Do store brands really save you a lot of money?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DisneyAddict_M, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. DisneyAddict_M

    DisneyAddict_M I want my tags back :(

    Feb 11, 2004
    I went to the grocery store with my brother on Saturday. He's used to budgeting, because he makes less than I do and his fiancee (whom he lives with) doesn't work (she's a full-time nursing student). Anyway, he was remarking over how many name brands I buy. I never really thought about it before. :confused3 Would I save a lot of money just buying store brands when possible? Does anyone do this?

    Btw, I'm a pasta snob and will never buy store brand pasta, but the rest of it I don't mind. ;)
  2. cbrfan

    cbrfan DIS Veteran

    Feb 10, 2001
    You can actually save quite a bit. However, I NEVER buy store brands if I don't like them as well as my regular brand. I'm not that cheap. But there are actually some items that I think the store brand is superior to the name brand. So if I can get a better product for less money it's a win-win situation.
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. CMKN

    CMKN Mouseketeer

    Nov 5, 2003
    I agree that you can save money by getting store brand, but make sure to price shop the items! Numerous times I have found some items store brand have been more expensive than name brand (excluding sales). Ice tea seems to be one of the items that I always find be more expensive
  5. CLEO Z

    CLEO Z Mouseketeer

    Mar 14, 2005
    I totally agree. There are some things that are fine store brand and others that are terrible. I have found that there is no substitute for real Cheerios. Other things like canned mushrooms and dairy products can save you quite a bit.
  6. deltachi8

    deltachi8 Smells of rich mahogany

    Mar 30, 2004
    I am cheap. There I said it. I buy whatever is lowest price until that products proves to be awful. The only thing I tend to be name branded on is beer - and i only buy that about twice a year.
  7. Yardbird

    Yardbird DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2004
    I have found that certain store brands are better than others. I usually shop at Giant, and most of their store brands that I have tried, I actually like as much as name brands. However, if there is a name brand product that I really like, I don't usually try the store equivalent.
  8. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    You can save a ton of money buying store brands. Yes, store brands taste different than brand names. But one brand name tastes different than another brand name too. Coke tastes different than Pepsi. And Acme cola tastes different than Coke. That doesn't make it bad - just different. We buy lots of store brands. And there are also store brands we've tried and not liked so we stick with the name brand. I buy almost exclusively store brand breakfast cereals. There are some that I actually prefer to the equivalent name brand. And they are about half the price.

    Store brand items that we avoid are ones where function is important, not taste - stuff like dish detergent, laundry detergent, etc. For those things, we've always found brand names to work better.

    Keep in mind that most store brands are made by the same companies that make the brand names. Sometimes they just use a slightly different recipe or a lower grade of ingredients. For example, all the peas that are pretty and equal size go in the Del Monte can. The ones that are less than perfect or not the right size go in the store brand can.

    Don't be a brand snob and you can save a lot.
  9. CinderellasMama

    CinderellasMama Mouseketeer

    Jan 6, 2005
    I tend to only buy store brands except for a select few things (Miracle Whip, Dr Pepper, Colgate). I either buy Wal-Mart brands or Surfine. It blows my mind to see someone with a whole cart of name brand stuff when I know that I could save so much more buying store brands. I even buy my detergent, dryer sheets, cleaners, etc in store brands.

    There a store brand that is also sold in my Surfine brand store. It is a lesser than store brand that I can't stand. When it was on sale one time I bought some can good and it's just not as good as the regular store brand. If I were you, I would try some and see what you like and don't like.


    Editing to add~~about tea bags. We ONLY buy Wal-Mart Great VAlue family tea bags. There are 24 in a box for $1.25. My husband will only drink this kind of tea at home. When we go visit my parents (who only have a small W-M) I have to take tea bags to make there. Lipton is usually 2 times as much for the same size box.
  10. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

    Jul 13, 2003
    We always buy generic (store brand) medecine also -- can be quite a savings and is exactly the same stuff!
  11. mrsbornkuntry

    mrsbornkuntry <font color=FF6666>I'm worried about raccoons<br><

    Jul 8, 2004
    I agree, you can't just assume that because it's a store brand that the price is cheaper, sometimes you have to compare the price per unit as well.
  12. disneysteve

    disneysteve DIS meet junkie

    Sep 29, 2002
    This is true. Also, don't ignore sales on brand names (store brands rarely go on sale). We went shopping yesterday. Kellogg's Mini Wheats were buy one get one free. We usually buy the store brand but with the sale, the brand name was much cheaper this time.

