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September 09, 2009


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I do tend to use a lot of store brands but I want to specifically recommend the new Up & Up diapers from Target. We've always used Pampers in the past. I had tried about 4-5 different store brands and it was like trying to fold a piece of cardboard around the poor baby. These new diapers from Target are great though. The fit is good and although they're not quite as soft as Pampers they are much softer than anything else I've tried.

We've been quite satisfied with Kroger brand breakfast cereal (every kind we've tried has been satisfactory, and a few we actually prefer to the name brand equivalent) and with Sam's Club's "Member's Mark" disposable diapers (for when we're travelling and cloth diapers are too much trouble).

I buy store brand almost everything except Pop-Tarts. Those were terrible!

Market Pantry food products from Target are generally perfectly good. We go through a lot of Market Pantry chicken nuggets at my house! Also, staples like dry pasta, rice, and sugar are identical to name brands. I also buy Market Pantry pancake syrup--my children like it's familiar artificial taste better than the real thing (which they only rarely taste).

On the other hand, Smuckers jam is totally the best. Also, cheap facial tissues are worse than useless--only Kleenex does it for my family. We can get these brands in bulk from Sam's club.

Flour really differs in the amount of gluten--so I only buy name brands in that, too.

Also remember that not all store brands are alike. If you don't like one store brand, try the same item at a different store. I'm not surprised cmadler likes the Kroger cereal. Kroger has by far the most consistently good store brand I've ever tried. I never once got a Kroger brand item that I didn't like.

I really miss Kroger where I live now.

Sometimes you can figure out what national company is packing the store brand by checking the actual package - size, the way the label is printed, the listing of ingredients and nutritional info.

Of course, always be sure you are comparing the same size package to be sure of cost savings.

I fine almost all Publix store brands to be as good as name brands - the savings are not large but I like supporting a regional store that is employee owned.

I agree with you - some store brand items are ok to buy, but others I prefer the name brand. Off the top of my head, some no-name items I buy include canned beans (green and kidney varieties), fabric softener, and seasoning (like garlic powder). I'm sure there's plenty more, but I'm at work so I can't exactly check.

I don't like cheap or store brand shampoo - that's one thing I won't buy generic. Also, I find generic ibuprofen is not as effective as Advil, so I pay a little extra for it. I guess you never know until you try, but I tend to stick with what I like so if I try the brand and like it, I'm hesitant to switch to anything else.

I'm up to $870 this year on buying groceries only when on sale, with about 70-80% store brand (Food Lion), using my MVP discount card! There's always a good rotation for "buy one get one free" or frozen foods one week, meats another week, dry foods another, etc., so I don't go a month without buying all I need on sale.

I rarely ever go to Walmart, Costco, Sam's, or Target unless I'm in the market for non-food items like paper towels, detergents, or canned or dry foods. Just stopping by my supermarket for the weekly specials, and having the discipline to wait for my favorite foods to go on sale, gives me all the savings I need every month. I don't even need to use coupons, since they are mainly for name-brand foods that are more expensive to start with. Most of the Food Lion products are as good or better than their name-brand competition (except for the frozen pizzas).

From a health perspective you have to be careful with store brands. We used to buy mostly store brands until we noticed that almost all of them contained "partially-hydrogenated oils" which research has shown to be very unhealthy for your heart.

If you look at similar name-brand products they almost never contain the "partially-hydrogenated" items. Store brands use these oils because they are cheaper, but they are not healthy. Don't try to save a few bucks and put your health at risk, look-up the research, you will be surprised.

I tend to buy name brands when they are on a good sale. I think I spend less doing this than I would buying store brands. I have nothing against store brands, I think I just save by stocking up on items when they are greatly discounted.

Like Ellen above, I recommend Publix brand for just about everything. I don't use store brand shaving cream or razor blades, however.

I buy store brand for, well, darned near all groceries/drugstore commodities (if they're available) except certain makeup items. Of course, most of my groceries are unprocessed foods, so I'm not worried about the label on those.

There are a couple of categorical exceptions. I will sometimes buy the name brand over the store brand if the store brand appears to be nutritionally inferior. I buy Kashi Autumn Harvest rather than the store-brand frosted mini-wheats (or Kellogg's, for that matter) because I'm trying to reduce HFCS intake. But Whole Foods often offers solid and nutritionally respectable store-brand items (organic diced tomatoes, $1.19/can). Some name-brand items are on sale often enough at my local mass supermarket that I can usually get them for very little more than the store-brand (granola bars come to mind--there's often only a ten- or twenty-cent difference between the Quaker bars and the store brand). And for personal-care items, I'm very picky about scent (a bad one can give me a headache all day), so if I find a scent I like, I will often stick with that over cheaper items. Otherwise, sign me up for the store-brand body wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, creams, pasta, cereal, beans, crackers [the no-brand saltines I grew up on, in the box with the black lettering and the double-red stripe--being from MI, you probably know what I'm talking about, FMF--couldn't be beat!], juice, milk...

My wife doesn't' like store brand saltines, even though they are half the price of Premium brand. I notice they have a slightly different taste, but most of all they fall apart much more easily.

One of the store brands that I really like to buy are drugs. Ibuprofen, generic Claritin, acetaminophen, etc. they are the exact chemicals as the name brands, but they are often half the price. At Target they sell generic Claritin for $4.00 while Claritin goes for $17.00!

Some people have a problem with this, thinking that somehow Advil is better than generic ibuprofen, but it is the exact same chemical compound - and the savings can really add up.

I buy store brand bread, canned vegetables and even bacon. My husband eats store brand cereal also. But my daughter loves yams and I do by a southern specialty brand for that.

In general I do try to by the store brand where ever possible.

Where I live I found that second brands and cheaper sometimes than store brands for things like milk or cheese.

Then I buy a lot of things in bulk at health food stores, for example, legumes.

And I save a lot of money by making my own yogurt. Got myself a yogurt maker (cost me 16 euros while vacationing in Italy) and that's all. It costs the milk, the cultures and whatever you put in it which is always a lot cheaper and normally healthier than buying commercial yogurt.

@Jeff - I've tried both store brand ibuprofen and Advil... not sure what it is but I've always had to take a much higher dosage of the store brand one (even if both brands are 200 mg). Strange but true. And since I get the pain once a month I sure wish the store brand worked - would save me $$$!

I side with Juliet on Advil. I know the ingredient is the same, but the generic (or even other brand names like Motrin) just don't work as well for me.

I agree with df, however im all for generic ib profen. Advil is pretty much ib profen and theres no dif in the ingredients.

Kroger has even a better guarantee than just a simple refund if you don't like their brand. On their website under the FAQs is states "Try our brand, if you don’t like it, we’ll give you the national brand free."

Store brands don't always make a cheaper buy. If you use manufacturers grocery coupons and shop for items on sale, you can usually buy brand name products for less that the comparable store brands.

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