store brand http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/430/all en-US "Can you spare a square?" 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage. http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1402812403_b598732dd3.jpg" alt="TP attacked" title="TP attacked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That classic scene from Seinfeld got me thinking over the weekend. Is there a strategy for using toilet paper? Is it worth our time? But when I spend money to literally flush the product down the drain, I often wonder…how much should I be flushing? Am I wasting money?</p> <p>As an adult, I had never given it much thought until a comedian I was listening to pointed out that even hardnosed conservationists seem to forget their scruples in the stall. Why use a few sheets when a massive wad of paper will do the job just as well?</p> <p>My mother worked out, pretty quickly, that regardless of how good the toilet paper was that she bought, we’d use the same amount; way too much. So instead of buying the luxurious double rolls with extra absorbency, she’d get standard rolls. And as kids, we never really noticed the difference, and would still pull armfuls of paper from the roll, leaving the cardboard tube spinning on the holder for a good 10 seconds. </p> <p>So, what to do? Pardon the pun, but even to a frugal guy like me it seems a little anal to have a toilet paper strategy. I mean, I don’t have much of a life but I’m not at the point where I’m counting TP sheets…at least, not yet. But there are a few things I can suggest, especially with kids around. </p> <p>1) Think twice about getting those expensive, luxurious rolls of paper for the kids&#39; bathroom. Regular paper works just as well, and kids will use either one with zeal.</p> <p>2) Consider having a box of baby wipes in the bathroom. On those times when things get a little messy (stomach flu anyone?) a baby wipe or two will do the work of handfuls of toilet paper. They’re designed to handle much bigger messes than regular TP.</p> <p><em>NOTE: As many readers have pointed out, buy FLUSHABLE wipes. Kandoo and Cottonelle are popular, but many stores (Walgreens for instance) now carry their own brand of flushable wipes for a nice saving.  </em></p> <p>3) Buy standard sized rolls. Double rolls actually run down quicker than two standard rolls. The reason being, we see more of the roll and subconsciously use more because there’s plenty. It’s the reason you keep seeing manufacturers up the size of the roll, so that now we need extra equipment to fit these jumbo sized rolls onto the holder. </p> <p>4) Go with store brand. As I’ve said many times, there is very little difference, if any, between name brand and store brand; especially in this instance when it all ends up being flushed down the drain anyway. </p> <p>5) Practice restraint. There’s no reason at all to attack the roll and pull masses of paper away with the force of Rambo starting a speedboat. Grab what you need and nothing more.</p> <p>These few simple tips will save you money on a product every single one of us uses on a daily basis. Let’s save a few trees and a few bucks at the same time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs General Tips Green Living Shopping bathroom habits name brand store brand toilet paper Tue, 20 May 2008 16:02:00 +0000 Paul Michael 2107 at http://www.wisebread.com Why there's no reason NOT to buy store brand baby formula. http://www.wisebread.com/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/622916_refill_for_will.jpg" alt="baby feeding" title="baby feeding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There’s nothing like starting an article with a double negative is there? Sorry, but it was the easiest way to get my point across. As a father of a 3-year old and a soon to be 1-year old, I’ve suffered the guilt of buying formula that wasn’t name brand. When money was short, we had no choice. But why the guilt? Is it so bad? In short, no. It’s almost exactly the same and it’s half the price. </p> <p>So, what’s the deal? Why the huge price difference and why the guilt-trips? Well, to answer that I’d have to go back around 4 years to when my wife and I first discovered we were pregnant. The second you realize you’re responsible for a life, you start to do the responsible thing. You shop around for the best crib you can afford, decorate the nursery, invest in all kinds of gadgets and gizmos and become a walking cliché for the phrase “nothing’s too good for our baby.” </p> <p>And that’s what lies at the heart of this issue. There’s a reason Babies R Us is growing so fast, and why the baby business is a multi-billion dollar industry. New parents, even old parents, feel that money should really be no object when it comes to a child. After all, how could you even think of pinching pennies when it comes to the life of your most precious addition?</p> <p>I could go through all of the ways the moguls at big corporations factor guilt into every ad campaign and safety study, but I’m sure you know most of them already. But when it comes to infant formula, one of the biggest guilt trips of all is the purchase of store brand formula. You may as well be feeding your baby beer and yesterday’s garbage, the looks you get from people in the supermarket queue are the same. </p> <p>Well, I’m here to say once and for all that there is nothing wrong with store brand formula, and I say this as an ashamed parent who has been buying name brand for over three years. Yes, name brand. The expensive stuff. After my wife stopped breast-feeding with each baby, around the 8-month mark, we have thrown away hundreds and hundreds of dollars buying name brand formula. That was money that could have gone towards all number of things for our babies...and why? To avoid looking and feeling bad, and to feel great knowing we were doing the best for our kids. But no more. It stops today, for today I did my research and found out the truth behind the infant formula cover-up. Let’s start with the most important point.