5 Days to Christmas

Why Buy Brand Names

277/365: necessities & frivolities
Image by mod as hell via Flickr

A lot of people assume you have to buy generic groceries to save money. You may have noticed from the weekly lists that Inexpensively has a different philosophy. We get a lot of questions about why. The truth is, when you shop smart and use coupons, brand names typically end up cheaper than generic products.

For example, if a box of cereal regularly costs $2.89 and the generic version is priced at $2.29 you might think it would be better to buy the generic cereal. However, national brands actually offer the stores incentives to advertise their products at a discount. That brand name box of cereal may now cost $2.00 on sale. If the national brand on sale also provides a coupon, you can see how it would end up remarkably cheaper than the generic imitation.

On the other hand, store brand sales can be a great way to pick up foods that are running low or that don’t typically have coupons. When you are in need of groceries between sales, there is often very little difference between store brand and name brand products. In fact, name brand companies actually manufacture several store brand products.

There are a few exceptions where it would be a waste of money to buy the cheaper generic food. If you have tried something and It didn’t go over well, the generic food would not get eaten the second time around. The lower price doesn’t matter if you are going to throw it out. There may be some trial and error involved, but you can learn to compare prices as well as value in determining whether to buy generic or name brand products.