Buying Generic Brands

Does it really pay to bypass big-name brands?

Coupon Queen

Buying Generic Brands

Does it really pay to bypass big-name brands?

-Susan Samtur, Select Coupon Program

coupon walletOne of the most common questions I hear is whether I think buying generic brands versus national brand foods is better.

On first glance, generic items are cheaper, and generally, they’re never promoted or advertised. The packaging is basic and simple. But those are just a product’s outer trappings. The real question is whether the quality the same as its national brand counterpart…

In the many years since I started Supershopping, I have rarely ever bought a generic or store-brand product. Using my family as an experiment, I have made the determination that there is definitely a quality difference. I tried some store-brand tissues when my son had a cold. The tissues blew through each time. I had a similar experience when cleaning with some paper towels. They shredded almost just as soon as they got wet. The cans of tuna fish were darker than the usual brand of solid white I had been buying. And the frozen broccoli had an uneven texture.

But for the cost-conscious consumer, store brands can seem like an easy solution. My system of coupon shopping, store sales and refunds have chopped the price of all my products below any generic brand. My preference is, of course, the national brand, buying when they’re on sale and using a matching coupon.

Let me give you a few examples. Hunt’s Tomato Products were on sale: 4 for $5, or $1.25 per can. I had a coupon for $1 off 4, bringing my cost down to $1 per can. The store brand for the same size was $1.99 or twice the price. Next, Nature’s Own Apple Juice was sale-priced at 2 for $3, or $1.50 per 64 oz. bottle. The store brand was $2.49 per bottle. I saved $2. And last, Angel Soft Toilet Tissue was $1 for the 4-roll pack. With my $1 coupon, my cost was $00. The store brand was $1.99 for the same size.

So, using coupons is a big money-saver. With a little planning, it’s easy to slash your grocery bill by 40 percent to 50 percent. The one area we have complete control of is our purchases at the supermarket, and the savings we achieve is a matter of our own ingenuity, planning and a desire to achieve our savings goals. So join the bandwagon of savings.

Coupon Tip of the Day
$6.50 in Coupons from Eat Better America

Susan J. Samtur is Editor and Chief and Publisher of Refundle Bundle Magazine started in 1973, and founder of Select Coupon Program, a grocery coupons site. Susan is nationally recognized as the “Coupon Queen” and has been featured on Live with Regis, Today, CNN, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America. She is the author of the best-selling book, Cashing In at the Checkout – a million-copy seller, as well as two other books. She has contributed to Family Circle magazine for over twenty-five years and has been featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines articles.

Read more moneysaving grocery tips in Saving with Store-Loyalty Cards and Grocery-Store Revolution

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0 thoughts on “Buying Generic Brands

  1. Generic brands are great for most things, it’s a bit of trial and error with your tastebuds. But I draw the line at buying cheap tea cause only the English kind is the best!

  2. Some generics are worth it; others are not. If you’re not sure about the product, compare labels for content and ingredients.

    For the record, I think Kroger, Target and Publix have great store brands. The ONLY things I’ve been disappointed in were pasta sauce and cream of mushroom soup.

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