Saturday, July 26, 2014

Generic products: Are you wasting your money on name brand?

This post sort of ties into one yesterday, where I listed the Giant Food 'Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free' promo that's upcoming next week.  In that challenge, if you buy select name brand products, you can get their store brand free to try so that you can compare for yourself.

Smart People Buy Generic Brands appeared over at CNN Money's site and in it, it states that Americans waste $44 million a year by not buying generics.

As a general rule in my house, we do buy generic (store brand) when we can to save money.  However, there are some things we are brand loyal to.  My husband, for instance, insists that DayQuil works the best for him, even though the store brand anywhere is cheaper and has the same active ingredients.  He's the same way with any other cold medicines he takes.  However, other medications, such as ibuprofen, he is not picky on, and I just buy whichever store brand is the best deal when I need to purchase some.

A quick look in my pantry reveals about a 50-50 split.  Great Value cereal, Food Lion cereal, Wegman's gluten free cake mix, etc.  Because I eat gluten free for myself, I do tend to stick with name brands as there aren't that many store brands putting out their own gluten free offerings (kudos to Wegman's for doing so!)  I will buy generic store brand peanut butter for baking use, and save the Jif for the kids sandwiches, because they like it better. 

My advice is to try a store brand when you can because most of the time, the store will back their product with a money back guarantee.  If you don't like it, take it back.  (If you remember the infamous peanut butter recall a few years ago, you'll remember that the name brand recall quickly expanded to store brands because many times the manufacturer makes their own brand and some for stores too.  It may not always be obvious, though.)

In case you're curious, here are a few things I am brand loyal to:

Cat food --- Purina, 9 Lives, or Friskies.  I have seen too many generic petfood recalls and value my pets so much that I do not buy them generic food.

Peanut butter --- The kids love Jif.  Hubby, too.

Cascade Complete --- I have found this works best for my dishwasher.

Palmolive Soft Touch --- This is a special request from my daughter, whose chore it is to do the dishes.  She says the other kinds "make her itch".

Cereal --- Regular Lucky Charms for my house.  The kids will eat some generic cereals (hubby, too), though, if it's a "healthy" option (a/k/a not sugary), then they tend to like the store brand.  If it's a sugary cereal, they prefer name brand.

What are you brand loyal to?

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