Simple Savings: Buy generic – sometimes.

Day 13 of Simple Savings. Buy generic - sometimes.

I have another frugal shopping tip today to help you save! This is a simple grocery tip for all of us. Buy generic. Sometimes! I have to add the disclaimer because there are times when I can purchase name brand products for cheaper than generic. 9 times out of 10, I will buy the product that is cheaper.

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If you are someone who does not want to spend time couponing, buying generic is an easy way to save money. Most generic products taste the same or do the same job that their name brand counterparts do. For all of us, buying generic can help us trim down our grocery budget.

Generic milk tastes just the same as name brand. Generic flour and sugar bake just as well as name brand. Generic canned vegetables taste no different than the name brand.

My pantry shelves and stockpile hold a wide variety of generic products mixed in with name brand. Why? I buy the product I can get for a better price. Sometimes, that is generic, especially if I am looking for a specific ingredient on a given week to fill our my menu. Other times, the best price comes when I pair a coupon with a sale on a name brand product. Generic products do not usually have coupons while name brand products do. This is how and why you have to shop carefully and compare prices.

I will freely admit that there are a couple items I will not buy generic. I will not buy generic chocolate chips. I can taste the chocolate liquor and they are simply not the same. Only Nestle or Hershey’s or another name brand for this baker! I buy Colgate toothpaste for myself and Crest for my husband. No other brands do in this household. And if I’m baking buckeyes, I stick to name brand peanut butter. There is something different about the oils in the generic. I’ll use generic peanut butter for sandwiches and other baking but not for my buckeyes!

How about you? What products do you buy generic? Are you loyal to certain name brands?

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  1. We had a few years of needing to eat dairy and soy free for ds1. Since then I’m loyal to Swanson broth and Duncan Hines cake mixes and Guittard choc. chips. In MN Guittard was cheaper than other brands but here it is not. I sometimes splurge on Guittard here. I only buy Nestle or Hersheys if there is a really good coupon.
    We don’t use much flour compared to a few years ago, but I’m very picky about flour and can not stand some of the name brand ones for making cookies, never had a problem when I used generic flour though.
    There is also a difference between generics-I like Walmart paper towels best, better than name brand paper towels. I have a list of about 4 things that I prefer to buy at Walmart and will stop there every few months for those items even if I don’t buy anything else at Walmart.

    1. I’ve never heard of Guittard chocolate chips before. I’ve never had a problem with generic flour either! Like you, I have a very short list of things I buy at Walmart and restock every couple of months – my husband’s shampoo, for one.

  2. I absolutely agree with you on this! There are a couple of items where I have brand loyalty and actually some of that loyalty is for a store brand. I am fortunate enough that within two miles of my house I have 8 different grocery store options so I tend to scan through the ads each week and see what is in sale and where and then I can pick things up when I’m out and about…so I’m all about what’s cheaper!

    1. Isn’t it nice when we have different stores so close to one another? I am a sale ad shopper as well! Whatever I can do for a good deal, I will!

  3. I buy generics too…I think the only one I am really loyal to is Hellmann’s Mayo and if we buy paper towels it needs to be Bounty. 🙂

    1. Isn’t it interesting how we all have different brand loyalty? 🙂 Bounty paper towels are great ones…much better than generic. I should add that to my list of things that I prefer to be name brand. The difference in paper towels is huge!

  4. I too am a generic shopper. I will purchase whatever brand is least expensive. But there are some brands I purchase because they are dairy free, which isn’t always the case with generic brands.

    1. That’s a good point, Shelly. When I was buying dairy free for one of my highly allergic Kindergarten students, I got very good at reading labels. It’s amazing how different a product can be from brand to brand.

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