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Stop Being a Brand Snob!

You should stop being a brand snob...and here's why!

One of the ways we’ve saved a lot of money on groceries over the years is by buying store brands (or whatever brand is the best price when combining coupons and sales).

Yes, for some people, just buying whatever brand is the lowest price might feel crazy — especially if you’re one of those people who hates new things and change. However, for us, we’ve found that it not only saves us a lot of money but it keeps things interesting. You never know what fun brands and types of food you’re going to get to try! There’s always variety because the stores are constantly putting different types of foods and different brands on great sales.

If you consider yourself a “brand snob” and always prefer to buy the same brand of everything, I want to give you three reasons to consider buying store brand instead of name brand:

1. Store Brands Are Usually Less Expensive

We save so much money by using store brands versus name brands. For instance, if you only buy name brand shampoo, the cheapest you may be able to buy it is for is usually around $3, when it’s on sale. If, however, you’re willing to look for the lowest price on any brand of shampoo, you can often find shampoo priced at $1 per bottle on sale.

While the savings of $2 per bottle of shampoo might not seem too significant, think about how the savings could add up if you saved $2 on 15 different items each week at the grocery store because you choose price over brand. That would be a savings of $60 per month — or $720 per year. And in many cases, the savings would likely be much more than that.

2. Store Brands Are Often the Same Quality

As I’ve told you before, when our family first started shopping at Aldi (a discount store chain), I was really leery of buying their products. I figured they’d taste cheap since they were from a discount store.

At that time, we were newly married, my husband was in law school and we were living on a beans-and-rice budget. We needed to save as much as we could on groceries, so I was willing to get brave and try new things if it meant that we spent less at the grocery store.

With this in mind, we hesitantly started trying different items from Aldi. And guess what? We were pleasantly surprised! Not only was most of it not cheap-tasting, we actually liked some of the food better than the brands we were used to buying.

3. Store Brands Are Usually the Same Low Price

One of my favorite things about buying store brands is that they are usually the same low price. They sometimes will go on sale, but they are usually already less expensive than name brands.

For instance, just this week, we were shopping at Kroger and needed to buy cocoa. While none of the brands of cocoa were on sale at Kroger, by buying the Kroger brand instead of the Hershey’s brand, we saved $1.50.

Taking just a few seconds to look at prices and check the price of store brand items versus name brand items when you’re shopping could end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. AND, you might not even be able to tell a difference — or you might end up liking the less expensive item even better! Now that’s my kind of savings!

Have you found any difference between store brand and name brand of any items you buy? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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54 Comments

  • Sherry says:

    I like the Kroger brand mini chocolate chips better than the Nestle ones! I was pleasantly surprised to find this out.

  • Monica says:

    You’re speaking my language! I rarely buy name brands. I find that even with a coupon, I can usually get a better deal on store brands. Funny story….a good friend who also feels this way texted me last week to say that her child was on a play date and was amazed that Charmin tissue actually said Charmin on it. I told her that I was clueless. 🙂

  • Suzanne says:

    I also like the online company called Brandless for this reason. Really great quality products, all priced $3. Shipping is high, but there are occasionally deals, so I wait and make a big order when they come up.

  • Amy McGraw says:

    I save a lot purchasing store brand items. I’ve found that at many stores, if you’re not satisfied with the store brand they’ll refund your money or replace it with a name brand. Definitely worth it to at least try as far as I’m concerned.

  • Nancy says:

    I like Kroger brand sandwich slims more than the name brand. Kroger’s carbmaster yogurt is low in price, carbs, and sugar. I love my coffee, but I like Kroger brand as well as name brands. Kroger food storage bags work as well as name brands, also.

  • kim says:

    I fully agree with at least trying store brands. I have found differences, sometimes, that do alter my choices towards a name brand. That is, if I’m not going by price only. One is in cereal, I noticed that the name brands, to my surprise, often have better ingredients (even if it is only rice krispies, or whatever). Sometimes I prefer to have the better ingredients.
    In children’s liquid pain relieving medicine, by far, the flavor of the name brands is our preference.
    I think it boils down to what your priorities are in shopping. Sometimes store brand is better, and one store might be better than another! Sometimes name brand is better. Sometimes you prefer price, other times you might prefer flavor or quality.

  • Theresa says:

    We buy generic whenever possible except for mac and cheese. We haven’t found a generic that comes close in taste (the Walmart brand is disgusting) so I stock up when it’s on sale. We have a peanut allergy in our house so we do have to be careful with what we buy. Sometimes a brand name item will be processed in a plant with peanuts and the generic won’t or vice versa. The other weird thing is that will vary with the different generic brands.

  • Rachel says:

    We mostly buy generic too. There are just a handful of things we taste a difference and still buy name brand, such as Heinz ketchup and Hidden Valley Ranch. Almost everything else for us is Aldi brand!

  • Judy W says:

    My husband used to work at Laura Scudder’s in CA. They bagged Lay’s potato chips. So if you bought Laura Scudder potato chips you were actually buying Lay’s. Laura Scuddrer potato chips and Lay’s were made in the same plant. They both were bagged in the Lay’s bags and also the Laura Scudder bags – both the same chips.

  • karen b says:

    On certain things we are brand snobs! I think it depends on peoples taste & preference, but for the most part store brand stuff works great or whatever is the cheapest.

  • Melissa_in_NJ says:

    The only one I refuse is Hydrox. It doesn’t taste like Oreos at all. One time my Mom tried it and we were like, No no no no no! Rejected!

