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Store Brand Challenge

An easy first step on your frugal journey is to begin making the switch to store brand products. This might seem basic or obvious, but you may be surprised by just how much you can save simply by changing your buying habits.

Store brand products, also called private label products, are available for most common foods, health and beauty items, drug store and even hardware items. These products often carry the name of the store you are shopping in such as “Giant Eagle ” or “True Value,” or a store may have a name for their brand such as “Up & Up” at Target or “Great Value” at WalMart.

Store brands are often manufactured by the same company that manufactures the brand-name product and are held to the same regulatory standards. For example, Tylenol and store-brand acetaminophen are held to the same regulatory standards as each other and are equally as safe.  The great thing about store brands is that they can often save you a significant amount of money.

Up & Up DiapersFor example, I LOVE Up & Up diapers from Target. To me they work just as well as Pampers or Huggies and the savings is huge! Up & Up diapers in size 5 work out to $0.20/diaper while just down the shelf the Pampers Baby Dry diapers work out to $0.27/diaper. Over the course of the year you could save $127.75+ by purchasing Up & Up diapers assuming your child went through 5 diapers a day. What would you do with an extra $127?

Not all store brand products will give you the kind of savings as the diaper example above, but if you save $0.05 here, $0.25 there and maybe $1.00 on another product, it will add up to substantial savings over time.

Here is my challenge to you:

The next time you are shopping, try buying the store brand of one of the products on your shopping list. If you’ve bought a store brand in the past and were disappointed, try the store brand of another product. Not all store brands are created equal and sometimes you have to shop around to find a store brand that you like. You may also find that you still like the name-brand product better and that’s fine. At my house I don’t think we’d ever be able to give up our Skippy Natural Peanut Butter!

Changing your buying habits and trying to let go of brand loyalty is an easy and quick step to take. In future articles, I will share with you how you can save even more money on everyday products by using coupons, customer rewards programs, rebates and sometimes get your favorite name-brand products for free!

Share with other readers your favorite store brand product by adding a comment below.

6 Responses to “Store Brand Challenge”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Personally, I have been very happy with the up&up product line. I recently discovered their new line of laundry products. They have soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. They all work wonderfully.

  2. Jane Myers says:

    There are certain things I buy that I will not go the store brand route…still a Tide girl after all these years. But I do buy almost all OTC medications at Walmart with store brands. I have found NO difference….as Kathy said they are held to the same standards. I take several vitamins for various reasons and have found that buying some things in bulk at Costco or Sams is a better deal but have learned to be careful. The giant size of Fish Oil Caps at Costco sounds like a good deal but by the time I got to the bottom of the bottle (8,000 pill later…okay not really but it seemed like it) I had to throw a lot out because they were pretty gummy and stuck together.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’ve tried every generic/store brand diaper under the sun and have not liked a single one until Target came out with the Up and Up brand. We were a Pampers only household until someone recommended Up and Up to us. I gave it a try and love them. They’re the same quality as Pampers, work as well, and have really cute polka dots (it probably helps keep the cost down since they don’t have to pay for using cartoon characters).

  4. Brooke says:

    Although it’s a 30+ min drive away, it’s worth it for me to occasionally drive to Trader Joe’s and stock up on all of the TJ’s store brand items. So delicious, inexpensive, and healthy – and half the price of the comparable items across the street at Whole Foods.

  5. Katie says:

    Jane Myers- Store your fish oil in the fridge and it makes a difference. I do that with mine and the kids and no weird taste and fish burps.
    We use clothe but love the Kroger disposables for over nights. Kroger training pants rock too.

  6. Leah says:

    In regards to buying the store brand I usually do this with almost everything. I do however watch the coupons in the paper because sometimes using a coupon makes the name brand item cheaper than the store brand. Sometimes even with the coupon it is still more expensive than the store brand. I hang on to the coupons and watch for the name brand item to go on sale and then use the coupon. Then I get to treat myself to the “real thing”.

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