I get a lot of pleasure from saving money. It doesn’t matter if it’s saving money on buying clothes for the kids or buying toys when they’re on sale and stashing them away, or even just saving money on our day to day household items, I just love that feeling of satisfaction that I get when I know that I have got what I wanted or needed for less!
One of the best ways to save money is by swapping some of our usual branded products for supermarkets own brand items during our weekly food shop. However, is swapping from brands to own branded items always a smart way to save money, or are there some items where it works out better to spend that bit more for a brand?
Here we will look at two popular household items that I have tested to see whether swapping to a supermarket own brand really does save you money.
In our home I do at least 2 loads of clothes washing per day. That adds up to around 14 washes per week!
As you can see, this is an area where saving some money really would add up. So, I decided to swap my usual Persil non-bio washing detergent* for a cheaper brand. I chose to try out Aldi’s Almat non-bio washing detergent. I was feeling really positive about the huge savings I could enjoy if I permanently swapped my usual Persil (full price) 40 washes for £8.00, for Almats 42 washes for £3.50. That could be a saving of around £4.50 roughly every 3 weeks, which would possibly be a huge saving of around £77 per year!
However, it didn’t work out quite like I had hoped. As I was using the cheaper washing detergent, I noticed that a lot of the marks that my usual detergent would get out were still there. Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but having to re-wash items that didn’t come out clean enough after the first wash kind of ruins the whole point of swapping to a cheaper detergent. It means that I’m not only having to use up the detergent quicker than usual, but I am also increasing my energy bills by having to use the washing machine again.
I know this may not be a problem that all people come across. I mean, I do have two young, super active boys that love to get messy. If this is not a problem for you, then I would definitely recommend carrying on saving money with a cheaper detergent. For me, however, I feel happy to pay the extra money for Persil because I know that it does the job.
Saying that, if anyone has found a cheaper washing detergent that can withstand the mess of two young boys, then please let me know! I am always happy to try again to save some money.
Washing up Liquid
Once again this is an item that gets used several times a day in our house (if only we had a dishwasher!) and yes, you’ve guessed it, I use Fairy.
The reason that I love Fairy washing up liquid* is because it does a brilliant job and lasts forever. I’m sure that we have all seen their tv adverts, showing us how many extra washes you get out of a bottle of Fairy than you do out of other, cheaper brands. Well, it’s true. I have tried supermarkets own brand washing up liquids but they just couldn’t compare to Fairy. Not only does it save a lot of elbow grease by cutting through grease and burnt bits easily, but you also only need a small amount, which means that the bottle will go a lot further.
When I need to replace my Fairy liquid I try to get a bottle of 500 ml for £1. If it isn’t on offer, though, then in my local supermarket* it would cost around £1.30. Their own brand washing up liquid would cost me about 50 pence for the same amount. So, in theory, this would save me up to 70 pence per bottle, which I usually replace about once a month. So this would add up to a potential saving of £8.40 per year.
However, as I said earlier, the cheaper brands definitely don’t last as long as a bottle of Fairy, which means that I would have to replace the bottle much more often. I also don’t enjoy washing up, so using a washing up liquid that shortens the amount of time that I have to spend scrubbing away at the pots and pans is a winner for me.
So, there we have it, two household products where I personally don’t feel that swapping to a supermarket own brand is really worth it.
What has been your experience of swapping to own brand products?