Name Brand or Generic? 10 Items Where It Pays to Pick Right

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By Trent Hamm

It's a decision you face dozens of times shopping for groceries and household necessities: Should you buy the generic or the name-brand item?

On the one hand, the branded version has a name you recognize and, in theory, higher standards. On the other hand, the generic version is cheaper and nearly identical.

Naturally, if you find products for which the generic works just as well as the name brand (or better), it can be an easy way to save money. The problem is that this requires trial and error and sometimes results in the purchase of generic items that just don't work out.

Over the years, I've discovered a number of generic products that work really well -- and a number that aren't quite so good. Here are a few tips that can save you both money and a headache on your next shopping trip.


Trent Hamm is the founder of the personal finance website TheSimpleDollar.com, which provides consumers with resources and tools to make informed financial decisions.


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petpetdon

This article was a waste of time.

August 07 2014 at 3:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
teabuster2

I have always bought generics, and I've never been disappointed.

August 06 2014 at 6:42 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to teabuster2's comment
beth_brock

Many are of poor quality. You seem to like poor quality, Evan.

August 06 2014 at 10:00 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
clyogi

I have tried generic equivalents for Cheerios. The taste of the real thing is so far superior to the generics.
I have also attempted to buy generics for prescription medications. While I have no doubt that the product is just as good, the savings for the generic for Micardis was a whopping $3 for a three month supply, and in the case of the generic for Lovaza, the generic was substantially for expensive than the brand. So much for those letters from Medicare advising me to buy generics as a way to say money.

August 06 2014 at 8:54 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply