58 answers

Do You Buy Generic or Store Brands? If Not, Why?

I’m trying to save money right now and cutting down our shopping expenses. When shopping at Target I decided to buy certain Target brand merchandise.

A neighbor of mine said she would never buy generic and that they claim to be the exact same, but in reality are not. She said that generic is just buying “cheap” stuff and that people who buy generic are just advertising to the world that they themselves are cheap. In her own ‘weird’ way she was trying to give me friendly advice.

What is your experience in buying generic store brands? Are there certain products you refuse to buy in the generic brand? Are you for it or against it?

For example, I bought the Target brand saline solution and so far, so good. The Target brand was $2.00 less.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I buy many many store brands. Oftentimes they are made in the same plant in the same way as national brands. Sometimes though the taste is not the same-for example my kids hate generic target chickadees-they only eat Pep Farm Goldfish.

One place I can't get my head around though is the Aldi store. For some reason the packaging on their foods gives me the creeps. I would rather buy a regular generic from a store.

3 moms found this helpful

I buy many Target brand items... including milk, shredded cheese, butter, frozen veggies, paper products... we are all still alive & not poor & not once has anyone ever called me cheap.

Some things I don't buy Target brand... like coffee, but I am a Starbucks snob that way.

My kids & I "test" products, if we like generic, we continue to use it.

2 moms found this helpful

it depends on what it is. like I don't buy store brand whipped creme because I think redi whip tastes better.
For the most part they are the same, for medications (tylenol,motrin, allergy meds) I buy generic if they have it , read the ingredients its the same thing.
Sometimes the generic is better than the name brand stuff. like the archer farms salsa at target is the best I've ever tasted.

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Does your neighbor think there is a big Target manufacturing facility specializing in the manufacture of several thousand items? If she does, she's a dullard.
Stores pay manufacturers to package the same stuff to "Target" or other vendors specifications and then pay less b/c the "name" isn't there.
Hard to believe there is anyone in the world over 12 that doesn't understand that!
Ignore her and do what YOU need to do to provide as well as you can for YOUR family. And the next time her kids try to mooch a Target Market Pantry Fruit Snack from you, make sure she knows that they ate them! LOL

7 moms found this helpful

I do buy generic when I can, with a few exceptions;
I MUST have Heinz ketchup.
I MUST have Qtip brand swabs
I MUST have Always feminine pads and Tampax tampons.
Other than that, cheaper is better! :)

4 moms found this helpful

well when you have more money to retire with and your neighbor has to work until she's 80, you can tell her she should've bought generic.

3 moms found this helpful

I shop at Walmart and buy the "Great Value" brand of everything except cereal. So far, that is the only thing that I can tell a difference on. It sounds like your neighbor is a bit stuck up.

3 moms found this helpful

For some things it's hard to tell between generic and brand name. You just have to give it a try and judge for yourself. There are some things I just won't buy generic- ketchup, soda, bread, and peanut butter are a few. But other things I do buy generic. I love the Target brand formula for my daughter and she did the best on that brand than any other brand we tried. I also like the Target brand Claritin for my son. So it depends. If you find something you like, then it will definitely save you some money!

3 moms found this helpful

I love store brands! In lots of cases they are made by the same factories that make the name brand stuff.
There are some things that I won't substitute, but that's just a matter of taste. There are also some store brands that I prefer over others.

I think your friend sounds like an awfully big snob.

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I buy Safeway and CVS brand items.
SAME thing/ingredients.

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I work for a company that makes whey protein powder. This powder is a main component in baby formula. We sell it, and the company that buys it makes formula for numerous sources - both name brand high end expensive baby formula and the major store brands...EXACTLY the same product for twice (or more) the price because of the name. If you can do this with something as sensitive as baby formula, I guarantee it happens with "most" every other type of product.

I think you neighbor is sad in that she is more worried about perception and face value than true value...it says a lot about what kind of person she is. I would venture to guess it points a lot more to someone who is not confident enough in themself to decide what is best vs. what they want everyone to think is best. If you like who you are and what you do...why should you care what someone else buys or uses?

3 moms found this helpful

We shop at Super Target and buy almost all of our non-food items generic. Many of our foods are generic as well, but I don't like generic cereal. Sometimes the Target bread is stale as well, although other times it's great, and it is a whole lot cheaper. I also prefer Viva paper towels. They are ridiculously expensive, but I love them. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Certain things I personally will buy brand name, but generally I buy generic. Usually you are paying the extra for the packaging. For example - I knew someone who worked at a canning company ( like canned veggies and stuff) and they would be processing the same can but just change the labels.