    Another tip - don't assume larger packages are always cheaper unit pricing. They want you to think that but sometimes it pays to buy multiple smaller packages instead of one big package, especially if just the smaller size is on sale.
  13. pjlla

    pjlla DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2003
    Like several people have mentioned, CHECK THE UNIT PRICES! That is the only way to know for sure if the store brand is cheaper or not. After that you will just have to try them to see if the quality/taste is okay for you. And sometimes, one store in an area will have much better "store brand" items than another. For example... our main grocery stores around here are Hannaford (formerly Shop N Save) and Shaw's (Stop N Shop is popping up though). I shop almost exclusively at Hannaford because, in my opinion, their store brand items are MUCH better than Shaw's. I buy LOTS of storebrand items. And for the most part I have been very happy.

    And Hannaford has had a policy in the past (don't know if it still stands) that if you buy a "Hannaford" brand product and are dissatisfied, you can return it for double your money back! I've only done it once, but it was an expensive item! It was a 9.99 box of nonfat dried milk. I thought it smelled terrible, compared to the regular brand. They gave me back double! I was excited! So I have no fears of buying the store brand because the return policy is so good.

    So far I have found just a few items that I won't buy store brand of.... Cheez-it type crackers, toilet paper, yogurt, salad dressing (we have specific preferences). But other than that I buy lots of store brands... but you have to compare prices, especially when there is a coupon involved. Even with a GREAT coupon, I won't buy the brand name item unless it will cost less than the store brand with the coupon. Sometimes I leave the coupon behind on the shelf for the "name brand buyers"..........................P
  14. my3kids

    my3kids <font color=blue>Helpful Cruise Board regular!<br>

    Oct 16, 2000
    I buy a lot of store brands, including pasta! :flower: My DH refuses to eat generic peanut butter, so that is always name brand. Again DH, his mayo has to be a certain brand. But other than that, all is fair in the grocery game.

    I think I remember reading in Consumer Reports that W-M powder automatic dishwashing detergent was a best buy. Lately I have been buying the Cascade/Dawn Gel Packs though because tey are so easy.

    I hate name brand bagels but love the store bagels. Their coffee cakes are up there with Entemanns. Parmesan Cheese, frozen vegetables, chedder, etc. I have never had isues with.

    Give them a try. If you aren't satisfied the store will probably refund your money. In any case the worst that happens is you go back to the name brand.
    Oh, one more thing W-M brand did not 'equate' to was contact lens solution....they came out with a no rub which I thought would be lke my Opti-Free. It wasn't! pirate:
  15. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2002
    Store brands definitely save money! A store brand item is almost always less expensive than a name brand item even with a coupon! I see no reason to spend more money on a consumable product that'll be gone next week.

    Having said that, I don't necessarily shop by price alone. Like most people, I tend to buy the same items over and over again, and I always give the store brand a chance --usually I like it, sometimes I decide I won't buy it again. Canned veggies and juices are identical to name brands. Ditto for salsa, pickles, sugar, and sandwich meat. I don't like store brand sodas though (but my FIL prefers Walmart brand diet soda over Coke or Pepsi), and I use only White Lily flour or Bisquick. I find that store brand soup is fine to use in a casserole, but I prefer name-brand soup if I'm eating it as soup. The moral: give store brand a chance -- sometimes you'll win and sometimes you'll lose.

    As for unit prices, I'm amazed that people don't know how to use this little piece of information. It's printed right there on the shelf for you!
  16. JDarling

    JDarling Resident Disney Freak

    Mar 22, 2005
    Yes, it does save money. Here's the thing I noticed: On cleaning goods - compare the BEST coupon on a name brand item to the comparable item of "generic" or store brand item. If you see a savings, you're in luck!

    But - on another thought, why limit yourself to one store? I live in a town where there is an Albertson's, Von's, Ralph's, Henry's, Major Market, Trader Joe's, and Jimbo's all within about 15 minutes of my house. I shop where ever there is a good sale. When Albertson's does thier "10 for $10" deal, I pick up a few things I need cheap.

