I’m not a picky person, so when it comes to my shopping I always lean towards generic brands over name brand items. To me, most of the items are the same anyways so why pay for a special name to be on the packaging? Generic brands can be anywhere from a quarter cheaper to several dollars or more cheaper, which makes a huge difference when you’re living on a tight budget.
I like to keep my pantry stocked with kitchen basics which is what my list of generics mainly consists of. However, it is important to be aware of the ingredients when comparing name brand to generic. For instance, generic canned beans/vegetables/tomatoes may contain more sugar or sodium per can than a brand name. Here’s my list of items that I prefer to buy generic.
- Baking Soda/Baking Powder
- Pudding – dry mix
- Beans (canned, dry)
- Vegetables (canned, frozen)
- Frozen Food
- Condiments (mustard, ketchup, etc)
- Dairy (Cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, milk)
I feel like generic branding doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but in reality it saves me a lot of money each month/year because I chose to not buy a product label. Most of the staples in my pantry and fridge/freezer come from a generic brand. That’s not to say that every generic brand is better than every product brand. I even made a short list of products that I only like to buy with a name brand because sometimes that extra splurge is worth the brand name.
- Ice Cream
- Crackers/Cookies/Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter
It’s a short list, but these items I never buy generic. Too many times I have purchased store brand crackers (think Wheat Thins), cookies (think Oreos) and granola bars (think the Chewy bar) thinking I am saving money, but really the product is not worth the few extra pennies saved. In reality, we don’t even end up eating the whole box because we don’t like the taste/texture.
Some of these items I listed under name brand may seem like items most people only buy in generic, but everyone does have their preferences and these happen to be mine! :)
I’m no professional, so do what works best for you and your family. If you like the way generic cereal brands taste then by all means save some money and buy that kind. Also, there are many different kinds of generic brands which can be compared: Great Value from Walmart, Market Pantry from Target, Kirkland Signature from Costco, Kroger from Fred Meyers, etc.
These things do add up! I bake a lot and go through a lot of sugar/flour, etc so generic brands for me actually save a significant amount each year.
What are some items that you only prefer buying in generic or will only purchase with a name brand??