You need to do what you need to do for your family :-)

3 moms found this helpful

I buy many many store brands. Oftentimes they are made in the same plant in the same way as national brands. Sometimes though the taste is not the same-for example my kids hate generic target chickadees-they only eat Pep Farm Goldfish.

One place I can't get my head around though is the Aldi store. For some reason the packaging on their foods gives me the creeps. I would rather buy a regular generic from a store.

3 moms found this helpful

There's a difference between "cheap" and "frugal". There's a whole Money Saving Mom movement out there. I buy store brand when quality isn't compromised. I buy brand name diapers for my toddler (he was fine in Target diapers as a baby). I'll try anything once, if it isn't as good I'll go back to the brand name.

Trader Joes, for example, is almost all store brand and they are REALLY inexpensive. Does that make people who shop there cheap?

People who buy things because it is a "reflection" of them are too concerned about what people think and will go broke trying to keep up with the joneses.

I think people who are cheap are people who won't throw out/recycle stained t-shirts with holes in them, won't buy new shoes when their shoes are falling apart and they can afford to buy new shoes. But, that's their perogative.

Oh, and saline? Saltwater. You can stick a brand name on it, it's still just saltwater.

How about this...you can tell you friend that YOU think that people who buy name brand are suckers.

3 moms found this helpful

Your neighbor sounds like an enormous snob as well as a dope. Of COURSE generic is, for the most part, the same stuff. I sure hope she never finds herself in a situation where buying generic to save a few bucks becomes a necessity, because she'll be miserable!

With that being said, not all generic is equal in my eyes. I've learned over the years what items I need to stick with the original for such as cream of mushroom soup, hair care, StayFree pads, Viva paper towels, Cottonelle toilet paper, Philadelphia cream cheese, pasta sauce if I'm not making my own, and a handful of others. Aside from that quite small list, I buy almost exclusively generic (cheese, cereal, saline, ibuprophen, canned veggies, etc.). Now, if it's something where I would normally buy generic, but the name brand has a sale that makes it cheaper, or the same price, then I'll generally go for the name brand.

I feed a family of 4 for under $300/month which includes paper products, laundry detergent, etc.

3 moms found this helpful

Im sorry but your neighbor should refrain from giving back handed advise. in my experience, target had decent brand products. walgreens and cvs arent bad either, and did you know when they did the recall on the childrens motren, the store brands werent recalled?
you trying to save money to better provide for your family isnt cheap. im sorry but for your neighbor to imply that, that was kinda rude and if it came to me giving my son what he needs by going with out a name brand for myself then theres no question in my mind.

3 moms found this helpful

Some generics and stores brands aren't the same, but there are a ton of high quality, low cost store/generic brands out there.

Target's private label Archer Farms has some great products and I like many of their Up and Up too.

I prefere the name brand in some products, butit is few and far between.

Your neighbor sounds a little snobby and misinformed...you might want to create some distance. It doesn't sound like someone I'd want to foster much of a relationship with.

3 moms found this helpful

I buy a lot of generic. However, there are some things like Campbell soup,
Hellmans mayo, etc. that I will not give up. I save a lot of money buying
generic and if anyone thinks I am cheap, so be it.

3 moms found this helpful

Often, generic and name brand products are made in the same factory. Often the difference in cost (for example Malt o Meal and brand name cereals) come for packing and marketing costs. My mom has worked for companies that process chicken. The same product would be sold under their brand name, then "private labeled" for brands like Target (Archer Farms) and Costco. Save the money!

2 moms found this helpful

There are a few things that I but name brand like dishwasher tablets. They generic wouldn't cut it. But for the most part I but generic. They taste and perform the same way.

2 moms found this helpful

I purchase mostly brand name products. It is not beacuse I care about the name, but because I am a coupon fanatic. Brand names tend to have more couponds than house brands. When I match a coupon with a good sale I can get brand names for little to no money (I even have overages sometimes!). I would worry less about your neighbor and more about your own family. If it really bothers you that she thinks less of you for buying generic, try to embrace it. I have noticed that people often look at me as if I am an alien when I talk about using coupons. At first it bothered me becuase I felt like they thought we could not afford groceries. I then sat back and took a good long look at things. We have four children, a dog, a cat, and of course myself and husband- I am able to feed, and supply our paper products (including diapers) for less than $400 each month. I get the luxury of staying home with my children, we get to vacation, and my husband only works three days each week (he is an RN). I save at least $400 each month on groceries, often times more. If I did not save that much, and pinch pennies when possible, my family and I would miss out on lots of things. I might have to work part-time and miss art projects with my kids, or possibly church gatherings. We may not be able to afford week long vacations each season. Try to prioritize. If impressing your neighbor is important (and it's ok if it is) then buy name brand, if saving money for WHATEVER reason if important than buy house brands, or in my case COUPON! I openly tell people I am cheap, frugal, the coupon queen, a sale-addict, whatever they want to hear. If I beat them to the punch line, they move on and find someone else to judge. I just don't have time to be judge for the brand of cereal I buy, or how I buy it!

