brand name http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8090/all en-US Ask the Readers: Which Brand Name Products Are Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-which-brand-name-products-are-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-which-brand-name-products-are-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_shopping_542580040.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if brand name products are worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Kimberly, GreenTopiaries, and Natalie for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>One popular frugal tip is to always buy generic, and for most daily purchase, this works. However, some products are really worth paying the extra cost, especially if it means you get better quality for something you plan to use for a long time.</p> <p><strong>Which brand name products are worth it?</strong> What makes them better than the generic versions? What brand name products are <em>not</em> worth the extra cost?</p> <p>Tell us which brand name products are worth the extra cost and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa300/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa300" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_e9x4flnh">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 22nd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 22nd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us which brand name products are worth the extra cost and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-which-brand-name-products-are-worth-it">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/tj-maxx-giving-away-500-in-gift-cards-to-wise-bread-readers">TJ Maxx Giving Away $500 in Gift Cards to Wise Bread Readers</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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-the-tools-chance-to-win-ms-office">Ask the Readers: Do You Have the Tools? (Chance to win MS Office!)</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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Shopping Ask the Readers brand name Tue, 16 May 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1946083 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Use Your Prescription Drug Coupons Until You Read This http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pills_money_medicine_520882000.jpg" alt="Learning what you need to know about prescription drug coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have health insurance to help cover the cost of prescription drugs, that's great. But the average insured American still spends nearly $200 a year on prescription copays.</p> <p>Prescription drug coupons can help defray that hefty expense. You present them at the register of your pharmacy just like any other coupon. They reduce your copay, but do not affect the price your insurer pays for the drug. Drugmakers offer these coupons as a form of marketing, and while they can help patients, before using them you should know a few things about how these programs work.</p> <h2>1. Sometimes Brand Name Is Cheaper Than Generic</h2> <p>If your copay for generic medication is $10, but a coupon brings your copay for a similar brand name drug down to $4, you'll save money by going with the brand name. This is the major attraction of drug coupons for patients.</p> <h2>2. Don't Get Steered Into Suboptimal Treatment</h2> <p>It's hard to see how saving money could be bad for your health. But health care decisions should be made between patient and doctor, without intrusion from marketing. Why? Consider this: Doctors often have the choice of multiple drugs to treat any given ailment. Maybe Drug A, a tried and true generic, is the best choice for you, but you ask your doctor for Drug B because you have a coupon that would cover most of your copay. The doctor accommodates you, so you save money &mdash; but your treatment has suffered. This is not a hypothetical situation; a Consumer Reports analysis found more than one generic that works as well as or <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/03/don-t-get-hooked-on-prescription-drug-coupons/index.htm">better than a name brand</a>.</p> <h2>3. Coupons Could Cost You More in the Long Run</h2> <p>Like a cable TV teaser rate, the coupon program won't last forever. Once you've established treatment for a chronic condition with the brand name drug, and the coupon ends, you may spend years paying the higher post-coupon price.</p> <h2>4. You May Not Be Eligible to Use the Coupon</h2> <p>Some discount programs exclude members of Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured people. Always read the fine print.</p> <h2>5. The Coupon Might Not Be Your Cheapest Option</h2> <p>Make sure to do the math before opting for a brand name with a coupon over a generic &mdash; the generic still might be cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Coupons May Spike Your Insurance Premiums</h2> <p>When you use a coupon, you pay less &mdash; but your insurance company may pay up to 85% more than it would have if you had chosen a less expensive drug. Who cares? Most of us don't have much sympathy for insurance companies. But when your insurer pays more for drugs, it may pass that to you in the form of higher premiums.