We all know that buying store brand products can be a great way to save money. Sometimes, though, store brands are, well, let’s say only a shadow of the brand products we know and love. But there are plenty of items that are a good value. Here’s our list of products that experts recommend to buy store brand versions. You’ll get the same – or nearly the same quality – for a much lower price.
For plain old table salt, store brand is the way to go. I mean, just pick up a container of each and look at the ingredients. Yes…both just plain old salt. No reason here to pay for packaging.
Store brand milk is in no way inferior to name brand versions. It’s not like they allow for a little more bacteria…or “forget” to pasteurize. If there’s any difference it might be something like mild variations in fat content. Not a big deal.
For white, granulated sugar or even brown sugar, the store brand is the way to go. Some people claim they can tell a difference but really…there is none unless one is cane sugar and the other is beet or a blend. If you have a preference, check the label.
While you won’t find the variety of store brand flours that some of the name brands have, for “matching” flour types, the store brand is the better value.
If there’s any difference between store and name brand veggies, it’s the salt content. Many times (though not always) the salt content is lower in store brands. And that’s a good thing.
You may find more stems in store brand broccoli than florets, but for most other types of vegetables, there is no difference. You’re just not likely to find that specialty vegetable mix in a store brand.
Let’s face it. Most bottle water is just plain old water – not from remote mountain springs or pristine lakes. What you will notice in store brand water is a flimsier bottle. Hey – it still works (and don’t forget to recycle it.)
Chlorine bleach is made from hypochlorite mixed with a lot of water. Some name brands may add other ingredients to make it smell better but it’s still the same old caustic, color removing liquid.
Some claim that store brand aluminum foil is thinner than name brand. And in some cases, that may be true. But even if you have to double up sometimes, the cost difference between name and store brand foil is usually pretty significant.
Most store brand breads are made by the same name brand manufacturers sitting next to them in the bread aisle! Again, variety may be limited, but nutritionally and taste wise, there’s little difference.
The trick with store brand pain relievers is knowing the brand name counterparts. Tylenol is the brand name for acetaminophen. Advil is a name brand for Ibuprofen. In fact, many store brands will put “same ingredients as in…” to let you know. And if you look at the ingredient list, you’ll usually see an exact match.
Like pain relievers, you’re likely to find a store brand version of every major antacid be it chewable tablet, liquid or pill form. Besides any tip on the packaging naming the brand version, read the ingredients to find an always cheaper store brand match.
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