32% of Americans Are Buying Cheaper Products These Days. Here Are 3 That Could Save You Money

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  • New data reveals that consumers are changing their shopping habits due to inflation.
  • There are certain products it pays to buy at a lower price point.
  • Medications, laptops, and kids' clothes are some examples of things you should shop around for.

Why overspend for no good reason?

These days, many Americans are struggling in the wake of rampant inflation. Consumers are consistently dipping into their savings accounts and racking up credit card balances just to make ends meet. And so it's not a surprise that a large number of people are reassessing their spending habits -- and making changes accordingly.

In a recent Schwab survey, 32% of consumers said they've started buying cheaper products to cope with inflation. And if money has gotten tight in your world, it pays to follow their lead.

Of course, you'll want to be careful with the things you skimp on. That old saying "you get what you pay for" definitely applies within the context of consumer goods. But here are three items you shouldn't hesitate to scoop up on the cheap.

1. Medications

When you buy the generic version of a given medication, you're not getting a different formula or a weaker product. You're simply getting pills that come in a different box without a brand name or fancy logo on it. Unless your doctor says otherwise, there's no reason to pay a premium for medication when a generic version exists.

It also pays to look for different sources of lower-cost medications. One such bet is Costco's pharmacy. Another option is Amazon Pharmacy, which will deliver medications to your door at no cost, and at a price that may be cheaper than your local pharmacy.

Finally, you may want to check out Mark Cuban's new online pharmacy, Cost Plus Drugs. The site is loaded with substantial discounts on a large number of medications.

2. Laptops

If you need a laptop for work purposes, then you may not want to buy the cheapest one at the store. But if your employer provides you with a laptop to do your job and you're simply looking for a device you can use to stream content, browse websites, and respond to emails in your spare time, then there's no need to purchase an expensive model.

Even today's higher-end laptops aren't really designed to last more than a handful of years. And the reality is that technology is evolving so quickly these days that it almost doesn't pay to sink a lot of money into a single device when there's a lower-cost version to be found.

3. Children's clothing

It's one thing to invest in a nicer wardrobe if you're an adult who reports to the office or simply enjoys looking presentable at social outings. But it's another thing to buy name-brand clothing for your children, especially if they're on the younger side.

First, toddlers and elementary school-aged children tend to outgrow clothing quickly. So there's no point investing in higher-end items when your child may only get to wear them for a few months.

Then there's the fact that younger kids have a tendency to destroy the items you put on them. It doesn't pay to spend $18 on a nicer-looking shirt when you can buy the $5 Walmart version instead. Once that shirt falls victim to that inevitable fruit punch stain, it's going to look the same no matter what.

It's not surprising that Americans are turning to lower-cost products to cope with soaring inflation. It pays to do what you can to spend less on the things you need, because at a time when everything is so expensive, every little bit of savings counts.

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