Store Brand Vs. Generic?

So you head out to the store with a list and a hand full of coupons. You get there and find that many of the deals you were planning to do don't work because the store brand is still cheaper. Do you buy the cheaper or do you buy name brand??

I often run in to this, esp. it seems when I am at Walmart. For the most part I will get what is cheaper even if I have a coupon for the name brand. But, there are some things that I am willing to pay a few cents more for because I think the name brand actually tastes better. For me personally here is a little list of what I like better name brand.

1. Canned Vegetables
2. Canned Fruit
3. Some Crackers and Cookies ( Oreo's!)
4. Garbage Bags
5. Aluminum Foil
6. Salad Dressing
7. Soda ( this is debatable in our house)
8. Hot Chocolate ( my husband pitches a fit on this one!)

Now, these are things that I get at whatever the lowest price is! Personally, I don't think there is a taste difference.

1. Pasta
2. Cheese
3. Many condiments
4. Bread
5. Canned tomatoes
6. Things like Croutons and Bacon Bits

I am sure I am forgetting a ton of things on both lists, and every families lists will be different. I hate to see new couponers waste money on items just because they have a coupon for it. Don't be afraid to change your plans when you get to the store to include tossing a coupon and just buying store brand/generic. Often I leave the coupon at the store by the name brand item for someone else.

I never buy generic brand laundry soap because my kids have allergies. Instead I buy Tide Free or other non-scented name brand detergent. Most of the time I can get it for a great deal, but if for some reason I can't it is not worth it for my kids to be miserable!

So buying name a brand or a generic brand is a preference choice. What is the point of saving one dollar for a generic brand tissue if every time you blow your nose the tissue is hard and scratchy? When you run across items that you have no preference about, then try a generic brand and you will save some money.

Why is there a price difference at all? A lot of it has to do with the quality of products that are put into the item. A brand name tends to have a little bit higher quality of products than the generic version and is probably a little more diligent about quality control as well. While the generic may list the exact same ingredients, it may not be as good of quality which could affect the taste. You also do pay a little bit more money for the label that is a little more appealing. The generics cost is kept low by taking the frills away and just presenting you with a less flashy, less quality version for a lower amount of money. You should compare the ingredients of the generic and the name brand before buying. Make sure that they have the same ingredients and that the generic does not have more unhealthy ingredients than the generic.

Bottom line is be flexible and willing to try generics if they cost less. The one thing that I LOVE about couponing though is the ability to get name brand items at the same or lower cost then generics!

What items do you buy generic and what do only buy name brand?



Heather said...

I will go generic on cereal, but never on toilet paper!

Tiffany said...


True I forgot about toilet paper and diapers! I have to add those!

MommaMichelle said...

Soda, toilet paper, kleenex (even though I use Puffs it is the "known" name for them) and bandaids. My kids get hurt to much and are often hurt in bendable spots, I need to know a bandaid will stay on!

Megan said...

I will go generic on pasta, instant oatmeal, juice, peanut butter, cheese and certain baking products (baking soda, sugar, etc.) to name a few. Things that I buy name brand are flour (I bake a lot of homemade bread, and this is a taste/performance preference), chips, toilet paper, shampoo/conditioner...and thankfully with coupons and sales, these can be quite cheap :)

Melissa said...

I can handle just about any generic except for ketchup & peanut butter. The name brand doesn't matter on PB, but I have to have Hunts ketchup whether I have a coupon or not. Luckily, I'm usually stocked up.

Amy said...

I'll go generic on most things, but never on Ranch dressing. It's Hidden Valley or nothing! I also don't go completely generic on diapers. I was a Pampers snob with the first boy, but we've found that Luvs work just as well (better sometimes) and cost way less. We also won't buy generic cookies anymore. We tried that and ended up throwing a lot away because they were really gross.

Tracy said...

We love Kroger brand chips, but even my kids would not eat Walmart's cheetos. I also buy generic milk. From experience, I have learned to stick with name brand Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, peanut butter, and Huggies diapers. We can go generic on soda also.

Electra said...

I need my Charmin Extra Strong toilet paper! Nothing else will do, so I'm glad they have it at Sam's Club. I also go name brand on diapers and aluminum foil, but I'm fine with generic pop, when I get pop at all. Name brand peanut butter, definitely.

Michelle said...

I work for a food distributer. We sell peaches and asparagus to dollar stores and the food comes from the same plant as Del Monte. It's just that we are able to get in on the same price and there isn't any marketing.

The Coupon Cowgirl said...

No generic Mac and Cheese. It is Kraft all the way baby!