    Usually, I shop at Henry's because it has the best prices, and the freshest produce. I've saved a TON of money and become a lot healthier by eating fresh. Our grocery bill is about $60 per 1 1/2 weeks. For snack foods, we have fresh veggies and fruit around the house. For dinner, it's whatever meat was on sale (lately turkey has been cheaper than chicken and lamb has been cheaper than beef) cooked up whatever way we choose and veggies (steamed or in a salad, or roasted). They do carry name brands like Dole on a couple things, but mostly it's just the name of the farm the goods came from. :)
  17. battricia

    battricia <font color=FF00CC>From the home of the Peeps and

    Nov 21, 2003
    I buy store brand canned products (beans, chick peas, etc) almost exclusively because they are always cheaper than the name brands, and they are the SAME exact thing. A chick pea is a chick pea. Also we buy name brand cheese and I actually find that I like it MORE than kraft or other brands. And it is WAY cheaper. (I'm talking shredded mexican, shredded mozzerella, shredded cheddar, and block mozzerella, also ricotta). Taco shells we buy store brand, and fajita shells. We also buy sponges and wipes at the dollar store (similar in situations), unless we have a coupon for sponges that makes them less than 1 dollar. We always buy store brand flour and sugar which seems to be a bit cheaper than domino shugar and name brand flour. Also our grocery store has really cheap spices in big containers that we buy and they seem to be really decent (stuff like curry powder, cumin, cinnamin, etc). Also Giant has store brand bagels that are JUST LIKE the pepridge farm bagels which are soo good (surprising), AND store brand whipped cream cheese, and store brand butter.

    Some things I refuse to buy store brand: Soda, because I only like coke products, laundry soap because it makes me break out, most cleaning products, though I did buy the target brand fabreeze which was alot cheaper and I actually do like it!

  18. Aidensmom

    Aidensmom Holy Crap!<br><font color=blue>Murdered By Pineapp

    Mar 4, 2005
    We are definately store brand afficianados! One look in our pantry and you know where I last went grocery shopping. I do agree that there are some things that you should always buy brand name: colas (other soft drinks do not seem much different to us), laundry detergent, beer :teeth:, dog/cat food, and definately Cheerios!!! If you cut coupons, sometimes the brand name will be the better value (the only time I buy brand name on a lot of items), you really have to pay attention to size of the product, unit price, etc.

    Some store brands will surprise you: my son has never leaked out of a store brand pull up at night (he's daytime potty trained), but the one time I bought Huggies (had a good coupon), he leaked 75% of the time. I actually like store brand potato chips better (they are greasier, which to me makes the ultimate chip, I am not eating them for their nutritional value!!!).

    On the whole, I would say store brands are about 1/4 - 1/3 cheaper than the name brand.
  19. va32h

    va32h DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2005
    I buy store brands all the time - Wal-mart has the most store brands it seems. At my Super-Walmart, Wheat Thins are over $2.50 per box - store brand - $1.

    I can't think of any name-brand product that I must have. Not even Cheerios! Store brand Toasted Oats do taste different - but aren't all foods an acquired taste? Everything I eat now, I had to try for the first time, at some point.
  20. Cindy's Mom

    Cindy's Mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2005
    I agree with most of the posters, I buy plenty of store brands but am loyal to certain brand names, Pepsi, Helmans Mayo, French's Mustard and Uncle Bens Rice.

    I used the house brand formula for both my kids, I did my research on it and found that formula by any manufacturer is regulated by the FDA, so I'd would buy that for $12 a can vs. the $25 for the name brand and I saved a ton. I also use store brand medicine without a second thought, unless the name is on sale and still cheaper than the store brand.

    My favorite store brand find is: Sam's Raisin Bran w/ Extra Raisins that is sold at Walmart. IT BLOWS THE NAME BRANDS AWAY, The Bran flakes are huge!
  21. MEM

    MEM DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2001
    We almost always try the store brand first, except for mayo and laundry detergent. I can only use Tide-Free but that goes on sale periodically.

    Fox25 news here in Boston did a taste-test of name brand cereals vs. store brand and Malt-o-Meal brand. With the exception of the Lucky Charms, the testers could not tell the brand name from the store brand. In some cases, they liked the store brand better. DS loves Froot Loops and the store brand (Shaw's) was rated just as good so now I plan to try it since it costs half as much.

    I can remember being told that the same factories make both the brand name and store brand items, but just slap a different label on them. I believe that to be true at least for some items.

Share This Page