Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is Hybrid Really the Way to Go?

It's all about shrinking your bill at the pump. Americans are obsessed with eeking out every last mpg to save and many are turning to hybrids. But are hybrids the best way to go? Economically: probably not. While the 2011 Toyota Prius boasts an impressive 51mpg highway, that's just higher than Volkswagen's new Jetta TDI with a 4 cylinder turbocharged direct injected diesel that boasts 140hp, plenty of torque, and 42mpg highway (Many report an average of 50mpg). While it doesn't make it up to the same efficiency, the proven technology and the fact that it's a diesel makes it a high competitor for hybrids. I personally think that investing in a diesel sedan would be more cost effective than a hybrid, it will be interesting to see if American's will join in the diesel addiction.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Buy Generic

Most of a food's cost isn't even the product your buying. Millions of dollars in advertising and eye catching packaging drives up the price of food more than anything else. Despite the increased expense, Americans still tend to buy brand name goods over generics. I just shake my head when someone buys a box of Duncan-Hines brownie mix when the good old generic looking "Great Value" brand is less than half the cost. The extensive advertising is effective and people tend to relate to a certain product or "trust it more." If you wonder if one is better quality, check the ingredients and you'll see that most are the same thing! If you need to trim your grocery budget, this is the single best way to do so.

Now, I'll admit that some name brand stuff is different (Great Value toilet paper is definitely no good) but on most items, generics offer a quick, easy, and drastic cost reducing option.