My dad likes Skippy peanut butter. He likes only Skippy. My mother has bought Skippy peanut butter forever. Nothing else will do for him. When I began purchasing my own groceries after college I noticed that there were different brand of peanut butter and that some cost less than Skippy, so I tried a store brand. I found it to be good peanut butter and decided to save money and skip the Skippy.
My oldest daughter loves Nutella as a snack. She has tried generic and off brand hazelnut chocolate spread but it is not as good as Nutella in her opinion. Even though she is really careful with her money, as a college student working her way though school by tutoring and teaching soil science labs, she will spend the extra money to buy Nutella or not have anything.
So with all the various brands of items how can we chose??? Is price is the best criteria to chose which brand to buy? I think that price is a good place to start but quality is the next consideration, and personal preference comes next. Which items are you willing to use a generic or store brand and which are you not?
I suggest that staple items are all basically the same, so that is the first place to begin purchasing store brands. Staples would include:
- pasta and rice
- canned vegetables including tomato products
- canned fruits, including applesauce
- oil, vinegar, salt, pepper
- dried and canned beans
Another area to consider store brand is dairy. Most dairy items are basically the same, I mean the cow produces the milk, it is processed, skimmed and bottled. So try store brand milk, sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, and cream.
I think where the most difference comes is in the processed foods and there can be a lot of difference in store brand and name brand. But how much of a difference and is it worth the extra money? I love Cheetos! And I can tell the difference between the name brand and the real thing, but to save over $1/bag, I will take the store brand. And after eating it for a while I am used to it and don’t even notice it is not the real Cheetos. Cereal would fall into this category too. One of my children actually prefers store brand Cheetos and Corn flake cereal to the national brand.
So, what items do you buy store brands and which do you not? Where have you noticed the biggest difference? And have you noticed a difference between different store brands?
Next time: Review of Aldi store brands.