A common misconception about couponing is that it is cheaper to buy the store brand of an item.
While this might be easier, it isn't always cheaper. Name brand companies spend big bucks to promote their products. Part of this advertising comes in the form of coupons. They also want their products advertised in the grocery store flyers. For that to happen, an item needs to be on sale. When you combine these two marketing ploys you should indeed be able to get that name brand item for less (much less) than the store brand. Often times you will be able to get name brand items for free. Yes, FREE!
The key is to not get tied up on a certain brand.
For example there are three big brands of peanut butter: Skippy, Peter Pan and Jif. From experience, I can tell you that Skippy and Peter Pan go on sale and have more coupons issued than Jif. If you are hung up on Jif, then you are going to miss out on some really cheap peanut butter.
You can still have brand loyalties and save money.
I am without a doubt a HUGE Purity fan. I have a glass of their chocolate milk every morning. I won't drink anything else. Period. I am making a choice to buy a more expensive brand of milk but I have searched around and found the store that has the best price and I have found coupons for my beloved breakfast drink.
A few brand loyalties are fine but you might be missing out on great deals and products if you are too inflexible.
One of my favorite things about couponing is being able to try a variety of different brands and products. When a manufacturer introduces a new product, they use marketing (coupons and sales) to promote it. By pairing those two together, I can usually get it for pretty cheap. I may love it or I may hate it. However, I didn't spend enough on it to care if it is a total bust. I'm willing to try almost anything and this certainly helps me to be a successful couponer.
You may decide you like a different brand better.
This has actually happened to me several times. I used to be 100% sold on Cottonelle toilet paper. It was my absolute fave. I'm not really even sure why. Through couponing, I have also tried Quilted Northern, Charmin, Scott and Angel Soft. Now, if I get a choice, I will choose Charmin (Ultra Soft) hands down. This also happened with toothpaste. Before couponing, I always bought Crest and I did so out of habit. After trying several others, I now like Colgate better. Crest seems to have a little after taste that I never noticed before because I had never tried anything different.
What are some of your favorite brands? What items are you flexible with?