If you’ve been getting sticker shock at the grocery store every time you pick up your favorite name-brand foods, you may be considering switching to store brand, generic or off brand foods. New research from grocery stores nationwide shows that private label sales across all US retail outlets rose $108 billion during the first half of 2023, an increase of 8.2% over 2022.
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It’s amazing that more of us are looking for a bargain in order to keep our budgets in line, because not only do we stand to save money, many off brand foods are just as good (if not better!) than their name-brand counterparts. But just how much do you stand to save when opting for off brand foods? About 25% on food, according to data from Consumer Reports, and about 20%-40% on health and beauty products, according to CVS Health. With this kind of savings on the table, it’s time to give cheaper generic products a shot. Here’s a look at 10 of our favorites.
For those with dairy allergies, choosing an alternative to traditional cow’s milk can be time-consuming and expensive. To the rescue is HerMoney’s Editor-in-Chief Kathryn Tuggle, who says the Thrive Market almond beverage is better than any pricey brand she’s tried. ($3.99 per carton at Thrive vs. $4.79-$4.99 for many other brands)
If you haven’t heard, baked beans are not just for barbecues anymore. They pair well with rotisserie chicken or even a side salad when you need a quick lunch. Tuggle’s go-to is the Great Value brand “Original” Baked Beans sold at Walmart, which are just as good as Bush’s, she says. The Great Value brand is $2.21 for 28 ounces, compared to $2.48 for Bush’s.
A great thing about tomatoes is they don’t need to be fresh-from-the-vine to taste delicious. “Wegmans has wonderful canned tomatoes — stewed, diced, and whole,” says HerMoney community member Pesha L. There’s also “much less peel left than most of the major brands I’ve tried.” She buys in bulk when she can to stock up when her favorites are on sale. The Wegmans canned tomatoes retail for $1.49 for 28 ounces vs. $2.00 for many other brands.
This is for everyone out there with a picky eater who loathes sitting in those long drive-through lines at chicken chains. HerMoney community member Keri K. says the Kirkwood brand of chicken nuggets from Aldi are a low-cost favorite at her house. They retail for around $5 for a one-pound bag, and comparable brands like Tyson or Earth’s Best cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $7-$9 for the same size.
When it comes to buying eggs, HerMoney community member Lynette G. prefers the Kirkland brand of organic eggs found at Costco. And because the retailer buys in bulk for stores nationwide, it’s hard to beat their prices. Two dozen eggs at Costco retailed for roughly $6.09 this month, or $3.04 per dozen. This is a huge savings over one dozen organic eggs at Whole Foods, which retail for around $8 per dozen.
Plant-based Protein Powder
Another favorite private brand found at brick-and-mortar Walmart locations as well as walmart.com is the Equate brand of plant-based protein powder. HerMoney community member Diana B. says she prefers it over the Orgain brand. And the savings here is enormous — the Equate brand is $17.44 for 32 ounces, vs. $28.49 for the same size of Orgain.
Yogurt has come a long way in the last few decades, with dozens of varieties now available on local dairy aisles across the U.S. When it comes to the nonfat variety of Greek yogurt, HerMoney community member Heidi Y. says the Friendly Farms nonfat Greek yogurt from Aldi is her favorite. The savings here is substantial — the Aldi brand is around $4.99 for a 32 ounce container, compared to $7.99 for the same size of Fage.
Macaroni and Cheese
When it comes to comfort food, or a super quick side dish, it’s hard to beat a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese. Marcia T. says her daughter prefers Wegmans Mac n’ Cheese to the ones made by Kraft “by a long shot.” It also typically sells for less than half the price. Wegmans is 50 cents per box, compared to Kraft at $1.11.
Cheese lovers take note. While discount grocery store Trader Joe’s is known for many things – Two-buck chuck wine comes to mind – HerMoney community member Lynette G. is a big fan of the shredded cheese, noting it’s as good or better than the name brand competitors. The T.J.’s brand will set you back about $3.99 per bag vs. Kraft at around $5.99 per bag.
White Cheddar PuffCorn
When it comes to on-the-go bagged snacks, HerMoney community member Kat E. reaches for Walmart’s Great Value brand of cheddar-flavored puff corn, she says, noting it’s “better Pirate’s Booty in my opinion!” And at $2.44 for the 5-ounce Walmart brand vs. $4.10 for 5 ounces of Pirate’s Booty, we couldn’t agree more.
More from HerMoney:
- How To Meal Prep With A Limited Budget + Limited Time
- Planning Meals on a Tight Budget? Here Are 5 Ways to Keep it Healthy and Cheap
- The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Cooking With Melissa Clark
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