The other day, I was digging through the medicine cabinet for a few Ibuprofen tablets to ease a few aches and pains from having just finished putting up a new drywall ceiling in the kitchen. Normally we have a big bottle around but they must have all been used up. I did manage to find a new small unopened bottle, so I proceeded to open it. To my surprise, although the bottle was small, after pulling out all of the cotton stuffing, 70 percent of the bottle was empty! I looked at the label and then realized that there were only 40 tablets in there, but once again I shook my head and muttered a few choice words towards something that I see all too often, large packaging with little product inside.

It is one of those things that aggravate me to no end. I know that you know what I’m talking about… you’ve all opened a bag of potato chips only to discover that two-thirds the bag had been pumped up with air or nitrogen to make it look full. How about a box of cereal that is gigantic, only to discover that the box is only half full. I know, it’s been going on for a long time, but I swear it’s getting worse.

My experience with the Ibuprofen inspired me to write up a quick post to remind everyone to buy in bulk, the products that you will consume over time. You will be amazed to discover the huge markup that you are paying for most products packaged in small quantities versus large quantities. Normally we do buy products in bulk that we use often enough to justify the up front price, but somehow this particular small bottle of Ibuprofen was purchased under the radar 😉

It also reminded me of the fact that you can very often purchase generic or store brand products rather than name brand products, and they work just as well, or even consist of the same exact ingredients! We all know that we will pay a premium for name brand.

One example related to my little Ibuprofen experience is how I used to always purchase a name brand, in this case it was Advil. Well, years ago, my wife suggested that I try a store brand because it had the exact same ingredient which is ‘Ibuprofen’. So long as I bought the same milligram dosage, all would be exactly the same. So I tried it and sure enough the result from the medicine was the same. Why is it that so many of us pay to buy a name brand? I know, it is because of the constant onslaught of marketing and advertising. We get brainwashed. The point is, be aware of the fact that we all are brainwashed to some degree. Question your purchases! You will be surprised how much money you could save by being conscious of our preconceived notions about products that we purchase by habit.

So I thought I would do a little exercise to discover the price breakdown of this generic Ibuprofen, if purchased in larger quantities.


The bottom line is, the difference between the lowest quantity and highest quantity pricing for this Ibuprofen is huge, 700% !

You might think that buying such a large quantity is silly or you will never use it, but think about it. If it is a product that you normally use, and you are simply used to re-purchasing it every month (or however often the regular interval is), then seriously think about large quantities. If you think this way for all of your consumable products, you will be able to save a substantial sum in the long run.

Oh, also, the difference between the name brand ‘Advil’, and this one, was 20%. Again, why pay a 20% premium because the label looks different. Do you have any idea how much research goes into name brand labels to attract your attention and to ‘fit’ the product to your mindset? Colors, text, layout, design, case studies, consumer research studies, on and on…

Don’t let big corporate names brainwash you. Give generic a try. Think quantity. Think local – community. Buy local. Don’t forget your local farmers market. Support your neighborhood store and community with your purchases. Just like it used to be…

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