</p> <p><strong>EVERY can of baby formula must meet FDA regulations. </strong><br />It’s called the <a href="http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=45151">Infant Formula Act</a> . It basically means that the “safety and nutritional quality of infant formulas are ensured by requiring that manufacturers follow specific procedures in manufacturing infant formulas.” In short, whether you buy Enfamil or Target brand, your baby is getting a product certified by the FDA as good and healthy for your baby. And as long as you buy a formula with iron, you’re fine. All you’re really paying for is a fancy label…and at an extra $13 a can, that’s one pricey label.<br /><strong><br />So what are the major differences?</strong><br />There aren’t any. The differences are very minor, and it all comes down to taste and texture. For instance, <strong>Enfamil Lipil</strong> provides a whey-to-casein ratio of 60:40, which is supposed to mimic breastmilk exactly. <strong>Similac Advance</strong> contains no palm olein oil, which supposedly “promotes increased calcium absorption and greater bone mineralization.” And the one my family used (until today) was <strong>Nestle Good Start Supreme</strong>. It contains 100% whey and partially hydrolyzed &#39;comfort proteins&#39;; these little proteins make the milk easier to digest and help with reflux, something from which both our girls suffered. </p> <p>As for store brands, well, their formulas are almost identical. It’s hard to know for sure what they leave out or put in, you need to do a side-by-side comparison on the labels to see which name brand formula they are mimicking. And almost all of them are made by one company – Wyeth. You can check them <a href="http://www.wyeth.com/">out here.</a> I also saw another company crop up quite a lot in my research. They’re called <a href="http://www.pbmproducts.com/">PBM products. </a>Both companies supply infant formula to all the major supermarket chains, and they make a quality product. </p> <p><a href="http://www.pbmproducts.com/"></a> <strong>But my pediatrician offers the name brand formula. Why?</strong><br />Money. Pediatricians are hit by a barrage of marketing campaigns, samples and kick-backs in order to ‘give away’ samples of name brand formulas. When we left the hospital the nurse offered us one of two bags filled with formula samples, gifts and coupons. One was by Enfamil, the other Similac. No surprise there, they’re the two leaders of the formula world and can afford to dazzle you with free gifts and coupons in the first few months of your baby’s life. These coupons soon dry up though, and you’re faced with paying over $26 for a can of formula that is being sold next to store brand formula that costs half that price. </p> <p>One thing I have learned is consistency. Whatever you choose, when you find one that works you should stick with it. It’s better on you baby’s digestion. But if you happen to stick with Target or Safeway formula, do it with your head held high and feel the power of being an informed consumer. You’re doing good by your baby and saving money for the future. Now, does that sound like something anyone needs to feel guilty about?</p> <p><strong>Further reading </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/baby-toddler/eating-and-sleeping/formula/formula-4-07/overview/0704_formula_ov.htm">http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/baby-toddler/eating-and-sleeping/formula/formula-4-07/overview/0704_formula_ov.htm </a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/infant/baby_formula.html">http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/infant/baby_formula.html</a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2006/09/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know.htm">http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2006/09/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know.htm</a> </p> <p><a href="http://babycheapskate.blogspot.com/2006/09/store-brand-formula-good-enough-or.html">http://babycheapskate.blogspot.com/2006/09/store-brand-formula-good-enough-or.html</a> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.pbmproducts.com/"></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-and-delicious-meals-to-make-with-your-kids">10 Frugal and Delicious Meals to Make With Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink baby formula Enfamil infant formula Nestle Similac store brand supermarket target Tue, 25 Sep 2007 04:17:36 +0000 Paul Michael 1204 at http://www.wisebread.com Losing the store brand stigma. http://www.wisebread.com/losing-the-store-brand-stigma <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/losing-the-store-brand-stigma" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000066068919_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="woman grocery shopping" title="woman grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a young lad, I would cringe when my mother unpacked the groceries. We didn&rsquo;t have much money and that meant scrimping and saving any way we could. So, out went the name brands and in came the store brands, or &quot;generics&quot; as they are sometimes known. I can still remember the plain white cans with black army-surplus type covering the label. Baked beans, carrots, tomato soup, dog food, you name it &mdash; we got it store brand. And I swear, as a child I knew they tasted awful. They really did.