2 moms found this helpful

it depends on what it is. like I don't buy store brand whipped creme because I think redi whip tastes better.
For the most part they are the same, for medications (tylenol,motrin, allergy meds) I buy generic if they have it , read the ingredients its the same thing.
Sometimes the generic is better than the name brand stuff. like the archer farms salsa at target is the best I've ever tasted.

2 moms found this helpful

Yep. Although it depends on what it is.
Ex. certain house brand foods like mac n cheese are not as good as Kraft. And Target and Shoppers pop tarts are in my opinion not as good as the Brand. I buy Cascade packs vs. generic just cuz I like the ease of the packs.

Other things like cereals, ice cream, fabric softner, detergent, bread, water, noodles, certain sodas are just as good as the brand.

My sister took over the shopping from my Mom and buys mostly house brand stuff. During one trip to Harris Teeter grocery store she spent $90. and SAVED almost $90.

I also shop at the Dollar Store. The have some brand names there. They also have a mouthwash for $1 that is the same ingredients as Listerine.
They also have an amazing vanilla ice cream! A whole quart for $1.

2 moms found this helpful

Okay...how do you get "store brand oranges"? I can see how an inexpensive store like aldi or Save-a-lot might get fruit in that's older or something. But fruit is fruit right?

Anyway, we use generic things all the time and I rarely have an issue with it. I am fussy about yogurt and don't seem to find any off brands I like. I like A&E mostly.

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wow. your neighbor sounds really judgmental and snotty! i would have had a hard time seeing the good intentions in that. maybe she's under the impression that you are "better" than generic, too...thereby not actually meaning to insult YOU...just the rest of us lol.

my only advice is try it and see. some things will be just the same, some will be different. what you are willing to get "cheaper" of is up to you. no, they're not usually exact. but then again, the price is almost ALWAYS significantly less. i am surprised there is anyone in this world who only buys name brand, to be honest. there's no reason to! it doesn't make much sense to insist on spending more money just for the sake of having "the brand" on the label.

2 moms found this helpful

Your friend is ridiculous. She is trying to advertise that she is better than everyone by paying extra for a label! In many cases it's the same exact thing. I buy store brands on MOST things. My sister always laughs when she looks in my pantry or food storage drawer. she says it's like an advertisment for Walmart. I say, try things and see if you like them. If not, don't try them again. If there are things where you are particular about the brand, chances are, you wouldn't like store brand. Buy the brand you LIKE!

For me, I buy name brand tampons & laundry detergent, and I did not like store brand mandarin oranges. But, I ONLY like Kroger brand cottage cheese. I liked Target brand diapers, and they were SO much cheaper.

2 moms found this helpful

I buy many Target brand items... including milk, shredded cheese, butter, frozen veggies, paper products... we are all still alive & not poor & not once has anyone ever called me cheap.

Some things I don't buy Target brand... like coffee, but I am a Starbucks snob that way.

My kids & I "test" products, if we like generic, we continue to use it.

2 moms found this helpful

I love generic brands, and to be honest probably buy them more than the real stuff. That is why they are there for, so us who like to save a dollar or two can get them. And you tell your neighbor they are definitely the same, check the ingredients and labels. They are same, same. I cant think of anything that I wouldnt buy generic.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy generic on alot of stuff ! About the only things I don't buy generic are washsoap and mayonaise. That's just because I don't like them as well. In this economy I think any way anyone can save money is smart and wise.

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on the product, to be honest. I'll buy certain food items in generic because they really are exactly the same (things that are individual ingredients, for example, like sugar, butter, vanilla) but with other things I do notice a flavor difference or texture difference. Sometimes it's about freshness and other times it's about quality. One example is with milk. I can't buy generic milk because it tastes like plastic, but I also like to support local farmers and buy from them as much as possible (which helps reduce costs anyway, like with eggs).

