Feb 29 2008

How many clothes do you need?


Even though I feel more comfortable having a closet full of options, I end up wearing the same things over and over. So why do I hang on to so many clothes that I never wear? Do I feel better knowing I have many choices? Perhaps.

At any rate, I’m cleaning out the closets in preparation for the community rummage sale this weekend.

Time to get rid of clothes I haven’t worn while living in Pittsburgh, unless it truly is a special-occasion item that I will wear at some point.

If it doesn’t fit, if it’s too worn, uncomfortable, doesn’t go with anything I own, or if I’ll probably never wear it again, it’s leaving my apartment.

I don’t care how much money I paid for it. If I’m never going to wear it again, it’s taking up valuable closet real estate. It just has to go.

So that leaves me wondering:

How many clothes do I actually need?

I try to do laundry once per week. Still, I want more than one week’s worth of outfits.

Take a look at these two articles to help you figure out how many clothes you might need. I’m going to continue paring down our closets to get them to a more manageable level.

How many do you need? How do you decide?

Feb 28 2008

Some generics are brand-name products in disguise


Last night, my husband and I had quite a discussion on whether some generic or private-label products are actually brand-name products in different packaging.

He said he didn’t think it would be a good idea for brand-name manufacturers to also sell their product to private label companies.

I think that’s absolutely what’s going on.

If Del Monte sells some of its product to Aldi, it’s still making money, perhaps even more than it would make if it just sold Del Monte-labeled products. Remember, Del Monte has to compete with Green Giant and other brands of canned vegetables. So, say it sells 1,000 cans of Del Monte at $0.70 each, and sells 1,000 cans to Aldi for packaging and selling at $0.20 each. They’d be making $200 more than they would if they only sold products under their brand label. It’s a larger share of the market.

When you think about it, there has to be a limited number of food manufacturers in this country. It would be too expensive for a company to have a plant for making every little product they carry on their shelves. It would be cheaper for stores to buy from an established manufacturer and package it as a generic, don’t you think?

When you buy a brand name, in many cases you’re simply paying for the marketing of the product. It costs money to run an ad campaign and distribute coupons (another form of advertising). Companies have to recoup the marketing costs by charging more for those products.

"Choosy moms choose Jif," according to the tagline in one commercial.

Oh, do they?

I’m not a choosy mom, or any kind of mom for that matter–but I choose Jif as well. Only, in the container, it’s not called Jif. It’s called "Flavorite" and is distributed by Supervalu Storebrands, Inc.

Some people are brand snobs, and wouldn’t be caught dead with a generic packaged product in their pantries.

Companies know this, and know that to reach a wider market share, they’ll have to sell a pretty brand-name product, and a generic-packaged product to people who are fine with those.

Some generics are just plain bad. They’re clearly not repackaged brand name goods. If you find a terrible generic, take it back to the store. But don’t let it prevent you from buying another generic product.

Some generics really are just as good as brand name products, if not identical inside.

Which generic products do you suspect are really brand name products?

I’m willing to say with 98 percent certainty that:

  • Aldi brand (called "Happy Harvest" in this case) canned cut green beans are actually Del Monte cut green beans. Growing up on the Del Monte version, I feel like I can say with reasonable authority that this is the exact same product.
  • Flavorite peanut butter (purchased from Kuhn’s grocery) is Jif peanut butter. I’ve had other brands of peanut butters, and I’m quite certain that the Flavorite stuff I picked up for $1/ jar is Jif.


Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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