</p> <p>&quot;An individual patient who receives a coupon might not realize that, although that particular prescription may cost less that month, overall what it does is to <a href="http://khn.org/news/drug-coupons/">raise costs for everyone</a>, including themselves,&quot; Susan Pisano told Kaiser Health News on behalf of trade group America's Health Insurance Plans.</p> <h2>7. Always Get Coupons From a Reputable Source</h2> <p>Don't just click any link online and start entering personal information about what medications you take. A good place to ask about discount programs is your doctor's office. Online, you can enter the drug name and other details at <a href="https://www.pparx.org">Partnership for Prescription Assistance</a>, and it will connect you to programs you qualify for.</p> <p>Another convenient and safe way to find discounts is by downloading an app such as <a href="https://www.goodrx.com/">GoodRX</a> or <a href="http://werx.org/">WeRx</a> onto your phone. These apps not only find printable coupons, they will also suss out good prices near you on both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and let you know about pharmacy rewards programs and other opportunities to save.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">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/7-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</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/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</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/is-the-wii-fit-a-cheap-workout">Is the Wii Fit a cheap workout?</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/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty Shopping apps brand name drug coupons drugstores generic medicines pharmacies prescriptions Wed, 04 Jan 2017 11:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1865344 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Best Buys at TJ Maxx http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000072725527.jpg" alt="Woman finding best buys at TJ Maxx" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever set foot in a TJ Maxx store only to be completely overwhelmed by the selection? While it's a great place to score designer brands at a low price, you'll get the absolute <em>best</em> value on these six items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-things-that-are-always-cheaper-at-target">The 8 Things That Are Always Cheaper at Target</a>)</p> <h2>1. Designer Jeans</h2> <p>If designer jeans are your thing, you'd be smart to buy them at TJ Maxx and save close to 70% off the retail price. Brands that you can typically find include Jones New York, Jessica Simpson, Lucky, and Paris Blues. Surprisingly, many of the jeans you'll find at TJ Maxx are not last season's style and were just recently stocked in big department stores like Macy's and Nordstrom. According to website Mental Floss, high-end department stores buy jeans directly from manufacturers under what they term a &quot;buy-back clause.&quot; This stipulates that all unsold merchandise is bought-back by the clothing manufacturer, then sold to TJ Maxx at a hefty discount. The savings is then passed along to you.</p> <h2>2. Outerwear</h2> <p>TJ Maxx is a great stop when you need a new winter jacket, coat, or vest. This is because they tend to carry more name brands than other discount clothing stores like Ross and Marshalls. Outerwear brands you'll typically find include The North Face, Under Armour, Burton, U.S. Polo, and Steve Madden. While they stock outerwear all year long, they obviously have more selection in early autumn. I recommend shopping early on a Wednesday, if possible, as according to an employee, most TJ Maxx locations have their price markdowns completed by midweek. Another pro tip? Shop at the end of the season. TJ Maxx marks down items even further these times of the year.</p> <h2>3. Handbags</h2> <p>Top handbag brands that are regularly stocked include Valentina, Kenneth Cole, Michaella Barri, Saint Laurent, Perlina, and Emma Fox. You'll often find these brands at close to 75% off the original retail price. According to website Racked, TJ Maxx buyers are able to secure deals on handbags by foregoing the ability to return unsold bags to the designer. This means they'll put unsold handbags on clearance and continue to reduce them in price until they're sold-out. So if you see several of the same purse on the clearance rack, be aware that they'll probably get even cheaper within the next couple weeks. It may be worth your time, and money, to come back and buy it at the lower price.</p> <h2>4. Jewelry and Watches</h2> <p>Savings on jewelry is in the 50%&ndash;75% off range on name brands like Anne Klein, Fossil, Paz Creations, Gucci, Movado, Mia Fiore, and even Versace. Jewelry is no doubt one of the all-time popular Christmas gifts, and TJ Maxx is a great place to shop, especially for procrastinators &mdash; they receive new items right up until Christmas Eve.</p> <h2>5. Home Goods</h2> <p>If you're in the market for new kitchen, bath, or bedroom items, you'd be wise to shop at TJ Maxx and save up to 65% off name brands. A few of the designers you'll find highly discounted include Nicole Miller, All-Clad, Oneida, Cynthia Rowley, Wolfgang Puck, and Caro Home.