1. Pantry Items
According to US News: Speaking of pantry staples, the items you always have on hand for your baking, seasoning and household cleaning needs usually consist of only a handful of simple ingredients. That means essentials such as flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, condiments and spices won’t vary much between brands and you can stick with generic versions to save money.
2. Refrigerated Beverages
According to the Krazy coupon Lady: For most refrigerated beverages like orange juice, you’re actually better off with store brands. Because they’re produced regionally, there’s usually less processing and transportation involved than with national brands, which impacts freshness. Our test subjects picked Market Pantry OJ over simply orange 54% of the time.
3. Costco Liquor
The Huffington Post had this to say about Costco Liquor: Store-brand spirits conjure up images of unrecognizable labels, bitter aftertastes and flimsy plastic packaging compared to other prestigious distilleries. But the alcohol sold by warehouse shopping clubs like Costco (under its Kirkland Signature label) is actually manufactured by some of the same top-shelf brand names. Kirkland vodka is made by Grey Goose, its bourbon by Jim Beam and its scotch by Macallan 18. The Costco versions come at better size/value ratio, at a fraction of the cost. For example:
Kirkland Signature vodka (1.75L): $30
Grey Goose vodka: $68 for 1.75 L; $35 for 750 mL
4. Walgreen’s Razors
According to the Huffington Post: Skipping a day or two of shaving here and there doesn’t make it easier to deal with the fact that razor blades from big names like Gillette or Schick are expensive. I discovered that the replaceable blades manufactured under Walgreens’ house brand, Studio 35, are just as sharp, last as long and come at a significantly cheaper price. (At one point, I did a shave-by-shave comparison to test this theory).
Walgreens twin-blade cartridges (10 count): $8.79; Gillette Trac II version (10 count): $17.49
Walgreens triple-blade cartridges (8 count): $10.99; Gillette Mach3 version (8 count): $15.25
Walgreens five-blade razor: $5.99; Gillette Fusion razor: $14.29
5. Store Brand Ketchup
The Krazy Coupon Lady did a blind tasting with her friends: Store brand ketchup manufacturers are getting close to cracking the secret Heinz formula. Consumer Reports made staffers who regularly purchased Heinz ketchup do a blind taste comparison with a store-brand alternative; more than 40 percent preferred the store brand. Oh, snap.
Our tasters were fooled as well! The most noticeable difference was in color–Heinz is a deeper red. We were all shocked at how similar the two ketchups tasted!
Michaela at The Kitchn has this to say about fresh meats: Almost every major grocery store today offers generic meat. Sounds questionable, but it’s really usually very comparable. Generally, I’ve never noticed a difference, unless I’m specifically looking for hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, which are always name brand.
7. Canned Food
WITF Canned foods have had some negative reviews in the past for higher sodium and high fructose syrup and preservative content. Yet, not all canned foods are created equal. Just like brand name canned fruits, vegetables and beans, the store brand cans also come in lower sodium and with less syrup for a lower price.
8. Pain Relievers
According to U.S. News: In this category, you can find a dramatic price difference between name brand and store brand over-the-counter pain relievers. While that might alarm you into thinking a generic pain reliever is of lower quality, the FDA actually requires that these medications have the same ingredients and safety measures as the brand name versions. So don’t hesitate to reach for the generic option next time you need pain relief.
9. Paper Products
Adrienne at Witf has this to say about disposable products: So, you may not want to go generic with your toilet paper, but as far as paper plates and napkins are concerned, why not? Spend less on disposable products, especially if you intend to use them once. Try to go for recyclable varieties when available – you’ll save the environment and the green in your pocket.
10. Great Value Ice Cream vs Breyers
Here is what the Krazy Coupon Lady had to say: The price gap between these two products is wide. Compare $1.98 to $3.98! Whoa! I have to call this last taste test a draw, because while nearly 60% of our testers preferred Breyers, that means almost half of them were fooled, and with a 100% price markup, I think this savings is worth considering.