How Much Do You Save With Generic Brands, and When Is Spending More Worth It?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Default How Much Do You Save With Generic Brands, and When Is Spending More Worth It?

    https://lifehacker.com/how-much-do-y...s-s-1781488809

    This is a short article, but at the end of it is a link to the actual comparison chart and the grocery shopping experiment.

    Do you buy generic?
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We buy a lot of house brands. I haven't seen actual generic packaging in decades, so I guess the most accurate answer is we never buy generics.

    There are a few items we buy name brand only such as 57 Sauce and Hellmann's. There are others like Daisy sour cream that we prefer, but will buy other brands if Daisy is not on sale.

    For most items, we buy the least expensive. There's no difference between brands of plain kidney beans or corn or sugar, so why pay more? We don't actually track the savings.

    I'm also aware that a lot of food preference is an acquired taste. Transitioning from a favorite brand to something cheaper sometimes takes an adjustment period. Once that's over, preferences change and then the new item tastes best. I switched our family from 2% milk to skim back in the 80s for health reasons. The whining and complaining lasted about 2 weeks. After that, none of them liked milk with fat anymore.

    My challenge lately is trying to find recipes for things we can make to replace stuff with too much sodium, fat, and sugar. All the unhealthy stuff is what makes things taste good, so we have to consciously try to change our preferences or just find things that are tasty but completely different.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the white or yellow "generic" boxes in a long time, either. Stores have gone to more effort to package their house brand attractively and make it look like the name brand. I think it highlights how much we let our eyeballs do the shopping. The contents are the same, but we buy because of the packaging.

    I buy a lot of shelf goods and staples in generic/store brand. Canned beans, sugar, milk, napkins...
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    My grocery store (Hannafords) gives you 2% back when you buy the house brand. Adds up to a few dollars a year off my bill.
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Aldi is really good at mimicking the packaging of big brands so it looks similar. They also make tasty clones. I like their Triscuit clones and WM's Great Value clones better than Triscuits now. Wheat Thins all seem to taste the same no matter the brand.

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    I buy generic of everything I can. It saves us a ton. My kids absolutely hate the Aldi CheezIts, although they used to love it. And no one seems to make a generic Special K. Other than that, I'll buy generic all day long if I can! Currently feeding a family of 6 for $200 a week or less, and the only way it's possible is with generic brands!
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    Amy, save the boxes from CheezIts and put the Aldi bags in them. The kids probably won't notice, especially if they liked the Aldi version before. Or just buy the Aldi version and let them spend their own money on CheezIts. It's amazing how fast the taste of the store brand improves if the big brand is no longer provided on someone else's dime. 😁

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    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    I actually tried the old box switcheroo. They figured it out immediately. But the idea of, if you want the brand name, you pay for the brand name is not a terrible idea!!!
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Good luck, Amy. It seems like sometimes kids will stop liking something because a friend dissed it or something equally minor. But if they liked the crackers before, it seems like they could decide to like them again. I bet if Aldi's brand was the only one you buy, they'd make the switch pretty easily. Or they can make popcorn for themselves instead.

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    I'm not a big generic fan due to the ingredients. I find that generics have HFCS, citric acid, phosphates/nitrates, caramel coloring, etc.....

    Name brands can have the same ingredients, so I constantly look for items without that stuff. Luckily, I can find items that aren't generic but aren't name brand either. And the price is in the middle as well.

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    Similarly to rujerro, I also check ingredients before settling on price. If all things appear to be the same, price wins, generic or otherwise. Some things, like cereal and snacks, I can tell an obvious difference, but don't mind.

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    Ingredients are a big thing for me as well. I get sick if eat dairy, even a tiny bit. Sometimes I have to get the more expensive brands to get something I can eat. I do not like to read 40 box labels a week, so once I find something I can eat that tastes good to me I usually stick with it. I had to read literally hundreds of packs of snack crackers to find the handful of choices I could eat.

    We do a lot of our food from scratch though so that only applies to a small portion of our groceries. I think we go through two boxes of snack crackers a week. We have cereal maybe once a week. This week we used a jar of pasta sauce. I think we might save literally a few dollars a week if we switched to generic.

    I pick and choose my frugality and food is something I can be a little picky about. Different people have different things that are important to them. I am just fine getting clothes from thrift stores, but I will spend a little extra to get better tasting food. I am sure some other people have it reversed.

    I think I have more sensitive taste buds than some people. I am not really sure the most polite way to put it. Different people have different sense of tastes. Some people say that they do not taste a difference between two different brands or they are both good. It can be a big difference to me. Now there are some store brands I tend to be okay with for most products - Safeway Select and Giant Naturals. I think those are on the higher end of store brands. But some of the lower price stuff tastes pretty bad to me.

    The old generic no name (not even store brand) stuff they used to have tasted absolutely awful to me. I grew up on it and I absolutely hate it. It ranks as better than starving, but the first thing we changed we started making a tiny bit more money.
    KathyB

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    By generic I assume nowadays they mean store brand.

    I won't buy Winn Dixies store brand anything. I don't even care for their meat even though they're known as "the beef people". Publix... eh... I will buy if I'm on a true penny pinching spree. It's ok but can tell a little difference. I guess I buy more Walfart brand than any other off brand. Theirs I can't tell much of a difference on. Except soup. No soup. Although I have only been in Walfart once or twice in months. Not because of the store itself. I just can't walk the parking lot then the inside of store. I have no problem with Walfart brand. Still experimenting with Sav A Lot.

    Now if I'm on my couponing game I can do very very well at Publix and Dixie on brand name only. That's the only groceries here ... well... Aldi. I can never remember Aldi and it's on the opposite side of the road on my errand stops so it's last. By the time I'm on the road coming home and come to Aldi I'm done. Can't go anymore. Sides they aren't that much cheaper than Sav A Lot. Seriously.
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    Registered User ziggee's Avatar
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    We prefer out store brand on a lot of items then the name brand. But I will make exceptions like buying the name brand DAWN. The store brand is not the same as the name brand. I tried putting the store brand in the name brand bottle and hubby noticed and so did I. Same goes for pet food. Kid knows that the cereal we buy is the one in the bag and not in the box. A lot of times its cheaper to buy the store brand than the name brand with a coupon.

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    Agree about Dawn. Nothing else is as good. I mix up my own foaming soap from it so it goes a lot further.

    I've banned all air fresheners from the house except Febreze. Everything else makes me sick.

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