Would You Lie to Your Wife to Save $1.29?

My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Would You Lie to Your Wife to Save $1.29?

  • Comments 19

It was Sunday evening, and my family and I were snuggling on the couch watching TV together. At 8:00 p.m., a full hour before her normal bedtime, my wife declared that she wasn't feeling well, and was going to bed. As I followed her upstairs to get my workout bag ready for the next morning, she asked if we had any Nyquil. I checked the usual place in our cabinet and found some, but it was expired.

By this time, my wife was coughing frequently and was obviously congested. She was definitely in need of some "nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best sleep you ever got with a cold . . .medicine." As any loving husband who is constantly looking for ways to earn brownie points with his wife would do, I offered to run to the store and get some new stuff. At first she resisted, not wanting to make me go out into the cold at that point in the evening. However, it didn't take much to change her mind. 

On my way out of the bedroom she shouted after me, "And get the good stuff!"Would You Lie to Your Wife to Save $1.29?

By "the good stuff," she meant the name brand Nyquil. 

  • My wife is NOT a believer in generic medicines. 
  • She just doesn't believe they work as well. 
  • She doesn't like generic food products either. 

In some instances I agree with her, as some of them don't taste as good.  The difference is that I am willing to at least try anything generic to see how it tastes or works before deciding whether to purchase it consistently. My wife tends to dismiss generic items simply because they're, well, generic.

I got to the nearby Wal-Mart and headed to the pharmacy section. I quickly located the needed medicine, grabbed a package, and turned to leave. As I did so, the price caught my eye. I stopped, and faced the display again. 

  • A package of 12 Nyquil liquicaps was $4.27
  • Right next to it was a store brand nighttime cold medicine that contained 20 liquicaps, but it was only $2.98 
  • That's a savings of only $1.29 for the package, but there were more pills in the store brand package
  • For those comparative shoppers out there, that's about 36 cents per pill for the name brand compared to about 15 cents for the store brand. 

I picked up the two packages and found the list of active ingredients. As I suspected, they were exactly the same.

On that particular Sunday evening, at 8:23 p.m. just off of 55th Street NW in Rochester, MN, there was a war of wills going on inside my brain in the middle of the Wal-Mart pharmacy aisle. 

  • Do I pay more than double (per pill) and get the name brand medicine to appease my wife
  • Do I buy the less expensive store brand and get what I perceive to be the exact same medicine, only in a less fancy wrapper 

I grabbed the store brand and jogged to the checkout line before I changed my mind.

When I got home, I climbed the stairs, and entered our bedroom.  As I took the package out of the bag, my mind was racing as to what I was going to do next.  The room was dark, but my wife stirred and asked me to bring some water to take the medicine with.  I went into the bathroom and filled the cup on the counter with water.  Then, an idea raced through my mind.  It was just crazy enough that it might work.

Then I did the unthinkable.

I pulled the Nyquil cardboard box out of the garbage, emptied the expired medicine, and inserted the new generic liquicaps into the Nyquil box.  Bringing the box, and the water, I sat on the edge of the bed next to my wife and turned on the lamp.  I pretended to open the box, and pushed out two pills.  I handed them to my wife, whose eyes were only half open.  She took them, said thank you, and pulled the covers back over her. 

The next morning, as she was getting ready for work, she thanked me again for my excursion the previous evening and commented on how well she slept because of how the night time medicine had really "kicked in."  That evening, she again unknowingly took the generic medicine and went to bed.  A few days later, after she had fully recovered, I came clean and told her what I had done. 

She was a good sport about it and we had a good laugh.   I then commented something along the lines of her now realizing that generic medicines are just as good as the name brand, and we could buy them from now on.

I got the stare of death. 

Apparently, I haven't quite won that battle.......yet.

The next time we got together with friends I told this same story, and I got some good natured ribbing for being cheap.

  • Yes, I'm the guy who takes the shampoo bottle everyone else in my house is convinced is empty, turns it upside down, and does the "shake it until every last drop comes out" dance during my morning shower.
  • Yes, I'm the guy who digs tubes of toothpaste out of the garbage and makes them look like an accordion in order to squeeze out every last bit of tooth paste.

Those discarded, "empty" shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes sometimes last me a week.  What kind of crazy things to you do to save money?  Would you lie to save $1.29? I would, every time.

 Related Links:

The Spender and the Saver   

Opposites Attract...or do They?

Save Your Marriage and Your Money

Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share
  • These rebel hairs seemingly necessitate a periodic trip to the hair salon to be colored. Millions and millions of innocent, well-behaving hairs to be artificially colored for the transgressions of a few. What does it cost to atone for the brazen misbehaving

  • The headline should have been... "Would you risk the trust in your marriage to save 1.29?"... when you look at it that way, it doesn't seem so compelling, does it...

  • Yikes, damion7800, I think you may be taking the post just a little more seriously than intended.  As mentioned, I came clean to my wife - I had always intended to do so.  I don't think it's fair to say that I was risking the trust in my marriage without personally knowing my wife and I.  We are fun loving people who joke around with each other all the time.  The fact that I did this was no surprise to her, and we both had a good laugh about it before having a discussion with respect to whether we could agree to purchase generic medication or not.  We came to an understanding together as to how we wanted to proceed from that point on with respect to that particular kind of purchase.

    The point of the article was intended to simply be a different way of presenting the age old piece of information that there are generic products out there that could save you money and that you should try them before dismissing them as lower quality just because their generic.  Some are worth the lower cost, some some are not - that's my opinion, but each reader should make that decision based upon personal experience.

  • Not many companies can say that their customers were so passionate about being customers that they would take two days out of their lives, vacation time from work, and time away from their families to speak to what they believe has been their financial

Page 2 of 2 (19 items) 12
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Share