Are you wondering how you can use quality generic products and pay less at the store?
Our American culture has made us infatuated with brand names.
We assume that in all circumstances we are buying a BETTER product if we shop name brand, but that isn’t always true. There are a number of off brand products that are actually name brand products in disguise!
Why stores carry generic AND name brands
Yep, you heard me right! You don’t have to keep spending an arm and a leg on name brand products because you can buy their off brand counter parts that are IDENTICAL!
You assume that a generic product is inferior because it is priced lower and the brand is less recognizable, but in reality it offers you a better bang for your buck. We purchase name brands because we recognize them. Name brands, also known as national brands, have the money to promote their items because they sell specifically to companies for resale. When a store has their own brand, which is often referred to as a generic product, they have the same safety requirements for production and they can be more competitive with their pricing.
At this point you might be wondering why stores offer private label items if their own store brand is just as good.. Unfortunately, people are willing to spend more money buying a product from a brand they recognize versus choosing to buy the store brand. Offering both store brand and national brand allows a corporation to appeal to multiple types of people.
Where to shop and save money
I talked about how you can successfully cut your grocery bill, and I touched on the subject of shopping in bulk. Bulk stores are also an incredible resource for finding dupes. Dupes are products that mimic high priced items in their quality, but are being sold under a different name.
Some of my favorite stores for dupe products are Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco, Target, TJ Maxx, and Walmart.
Sam’s Club brand is also known as Member’s Mark. BJ’s brand is also known as Berkley-Jensen. Costco brand is also known as Kirkland Signature. Target has multiple dupe brands like Cat and Jack, Good and Gather, Market Pantry and Archer Farms.TJ Maxx carries a number of brands without identifying them under a different name, but the products are significantly cheaper than buying directly from distributors. Walmart’s brand is also known by a number of other brands that include the following: Great Value, Sam’s Choice, Parent’s Choice and Equate. Walmart is also the owner of Sam’s Club.
Good quality generic products
Oh how I love a good deal. Trying out new products and figuring out what is half the cost for the same quality is thrilling to this budget mama.
- Member’s Mark trash bags [Comparable to hefty drawstring trash bags]
- Any store brand bleach [Identical to Clorox in strength]
- Member’s Mark dryer sheets [Comparable to any high-quality brand dryer sheets]
- Member’s Mark detergent [Comparable to gain detergent]
- Any store brand vinegar [All brands are identical]
- Any store brand shredded cheese- Why are people still buying shredded cheese in any other brand?! off brand shredded cheese tastes exactly the same and it is much cheaper.
- Member’s Mark formula [Same product as Similac]
- Parent’s Choice formula [Same product as Enfamil]
- Great Value brand milk [Same product as Borden Dairy Milk]
- Cha-Ching brand chips (Foodlion brand) [Comparable to Lays Chips]
- Kroger cream cheese [Comparable to Philadelphia]
- Sour cream [Same product as name brand]
- Dried fruits [Always the same product under different brand names]
- Any store brand spices [Same product as name brand]
- Any baking essentials (sugar, salt, pepper, flour, etc) [Same product as name brand]
- Store brand pasta generally tastes the same
- Kroger’s Raisin Brand crunch tastes the same
Apparel & Misc Products
- Cat and Jack brand croc-style shoes for children. [Comparable to Crocs or Natives]
- Member’s Mark dental chews for dogs [Comparable to multiple other brands]
- 90 degree leggings [Dupes of Fabletics without needing to subscribe]
- Old Navy brand leggings [Made by same distributors as Athleta]
- Old Navy brand jeans [Comparable to American Eagle]
Leslie Watts with The Lewnited States says that her biggest recommendation for saving money is to buy generic brand over the counter medicine. She has had years of experience with a variety of medicines (allergy / pain relief / etc) due to her multiple fights with Bladder Cancer.
You’re led to believe that name brands like Benadryll are the BEST option for you, but you’re spending extra money for no reason.
Quality generic products are all around us.
Low quality generic products
There are still a number of things on the market where the cheaper version is a waste of money. I’ve listed a few things, so that you don’t have to bother trying them out!
- Berkley-Jensen trash bags [Rip easily]
- Lunchmeat [Off brand NEVER tastes the same as fresh deli meat]
- Store brand mini wheats cereal (commonly referred to as shredded wheat) [Extremely dry and tasteless]
- Kroger Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal [Very nasty in comparison to Quaker]
- Generic Yogurt [Usually contains extra additives and sugar]
- Store brand cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup [Completely different texture/ look/ taste than Campbell’s]
Apparel & Misc Products
- Hyland’s brand baby medicine [Multiple recalls due to sickness– steer clear]
- Babyganics brand sunscreen [Multiple sick children– needs to be recalled!]
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The best name brand products
I’ll admit, there are a few products that I feel like have a much different taste and quality when they’re the brand name.
In the food sector, I don’t care for store brand green beans. I feel like no matter how long I rinse them, they taste like the can! Green Giant green beans are my favorite if I’m going to eat canned vegetables.
Foreseeing the quality of generic brands
Have you ever noticed that a store carries a generic brand that is relatively similar to the name brand product? No, I’m not talking about how it tastes, but the overall look of the box and name of the two comparable brands.
Using this tip, you can make an educated guess on whether or not a generic brand is offering a high quality product.
If the generic brand’s name sounds eerily similar to the name brand option– they could be manufactured by the same plant!
Generic products that are secretly name brands
The popular cereal company General Mills can also be purchased under the name brand Millville. Millville products are commonly seen at Aldi’s.
Peter Pan peanut butter also manufactures Walmart’s store brand (Great Value) peanut butter. Another Walmart name brand product hiding under a generic name is their white bread, it is made by Sara Lee!
Any of my Costco fans– the Kirkland’s Signature Supreme diapers are made by Huggies. The Kirkland’s brand batteries are made by Duracell.
So how can you pay less for name brand products? Stop buying them simply because you recognize them!
Buy their good quality generic counter parts that are made by the same company at the same facilities and cost half the price!
What are your favorite quality generic products that help you pay less for name brand?
Do you have items that you stand by for their brand because of an obvious difference in quality with their generic product counterparts? I wanna know all the details!