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I Asked People To Share The Things They Buy The Cheap Versions Of, And It's Honestly Eye-Opening

By Jess Goodwin,


I've been on the lookout for ways to save money, so I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the everyday things they don't bother buying the expensive versions of.
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I myself used to be a big fan of Fresh's rose toner, but $40+ for 8.4 ounces of a product I use twice daily was too rich for my blood, so I started using Trader Joe's toner instead.

It's about $5 for a 4-oz. bottle and has a lot of the same ingredients.

Jess Goodwin / Trader Joe's

Here's what else you suggested:

1. "Toilet paper. It's literally going to get flushed down the toilet — why should I spend so much money on the fancy kind? I buy the cheapest two-ply possible, and it works just fine."

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2. "Coffee. Realized that my instant caramel coffee doesn't taste much different from Starbucks. Now, I take time to drink coffee before leaving the house so I won't get tempted to get Starbucks."

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3. "Toothpaste, honestly. Unless you've got an objection to mint flavors or need something specific for your teeth, the generic brands are just as good at getting your teeth clean as the name brands."

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4. "I’m a skincare fanatic and spend hundreds on facials and serums and moisturizers, but when it comes to hydrating toner, go with CeraVe. Same ingredients and you can get a massive bottle for under 10 bucks."

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5. "Most makeup. Specifically anything from e.l.f. I’ve found it’s often better than 'luxury' brands."

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6. "The Target in-house grocery brands (Favorite Day, Good and Gather, etc.) are great dupes for brand name products. Sometimes, they outperform the original in taste, in my opinion."

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7. "Any Great Value brand stuff. It’s a Walmart brand, and it almost always tastes the same or better."

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8. "Most canned goods. Safeway can of beans $1.29. Name-brand is typically a dollar or so more. Same with broth, pasta sauce, pasta, etc."

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9. "Hannaford mayonnaise is better than the name brands and uses only egg yolks, no whites, so it's richer. Target pasta is better than any other domestic pasta I've had, and I'm really fussy about my spaghetti. Save-a-Lot So Cheesy cheese and shells are yummier than the name brands as well."

Gary Webber / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. "'Fake' vanilla extract. You can kinda tell the difference between the cheap stuff from the 'real' stuff in things like frosting, but really, in, like, 99% of the things I bake, there is absolutely no difference in flavor."

Denise Panyik-dale / Getty Images

11. "Milk; my parents had a friend who worked at a dairy plant bottling milk. The store brand, name brand, and 'fancy' brand are all the same. They just change out jugs or bottles they are putting them in."

Grace Cary / Getty Images

12. "Costco liquor, and you don't even need a Costco card."

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13. "Generic OTC meds. Tylenol=Acetaminophen. Advil=Ibuprofen, etc. Paying more for the name brand is just that; you're paying for the name. The active ingredient is the same."


"No matter if it’s Walmart, CVS, or Target, if the label says 'compare to,' then they are legally required to be the same exact item as the name brand."

arabella2467 bluegrassmommy

14. "Baby powder is baby powder!! Cheap or expensive. Same for deodorant and detergent and shower gel."

Anchalee Phanmaha / Getty Images

15. "My new baby was leaking through his expensive name brand nappies several times a day; it was a nightmare. Switched to Sainsbury's own brand, which is less than half the price, and now hardly ever have any accidents!"

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16. "I used to get every single expensive, ~fancy~ litter on the planet, and they all ended up smelling like Febreze'd pee —even though I scooped multiple times a day. I had considered buying activated charcoal to add to clay litter (cats hate scents and crystals, btw), but when I got my new kitten, I saw some litter at Kroger called 'Luvsome Scoopable with Activated Charcoal.'"

"I realize not many people will think this is such an AMAZING find, but it's cheaper than most cat litters, and even the boxes fit in smaller spaces in the house (we keep multiple boxes), and you CANNOT SMELL IT. I have a nose like a Basset hound and can't smell ANY of the boxes. You're SO welcome if you haven't tried it yet."

quinnbeeandbabyduck quinnbeeandbabyduck / Via

17. "My clothes. I buy cheap all the time. They cover me up just fine."


"ThredUP to buy inexpensive second-hand clothes (and get rid of any clothes you don’t wear anymore)."

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18. "Daily wear clothing. There are a few staples where paying for name-brand is definitely worth it — shoes, winter coats, bras, and jeans. Everything else, if you’re wearing it daily, you’re going to beat it up. Old Navy, Walmart, and Target are my go-to’s for a lot of daily staples like T-shirts. All three brands run sales frequently enough that you can get those staple items for pennies on the dollar if you’re patient."

Reggie Casagrande / Getty Images

19. "Sheets! I literally can’t feel the difference. I prefer jersey anyway."

Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

What are some other things you prefer to buy the cheap version of? Sound off in the comments!

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