I do have to buy a lot of name brand items for cereals and cereal bars and other premade foods because my daughter (that has Autism) is lactose intolerant and the generic versions often have milk products as fillers. Generic products also have a tendency to have more food dyes and especially HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which my daughter is very sensitive to. My other daughters are also sensitive to the dyes and HFCS, but not to the same degree. Minimizing by reading labels helps and unfortunately that means that name brand labels are often superior products. For instance, I have to buy Friehofer's Family Grain 100% whole grains breads or Bimbo breads (both owned by the same company) because they don't use dairy or HFCS. I also have to use Kraft singles for her because they're lactose-safe, yet at the deli I can buy the generic American for the rest of the family.

My ASD kiddo has learned to distinguish too, unfortunately. She's a very, very picky eater and is very sensitive to flavor nuances, textures, and odors thanks to Sensory Processing Disorder. That means she can tell the difference between store brand chocolate soymilk and Silk brand even if I poured the store brand into the Silk container. She can tell the difference between store brand lactose-free milk and Lactaid milk. She can tell the difference between Friehofer's Honey Wheat and Bimbo Honey Wheat even though they're the same freaking company. She can tell the difference between generic organic peanut butter and the brand she likes. It's crazy. But if I want her to eat and not self-restrict so much on her already restricted diet, I have to get a few name brands.

Luckily there's such a thing as coupons. Coupons coupons coupons. I do buy generic where I can, though.

1 mom found this helpful

I love generic or store brands and normally pick them over big name brands. I do always compare labels, especially on over-the-counter medicines - but have never noticed any difference in effectiveness. For food stuff I buy the store brands (Target, Walmart etc.) and, other than canned peas, don't notice a difference.

Check Target's website for on-line coupons that reduce the price of their store brands even more.

Happy Shopping!
God Bless

1 mom found this helpful

I buy generic... unless I KNOW that the store brand is superior, and I care. Like I don't care if my cereal is "malt-o-meal" or "kelloggs" or "western family" (the most common store brand around here)

If I am buying clothes for me, I am more likely to get department store clothes or better, because I have found that the "cheap" clothes usually don't fit quite as well... or last quite as long... (so why not buy $60 jeans, rather than 3 pairs of $20 jeans I don't like as much that will last the same amount of time total?) But with my toddler we buy "cheap" clothes, or get clothes from a consignment or quality secondhand store... because the time SHE wears clothes is only a few months, and a decent outfit can last through several toddlers and still be in good condition.

Being frugal is smart. Will the joneses be coming to check out your saline solution? LOL. Which would you rather have; food on your table and gas in your car and a roof over your head, or a bunch of name brand stuff?

Where to splurge? Well... spend money to get quality reusable products to replace what you spend on "disposable things" - when you can. I also splurge to buy products like soaps, detergents, shampoos and lotions that have less petroleum and alcohol and words I cannot pronounce in them for things with natural ingredients... usually those don't "come" in generic versions... but when they do - double bonus!

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!
-M.

1 mom found this helpful

Target brand all the way! I buy their toilet paper and paper towel. It does depend on the item, but I do buy a lot of generic and I am not cheap by any means. It also depends what store that I buy the 'store brand' from. There is one grocery store here on the East Coast (wegmans) that is awesome and I have very little hesitation to buy generic. However, if it were one of the not as nice grocery stores, I probably wouldn't be so quick to buy as much as I do. But again, there are certain things that I wouldn't even consider going generic on. So although it does depend on the item, I think you friend is misinformed and wasting a lot of money with that frame of mind.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy generic because a little cheaper in costs and they are more trusted.

1 mom found this helpful

I am not a food snob so I will always try a generic brand and if I don't like it, Oh well!! I just go back to using my original brand. Most things are the same and I totally agree that most of the time you are just paying for expensive packaging and it is the same stuff in the box. I worked for Aldi for years and found out that we were selling brand goods in different packaging and this was from someone high up. Have to say though there are a couple of things I have tried but have always gone back to the brand name, like a certain ketchup and a certain brand of cornflakes. :-)

1 mom found this helpful

It depends what the item is..some thing I prefer name brand like ketchup, laundry detergent, tampons and formula amongst other things..and some things generic are fine like garbage bags, paper plates, ibuprofen etc Its really what your comfortable with and do not believe your neighbor do you really think that Target has a manufacturing plant for all things generic like food and diapers and health and beauty items? Of course not they get it from the same plant and put their label on it. Thats why you read the labels (like with medicine) so your informed of what your getting-Generic toilet paper may be thinner than Charmin but it still works fine. Do what is right for your budget-generics have come a long way!

