Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Generic Please...

Did you know that a lot of generic brand merchandise, (also referred to as store brand merchandise), can be at least as good as it's brand name counterpart for a fraction of the price? This week I found out that Walmart has a generic version of Pantene shampoo (Equate). And guess what? It is awesome and is almost HALF the price of Pantene! They will often tell you on the label of generic/store brand items what brand name they are comparable to. I use generic/store brands for:
  • over the counter medicines

  • prescription medicines

  • other toiletry items such as mouth wash, skin care, or beauty items

  • cleaning products

  • sandwhich, storage and trash bags

  • baking ingredients such as sugar, flour, salt and dried herbs or spices

  • lots of other grocery items including lower fat peanut butter, canned fruits, vegetables & soups, pasta, jams, jello's, marinades, juices, drink mixes, refrigerated biscuits, cereal bars and even hot or cold cereal
While some store brands don't taste exactly the same as brand name merchandise, for the most part it's not that they taste bad... they just taste different! In fact some of them taste BETTER. Additionally, did you know that some generics are manufactured by big name brand companies? (Just google "who makes store brands" or something similar to read through some interesting findings.) A lot of what you pay for with brand names is the fancy packaging. You will notice that with generic/store brand items that they don't have the well known cartoon character on the front of the box or the bright, beckoning colors that make them stand out above the rest. They will also often be placed on the higher or lower shelves so that the first things you see are the money making brand name items, shelved right at eye level!

Of course, not all generic/store brand items are interchangeable with the brand name counterpart. Take Coke & Pepsi for example and the store brand cola's. Most people say that you can definitely taste the difference there. But there is much less of a difference with generic orange soda and root beer! Generic brands are definitely experimental. You have to try them to find the ones you like. Some are better than others and it will be up to you and your family as which ones are good enough to be on your shelves and which aren't.

Now you don't get coupons for generic merchandise most of the time, (although sometimes the store will send you coupons through the mail or in their mailers), still, often they can be even cheaper than a brand item that happens to be on sale and has a coupon. Keep an eye out and always compare before you buy. :)

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