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Generic Vs. Name Brand: What Do You Think?

I read  a comment today on my Food Lion post about buying store brand brownie mix. It made me think about the generic vs name brand debate. Which one is better , which saves you more? If you are not using coupons generic brands can save you a lot of money.  If you are clipping coupons then I would say at least half of the time you can get name brand products cheaper than generic.

As a general rule buy generic unless I can get a better price on name brand with a sale and coupon. I tend to like Target’s store brand more than others (their cleaning supplies and diapers).

Looking through my pantry here are the things I often buy generic:

Eggs
Applesauce
Baking soda (especially for cleaning)
Pretzels & Tortilla Chips
Beans (black, kidney, garbanzo etc)
Soups (usually cream soups for use in casseroles)
Window cleaner
Aluminum foil
Bread

Here are the things I do not buy generic (mainly because I do not like the taste):
Macaroni & Cheese (it is Kraft or Annie’s in this house)
Canned Tomatoes for tomato sauce (I like Muir Glen)
Lunch meat
Pasta (that is because I get so much for free!)
Yogurt
Ranch Dressing (generic just never tastes quite right)
Toothpaste (again because I have not paid for toothpaste in about 2 years.)
Razors

What is your take on generic brands vs brand name? Do you have things you are willing to pay more for? Do you have favorite store brand products (like Food Lion brownie mix)?

Comments

  1. I agree with you. For certain things, the generic is just as good (and in some cases has less sugar and fillers and expensive preservatives- which I discovered when looking at some mayonnaise labels a few years ago). If I have a coupon and it’s less to buy the brand name I do. But some things are never on sale, never have coupons, and even in some cases, there is only one brand (pesto for instance-Walmart and Kroger only have 1 kind and it’s not a store brand). I find Walmart generics to be absolutely unflappable! And most of Kroger’s are good, too. There aren’t too many things I am name-brand-loyal on, but I will say: generic dishwasher detergent sucks! I’ll not be buying that again (even if I find it marked way down!) And I really like to shop at UGO because I find many “off brands” that I buy and I am usually pleasantly surprised that we like them. I think the differences matter more for processes items. Let’s face it, sour cream is sour cream, lettuce is lettuce, baking soda is baking soda, sugar is sugar…but store brand “Nacho-seasoned tortilla chips” are rarely as good as Doritos!

  2. I agree with you. For certain things, the generic is just as good (and in some cases has less sugar and fillers and expensive preservatives- which I discovered when looking at some mayonnaise labels a few years ago). If I have a coupon and it’s less to buy the brand name I do. But some things are never on sale, never have coupons, and even in some cases, there is only one brand (pesto for instance-Walmart and Kroger only have 1 kind and it’s not a store brand). I find Walmart generics to be absolutely unflappable! And most of Kroger’s are good, too. There aren’t too many things I am name-brand-loyal on, but I will say: generic dishwasher detergent sucks! I’ll not be buying that again (even if I find it marked way down!) And I really like to shop at UGO because I find many “off brands” that I buy and I am usually pleasantly surprised that we like them. I think the differences matter more for processes items. Let’s face it, sour cream is sour cream, lettuce is lettuce, baking soda is baking soda, sugar is sugar…but store brand “Nacho-seasoned tortilla chips” are rarely as good as Doritos!

  3. Yep, totally depends on the product! I must say those Food Lion Brownies are absolutely delish! I also prefer the Kroger brand pickles to Vlassic, but like Claussen the best. Store brand olives are gross, I like Early California. Isn’t it funny that tomato sauce makes no difference to me? I tend to use it in other recipes, so the flavor is altered by spices anyway. Store brand “oat rings” are just fine compared to Cheerios (though I do like those multi-grain Cheerios best) and even store brand cheese are usually good – when it is the real stuff. I like store brand milk just fine, but can taste the difference. We don’t drink soda, but I’m loyal to Lipton Tea. Like you I must have my Kraft macaroni. I think our tastes just develop preferences, but either generic or brand label can work fine.

    In my former life as and advertising exec., I learned how the same factories actually do produce both name brand and private labels – after that I just cared less. Who wants to pay for marketing?

  4. Katie you should try Kroger’s 3 cheese ranch generic salad dressing, I love it!

  5. I love everything of Krogers and most of laura lynn (ingles), but krogers will refund your money if you dont like it…

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  1. […] the deals seemed to be in stock. I am partial to my Kroger which is big and new. However, as with brand loyalty, store loyalty sometimes has to go out the door when there is a deal to be […]

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