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Buy off-brand

Some commenters pointed out that Brian buys pretty expensive laundry detergent. The video shows a close-up of his bill, which reads that he paid $15.99 for his average-sized Nine Elements laundry detergent bottle.

“Laundry detergent is even expensive at Walmart,” one commenter posted. They recommend buying it at Aldi or Dollar Tree.

But entrepreneur and popular TikToker Gary Bird shows his viewers how to cut their bill at any grocery store by over 30%: buy the generic brand.

In a recent video, Bird went through a grocery store comparing prices of name-brand and generic items. His bill dropped from $130 to $87 by switching to off-brand alternatives.

You may love your Coca-Cola, but your local store-brand cola is half the price. And that’s the real thing.

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Take advantage of loyalty programs

One thing that Brian points out in his video is that you would have to work nearly a full eight hours (after taxes) to afford his $51.05 Target bill. Givem that he says the minimum wage in his state is $13.75 an hour,- he’s not too far off about that.

It’s true that Americans are feeling the pinch. Over 60% of Americans are struggling with putting food on the table, according to a 2023 report from research company Attest. And over 9% of people have “a lot of difficulty” affording food.

But South Carolina mom Adrienne Arrington shows viewers how to buy everything you need for your family without paying the price. In one of her TikTok clips, she reveals how she cut her $306 bill to $246: she used her Food Lion MVP card.

Make sure you’re taking advantage of your local grocery store’s loyalty program. You can get coupons, savings and points, allowing you to save a lot more money than without it.

Cut out certain food

Some food items just aren’t worth buying at the grocery store because they’ve become unaffordable. That may mean that someone like Brian needs to cut out his Honey Nut Cheerios, which cost him $5.29, in favor of something more frugal and long-lasting.

Just a few items that have gone up this year include: ground beef (up 20%), orange juice ($10 a gallon) and Hershey’s products (up 9.8% overall just in their third quarter).

You may need to take a serious inventory of your grocery bill and cut out the highest priced items.

But frugal life hacker and TikToker Lora McLaughlin finds the middle ground. She recommends in one of her videos to avoid fresh seafood because it’s expensive. But she says you can still get those omega-3s in by buying frozen fish, which is 40% cheaper.

There are ways to find the items you love at a fraction of the price. You just have to look for them.

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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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