5 store-brand items to skip
Store brands may be cheaper than brand names, but they don't always offer a better value.
This post comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.
Nearly 40% of shoppers purchased more store-brand items in the past year, according to a new survey from research firm Accenture. Two-thirds of shoppers say half of what they buy carries a store-brand label.
The main reason: The prices beat those of the big brand names. In most cases, consumers aren't sacrificing taste, either, because the same big brand producing say, canned veggies, is also responsible for packaging the store's line. "Quality has really gone up," says Jill Cataldo, the founder of Super Couponing workshops.
Stephanie Nelson, the founder of CouponMom.com, agrees. "Some stores actually have several tiers of private labels," including gourmet and organic products, she says.
But in some cases, consumers are better off sticking with the brand names they know and love, experts say. Those trying out store brands should "start small," Cataldo says. "Buy one, not 12, to make sure you like it." (Post continues below video.)
Here are five product categories that may warrant caution:
Store-brand paper towels, paper plates and other goods can be of varying quality. The toilet paper rolls are often smaller and lighter, says Teri Gault, the founder of price-tracking site The Grocery Game. Plates might be flimsier, and towels and tissues may be less absorbent, meaning you'll need to use more than you might with a brand name, negating savings.
Consumers tend to prefer brand-name laundry detergent and other cleaning products, Nelson says. The risk: Store brands are often not as effective, she says.
Store-brand items might not be cheaper after all. "The right coupon and sale combo is key," Cataldo says. "I still do better, on the whole, buying national brand instead of house brand." That combination beats even low store-brand prices. Some stores do offer coupons on their own brands, too, so be sure to compare prices regularly, she says.
Macaroni and cheese
Boxed macaroni and cheese is one of the few categories where shoppers across the board tend to be brand-loyal, says Nelson. "It's Kraft all the way," she says. Gault says complaints she has heard fault store brands for being "too orange," and not that cheesy.
Some parents love store-brand diapers, Nelson says, but others complain of leaks. Retailers and manufacturers market heavily to new parents with coupons and loyalty rewards, too, so buying store-brand diapers may not be the cheaper option.
More from SmartMoney and MSN Money:
13 of the first 17 responses where SPAM
MSN is getting crappier by the day
either someone isn't paying attention to the site or they are getting paid to much to avoid
Click on the word SPAM to collapse these friggin "life is so lonely" ads and to send a report. It might not do any good, but we got nothing to lose. Maybe MSNBC will get tired of all these reports clogging up the system and finally boot these idiots out of here.
I search out every spam ad on every page of every article i go to and report them. If that doesn't work after a few weeks, i'll start sending emails to MSNBC.
Guess it's illegal to shoot the posters, darn it.
things i wont buy in generic are
Cream Cheese (Philadelphia only)
Mayonasie (Hellmans only)
Th Kroger brand is probably one of the better house brands available. No, I would not recommend toilet paper or cleaners which are cheaper at WalMart, but canned, or frozen fruits and veggies are good quality products.
The off-brand window cleaners available at most dollar stores are every bit as good as Windex.
Dollar stores can also match WalMart for the quality of plastic forks, etc as long as you are only needing a few.
If you are in Southern California, the baked goods such as sliced bread, doughnuts, etc at Stater Bros are baked by Wonder and the leftovers show up at the Hostess/Wonder Thriftstores.
Depends on the store brand - Kirkland which is Costco's TP is one of their highest selling items. I buy a lot of store brands meaning like Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertson, Thriftway and many others there is little difference anymore. I do have to admit if you're going to settle for a mac & cheese from the box Kraft is the only way to go but then I prefer the quality of made from scratch. This article sounds more like someone is getting paid to market name brands than any actual beneficial information. Something’s are still best if they are brand name but I have found over the last 3 or 4 years most store brands and brand names products very little in quality. Besides the pain in my pocket book usually out ways the difference my taste buds can detect.
But seriously...Aluminum Foil ... Got to stay w/ Reynolds ... All store brand blow
I wouldn't buy ANYTHING from Walmart. I won't even walk into a Walmart. ALL the ones that I've been in are filthy and the people shopping in them are scary!!
When my boys were still in diapers (over 13 years ago, at least), the Wal-Mart brand diapers were just as good as Pampers and a whole lot cheaper even with coupons. Don't know about now, but I never had a problem with them then.
and I TOTALLY agree about all the Spam. We, who have lives, don't care if you're lonely and searching - go to church or the grocery store or even the library instead of sitting in front of a computer waiting for someone to email you.....
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