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It depends what the item is..some thing I prefer name brand like ketchup, laundry detergent, tampons and formula amongst other things..and some things generic are fine like garbage bags, paper plates, ibuprofen etc Its really what your comfortable with and do not believe your neighbor do you really think that Target has a manufacturing plant for all things generic like food and diapers and health and beauty items? Of course not they get it from the same plant and put their label on it. Thats why you read the labels (like with medicine) so your informed of what your getting-Generic toilet paper may be thinner than Charmin but it still works fine. Do what is right for your budget-generics have come a long way!

1 mom found this helpful

you will notice that on store brand foods that there is calorie difference. that is because store brands add more water to things like yogurt and ketchup thats how they can sell them cheaper, so with those things I usually buy the name brand because it taste better, as for things like diapers I honestly think the store brands hold more than some of the name brands. overall we usually get the store brands in things

1 mom found this helpful

I almost always buy generic. Most of the time they are the same, or close enough. Very rarely, I find a generic that is inferior to the name brand. Then I just don't buy it again.

Buy generic.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy mostly store brand stuff. There are some things that I won't buy generic - ketsup, paper towels. That is only because I tried the generic and didn't like it as much as the name brand. You are not broadcasting to the world that you are cheap by buying generic, you are saying - I'm refuse to spend more money for the label!!! I bet your friend has super duper expensive pocket books, jeans and accessories too! LOL

1 mom found this helpful

There are a lot of things that I buy in a generic brand.And a lot of them are the EXACT same thing.I have found over the years some things do not pay off to buy the cheaper brand.I never buy cheap toilet paper your not saving if it's thinner and you use more!But I did come across Sam's club brand that seems to be the same as charmin and went against my own rule,LOL!We use less if this toilet paper than many brand names because it is so thick and it's nice and soft too!I never used off brand diapers or wipes,I did try them and realized that the wipes were thinner and I had to use a lot more of them to clean my child.And diapers,why buy cheap diapers when they don't absorb the moisture as well therefore I had to change my child more.Don't know if you use diapers but I will tell you Luvs are made by pampers and they are great diapers at a cheaper price!
I always use off brand medicines,just compare the ingredients because they are often identical.For example I always get equate (walmart) tylenol,IB prophen,Zyrtec,Claritin,etc.As far as groceries there are things I only buy in name brand because there is definitely a difference in taste and quality and some things are the exact same.It's trial and error with that and your own preference.I never bought anything than Preggo (with mushrooms) spaghetti sauce but I went out on a limb and found best choice (with mushrooms) and aldi's (with mushrooms) are really similar.But I do not like any BBQ sauce other than KC Masterpiece.If you have pets,at first I was buying a cheaper food but found that the pet store grade was not much more expensive and the dogs will eat less and have less waste.So in the long run it's not costing me more.Coupons are good,stocking up when something's on sale,shopping @ sam's.I try to only get something if it's on sale or clearance,unless I have a coupon.A lot of times your sales will be better than the off brand.I use best choice products a lot.I don't usually shop @ discount grocery store because I have found if you shop according to what's on sale in the Ad's @ Price Chopper you often can get better or just as good prices.
As far as Target,I love Target.And they often have sales that are better or just as good as their brand.Again shop by what's on sale in their ad.They were just running a sale where you could get gift cards for certain purchases.Like I got a $5 gift card for buying 2 packages of always pads and I also had a coupon for $1 off of one package.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy generic everything! I also use Target's contact solution, and so far my eyes aren't burning out of my head. Generics are almost the exact same- look at the ingredients if you are sketchy about something. I would say your neighbor is a bit overboard. To each their own =)

1 mom found this helpful

I think your neighbor needs to stop competing with the Jone's. Why should she care what strangers in the grocery store "think" of her. I buy a lot of store brand stuff. If it's cheaper than the name brand with a coupon, I opt for store brand. There are some things I will not do store brand on because we have tried it and prefer the name brand. There is no substitute for Heintz Ketchup and Hellman's Mayo. We've used many target brand products and are quite happy with them. I say use what works for your family. If your family tries the product and doesn't care for it then don't buy that generic again. However if you see no difference in the product then why pay twice as much for the packaging? According to your neighbors logic you are paying for other people's opinions of you....Now that's just silly :)

1 mom found this helpful

I used to be a snob about shopping Aldi's until a friend said JUST TRY IT!

OMG, I'm addicted to a LOT of their stuff. They have THE BEST CHOCOLATE EVER. I have a soft spot for the sweet and sour chicken dinner--yum!

I'm all about saving money and spend on things that REALLY matter like bills and things for my son.

