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?