</p> <h2>6. Shoes</h2> <p>Shoe brands like Jessica Simpson, Lucky, Keds, Nine West, Born, Adidas, Reebok, and New Balance can be found up to 70% off at TJ Maxx. Keep in mind that approximately 95% of the shoes at TJ Maxx are <a href="http://www.thebudgetbabe.com/archives/916-The-Truth-about-TJ-Maxx.html">first-run quality</a>. The other 5% are typically irregular and have a small flaw somewhere. Because of this, I always recommend trying on shoes and looking them over really well before purchasing.</p> <h2>7. Food and Coffee</h2> <p>Food, coffee, and other specialty goodies are often over-looked at TJ Maxx, yet provide some great values. According to <a href="http://www.redbookmag.com/life/money-career/features/a38894/tj-maxx-shopping-hacks-save-money-time/">Redbook's Kayla Keegan</a>, you should shop for deals on &quot;gift baskets, imported olive oils, handmade pastas, stainless steel cooking gadgets, and way more.&quot; She also points out that the assortment and selection gets much better around the holidays, and makes for a great place to shop for discounted gifts for the food lover in your life.</p> <p><em>What items do you consistently find the best deals on at TJ Maxx?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx">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/6-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</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/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</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/buy-raincoats-in-summer-because-winter-always-comes-0">Buy raincoats in summer, because winter always comes.</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/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains best values brand name designers discounts sales tj maxx Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:05:27 +0000 Kyle James 1613394 at http://www.wisebread.com When to Buy Brand Names: Sometimes, the Splurge Is Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-buy-brand-names-sometimes-the-splurge-is-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-to-buy-brand-names-sometimes-the-splurge-is-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6151997495_5d04073063_z.jpeg" alt="So many headphones" title="So many headphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Two of the earliest articles I wrote for Wise Bread, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/losing-the-store-brand-stigma">Losing the Store Brand Stigma</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula">Why There&rsquo;s No Reason Not to Buy Store Brand Baby Formula</a> are ones for which I still receive positive emails and comments. In these tough economic times, it&rsquo;s good to know that there are cheaper options out there that are still just as good as the name-brand products.</p> <p>However, as important as it is to save money when you can, it&rsquo;s also just as important to spend your money wisely. And that means buying products that will do what they claim to do, last a long time, and give you years of trouble-free service. Not only that, but you also want products that are safe and reliable.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why I am writing an article that advises you to spend more money on certain products. That old saying &ldquo;buy cheap, buy twice&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t always true, but sometimes, it&rsquo;s bang on. Not only that, but sometimes buying cheap products with unfamiliar names could actually put you in real danger.</p> <p>Here, then, are the top eight things you should always choose brand names over store brands or inferior brands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">Quality Over Price: 15 Items to&nbsp;Spend More On</a>)</p> <p><img width="263" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/table_saw.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>Tools</h2> <p>The kind of tools you buy for home improvements can make a huge difference to the outcome of the project. There&rsquo;s a reason the tradesmen you hire are all working with brand names like Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, and Milwaukee. These brands are made with strict quality controls, use excellent materials, and are built to last. It&rsquo;s the reason you rarely see any of these up for sale on Craigslist &mdash; they&rsquo;re just too reliable.</p> <p>Of course, you can opt for the cheaper brands, like Black &amp; Decker or Ryobi, and you&rsquo;ll still get good results, but the longevity or consistency won&rsquo;t be as good. When you decide to buy cheap, non-brand tools at flea markets and dollar stores, that&rsquo;s when you may be throwing your money away. These <a href="http://www.tradesadvisor.com/diy-advice/1041-dangers-of-buying-cheap-tools">cheap tools</a> are not engineered as well and will not last as long.</p> <p>Do yourself a favor &mdash; when it comes to tools, <a href="http://professional-power-tool-guide.com/power-tool-guides/other-guides/power-tools-cheap-vs-professional/">buy the brand best you can afford.</a> Look at what the tradesmen working around the neighborhood are using, and jot it down. It might be more expensive than you dreamt of paying, but work it out. Over the course of 10-15 years, how much use will you get out of that power tool or lawn mower? And if you can&rsquo;t afford a good brand, look into renting tools for the job you're doing. When it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/like-diy-avoid-these-ten-costly-mistakes">DIY</a>, you really don&rsquo;t want to trust your home and garden to tools of inferior quality.