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March 31, 2009


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I have found that Walmart is significantly less for "name brand" foods or other products than either Kroger or Meijer in the Detroit market. As a friend put it to me "shopping at Walmart is like giving yourself a $1000 raise" True.

"Why pay 30% to 35% more when a store brand is just as tasty?"

Walmart claims above that they'll be reformulating some foods, and I hope they do. While 90% of their generics taste just as good as the more expensive stuff (after all, how do you screw up boxed spaghetti?), some things just aren't the same. Pop-tarts, hot dogs, cereal, and cola are a few.

I'm still a proud Walmart shopper, though. I just have to buy big brands sometimes.

We are huge generic shoppers, but the above poster does make a point. For example, we love cornbread stuffing, but the Great Value brand tastes far, far worse than any name brand!

Converting to store brands is one if the practices that I highlighted in an article I just wrote called "Functional Frugality: What We Will Continue After the Extreme Frugal Fad Dies". I love store brands. They are less expensive than name brands, and are many times identical (made at the same factory but labeled differently). I believe that converting to store brands is something that can be carried on as a money saver even in financially prosperous times.

This was one of the first steps I took to cut my grocery bills down. By getting either store brands or the items on sale my bill is usually 40% lower. And that is without coupons being accounted for.

For serious couponers (my wife is in training to become one) getting name brands is cheaper due to the combination of manufacturer and store coupons that come out. Up until 2 months ago, we were store brand buyers. Now -- thanks to sites like and others -- we stock up on name brands when we have coupons. I was a believer when my wife brought home a six pack of individual Mott's applesauce for 7 cents (you read that right) from Target and Huggies diapers for $2.50 per pack (normally $10 per pack) from Walgreens -- both places we avoided because they are "too expensive". The important thing to remember in saving serious money is to be a smart and educated consumer.

I'm with you Jason ... we still buy a lot of store brand, but since I started paying more attention to coupons and sales, I've been able to buy name brand items cheaper than the store brand.
We eat cold cereral around here .. store brands usually run $1.69 to $1.99 a box (depending on store and type). But I've been able to get name brands with sale/coupon for $1 a box.

You have to look to see which is the better deal. There are some things we buy store brand, but there are a few that don't taste as good as the name brand.

A long time ago when my daughter was in diapers I found that the store brand was exactly the same diaper, they had the same print on them. And the store brand had a program that if you saved the barcode you could get every tenth package free. Loved that program.

We do a lot of coupons too, and just compare the prices to see what is the better deal. I am in southern California and Albertson's has a deal where if you buy a store gift card you can get extra cash. For a $300 dollar card, you get 30 bucks. Limit 4 per person. But that is an extra $120! It says in the small print that it is not good for alcohol or dairy but when we used the card it worked for everything.

The statement says "often buys A store brand" In order to be counted in the 64%, a person only has to buy one store brand item sever times a month. Again, an example of how we can make statistics say what we want.

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