1 mom found this helpful

There ARE big differences in some generics, and I won't touch them. Others work just fine, with no problem. Just try things out and see how you like them. The good thing is they are cheap enough to deal with an experiment, lol. They are not all the same though, just because they are packaged in the same place. It's the same with some wines as well. One brand name pays more and gets the top batch, then a generic will get what's left of that batch. For example, I love rotel tomatoes....and a few times buying the Walmart brand, I've found stems and bits in it that I've never seen in rotels. I've had that experience with green beans as well, here and there, but if a vegetable is going to be a main part of the meal, it's going to be fresh or frozen, not canned.....if it's just part of a dish, I don't mind it too much because I will strain them and rinse anyway. I do buy the generic rotels UNLESS I'm making chili (then I get the "chili fixin" rotels, because it is NOT the same in the generic). Another thing I've noticed is that when making a casserole: if I use name brand cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, the amount of liquid is as the recipe calls for. But if I use store brand, it's actually not as "thick" and I use just slightly less liquid. I am perfectly happy using store brand cream of whatever for a casserole generally (or one brand name cream of chicken and one generic cream of mushroom is better), I can adjust to my taste and the bulk of the flavor is coming from the meat and vegetables I'm putting into the casserole. However, if it's just for soup or soup over rice (like when you'd sick and don't want to eat "real" food), then generic cream of anything is disgusting....just good as a base for food, not by itself.
I buy walmart's brand of dry pasta, cream of whatever, shredded cheese, milk, and basic medicines. But I had a lot of problems trying to get the generic of a blood thinner to work (I was all over the place), but once I just moved to the brand name of coumadin, everything settled out right. My aunt works at a cardiologist's office and said that is a common problem for her patients, so even though most medicines are just fine as generic, occasionally, you need the real thing. I buy large packs of chicken or beef and put a pound each in smaller generic ziplock, bags, then put the small bags in one big brand name ziplock freezer bag. (I want the meat separated and don't think that's a brand name kind of job, but don't want anything to leak or get freezer burn, hence the gallon size bag to store the smaller ones in. I put like 4 qt size bags in 1 gallon). I like my brands for papertowels, toilet paper, toothpaste, poptarts (the others burn, or crumble), peanutbutter, and ketchup. And our laundry detergent: it's cheap, but we use that same brand all the time because it's one we know won't cause a rash on my neck (I'm "sensitive", lol....Tide makes me look like I have hickies!)
It's pretty hard for me to get offended, but.....I don't think I'd like someone saying I was advertising that I myself am cheap. She may be a cow, or maybe she was just giving her weird version of friendly advice like you said, who knows? But we live very well, don't do without anything we really need, we're not in debt to anything but our house, but...yeah, I use coupons and generic. And I'm not embarassed about it at all. I guarantee she'd like my cooking even though a lot of it's generic. :P

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on the product. I definitely buy generic a good majority of the time. I buy generic for medicines, napkins, paper towels, sandwich bags, cleaning products, etc. There are some products I simply cannot buy generic. My child has very sensitive skin, so I have to buy name brand laundry detergent, body wash, lotions, etc. I also mix up our generic versus name brand food choices. Although similar, there are some generic food brands that my family and I don't like the taste of, for example ketchup, mustard, soda, and certain cereals. I certainly do not agree with your neighbor, but I would be lying if I said I bought generic 100% of the time. I think it's all about balance and budgeting. I am an avid coupon clipper, and oftentimes, I can get name brand items (like Pampers diapers on Amazon Mom) for cheaper than generic in stores.

1 mom found this helpful

It varies depending on the items. Household cleaners - Generic and brand, but mostly generic!

Personal care items (soap, dish detergent, lotion, etc.) and food I prefer brand items - they're more effective/last longer b/c I don't have to use as much to get the results I want. The food taste better. In my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes I agree with you and the other mommas on here! We buy a fair amount of generic stuff, but it depends. I think you just have to experiment and find out what you like and don't like. Almost every generic I've bought at Target I really like. Their food brand (Archer Farms) is also very good and high quality stuff. I won't buy generic Ritz or Cheerios b/c I really do like the "real" stuff better on those, but I do buy generic oatmeal, pastas, soups, whatever. Do some experimenting and find out what works for you! Ignore your friend, she's just hasn't seen the light yet!

1 mom found this helpful

I buy whatever works. Sometimes it has to be generic and sometimes name brand. If I can't tell the difference between products then I will go store brand.