  • Leanne says:

    I have a child with a peanut allergy. Many food store brands are manufactured in facilities where peanuts/tree nuts are manufactured… so, in general, we can’t buy store brand cookies, cereals, granola bars, or breads (even white bread)…. that’s one caveat with store brands that a lot of people don’t realize….

  • Emily F says:

    I shop primarily at Kroger and love most of their generics. We do have to be careful for cross contamination with wheat, so it all about the labeling on the package. I buy the Sinple Truth brand of organic things when I need to, which is at least a savings over another name brand organic.

  • Meagan says:

    There are only 2 items I am brand loyal for- ketchup and chocolate syrup.

  • Christine says:

    JudyW is spot on, most store brands are in fact name brand just private labeled. This is true for non-food items too like shampoo, cleaners, batteries, etc sold as Target Up store brand or Walmarts Equate brand.

  • Lana says:

    We love name brands and have found that Walmart’s Great Value brand is very good. We found it out quite by accident when our Aldi was closed for remodeling. We have a grocery surplus store and the name brands are really inexpensive there but it is hit or miss as to whether they have what I need.

  • Leslie says:

    Years ago I worked at a plant that manufactured Charcoal Briquets. They were a national brand but also manufactured the store brands for several chain grocery stores, so the bag was labeled as the store brand but it was the exact same formula as the national brand. There were a few exceptions, a few store brands requested special formulas and in some cases the store brand formulas are actually better than the national brand. My point is, the store brands are manufactured by the national brands and are usually the exact same product.

  • Mar says:

    Graham crackers and marshmallows are 2 things that I won’t do store brand on. The Kraft marshmallows really do toast better over a fire than the generic ones. And I strongly prefer Honey Maid graham crackers to Kroger. That being said, I happily buy plenty of store brand products. Sometimes our family does taste tests to see which we prefer. I was surprised my kids preferred Great Value tomato soup to Campbell’s. (Both of which they like better than my homemade tomato soup, which I think is delicious…)

  • Will says:

    I’m all for saving money but recently I purchased store brand Raisin Bran Crunch. OMG, I was unable to finish it, it really tasted like cardboard. I ended up throwing it away and going back to the name brand that costs an extra dollar.

    As long as it does the job the same as the name brand, I don’t mind going with the store brand. But yeah, there are definitely instances where you get what you pay for, lol

  • Marsha says:

    Aldi carries 3 types of cookies that taste EXACTLY like the Girl Scout cookies of caramel delights, peanut butter patties and the mint but only costs around $1.15 each.

  • Kristin says:

    If I really think hard and check my pantry, I’d say I definitely purchase a far greater percentage of store brands to name brands. After hearing about the chip and charcoal production, I’d love to hear someone chime in on soda brands. I’m not shy about purchasing a two-liter of store brand root beer for floats or a two-liter of store brand lemon-lime soda for a sick kid, but generally speaking wound definitely gravitate to brand names when it comes to soda.

    • Dianna says:

      Check the labels! I can’t remember the exact store but we found that one of the store brand sodas actually had aspartame in it and it wasn’t a diet soda. I’m very allergic and had no idea. I knew I didn’t feel well after drinking it but didn’t understand why. My kids read the label and showed me. No more of that brand. Most are good but just be careful. Check those labels.

  • Alex says:

    I think it’s fine to have a preference for either a store brand or a name brand. I think; however, it might be more considerate not to call someone a “snob” if they do prefer name brands. I have tried many name and generic brands and many products the generic is fine, and on many it isn’t. For example, I think the taste in canned tomatoes is negligible. I have found, however, that some generic brands have fewer tomatoes in the can than some name brands do. The ounces are the same on the outside, but they make up the difference in water.
    Many people like to shop for organic foods although they are often more expensive and thus far have not clinically proven to hold any greater health benefit just because the product is organic. I would not think it right, though, to call someone who purchases organic foods a “snob” simply because they choose to do so.
    I think these things are preferences. I think that as long as a family is a good steward of what God gives them, the particulars of those purchases are what is best for that family. I’m sure no offense was intended, but perhaps gentler wording would be beneficial.

    • My apologies for offending you. I’ve used the phrase “Don’t be a brand snob” for years when I’ve spoken at conferences on saving money and shared about this and you’re the first person to say that was offensive. It’s more of a tongue-in-cheek phrase for me… but I can see how someone who doesn’t know me or my heart personally wouldn’t necessarily take it that way and could be offended. So I’m very sorry that I offended you.

  • Jonna says:

    I buy/prefer the Aldi store brand fat-free refried beans. Aldi’s is the only refried beans that I’ve found that are labeled gluten-free.

  • Awmeme says:

    If you like the stove top stuffing try the aldi brand it is absolutley delicious and super flavorful. After having it a few times then I was given a case of the name brand the name brand is super bland to us to the point that my hubby asked if I had just put a can of chicken broth on bread. lol it was so blah to us. Now I have a case I have to try to use and I’ve had it since april. I am a brand snob when it comes to ranch.

  • Laura says:

    Q-tips ! That’s ALL I’ve found that I dislike store brands, buy the real deal ! Quality!

    • Jordan says:

      I think we all have that one thing that we like the brand over the generic! But going generic is a great way to save money. Thanks for sharing your opinion! -Jordan, MSM Team

  • amy says:

    I actually learned through an employee that most of the Aldi store brands are actually name brands in disguise. We have a local bread company (Nickels) and they are required to deliver their bread in a different bag with a different label to Aldi’s and to WalMart. Also, they have to be delivered in an unmarked truck!

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