</p> <h2>Kitchen Equipment</h2> <p>Again, tools of the trade need to be tools you can rely on. And in the kitchen, those tools can cost some serious money. Now, no one is suggesting you go out and spend $2,400 on an 11-piece Shun knife set, that&rsquo;s probably way more knife than you&rsquo;ll ever need. Professional chefs use those, but they&rsquo;re cooking 12 hours a day or more.</p> <p>However, it&rsquo;s also not a good idea to go out and buy a <a href="http://knife.ezinemark.com/why-you-shouldn-t-buy-cheap-cooking-knives-18d73e96046.html">cheap $29.99 knife set that features 14+ knives</a>. At just over $2 a knife, you really will be getting garbage. Brands like J.A Henckels and Wüsthoff, that specialize in knives for the industry, also do quality knife sets under for $200.</p> <p>The same principles go for any other kitchen utensils, appliances, and equipment. Get a KitchenAid mixer over something cheap and cheerful. Splurge on a good-quality blender, not one under $20. Always look at the reviews, and bear in mind that old phrase &ldquo;for the price&hellip;&rdquo; It means nothing really. For the price, a newspaper is a great blanket on cold winters nights. Know what I mean?</p> <h2>Beauty Products</h2> <p>Your skin, your hair, your nails, your teeth, your body &mdash; they all deserve better than the cheapest crud money can buy. So, next time you&rsquo;re in the market for soap, shampoo, cosmetics (and brushes), skin creams, oils, balms, or anything else that&rsquo;s going on, or in, your body, look carefully at the brands you&rsquo;re buying. A nasty rash from a cream purchased at the dollar store is not going to make you feel good about the few bucks you saved. And I always thought places like MAC cosmetics were a rip off. But after seeing how long they last, and the results hey garner on my wife, I have to say, MAC is well worth it.</p> <h2>Electronics</h2> <p>I bought a pair of headphones from the dollar store once. The sound quality was appalling, and they crackled if I moved in a certain way (no doubt due to a dry soldering joint). They lasted about two days before I threw them in the trash. In the past, I&rsquo;ve bought cheap cameras, personal stereos, VCRs, and all sorts of other electronic gadgets. And I have learned my lesson. If you&rsquo;re going to buy headphones, spring for a good pair. Even $5 Sony headphones, despite the brand name, will not have great audio. You need to invest in good quality <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2324370,00.asp">headphones</a>, like BOSE, Klipsch, Velodyne, or Sennhesiner. And we're only talking $20 or $30 more for good sound. On Blu-Ray players, avoid those ones under $100. They&rsquo;ll give you problems, or won't have the features you need these days. It doesn't cost a lot more to go up in quality, even those <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20072311-1/what-makes-a-good-blu-ray-player/">priced between $100 and $200</a> offer great features. If you can afford it, opt for the higher-end range of the well-known brands, like LG and Samsung, rather than their bargain-basement models. And less popular brands, like Oppo, offer excellent quality for the slightly higher price.&nbsp; Speaking of electronics&hellip;</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/ikea_batteries.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>Batteries</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll find amazing deals on batteries; even Ikea is getting in on it with AA 10-packs costing just $1.99. I guarantee, you&rsquo;ll be replacing those batteries quite quickly. They will work, but they just don&rsquo;t have the juice of the bigger brands like Duracell Ultra Power or Energizer Ultimate Lithium. Yes, they cost more, but they last way longer and you won&rsquo;t be inconvenienced by having them run out when you need them most. (<a href="http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/are-expensive-batteries-worth-the-extra-cost/">See this Wired article for a detailed analysis.</a>)</p> <h2>Footwear</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a time and a place for cheap footwear. It&rsquo;s flip-flops. That&rsquo;s about it. Go ahead &mdash; get yourself a pair for a buck, and they&rsquo;ll do the job. But if you really value your posture and your health, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes">footwear is not the place to cut corners</a>. If you&rsquo;re going hiking, you need good quality hiking boots, not a $20 pair from Payless. If you&rsquo;re a runner, splash out on some professional-grade running shoes. They&rsquo;ll probably cost over $100, but this is your health we&rsquo;re talking about. If you need work boots, pay more for quality boots with reinforced steel toe caps, support shanks, and electrical hazard protection. When you look at the cost of shoes and boots, you can usually get a very good pair for under $200. And they will last, support you in all the right places, and be beneficial to your health. Now, there are limits of course. At some point, the money you spend is not just paying for quality materials and craftsmanship, and it just goes towards a designer&rsquo;s mansion. If you want to spend $38,000 on a pair of Testonis or Manolo Blahniks, go ahead. That&rsquo;s just nuts if you ask me.