Pssst: Sometimes store brands are just as tasty (and they're cheaper)!

Browse any grocery aisle, endcap display, dairy case and frozen food section and you'll find them: Store brands and generics are more sought after than ever.

Even if there was no recession and gas prices hadn't gone north of $4/gallon, perhaps fans of store brands know something you don't --- foodstuffs taste just as good, if not better, and non-foodstuffs are also less expensive and their quality is on-par with name-brand items. A piece in USA Today notes that smart shoppers aggressively seek out store brands and grocery chains like Kroger, Supervalu and Safeway are experiencing a surge in sales of items ranging from canned goods to paper towels and toilet paper.

Price is one thing, but what about taste? As a discriminating, yet dedicated store brand shopper, I've been on the side of the store brand for some time now. What's good? Well, it's a matter of individual taste and preference, to be sure. For my part, I enjoy store brand plain, non-fat yogurt. You can add blueberries, peaces, granola and other stuff to it and it's a great breakfast, as well as a base for dressings. A 32-ounce container of Axelrod's Plain, Non-Fat, Easy Dieter yogurt is $2.89 at my local Fine Fair and Pathmark. Stonyfield Farm, Dannon and other name brands can be as high as $4.89. Ouch.If you shop regularly at Costco, Sam's Club, National Wholesale Liquidators, then you know how to buy in bulk. There are often great deals at these places on food, especially if you have a family or are throwing a party. That said, here's my list of store brand stuffs that are just as good in taste and quality. Try 'em and see:
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Cheeses
  • Canned and frozen vegetables
  • Bags of Frozen pasta (ravioli, etc.)
  • Pasta, noodles, rice
  • Coffee (pre-ground, whole bean and canned)
  • Basic, mostly unsugared cereals: Shredded wheat, Wheaties and Cheerio-like cereals
  • Pickles, olives, peppers
  • Crackers and Graham Crackers
  • Poultry and Beef
  • Paper towels, toilet paper, napkins


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