Nov 25

Best Buy Generic or House Brands of Common Household Products

Buying generic or house brands are a “Win-Win” in many situations.  These are the “no name” or [insert store name] brands of products that normally sit right beside major brand name products.  You win by saving money, the retailer wins by making more money at the same time.  Here are some products that you should always buy generic versions of if you want to save money:

White Vinegar

White vinegar is acetic acid and water.  You can’t go wrong buying generic or house brands here.  I challenge anyone on the planet to taste test any brand in the world and tell me that there is any difference whatsoever – except for the price.  A major brand name white vinegar costs significantly more than a generic or house brand white vinegar.  Do yourself a favour and buy generic.  This is a no-brainer in my view. White vinegar is also an outstanding overall household disinfectant and cleaner, so save yourself a bundle on cleaning supplies at the same time.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.  Arm and Hammer is chemically no different from Froogalism Brand baking soda.  Save yourself a wee bit and unclog your drain at the same time.  Brand names lose out here.  Generics are the clear winner.

Bottled Water

Not sure why you would buy bottled water in the first place, but if you do (for whatever reason), keep in mind that your bottled water could very well come from the exact same source as that brand name water that you may be tempted to pay twice as much for.  Ask your self why?

Yellow Mustard

Everyday standard mustard is made from water, mustard seeds, white vinegar, and salt.  No, I am not talking about the fancy mustards here (some of those are actually better than others); I am talking about plain old yellow mustard.  Save yourself almost half off by buying the generic or house brand versions.

Canned Fruit

Canned fruit, is, well just that, canned fruit.  Almost all mainstream (not locally grown) fruit nowadays is sourced from a select group of farms depending on where you live.  Canned fruit was never meant to be a substitute for the real thing (especially if sourced locally and in season).  As such, I am fairly confident that Dole pineapple chunks from the Philippines are sourced pretty closely to the no name or generic brand cans sitting right beside them which are also sourced from the Philippines.  Generic or house brands will invariably save you quite a bit with no sacrifice of quality; be it peaches, pineapple chunks, mandarin orange segments, or pears.

With that being said, there are some brand name products that are wholly superior.  You are falling into the false value trap if you think you are saving money on buying generic frozen vegetables, for example.   Green Giant frozen vegetables are clearly superior in my view, and worth the extra cost (unless you buy them on sale like I do, in which case they are the same price as generic or house brands).

Savings are only a bit to the left or to the right on the grocery shelf.  You sacrifice nothing in quality when buying the generic brand or no name brands of these products, in my view.  Why pay an unnecessary premium for a product that is not superior?

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Frugal dad – focusing my money and energy towards happiness and the things that matter most since around 1985.

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