Stop Being Brand Loyal and Save Money!

Three different brands of peanut butter currently in my cupboard- all bought for $1 or less

Do you want to save money?  Then forgetting brand loyalty is a must.  Now don’t hear me wrong, it’s not that I am against name brand products, it is simply that as a general rule, I am against spending extra money on name brand products. Let me explain.

One of the reasons I think that abandoning brand loyalty is important is simply because the similar generic product is almost always just as good as the name brand or at least good enough that you won’t mind the difference. For instance, I virtually never buy name brand cream soups because I can save at least $0.20 to $0.30 per can by buying store brand at Wal-mart or Aldi. And I for one can’t tell any difference- especially since I almost always use them in casseroles and dishes with other ingredients anyway. Same goes for store brand vegetable oil, eggs, butter, sour cream etc.  And the amazing thing is that I have found several generic items that I actually prefer to their name brand counterparts.  One of them is Aldi sour cream which I think is creamier and tastier than Daisy or Breakstone sour cream.

There are some things that I agree just simply aren’t quite as good as the name brand but that I am willing to fudge a bit on the flavor or quality for the sake of cost. Cereal is one of those things. I know that the name brand cereals are usually tastier but not enough that I am willing to spend a considerable amount more on them!

The second reason I think you should generally forget brand loyalty is related to using coupons. Now coupons are pretty much always for name brand products, right? So just what am I getting at here? Well, I am all about getting good deals and if I can get name brand products for the same price or cheaper than off-brand, hurray for me! But here is my point.  If I think I MUST have Skippy brand peanut butter and so I pass over the coupon for Peter Pan brand peanut butter which with the coupon would be cheaper than both the store brand or the Skippy brand well,… then I am essentially wasting money.

Now I’ll be honest here and admit that there are a few things that I do like to use a certain brand of. Kraft mayonnaise happens to be one of them as does Scott toilet paper.   Both of those we just prefer way better than any other brand.  And there are a few recipes, including the ones for my chocolate chip cookies and my pie crust, that take Gold Metal flour and just don’t turn out right without it. So this is where I cut myself some slack and go ahead and become a bit of a brand snob.  But it also means that I keep an eagle eye out sales and coupons on these items so that I can at least get them as inexpensively as possible.

So in short, I am not saying that you should NEVER buy name brand products or even that it’s wrong to have some things that you just LIKE better in a certain brand. My point is to be open minded about using other brands and I think often you’ll find out that you don’t even notice it is an off brand or the brand you don’t typically use. And you can save money in the process…which of course is really the whole point!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Have you found generics that you like better than name brands?  Do you think paying more for brand products is worth the extra cost?  

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  1. by Sarah

    On February 8, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Yes, I’ve also found that off brand toilet paper just isn’t worth it, and Scott is definitely hard to beat! Name brand items are just not a big deal in our household.Oh,I should mention that Manny loves Turkey Hill ice cream so sometimes I splurge on that:)

  2. by Coupon Cutting Mom

    On February 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Excellent article. My household thankfully isn’t very brand loyal:) We love Turkey Hill drinks and ice cream but other ice creams works but not the tea thankfully there are usually good sales and coupons for that. Also for toilet paper I stick to name brand but any kind is fine I just wait until it is at a rock bottom price.
    I always buy Aldi flour but from what you are saying my cookies would be better if I used Gold Medal?? I had googled Aldi flour awhile ago and read interesting things but I have used it in bread, rolls, even soft pretzels and thought they were fine but maybe I should try Gold Medal.
    When others ask about couponing saving money at the grocery store I always stress buying what is the cheapest not being brand loyal. Some people don’t seem to get that and you should hear me going off to my husband about that :) I’m like WHY can’t they understand this simple concept. Sorry I got longwinded on here again.

  3. by Lydia Beiler

    On February 8, 2012 at 8:54 am

    We love Turkey Hill icecream here too and often can get it cheaper than other brands. Sarah, did you know you can call the company and request coupons? They are more than glad to send them out!

    Coupon Cutting Mom, I used to use the Aldi flour too in everything but my cookies and pie crusts. But I got tired of having two kinds of flour to worry with so now I just watch for the GM to go on sale and so far I’ve been able to get it for less than I would pay for the Aldi brand anyway. And I enjoyed your “longwindedness”. :)

  4. by Sarah

    On February 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Yes Lydia, Turkey Hill has sent coupons to me too and I was able to get good deals already! Thanks anyway:)

  5. by Jessi

    On February 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    My biggest issue us that if you look at labels store brands often have way more sodium, fat or sugar in them. So even if they taste the same may be worth spending a little extra money for a healthier product. Broth comes to mind, I looked the other day and the store brand had almost double the sodium of the Campbell’s I usually buy.

  6. by Lydia Beiler

    On February 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Jessi, that is very interesting! Thanks for sharing that. Now you have me wanting to do a comparison on some of the things I purchase. :) I check labels sometimes but not as often as I probably should.

  7. by Courtney

    On February 10, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I definitely agree with everything you have said in this article. It’s fantastic! I have been an avid off-brand person since I was a kid. One item that I don’t typically buy off-brand is Pop-Tarts and peanut butter. I’ve tried several different off-brands and most have been in edible. Thankfully, Pop-Tarts isn’t a must-have item for our family. Peanut butter on the other hand, we’re very brand loyal. I will only buy JIF Natural because it has no high fructose corn syrup and tastes better than any other peanut on the market, IMO. The same with Nature’s Own bread. Thankfully, I’ve been able to find these items at cheaper rates just by doing store comparisons.

    Speaking of store comparisons… It really does pay off to do a little research when it comes to products and where you buy them. My family loves Thomas’ bagels, especially the special holiday ones. Every store around my area sells a bag for $4.69, except Wal-Mart, who only charges $2.69! It’s the same with Yoplait yogurt. Most stores typically charge between $0.70 and $0.79 except Wal-Mart who only charges $0.63. It may not seem like a huge amount to save, especially on yogurt but if you’re like my family, we go through at least 20 cups a week!

    I typically will buy off-brad cereal, especially at Weis, because it’s at least a dollar or more cheaper. With that said, I have in the past few months found some amazing deals combining General Mills coupons and 5/$10 sales at our local grocery store. When this happens, I make sure to stock up. I recently did this and got about 10 boxes of cereal (originally priced between $3-$4.69 per box) for about $14.

  8. by Lydia Beiler

    On February 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Courtney, I didn’t realize that most pb has high fructose corn syrup in. Should have known. :( I agree that sometimes it’s definitely worth spending more for a healthier product!

    You are so right about store comparisons! Your Thomas bagels price difference is amazing though. That’s a huge difference. But even if it is only $0.20 on each item it does make a difference. I’m planning to do a post on that whole subject in the future.

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