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Save More Money by Buying Off Brand vs Name Brand Groceries--Budget Shopping for Generic Brand Food.

Updated on January 31, 2015

Most off-brands are as good as name brands!

I've been known to break out into a cold sweat when going through the check out lane...wondering what the amount of the bill would be. But I have learned through the years, through trial and error, that there are many groceries you can buy for much less, IF you stay away from the name brand items.

I know that some people say that the off-brand items don't have the same quality as name brands...I think that notion comes from way back when the generic items first hit the shelves, remember those? I can remember seeing all these items that came in plain containers--usually white or yellow, with black print. Nothing on the box or can accept what the item was, such as "CORN" "GREEN BEANS", "MACARONI AND CHEESE", "COFFEE", and even "BEER". And, admittedly, the quality of these products were not always very good--so the off-brands didn't get off to a good start.

But, it's different now--Whether it's a store brand, or from a company you've never heard from before, most off-brand groceries are just as good as the name brand that costs double, or sometimes, triple, the cost.

Around our area, the main places to grocery shop are Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Aldi. For the majority of our groceries, I prefer Aldi--it's a chain of grocery stores that sell almost all off-brand foods. For the items that they don't sell--we go to Kroger or Wal-Mart, because they have their own brands of items, also. Wal-Mart has improved their line of off-brand groceries, to the point that most of the items we buy there are their "Great Value" brand.

Now, my husband Tom and I raised three kids on a tight budget, but I always tried to make sure that the food they ate was good tasting, so if I tried an off-brand item and we didn't like it, then I wouldn't get it again. But, believe me, there have been very few things that we didn't like.

What to find at Aldi--Foods at great prices!

At Aldi, they have fresh produce that equals anything you can get at a regular supermarket. They don't have as big of a selection, but they do have the usual kind that I ordinarily buy. And I always buy staples there...milk, eggs, margarine, flour, white and brown sugar, powdered sugar--I mean, can you really tell a difference in most of these items anyway? So why pay so much more for a name brand of these things, when you can get them so much cheaper off-brand?

Same goes for cheeses--bars or shredded, or cream cheese...I have never been disappointed in the quality of the off-brand packages of cheese. Or of their bags of salad mix--the lettuce in these are always fresh looking and taste good! They have a really good frozen meat section, where I stock up on chicken breasts, wings, drumsticks, and also ground beef. They also have a fresh meat section, where we bought the best pork loin we'd ever tasted.

Aldi has plenty of prepared food in boxes or in the freezer section, too, for those of you who like it. I don't buy a lot of it, but I have tried their boxed pizza mix, which is just like the Chef-Boy-R-Dee boxed mix, but a couple of dollars cheaper. We actually thought it tasted better than the name brand...

And if you like snacks like chips, pretzels, corn chips, things like that, they offer those, too. If you like Doritos, you can buy the Aldi version, made by Clancy's. We bought a bag not too long ago, and Tom liked them better than the Doritos he'd had in the past--he said they were much more flavorful. Same for the pretzels and corn chips, but we weren't quite as satisfied with the potato chips--but we're a little pickier when it comes to them...our favorite brand is Lays, and, to us, there's just no beating them!

I could go on and on about buying off-brand foods, but I think by now it's pretty clear how I feel about them. Like I said, there are some items that aren't quite as good as name brand items, but since everyone's tastes are different, I hesitate to say specific items. We may not care for them, but someone else could love them!

So, if you're looking to save some money, consider trying off-brand groceries. Start off with a few to see what you think, then try a few more the next week. Even if you don't have a place like Aldi, most supermarkets carry their own brand of foods--give them a try--you may be pleasantly surprised at the quality...and the amount of money you can save!


Just out of curiosity...

What do you think of Off-Brand Foods?

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