Generics Save Money, But These 5 Name Brand Items are Worth the Higher Price

Generic groceries are great. They are low-cost and, in most, but not all, cases, just as good as their name-brand counterparts. Here are the top five things you shouldn’t skimp on at the grocery store. 

What Are Generic Foods?

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Generic groceries are store-brand items shelved right next to the name brand. Walmart has its own Great Value brand of many things, which are generally cheaper than the name-brand alternatives. Most grocery stores also have store brand offerings designed to offer shoppers more affordable options. 

These generic grocery items are cheaper than their name-brand alternatives, and in most cases, they are just as good. 

Generic groceries aren’t just limited to food. The word “groceries” encompasses household items like cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and anything else you stock up on at the grocery store. 

Here are the top five generic products to avoid at all costs!

Toilet Paper

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Have you been to those chain stores that fill their stalls with the cheapest industrial toilet paper imaginable? It’s single-ply, thin, scratchy, and a hassle to use.  No one would want that in their own homes. 

Generic toilet paper is never the answer. Pay the premium for a soft, durable brand that gets the job done. 


pickles in a bowl on a table
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not all pickles are created equal. You can find reasonably cheap pickles in the canned fruit aisle or on some non-perishable shelf, but these offerings are not the answer. 

I had an ex-boyfriend question my pickle-choosing skills. He said we could get a massive jar of pickles for about the same price as my favorite brand, and we’d have tons more pickles. 

But does it matter if you have twice the amount of pickles if they aren’t as good? He thought I was stubborn and that all pickles were created equal. 

So, we got both, and I told him that he could do a taste test and tell me if I was just being stubborn, but other than that, he had to eat the big jar and couldn’t have my name-brand ones. 

We never bought the big jar of pickles again. 

Head to the deli aisle and grab the Kosher Dill pickles in the refrigerated section. You’re welcome. 


bowl of potato chips on a table with spilled chips next to it
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There’s something immensely satisfying about the salty crunch of a potato chip. There are so many flavors and varieties, each pairing well with different meals. Consider eating Flaming Hot Cheetos with your bagel and cream cheese and choosing sour cream & onion with your roast beef sandwich. 

There’s a perfect chip for every occasion. 

But store-brand chips just taste a little off. They are either too crunchy, too salty, or too something. They just don’t have that special little something present in name-brand chips.

 And oddly enough, this applies to all the different types of chips. Doritos, Lays, Cheetos, etc., are far better than any generic brands. I don’t know why, but I just can’t enjoy generic chips. 


smiling woman squeezing toothpaste onto a toothbrush
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Aim toothpaste is dirt cheap and the worst thing you can put in your mouth. It’s disgusting. Close-up is cheap too, but the cinnamon flavor is so strong that it tastes like burning. 

I have sensitive teeth, and the only thing that helps is Sensodyne. It’s way more expensive (almost six dollars a freaking tube!), but it does help my teeth not to hurt. 

Colgate and Crest are great brands if you don’t have sensitive teeth. I’ve even used Colgate’s sensitive teeth formula when I desperately needed to save on groceries, and although it’s not as good as Sensodyne, it’s better than spending six bucks on a tube, and it works in a pinch. 

Laundry Detergent

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I only buy Tide liquid laundry detergent. It smells good, and it works well to keep my clothes clean. I hate powdery options, as they often leave a crusty powder trail on freshly washed clothing. 

I haven’t tried a lot of generic laundry detergent, but I like it when my clothes smell like Tide, so I don’t think I will change brands on this soon.

Lunch Meat

Turkey sandwich on wheat bread cut in half.
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Sure the $2 pre-packaged lunch meat sounds appealing and will fill you up in a bind, but it’s full of salty preservatives and doesn’t taste very good. Pay extra for the stuff at the deli counter for better quality sandwiches.

Most Generics Are Great

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Most generic groceries are just as good as their name brand counterparts. Opting for the generic option can save you loads of money at the grocery store, and it’s well worth experimenting with different brands to see what works best for you. 

But keep in mind, not all generics are equal to their name brand counterparts, and sometimes paying the extra money is well worth it. 

Your Ultimate Inflation Busting Grocery List

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Need help saving money at the grocery store? Check out our ultimate inflation-busting grocery list

Can You Eat on $20 per Month?

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Food is expensive. The poorest among us may have very limited food budgets, so we did a thought experiment to see if it’s possible for someone to eat with only $20 per month. See how we’d stretch out food budgets if we had limited funds. 

Read it Here: How To Eat on $20 per Month 

 Best Frugal Food Hacks to Spice Up the Cheapest Meals

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Store-bought mac & cheese, top ramen, and canned foods are some of the cheapest meals you can get. However, they aren’t very tasty. 

Here are some hacks that can help these cheap staples become meals fit for kings!

Foods You Must Eat in One Sitting

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Leftovers are essential for maximing your grocery budget, but not all foods make worthy leftovers. Find out which foods you should never save for letter!

18 Cheap Meal Ideas

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Grocery lists and tips aren’t helpful if you don’t know what to cook. Here’s some kitchen inspiration, offering low-cost ideas for every meal. 

Read it here: 18 Cheap Meal Ideas to Help You Eat Well for Less