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Many have stated this so this is just a repeat but we now buy many generic items but as many have also stated it depends on what it is. Diapers we buy a name brand because we have tried them all and this is the brand we like. Baby Wipe, Baby Powder we also buy the Target brand and are fine with it. Detergent we have switched to a lower end brand and have been happy. We also buy the Target Brand of Cleaning Wipes, baggies, napkins etc. Certain products I wont skimp on but others I will. I think everyone is trying to save a little in this economy no matter how much money you make. I think you just have to try a generic brand and if you like it great, if you don't then you know that maybe you should stick with your name brand. Nothing against your friend but you really aren't buying "cheap" stuff so to speak. You are still giving your family what they need no matter the price :)

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Completely depends on what I'm buying. Things like Tylenol I buy the generic as it's almost always cheaper. By law they have to be exactly the same as the name brand as far as the the content of the active drugs. The only things that can vary are inactive ingredients such as colors, flavors, dyes..that type of thing. I also buy generic rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and as you have mentioned, saline solution. These are regulated by the FDA and have to be the same. There is no "cheaping out". I only have a couple medical things I buy a certain brand because they work better, I only buy Q-tip brand cotton swabs not generic for instance.
Food..this one I'm picky about. Some just taste different from the one I like so I don't buy it generic, I buy the brand I like.
We use Costco brand diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent.
A large amount of generics are in fact made by the same companies as the name brand. You can find their names in the fine print all the time. Your neighbor is wrong in saying it is not the same.
I don't feel like I'm advertising that I'm "cheap". I see it as I can think of a lot better things I could spend the difference in price on then a pretty little label that ends up in the trash bin in the end.

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Not usually. Why? Because name brands are cheaper!

I do buy store brand milk because it is cheaper and it comes from the same dairy farm as the name brand milk (I contacted them and talked to someone about it). Same with butter, sugar, etc. I do think there is a difference in freshness of most spices, so I tend to go name brand there.

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It just depends on what the item is.
For instance I am not a huge Mayo fan....but when I do buy it it has to be best foods, not generic. When I buy ketchup I buy whatever is on sale or generic or whatever.
Same with laundry detergent, I refuse to buy anything else but Tide (just my preference). I recently have been buying Great Value (walmart generic) resealable plastic bags, and to me there are just as good as Ziploc and half the price.
I can tell you the Target brand worked great for my head cold recently, and I couldn't believe how cheap it was.
Those are just a few examples of what I buy. If I buy generic and it works for me, then I will continue to buy it. I don't think it's being "cheap" at all, I think it's being smart so you can apply your money elsewhere.

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I don't generally by generic food items. I can often taste a difference, but you may want to buy them to see if you notice a difference. I buy generic Tylenol and when my son was using formula we used the Target formula. I also use the Target saline solution.

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I like generic brands... sometimes even more than the store brands! I've really tried a bit of all the generic/store brands (and every store brand is different from the next), and I've found some things that I prefer the brand names of like Band Aids, Cheerios and Carefree pantiliners. And the store brands I like better are Acme frozen pizza (HATE Elios! and I don't care for Giant's version because it tastes like Elios), and Acme brand Frosted Flakes. I also like the Malt-o-Meal Tootie Fruities cereal better than Fruit Loops. I also love Targets brand stuff. I've found it to be really good. I buy their baby laundry detergent over Dreft and save around $10 doing so. It works the same but it's a little less 'perfumey'. Personally I think people who won't give generic brands a try are telling the world that they like to piss away money! :)

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I buy both.

I agree that lots of times you can actually buy name-brand for (much) cheaper than store brands when utilizing coupons and matching them with sale prices. Target is especially awesome because they have their own store coupons. You can use 1 store coupon and 1 manufacturer's coupon per item. Do this on top of a sale price and WOW! Their store coupons can be found thru a link on their homepage.

Check out www.thekrazycouponlady.com, www.thefrugalgirls.com, www.mommyluvs2save.com. and www.thriftyandthriving.com.

Also, consider utilizing coupon clipping services. You can purchase multiple identical coupons from these services. For instance, I have a 7 month old baby that eats ready-to-feed Similac. There was a $5 off of 2 jugs coupon in the Sunday paper recently. I ordered 50 of these coupons for a grand total of $11.14. You do the math - it saved me $238.86. NICE!

As far as what I buy generic and what I buy name brand - I pay close attention to ingredients and the order they are in when buying food. If it's the same ingredients in the same order then I will try it and 99% of the time you can't tell a difference. If ingredients are different, or are the same but in a different order, I use my judgement. When it comes to medicines I pay close attention to both active AND inactive ingredients. Just because an ingredient is inactive doesn't mean it can't affect you. When it comes to my babies, if the active AND inactive ingredients are not identical in both type and percentages I buy the name brand since the name brand is what has been tested. When it comes to myself and my husband I use my best judgement.

