Do You Substitute Items To Save Money?

Discussion in 'Food & Drink' started by Diane Lane, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    I'm not really a brand-centric type of person. If one brand is cheaper than another, I will often substitute the lower priced one, unless I've had issues with the cheaper one in the past. There are things I won't substitute, though. I really prefer whole milk to skim milk, or even 2% milk, and I will pay a little bit more for that. I also prefer butter over margarine, and there are specific brands I like better, although if there's a large price difference, I'll buy the generic butter.

    Are there certain products you just won't substitute, or does it all come down to money?
     
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  2. Happyflowerlady

    HappyflowerladyActive Member

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    Most of the time, I do buy the cheapest product, providing there is not a large difference in how the item works or how it tastes.
    Since butter is much healthier than margarine, to me, it is worth the extra money. Same thing with yogurt. Only a few brands still make whole milk yogurt, it seems like, and most of it is made from skim milk instead. I spend the extra money to get a brand I like, usually Greek Gods is my first choice.
    When it comes to buying something like frozen or canned veggies, then I usually always buy the store brand, and can't really tell the difference in looks or taste.
     
  3. steph84

    steph84Active Member

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    I always shop generic because it helps me save money. Also when I am baking I will substitute items if I am out of certain ingredients. That has helped me a lot because I save money by not sticking to recipes. I always say "whatever works" and if making a few substitutions will work then I am willing to do it. I also buy butter instead of margarine. It is a splurge item for me because it is healthier and I do not eat it every day.
     
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  4. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

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    It's nice to see people saying they buy and prefer butter over margarine. For so many years, all I heard was how much healthier margarine was, but I never bought into that hype, and also used and ate butter when I had the opportunity. I do think some things are worth splurging on, and although I'm on a very tight budget, I try to buy butter and also better bread when I can. I haven't noticed a difference as far as the various brands of milk, other than that some always seem to have shorter expiration dates. I usually buy the one with the longest period, because I don't use milk every day, and I hate to see it go bad.
     
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  5. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    It's a mixture of both, because quality does matter and when it comes to food you must enjoy it too. I prefer 100% pressed apple juice which is more expensive than ones from concentrate, but it is better quality and healthier, so it's worth paying a little more.

    Where I can make savings I will, for example bread and eggs I will buy generic unless they are on offer, and these days many brands do have specials to be competitive.
     
  6. Ke Gordon

    Ke GordonWell-Known Member

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    I generally buy the lowest priced item, but sometimes if the cost differential is not much, and the other item is healthier I will buy that. I bought whole gran macaroni the other day for a dime more because it had more fiber than traditional macaroni, and a bit less sugar. I also bought name brand cheese for 50 cents more instead of the imitation processed which doesn't even have milk in it.
     
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  7. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    I always try substitutes of products I regularly use from time to time. If I like them [the substitutes] I'll keep using them but if I don't I'll go back to pricier products and wait until there's a better substitute before I switch. I'd rather do without something than buy an inferior alternative.
     
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  8. cocolgooh

    cocolgoohActive Member

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    Most of the time I buy whatever is cheapest. There's really not a whole lot I won't buy the cheapest brand of. While it's not a food item, the only thing I really won't compromise on is my shampoo and conditioner, because I seem to be allergic to ingredients in most of them and finally found one that doesn't cause any sort of allergic reaction whatsoever (despite my doctor having told me it was the water ><) so I'll always buy that even if it's double the price of the cheaper ones.
     
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  9. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I substitute when I think it's the right decision. For example if I'm holding a party and I'm going to cook Asia, I'll opt to just buy the cheapest brand of noodles so I can then spend the money I save on that on something else. Probably if I'm going to be making a lot of pasta I'd get to save a lot and who knows I might be able to squeeze out an extra dish or two if I substitute enough items. I'm mostly just careful that I don't substitute too much that the dishes don't end up tasting too noticeably cheap.
     
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  10. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985Active Member

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    Just depends on the type of item it is. Some things, I just won't go cheap on. Some examples are soda and clothes. However, I've found that "off brands" can be of pretty decent quality when it comes to things such as cookies, chips, granola bars. It all really just comes down to the item. People get caught up in brands unnecessarily often times, and it really prevents them from saving some serious cash over time.
     
