obviously isn’t just about groceries though, it applies for almost everything. Of course sometimes a particular brand is just good at what they do, especially if they created their specific industry. But a lot of times they are all the same or very similiar. You’re just paying for the name.

To quote a medicore movie, Armageddon:

“Wait! You don’t know how those American equipment works!” exclaimed an astronaut trying to save the Earth.

“American computers, Russian computers, Japanese computers,” yelled the cosmonaut, “ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!”