</p> <p>Then I grew up. I went to college, struggled on little-to-no money and made do with store brands daily. They weren&rsquo;t so bad. And now, I find them preferable to the big names like Heinz, General Mills, Proctor &amp; Gamble, and Campbells. Why? Well, quite simply, because they taste almost exactly the same (if not identical) and on average cost around 25-30% less than the big name brands. Sometimes, it&rsquo;s almost 50%. Quite a margin for that can of soup or box of dish soap.</p> <p>Now, the first reaction I get from people when I say this is usually this one: &quot;There&rsquo;s a reason they&rsquo;re cheaper&hellip;they&rsquo;re made from inferior ingredients or products.&rdquo; Hmmm, really? I checked it out to confirm my suspicions, and I can sum up the major difference between store brands and name brands in one word &mdash; advertising.</p> <p>When was the last time you saw a big budget ad campaign for Archer Farms, or Great Value? It never happens. It&rsquo;s not that stores like Target and Wal-Mart are tight with their ad budgets. It&rsquo;s simply because they don&rsquo;t need to advertise store brands. The products sell themselves. If you need tomato soup, Campbells and Heinz have already spent the big bucks telling you all about the rich, creamy taste of their soups, and how wonderful they are on a cold winter&rsquo;s day. So, what difference does it make if you get that same experience from a store brand?</p> <p>Even more surprising is how well store brands fare in blind tests and consumer reports. Whether it's Ziploc bags, foil, or cooked ham, consumers are finding out that when it comes down to it, there&rsquo;s very little difference except to your wallet. Even the labels and packaging of store brand products have evolved into something not just &quot;okay&quot; but sometimes downright elegant (Target in particular, with Archer Farms and Market Pantry, does a great job).</p> <p>Another question I often get asked when I champion store brands is &ldquo;Well who makes them then?&rdquo; Some are made by companies that specialize in generic products for stores. But an awful lot are made by National Brand companies. That&rsquo;s right, the same folks responsible for that aluminum foil you trust, or the canned tuna you put in your salads, is making the same product for the grocery store. They slap on a different label and you pay a lot less for what is basically the same product. Here are some companies you know well that also produce store brands:</p> <p><strong>Alcoa</strong><br /> KNOWN FOR: Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil <br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Foil, wrap, plastic bags, disposable storage containers </p> <p><strong>Bausch &amp; Lomb </strong><br /> KNOWN FOR: Contact lenses and eye medicines<br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Eye-care products, nonprescription nasal remedies </p> <p><strong>Birds Eye </strong><br /> KNOWN FOR: Frozen veggies<br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Frozen veg, canned soup, chili, pie filling </p> <p><strong>Chicken of the Sea </strong><br /> KNOWN FOR: Canned tuna (unless you&rsquo;re Jessica Simpson)<br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Canned tuna, salmon, specialty seafood, fruit and vegetables, pet food </p> <p><strong>Del Monte</strong> <br /> KNOWN FOR: Canned fruit and veg<br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Canned soup, broth, gravy </p> <p><strong>McCormick </strong><br /> KNOWN FOR: Spices, seasonings, extracts <br /> STORE BRAND PRODUCTS: Spices, seasonings, extracts, salad dressings, dips</p> <p>I could keep going, but you get the picture. You may wonder why so many major labels are producing store brands. If you think about it, they&rsquo;re cannibalizing on their own sales. Trouble is, this is a case of play ball or lose out. Manufacturers everywhere know that store brands are growing and growing in popularity. If they don&rsquo;t help supply them, they&rsquo;re still going to lose sales to the generic products. Better to be involved for a lower profit margin than no profit at all. </p> <p>But what does this all mean to you? Well, it&rsquo;s only good news. Store brands taste and perform better than ever, often outperforming well-established national brands. Their impact is forcing major labels to reduce their pricing to remain competitive. And at the end of the day, you&rsquo;re filling your house with groceries at a much lower cost, for no noticeable difference in quality. If you can get over the &quot;shame&quot; of buying store brand, you&rsquo;ll find yourself laughing all the way to the bank.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/losing-the-store-brand-stigma">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-having-good-taste-saves-you-money">5 Ways Having Good Taste Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">Here&#039;s How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap groceries generic saving money store brand Thu, 11 Jan 2007 16:49:43 +0000 Paul Michael 181 at http://www.wisebread.com