Generic or Name Brand?


In this economy everyone is looking for ways to save money and many people have started turning to generic, or store brand, products in an effort to reduce their ever-growing grocery bill.
If you spend $50 per week on groceries, and save 20% by buying generic products, you will save $10 per week or $520 per year. That is $520 per year! That might make a dent in a mortgage payment or even pay a couple of car payments!

If a store brand item is $2 and the name brand is $3.25 - try the store brand. If you don't like it, you are out $2. If you do like it, and buy the product every week for a year, you'll save $65. Put that money towards another bill or into a retirement fund or even splurge on a nice dinner out.

One of my favorite generic versus store brand ideas is to buy store brand when it is of comparable quality, and then use the money I save to buy better quality meat. What I save on toaster pastries or a loaf of bread goes into buying a roast once in a while instead of ground beef.

Or Name Brand?

But what if you don't like a store brand? Look for sales and look for coupons for your favorite products. Use a coupon while the product is on sale and save even more!

My Top Ten Name Brand Products

I like to save money, but there are some name brand products that I still buy. This is my top ten name brand items that I buy - even in this economy.
(Note - The following is an unpaid review. The opinions expressed regarding certain products are my own.)

Cat Food - I used to buy store brand cat food but after the news stories about what might be added to some wet cat foods, I started buying a name brand. Paying the few extra pennies per can is worth it to me to keep my cat healthy. And I think my cat would eat Fancy Feast flaked fish and shrimp feast all day if I let her!

Pasta - I don't like store brand pasta. I've tried a couple of brands but I didn't like the taste. One in particular was so bad that I checked the ingredient list to find out what was in it. I discovered it was made of a different kind of wheat than the name brand. San Giorgio is a good, reasonably priced pasta and when it's on sale, I usually pick up an extra package or two.

Margarine - I prefer name brand margarines. Some store brand margarines that I've tried, when spread on toast, have no flavor and instead have a texture - greasy. Also, I use margarine when I cook and I think the name brand margarines work better in my recipes. And, there is usually a coupon or two available for name brand margarines!

Hand Lotion - I once bought a huge bottle of generic hand lotion because it was a great price. It smelled wonderful, but it didn't really work for me. My hands usually get dry and chapped every winter; sometimes my skin would even develop painful cracks. But a while back I discovered Jergen's Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer. I love it! I've been using it regularly and I've made it through the winter without dry, cracked hands!

Soup - I like name brand soup! Some products, like margarine or pasta, get mixed with other ingredients when you eat them and so you might get away with a product that is less flavorful, but soup has to stand on it's on. If soup is bad, there isn't really anything to do to help it's flavor. So, I like Campbell's soup. And, there are often coupons available for Campbell's soup and that makes for a great product at a good price.

Eye Drops - I've had eye problems before and my eyes get dry easily - especially on windy, or cold, dry days. So I use eye drops often. I like GenTeal Lubricant Eye Drops. They work well for me. They might be more expensive than some eye drops, but hey - it's my eyes I'm talking about! Sometimes I can find a coupon for them, and that is a plus - a dollar saved here and there adds up.

Sliced American Cheese - The last cheap, sliced cheese I tried may have turned me off of no name cheese forever. I tried one slice and threw away that slice and the rest of the package. Yuk! I should've looked at the ingredient list before I bought it - if a product has "cheese" anywhere on the label, it should, I think, at least contain some sort of dairy product. So, whether I'm looking for real cheese, or pasteurized process cheese food, I go for Kraft or Borden.

Mayonnaise - I probably eat at least as much mayonnaise as Paula Deen in her mayonnaise and butter hey-day! I love mayonnaise - mayo on sandwiches, mayo in potato salad, mayo and mustard mixed together as a dip for homemade chicken nuggets! But I like name brand mayo. I prefer the taste and the texture over the store brands I've tried. One store brand mayonnaise I tried wasn't too bad - until it's ingredients started to separate right in the container!  So, I  look for Kraft or Hellman's mayonnaise on sale.

Coffee - Coffee is expensive whether you buy a cup at Starbucks or buy a can to brew at home. But, when you need coffee, you need coffee. I've tried some store brand coffee but I usually buy Chase and Sanborn. Chase and Sanborn may not be a super famous brand, but it's been around a long time and I like the taste. And since I drink my coffee black, it's worth the extra money to buy a great tasting coffee.

Bleach - I am a tightwad, but if I use cheap bleach and end up having to wash my hubby's socks twice to get them clean, I haven't saved any money at all! So I use Clorox Regular Bleach and get the job done right the first time.  

Generic or name brand? Do you have a favorite generic or store brand product? Or a name brand product you just can't do without?

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