6 Generic Products That Are Just As Good
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Do Your Research

Think about what you'd really like to do on your vacation and create a list to narrow your choices - whether it's hitting the beach, going shopping, climbing a mountain or visiting a museum. Consider whether you can do this somewhere nearby, or whether you know anyone who has done your chosen activities before on a similar budget. Alternatively, travel agencies or even chat rooms on the topic can provide great advice on accommodations, places to dine, things to do and tourist traps to avoid. Internet sites such as Yahoo! Travel, Expedia and Priceline are often useful when seeking reasonable fares.

Is Generic Just As Good?

Money-strapped shoppers are choosing generic over big name brands in their supermarket aisles. Consumers generally agree that generic diapers, toilet paper, condiments and cheese simply aren't worth the savings. However, there are a few generic products that make the grade. Here are six generics that are just as good as the real thing.

Cereal

Most consumers find that generic cereals taste just as good as their brand name counterparts - not to mention the no-name brand will save you tons of moolah. A 14-ounce box of brand name corn flakes will run you about $2.99, while generic corn flakes generally cost a mere 99 cents. If you're still in doubt, check out the ingredients on the brand name cereal vs. the generic cereal. You'll probably discover they are exactly the same.

Prescription Drugs

Generic prescription drugs typically cost between 20 and 80% less than their brand name counterparts. In 2008, the average retail price of a brand name prescription was $137.90 as compared to the average generic prescription price of $35.22. While many consumers worry that the generic prescriptions aren't as safe as the original brand-name drugs, pharmaceutical companies are required to use the same active ingredients in generic drugs as the brand name version. Plus, generic prescriptions must meet the same quality and safety standards.

Over-The-Counter Meds

While you may be tempted to reach for the trusty Tylenol, Nyquil or Zantac, there are usually much cheaper versions of these popular OTC meds on your pharmacy's shelves. The generic versions of these OTC meds contain the same active ingredients and must be approved by the FDA. Depending on the item, you could save loads of cash on generic OTC meds.

Basic Baking Products

From all-purpose flour and butter to spices, salt and sugar, generic baking staples are pretty much the same as the real thing with a much smaller price tag. The companies that produce these generic single-ingredient items are required to follow the same production and storage regulations as the brand name companies.

Gas

Good Morning America compared generic regular gas from a Liberty station to name-brand regular gas from a Mobil station that charged 20 cents more per gallon. They checked for sediment, diesel and contaminants in the lab, and determine that both versions of the unleaded gas met the 87 octane standard.

Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Don't let that catchy Chiquita banana melody entice you to overpay in the produce section. Fruits and vegetables from lesser-known growers are just as good - sometimes even better, especially if the produce was grown locally. When you hand-pick your fruits and vegetables, don't just go for the label you recognize. Go for the label-free produce that looks fresh and smells scrumptious.


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