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November 2010



when it’s ok to buy generic vs name brand

I do not have the same aversion that some people do when it comes to using generic products. I have noticed with shampoos and some soaps….it’s been ok….sometimes with food it is hit or miss. It’s always worth a try though considering the money you could save! The free shipping blog rounds out a list of products and tells you when it’s ok to buy generic vs name brand. Some surprising ones:

2. Batteries – It Depends
Brand name batteries, from Energizer to Duracell, claim they keep going and going and going longer than other batteries, including generic brands. This is one case where the advertising is true, but the added cost may not be worth it. An unscientific study by found the branded batteries provided more hours of energy, but their high cost made it cheaper to replace batteries.

The premium price may be worth while, however, when you’re dependent on those extra hours. Examples include a fire alarm or car flashlight.

6. Cleaning Products – Brand Name
Many cheaper products skimp on actual substance and add water. After several years of cleaning for a living, I have to say it’s not worth buying generics because you’ll just go through them faster. You’ll save roughly 35 percent but use them up in half the time.

8. Gasoline – Generic
Just like pantry staples and other generics, buying “off-brand” gas gets your car from place to place in the same shape as fuel from name-brand stations. In fact, it’s often the same gas, yet the price can differ by about 20 cents a gallon.

9. Margarine – Generic
You can’t believe it’s not butter? I can’t believe you’re paying extra for a name brand. A quick check of the ingredients frequently reveals you’re paying 50-percent more for packaging with silly claims like, “Perfect for the lactose intolerant!” and “100-percent less cheese filling!” Well, not really, but pretty close.

16. Spices – It Depends
Generic spices tend to be dryer and less flavorful. In some instances, particularly with powdery spices or those you use less frequently, this isn’t important. Salt, pepper, paprika, alum and such can be as generic as you like. But leafy, aromatic types like basil, parsley and imported Oriental spices should be fresh. In fact, freshly grown basil is a necessity in my kitchen.

Check out the full list here.


Comment from yoshi
Posted: November 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm

for cleaning products, I’m still a firm believer that bleach and water trumps all. Unless you can’t stand the smell of bleach, I think it cleans so much better than anything else. Unless of course it’s something that can’t be cleaned with liquids.

Comment from Hakushaku
Posted: November 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I agree on many, but the cereal one is BULLSHIT. As a refined cereal connoisseur, I can tell you first hand that while SOME cereals may be similar enough to the generic brand (and indeed the Crispix is one of them, though my favorite generic version was called Crispy Hexagonal Grains or something), there are many that are TOTALLY inferior.

Rice Krispies, for instance. And Cheerios.

Where’s Andy, he can testify that I won a blind taste test of generic rice krispies vs. the real ones back at the tree house.

You better testify Andy, damn you!

Comment from Andy Zaky
Posted: November 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I can attest to Roberto winning the taste test. It was Crispy Hexagons versus Crispix. lol.