Lots of us buy generic products to save money, but there are some generic things a lot of us instinctively avoid. Personal finance blog Not Made of Money shares six items you should always buy generic, the most interesting one being gasoline.
Photo by Toshiyuki IMAI.
With gas prices where they are these days, you may already buy your gas based solely on price, but those of you that aren't probably should. It turns out that gas is one of the worst offenders of brand marketing—they all try to convince you that their gas is somehow different, when really the differences are quite minimal:
[My] relative got a job working for one of the largest oil refineries in the country. He told me that these huge oil tankers from every oil company would come to fill up with gas. Each company received its gas from the same supply lines; meaning that there is absolutely no difference in the gas as it gets pumped into those trucks.
The other amazing thing that he told me is that (at the time), if a company wanted to say that their gas contained special detergents that was good for your car, they only needed to add one gallon to each oil tanker!
What this means is that you can feel comfortable with buying the cheapest gas in your area. I guess it also means that you definitely should not pay a premium for gas that claims to be full of detergents to clean your fuel line!
Each company is also required to have a certain amount of detergents in their gas as well. More detailed studies have been done as well, showing that the differences between the "generic" and brand-name gas are hardly worth anything. So, if you're looking to save, don't worry about brand-name gas—just look for the cheapest gas you can find. Of course, these mobile apps will help you get the best deal, too.
Other things on the 'always buy generic' list? Over the counter medications, bleach, cables (a subject we're quite familiar with), and spices all make the cut. Hit the link to read more, and if you have a particular product you always (or never) buy generic, share it with us in the comments.
You can contact Whitson Gordon, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.