</p> <h2>Sporting and Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>You won&rsquo;t get a good game of tennis using a heavy, low-end racquet. You won&rsquo;t feel the benefit of a cheap pair of ice-skates or a budget treadmill. Once again, if you&rsquo;re playing a sport or trying to get fit, the non-name brands or lower-tier brands just won&rsquo;t cut the mustard. You need to spend a little more on good quality brands to make your workout effective or raise your game to a significant level. Ironically, the stars earning millions of dollars get the very best equipment for free, but at the same time, using some $12.99 tennis racquet that weighs a few pounds isn&rsquo;t going to make the game fun for you. Spend the money when and where you can, and you&rsquo;ll get more out of it.</p> <p><a href="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/man_with_tent.jpg"><img width="605" height="403" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/man_with_tent.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Camping, Hiking, and Other &quot;Extreme&quot; Gear</h2> <p>If you plan on camping in the mountains in winter, you really don&rsquo;t want to rely on that $20 sleeping bag you got from Walmart. It may look the same as the $500 Marmot sleeping bag, but you&rsquo;ll discover the difference when the temperature drops and you&rsquo;re an ice cube shivering with regret. Your tent also needs to be good quality, and if you&rsquo;re hiking, your gear needs to pass muster. If you plan on doing a little rock climbing, you don&rsquo;t want to entrust your life to cheap and shoddy &ldquo;knock off&rdquo; brands. This is not just a bit of fun; it&rsquo;s your life. So, when you&rsquo;re off into the wilderness, take the biggest and best brand names your budget can afford. That advice does not come from me by the way, as I don&rsquo;t camp. It comes from several of my good friends here in Colorado who do it every weekend, and they swear by their expensive brand names. They&rsquo;d rather eat ramen for a week and buy a good one than entrust their lives to cheap trash.</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/when-to-buy-brand-names-sometimes-the-splurge-is-worth-it">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-7"> <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/the-5-best-women-s-rain-boots">The 5 Best Women’s Rain Boots</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-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">Don&#039;t Use Your Prescription Drug Coupons Until You Read This</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-5-best-men-s-rain-boots">The 5 Best Men’s Rain Boots</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/want-stylish-shoes-that-last-for-years-try-frye">Want Stylish Shoes That Last for Years? Try Frye</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/stuff-we-love-comfortable-stylish-clarks-dress-shoes-for-men">Stuff We Love: Comfortable, Stylish Clarks Dress Shoes for Men</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping brand name cheap tools pay more for quality shoes Tue, 21 Aug 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Paul Michael 952233 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/warranty.JPG" alt="waranty" title="warranty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have always been a fan of buying the less expensive generic version of whatever it is I am in the market for. Running shoes, clothing, electronics, prescription drugs, you name it. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And in many cases, the generic version is just as good and saves a ton of money. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are a few cases that I have discovered, though, in which it pays to spend a little more at the outset. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I owned a pair of brand name running shoes that had a great little feature which was an alternative to laces, and I was loved them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">However after a few months, the lace-alternative mechanism stopped working, and the shoes were rendered all but useless. Since the shoes were well used by that point though, I didn&#39;t even consider the fact that it could be covered under warranty. A friend who was visiting and worked in an athletic shop asked me how I liked the shoes. Needless to say I gave him a piece of mind about the company and their crappy shoes!</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;Well, just return them,&quot; he said. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;I&#39;ve moved all over the country. I&#39;m thousands of miles away from the store I went to, and I don&#39;t have a receipt anyway,&quot; I replied hopelessly. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;That&#39;s okay,&quot; he said. &quot;Just take them into our store. We carry that brand, so we can ship the shoes back to the carrier for you, and they&#39;ll replace them for free. You&#39;ll just have to pay for the shipping since you didn&#39;t buy them at my store originally.