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November 18, 2008

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Pay attention to the prices. I've started noticing at Target that the gap is decreasing. I recently noticed on one item that I was buying (~$5.00) the savings was only $.04.

It has always amazed me that people don't buy store brand items. Often they are the same product! Or do we all think that each of these grocery stores happens to have a production facility producing copies of all these various products?

I was thinking the same thing as Mark - that the gap in price may start closing as demand increases.

They're not always the same. I bought generic body lotion at Rite-Aid that has packaging nearly identical to the Aveeno brand that I normally buy. It's awful- smells funny, doesn't work well.

It's hard for me to think of any brand name products I would choose over a generic or store brand product. Unless they are on sale of course. :)

There are many items that taste better than the name brands for much less. For example, the Food Lion label of vegetable juice is far better tasting to me than the standard V8, but the frozen pizzas are not as good as the Digiorno brand. Everyone has different taste buds, so this goes without saying. I have noticed that private label brand cleaning products seem much more watered-down than the name brands. Examine the pine cleaners closely and you'll see the difference right away.

This entry reminds me of the episode of My Name Is Earl where the ex-wife complains about how the kids get to eat "that fancy cereal" at Earl's house (the fancy cereal is brand name stuff like Lucky Charms).

I've often wondered if the store brands are just re-labeled by the manufacturer of the name brand. For example, ever looked at the jar of peanut butter and immediately recognize the fact that they can be the exact same size, shape, and style as the name brand?

I do a lot of shopping at Aldi, which is almost exclusively store-brand.
But I pay close attention to price. If I can get a sale/coupon deal that makes the name brand cheaper than the store brand, then that's the way I'll go..

Can you buy generic drugs too? Where I live we can buy generic versions of OTC and prescription drugs (many of which can also be purchased OTC) which are considerably cheaper than the branded drugs. My partner had to take one drug for three months which cost nearly US$200 a month for the branded one, the generic version was just over $100 a month.

Store brands are key to saving money day to day. I grew up on the old "no-brand" products (the plain white box, block black lettering, two red stripes--remember those?). A lot of those were terrible, but it made me hate spending money on things unnecessarily. Nowadays, so many basic toiletries are indistinguishable in store brand form from branded form, it's really a disgrace to spend the extra money on the branded version.

I agree with the general sentiment that I personally do not care to pay more for name brands....

That said, I think it's worth bearing in mind that, not too long ago, consumers bought name brands over store brands for the name. They were consumers. It was a matter of image. And as such, I can understand why that, despite knowing that it costs more and may be only for the name, they bought it anyways.... Fashion I suppose.

But this year, in our dismal economy, many are forced to try "something different" to try to save money. The question though I wonder is, will it stick around this time? Or is this just a passing phase for name-conscious "fashionable" consumers?

Personally, I hope it sticks.

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