Frugal Tip: Buy Generic Store Brand Products

In the past, I was a brand conscious person.  I would naturally reach for brand name as opposed to the cheaper generic store brand products. But a marriage and a baby put a stop to that now that we have to watch our expenses a little closer.  However, it takes time to learn how generic store brand compares to the real thing.  Also the quality of generic products can vary greatly from store to store.  It’s a trial and error exercise, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Here are some of the generics that I have tried recently:

  • Medicines — Just read the active ingredients and try out the smallest size first.  Since medicines are controlled by the FDA, the quality doesn’t vary too widely.
  • Cleaning products — This should be an easy one to substitute.  You could also go a step further and create your own cleaning products — ingredients usually include vinegar, baking soda, and bleach.
  • Personal hygiene products — So far, I have tried Target equivalent of Listerine Whitening — possibly the best mouthwash ever.
  • Baby diapers — My wife didn’t like the CVS diapers I bought because it’s not as soft as Pampers Swaddlers.
  • Baby wipes –The ones from CVS weren’t that good, but the ones from Costco were great.
  • CD-R and DVD-R — I have some good, and some bad experience with these.

Do you use generic store brand products?  If you found something that works well for you, please share with us.

Written by Pinyo of Moolanomy

Tags: ,

One Response to “Frugal Tip: Buy Generic Store Brand Products”

  1. Amy Says:

    If you shop with coupons and watch for sales, you can get brand name items of all of those things for cheaper than generics, and in many cases, free. There are websites ( has one, is another good one) dedicated to telling you when to buy certain items, at which stores, and what coupons to use to get the best deals. I haven’t paid for a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of shampoo, a cleaning product, a box of cereal, or a bottle of aspirin in months, and I have a year’s supply of many products stocked away, all of which I got for free using coupons and sales. Generics are fine, but they’re not the cheapest way to shop.