&quot; </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Done! A month later, I was wearing the brand new, next-generation of the shoe for the paltry $12 in shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I&#39;m pretty sure the generic brand version of those shoes wouldn&#39;t have held to that level of service. In fact, I might have gone through two to three pairs of the same shoes in the time it took me to wear in the brand name shoes I still own. And when I calculate the cost at the end of the day, I actually saved money with the brand name shoes. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">That experience opened the doors for me to a world of brand name warranties. You don&#39;t always need to fill out a silly card or register by internet a lot of the time; you simply need to own the product. If it fails, you take it to a store that carries it and politely explain your problem and ask if there is a way they can help you. Alternately, circumvent the store entirely and go straight to the manufacturer. Again for the cost of shipping, you&#39;re likely to end up with a brand new replacement. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Most warranties specify that they will only cover manufacturer&#39;s defects, which is reasonable. But if you look hard you can even find a few items the manufacturer claims are indestructible, for which even wear &amp; tear is covered. And even if the warranty policy states manufacturer defects only, I would challenge you to spend the small amount of time required to see if you can get a replacement anyway. If it can save you the cost of replacing that item, it`s worth at least asking. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are just a few brand names I&#39;ve had experience with that will honour returns and replace damaged (and even just plain worn) goods: </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.rmwilliams.com.au/home.asp?pageid=2E6B299F55B297E8" target="_blank">R.M. Williams</a> - The Australian boot company. If any part of the boot wears for any reason, they will repair or replace the item.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://oakley.com/" target="_blank">Oakley</a> - For sunglasses. Friends of mine have had luck with getting broken frames replaced without question. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.tilley.com/guarantee.asp" target="_blank">Tilley</a> - Specializes in upscale travel wear, and their real specialty is the Tilley Hat - indestructible. So if any of their items wear, just return them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.thenorthface.com/na/contact-us.html#warranty" target="_blank">North Face</a> - This is the company that replaced my running shoes. Not only that, but a friend of mine had a North Face jacket with a lifetime warranty, and I`ve read stories about others who have received brand new next-generation jackets (to the tune of $500 or more) for the cost of shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.arcteryx.com/iframe/warranty.aspx" target="_blank">Arcteryx</a> - Another outdoor gear outfitter, with extremely high quality (and high cost) items. I don`t personally have any Arcteryx swag, but others who own it say the warranty is honourable. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And for Canadians, items purchased at <a href="http://www.mec.ca/splash.jsp" target="_blank">Mountain Equipment Co-op</a> (they ship internationally by the way) are almost always returnable. I have returned punctured water bladders, ripped pants, and defective watches without as much as a blink of an eye from customer service. I don&#39;t even need a receipt, since they have my purchasing history in their computer.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">All this is not to say I am a brand name junkie. I couldn&#39;t care less about designer labels, and you&#39;ll never catch me carrying a $500 (or even $100) designer purse. I choose my brands carefully, based on functionality, price, and customer service.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So if you are debating whether or not that brand name item will truly last longer than the generic alternative, consider the warranties available. You may get a lifetime of use out of the initially more expensive item if you play your cards right. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off">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/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you">Sam&#039;s Club or Costco: Which Warehouse Club Is Right for You?</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-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">Don&#039;t Use Your Prescription Drug Coupons Until You Read This</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</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/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">Impulse Shopping: A Controllable Handicap</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-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft">How Credit Cards Protect Your Purchases From Damage or Theft</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping brand name return policies warranties Wed, 31 Oct 2007 19:14:20 +0000 Nora Dunn 1342 at http://www.wisebread.com