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  11. sidney

    sidneyWell-Known Member

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    It really depends on what I can afford though. I will always buy the cheaper variant or brand of food if I'm trying to save money, but if not, I will always buy Krispy Kreme over Dunkin Donuts, for example. It all depends on my budget. For electronics though, I usually try to save as much as I can to be able to buy a brand new one.
     
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  12. harijobs

    harijobsMember

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    Mostly I won't compromise on food and I will pay if I get good quality healthy foods. I don't mind spending a little more for food. But if it some other things like appliances etc if the cheaper one performs well I would go for that.
     
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  13. Jasmin Cottontail

    Jasmin CottontailActive Member

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    Oftentimes, I go for cheaper items. Products like milk, sugar, condiments, or other smaller things like dishwashing paste or hand soap, whenever I see a cheaper brand compared to the ones I always buy, I don't hesitate in trying it. So fat, I never had any regrets doing so. But in terms of meat, rice, pastas, tomato sauce and other foods, we always get our usual brands. Just like the butter that I buy, I always get this one certain brand because it's the best for me among the other brands of butter, although the price is a bit higher compared to the other butters, just like what @Happyflowerlady@Happyflowerlady said, adding a few bucks is fine as long as it's worth it :)
     
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  14. Shine_Spirit

    Shine_SpiritActive Member

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    When I have to save some money faster (because saving money I always need... it's like a karma or something :oops:), replacing some more expensive items with some cheaper ones is always a good - and clever, by the way - option because you don't go without consuming what you like (even if it's not the usual brand ;)).
     
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  15. Decentlady

    DecentladyActive Member

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    I am a person who substitues what's worth substituting. Those things which I am not comfortable substituting I will rather stick with what works best for me. I do buy a lot of generic items because I have not seen much difference in that. However, I still splurge in some items! I love butter but I like margarine too. So i don't mind interchanging.
     
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  16. moneymania

    moneymaniaActive Member

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    Yes, I always end up buying cheaper clothes, shoes and bags, even food so that I can get to save money. I did buy a cheap mp3 player once and it got broken after several hours, so I now know better to not scrimp on anything electronic, since if an item is suspiciously cheap, then you can be sure that it's anything but durable.
     
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  17. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina IsobeWell-Known Member

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    For me it's the price and I do look at quality too. I find that generic brands are very good with less sugar too, so it's a bit more healthy to buy generic and store brands. Sometimes you get even luckier when a quality brand is on a bargain price. I like to shop Safeway's $5 Fridays. All you need is Safeway's free card watch for their site sale, like this week you can get lemon meringue pie for just $5! Black Forest Ham and horseradish cheese is $5 a pound!!! You can get Safeway quality for such a bargain. This week a 30 oz Safeway brand coffee grinds on sale for $5 too, the cheapest on the island ever! With these prices products go fast. Visit Safeway.com and check out their prices for this week you'll be pleasantly surprised at the prices. I got my ads already, delivered to my home through the mail via Midweek, a local newspaper. Did you know at Safeway.com you can find extra money savers like a coupon for spending over an amount you can click at the site, but you'll need their card to get your free site for you sign in with your Safeway card number. Happy savings!
     
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  18. thisnthat

    thisnthatActive Member

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    Yeah, I refuse to buy "plastic" cheese. Like @DenisHard said, I'd rather do without if I can't find real cheese on sale. I think it's well worth spending 50 cents more, especially since you should be able to easily make up that 50 cents elsewhere.

    I prefer butter instead of margarine like others have noted. I usually buy whichever store brand or generic one is on sale. The same goes for milk and eggs.

    As far as substitutions go, I've been learning more about some of those for baking. Instead of running out and spending extra money buttermilk, for example, I can save money but mixing a bit of vinegar and milk or another version made from items that I already have on hand. I rarely end up using the rest of the buttermilk anyway, so it's a good way to save money and avoid waste. Check it out:

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