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Generic products to avoid

Most of us have the goal of getting the best product for the least amount of money, so we often consider buying generic. There are, however, some purchases we make where being too frugal may cause problems later on. These are items that shelling out a little extra cash for now will save you aggravation, time or money in the future, writes Milliam Murigi

1. Baby diapers and formula

Maybe you’ll be lucky and have a baby who has a strong stomach and doesn’t have sensitive skin, and store-brand baby formula and diapers will work just fine for him/her. But as all babies are different, sub-standard baby products won’t work for everyone. Generic and brand name diapers have about the same amount of absorbency, but generics don’t fit as well.

2. Household paint

House paint is one of a few items where the quality can vary widely between brand name and generic. If you pay for cheap paints, it is more likely the paint will be watered down and this will make you layer on more coats than when you use a quality product. Always read reviews or ask a professional — research what brand to buy.

3. Batteries

Whether for your car, tablet, smartphone, or a kid’s toy, features you want in a battery are longevity and reliability. Generic batteries won’t have as much power or last as long thus costing you the same as their brand name counterparts at the end. Longevity is key to a battery and you’ll only find that with a good brand.

4. Toilet papers/tissue

When it comes to cutting costs, there is at least one common household item that isn’t worth the savings and that is toilet paper. Generic toilet papers have fewer fibres and absorbency is less forcing you to use more product. You’ll save money per roll, but in the end, you’ll use more of the generic to get the job done.

5. Some toiletries

While you can probably get away with generic cotton swabs or hairspray, certain toiletries like deodorant, razors, lotion, and perfumes are generally not items you should buy from the generic budget bin. It’s always best to go with trusted brands that have been tested. When you buy a fake, you have no idea what chemical compounds went into making of the product.

6. Electronics

While you can save some serious bucks when choosing the cheap version over the brand name for big electronics, you won’t be getting the quality you want.

The extra money spent on brand-name TVs and other electronics is worth it, considering these items typically come with much better warranties, customer service and support than cheaper options.

Baby diapers.

7. Dish detergent

The good housekeeping research institute found generic brands required more detergent to wash the same number the dishes.

Generic brands may not compare to some of the high functioning powders and packets that clean dishes so efficiently. You’ll end up having to pre-wash or re-wash, wasting a tonne of time, water and money.

8. Smartphone chargers

We have this habit of buying cheap chargers because they perform the same task, but do you know that not all smartphone’s can be charged using generic chargers?

Sometimes generic chargers can be okay, but before purchasing one, you should check the power rating. If the rating is too high, you’re at risk of damaging your device, while if it’s too low, it could take days to fully charge.

9. Cheese

While good cheese can definitely be a bit pricey, it is one food product that is worth the extra money. For cheese lovers, the generic taste just won’t cut it though, and as many of us know, there aren’t too many things worse than bad cheese.

10. Toothpaste

When buying toothpaste, always consider checking whether the active ingredients you are looking for are available in that paste. Some pastes lack some active ingredients such as optimum level of fluoride and others have abrasive, a substance or material capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding. These have high charpy harness ratings much higher than the rating of tooth enamel, which can damage your enamel. Always consult your dentist if you want to change brand.

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