I'm a bargain shopper. I'm also a sucker for brand-name items. (This doesn't make me a snob, I'll always try the store-brand equivalent and sometimes switch, but typically brand-names win out.)
Believe it or not, bargain shopping and brand-name addiction can co-exist...often with the brand name coming out cheaper than store brand if you play your cards right.
I've talked before about combining my love for expensive kid's clothing with bargain shopping. And not that I'm endorsing anyone, but Gymboree almost always wins out in my mind of having cute and durable kid's clothing. Their prices are outrageous and I wouldn't even spend that money on adult-sized clothing, but when shopping smart, I can get what I want super cheap if I buy ahead for the next year, combine with a coupon, or if I simply wait for the item to be clearanced out (which happens often.) Example: on Black Friday I purchased two long-sleeve winter-themed shirts for Lucy, two packs of hairbows, an outfit for Baby #2, and 4 Christmas/Birthday gifts...for right at $50 shipped to my door. (Oh, and I'll also have a $25 off my next purchase coming in that box as well...)
Example #2, I'm pretty loyal to the type of toothpaste, deodorant, bar soap, razor, etc that I use. When I first started couponing, I wasn't sure the two could co-exist---but alas, I was wrong. Case in point: Read your coupon. (sorry for the terrible picture, btw...) Anyways, I recently had a stack of 4 coupons that read "Buy 1 secret deodrant get $5 off ANY Olay bar soap, body wash, or in shower body lotion." Perfect! I picked up the deodorant at around 2.25, and a 2 pack of bar soap at a similar price. Free deodorant and bar soap. And since I had four coupons...four free deodorants and four free packs of bar soap. I'm pretty confident this is less expensive than a store-brand similar product :)
And my last (recent) example of a brand-name bargain is really a no-brainer. If you haven't started buying diapers through Amazon's Mom program...well, then you should really start. It's quite possibly the easiest way to save money on diapers, they ship free to your door, and they are cheaper than buying at your local Target. (Again, not endorsing...just encouraging!) The program saves you 30% off diapers and ships them free to your doors. You can cancel your save and subscribe order as soon as you receive it and you'll receive no more shipments OR you can keep it saved and Amazon will continue to ship you diapers at the discounted rate.I did some price-checking this weekend. The biggest box of Pampers size 5 I could find at Target was 136 count for $36, or .26 a diaper. Amazon sells the box of 156 diapers regularly for $40.15, or .26 a diaper. If you do subscribe and save, the price drops to $28.11 a box, or .18 a diaper. Awesome deal! BUT, it gets better! If you can get your hands on a coupon found in Parents magazine or Parenting: The Early Years, you'll locate a coupon for 20% off a diaper purchase. That drops the price to $20.79 shipped for free to your door, or .13 a diaper. And if Pampers aren't your style, this deal extends to Huggies, Luvs, and all sorts of wipes. I have a box of three large refill packages of Huggies Wipes (sell for $5-$6/package in stores) for $11. And, if you have amazon giftcards through Swagbucks....well, you'll be getting an even bigger deal. (and yes, that's my referral link if you sign-up---I earn matching points.)
I hope that's motivating to some....that good deals CAN be found on brand-name products with just a little bit of effort!