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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sticking With Store Brands

One of the easiest ways I am able to stretch our grocery budget and stick to our $350/month limit is to buy store brands. The quality of store brand products has increased so much over the years that my family doesn't even notice a difference. In fact, there have been times when I've purchased major label products because of coupons and they comment that it tastes different, and not always a "good different."

We do not buy many packaged or convenience food items, but what we do is always store brand only. Dairy, grains, and meats are also store brand only. I can't even think of a product that we buy regularly that does not have a store brand equivalent.

I've noticed lately that the store brand labels are starting to expand. There seems to be four common options to store brands: Organic (not much different from premium label organic, at least in my experience), Select (most expensive), Regular (moderately priced) and Value (least expensive). When available, I am always willing to give the value items a shot. If my family likes them we'll stick with that option. If not, I go back to the regular store label.

We do try to incorporate organic food into our diet as much as possible, although it is getting harder and harder with the rising food prices. There are certain items I will only buy organic versions of. I have done a fair amount of research on organic items and have realized that organic junk food is still just junk food.

Needless to say, I carefully weigh all my options when it comes to buying food, both for health and cost reasons. And the store brands definitely work for me!

How have your experiences been with store brands? Do you find that it helps you keep your grocery bills down to buy store brand products?

Find more WFMW over at Shannon's blog.


Land of Lovings said...

So true! I pretty much always buy store brand and am excited to see how often I can get organic items that way. Organic milk? So much cheaper than the brand names and just as good!

Thanks for sharing the tip!

Jennifer said...

I am so excited you started this blog! From reading your other blog I keep wondering how in the world you get the things accomplished that you accomplish. Now maybe I will know! lol

Anything I do not have a coupon for is a store brand. However, my budget is $400 a month, and I have a hard time keeping it down to that price. I am getting better though. The other day when I did my weekly shopping trip I bought $86.40 worth of groceries for $39.58. I was pretty proud of myself.

Frugal Finds said...

I will buy store brand if it is cheaper than name brand after coupons. I even like some store brands better than name brands!