The most important thing to remember is that all store-brand products (at least all that I have seen) have a money-back guarantee. Just keep your receipt, the boxes and packaging, and any left-over product and you can return it to the store for a refund. I have done this a few times. They look at you kind of crazy, but I don't care.

You aren't cheap. You're neighbor is just huffy and - dare I say - stupid! lol

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I'll buy the generic brand on any item, and give it a try. I'll also try the off-brand labels, as well. We don't offer name-brand soda in our house, except for my FIL who won't drink it if it's off-brand/generic. (I know all the different generic/store brands of Diet Mt. Dew, thanks to DH's addiction, I mean, preference, LOL!).

I've had very few bad experiences with generics; I've bought the Target brand diapers and generic OTC medicines, etc. I've bought generic spaghetti sauce, unsweetened applesauce, dishwasher soap, cheese, lunch meat (Kroger has good lunch meat, deli cheese & and frozen veggies!), shampoo, etc., and been pretty happy with all of it. I did buy a generic can of canned salmon, that had tons of fish bones in it, but I can't honestly say if it was worse that the "brand name" because that was the first & only time I'd bought it (for a recipe I wanted to try) and I was pretty grossed out by that, that I'll never buy canned salmon again--but I treated that as a fluke.

I think that generics now are probably not what they were 20 or 30 years ago. And yes, there is some difference--you can taste the difference between Coke, Pepsi, and the store-brand cola, but frankly we don't mind. I do like my Diet A&W root beer, but only splurge on that maybe once very 2 months, and buy the store brand diet root beer the rest of the time.

And it definitely saves me money. I frankly don't use a coupon, except maybe 2 or 3 times per year, since buying generics is much cheaper, even with using a coupon for the brand name (unless its a super sale, or you're into "super couponing" which I dont have time or energy for! :).

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I agree with everyone on here that on most things generic is great, I have a few things I get name brand. Like mac n cheese, kraft all the way baby. Those cleaning wipes, clorox or lysol, the generic brands stink. I could go on, but you get the point. But really at the end of the day tons of stuff is the same, I mean bleach is bleach, saline is saline, there just isn't a noticeable difference except price. My husband laughs at me bc he looks in the cupboard and sees all this Great Value stuff and calls me a cheapie, in jest :D But we love to see more money in the bank and less on the shelves especially with the crazy cost of groceries these days! I think your friend is a grocery snob, we all have our things I guess! My husband calls me a house snob bc now that I have had a house going back to an apartment is like beyond out of the question! But I grew up in them all my life and I just LOVE my house! Of course I would never call anyone who lived in an apartment cheap, I think your neighbor was overboard there!

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I do a little of both. I have found that somethings the name brand is better ( taste, texture what ever) and the same goes for some of the store brand stuff. I do buy "store" brands of things like garbage bags, food storage bags, batteries stuff like that. I am picky about things like toilet paper and other hygene products so I buy what I like in those.
I will often give the generic a try and if we (DH and I) both lik it then I will buy it again. We also will buy the Walgreens or Target brand over the counter meds. Hubby is a RN ( even consulted with the Dr's he works with) and yes they are just as good and effective as the name brands. In fact the generics were not included in the recalls of Childrens Tylenol or Zyrtec.
So try them if you like them buy them if not don't. Trying to save money does not make you "cheap". We are all trying to save where we can.
Good luck.

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I agree with some of the Mom's that said it just depends upon the product. I can tell you that most things are basically the same ...especially otc medicines...vitamins...things like that are governed by the fda and have to meet certain standards.
Canned fruits, veggies, the generic is basically the same as the brand name ( with the exception of Creamed Corn...generic is more cream and no corn..lol). I think most cleaning home cleaning products are comparable whether they are generic or brand name.
I would just give things a try...buy one and see what you think. The only difference is if the brand is on sale and I have a great coupon...I go for the brand if it ends up being cheaper than generic.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy generic whenever I can without compromising quality. there are a lot out there that are good! My family does get on my case because I'll buy generic ketchup!! Oh well, I do my best to save a buck...However, I am not unrealistic...buy brand name if possible but will stick to generic to save money.

Updated

I buy generic whenever I can without compromising quality. there are a lot out there that are good! My family does get on my case because I'll buy generic ketchup!! Oh well, I do my best to save a buck...However, I am not unrealistic...buy brand name if possible but will stick to generic to save money.

1 mom found this helpful

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