Hi everyone!

I hope your spring is off to a great start.  I made the cover photo for this article a picture of the cherry blossoms from the Tidal Basin because it’s more interesting than another picture of money! 🙂

So, here’s what is on my mind. I want to talk about loyalty. I consider myself a very loyal person– to my family, to my friends, to my dog.

But I am NOT loyal to brands, at least for the most part.

Do you know someone who shops at the same store all the time, even if there are better products or prices elsewhere? These people usually sign up for store credit cards and will get all excited about a 15% off coupon they get in the mail for being part of a “loyalty club.”

Well, you and I know better. These stores, for the most part, don’t appreciate your loyalty. The tactics they use are just part of their marketing strategy to get you to spend more money.

Recently, I got burned when I bought a desk for my condo. I checked prices and reviews online before settling on one from Macys.com. It was $100 more expensive than similar ones I saw online, but it had better reviews. I thought that the quality from Macy’s had to be higher than Overstock.com, right? Well, I was wrong. I was delivered the EXACT SAME desk that sold for $100 less on Overstock.com. Macy’s simply called the desk by a different name and omitted the brand name. A MARKETING TRICK. I fell for it. And that’s the thanks I get for being a loyal Macy’s customer since I was a child.

Let’s broaden this out. What about other things in your household? I do prefer Tide detergent, Chobani yogurt and Bounty paper towels. This is mostly because I’ve tried other brands and I’ve been disappointed. The store brand yogurt just is NOT the same!  However, there are plenty of generics that are just fine. I went around my condo and wrote a list of the generic items I have stocked right now. What’s on your list?

  • Vitamins
  • Bandages (Band-Aids)
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Contact lens solution
  • Hair product
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg whites
  • Nutrition bars
  • Salad in a bag
  • Salad dressing
  • Pasta sauce
  • Pasta
  • Ground turkey
  • Frozen items
  • Sweetener
  • Coffee creamer
  • Fabric sheets

This is a pretty good list, but I know that I could add to it. I’m challenging myself (and you) to set your loyalty aside for a bit. It’s spring. Try something new. Maybe you’ll like it just as much as what you’re used to, and if you don’t, you’ll know better for next time.

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