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When it comes to name or store brands, my default is store brand. At one point, I may have preferred name brands back when I wasn’t frugal to a fault. 

Today, I have a better concept of value. I value keeping my money over giving it away for an inflated price.

In the end, store brands support serious savings.

What is a “store brand”?

A store brand is made and sold by the retailer. An example is Kirkland Costco’s store brand, Signature for Albertsons, and Great Value for Walmart. 

Many brick-and-mortar stores have a store brand that sells near name-brand items. It’s how stores are dipping into the market and offering cheaper alternatives.

Store brands aren’t splashed across Super Bowl ads or touted on any other platform. That’s a part of their cheap charm, less marketing means less consumer cost. 

Plus, having options favors the consumer and drives down prices. Competitors try to undercut each other for the lowest price. That’s why monopolies are so heavily guarded because when there is only one, the public purchasing power is lost right along with our pocketbook. 

How much do store brands save?

Well, it depends on the item, so says Consumer Reports,

“Trade big brands for store brands and you’ll save big bucks—an average of 25 percent, according to industry experts. In comparing store-brand and name-brand versions of 19 products, our savings ranged from 5 percent (frozen lasagna) to 60 percent (ice cream).”

It’s a savings worth investing in. 

Many name-brand items can be replaced for store-brand savings.

From canned veggies to bread, my palate rarely complains about the difference between expensive and cheap. 

Much of my shopping cart is filled with whole fruits and vegetables so prepackaged items are less frequent. When I have a choice, I stick with the store brand.

There are times when it’s not an option. Large whole wheat tortillas come to mind, and I have to accept the extra expense. Other times, store brand just doesn’t cut the grease like Dawn dish soap does. 

If it’s good for baby ducklings, it’s good for this household.

But that’s a rarity, not the majority. 

Most items can be bought on the cheap. 

Manufacturing makes everything similar.

There were instances when Covid shut down 1 manufacturing facility which led to nationwide shortages. 

Since it takes a large amount of resources to manufacture products, many times one facility will be the entire supply chain of a product.

I knew this before the pandemic, because a few friends have worked at such manufacturing facilities. K-cups, milk, and sugar may have different labels and expiration dates yet are made at the same facility.  

Why pay more for marketing when it’s the same product?

Going cheap insulates against inflation. 

Inflation is universal and it increase everything it touches from groceries to gas, but a store brand infuses more savings than a name brand. 

Ways to compare if the name or store brand is a better value is by comparing the on-the-shelf savings and looking at the price per unit. Many times stores will have the price per unit listed. When it’s not listed, then the phone calculator gets a workout. 

“We found that not only are store-brand foods often much cheaper, but in nearly 60 percent of the comparisons we did our experts found them to be at least as good as the national brand,” said Tod Marks, senior project editor, Consumer Reports. “We recommend that consumers take advantage of the lower prices. After all, if they’re not satisfied with the store brand, most supermarket chains will refund their money.”

Plus, store brands offer 100% guaranteed satisfaction. If there is a taste issue or if the product is ineffective, a consumer returns to the store and customer service desk for a refund.

Whereas with name brand a phone call, form, and photos are needed.

It’s a process I’m familiar with as I was churning through allergy pills. It took trying a few different kinds before I settled on a store brand. 

I tried my local grocery store and when their brand didn’t kick my allergies, I returned with the receipt and item in tow and spilled my woes.

The lady at the customer service desk refunded my money instantly. 

When that store brand didn’t work, I tried a name brand. Their allergy pills were ineffective. So, I called up their customer service and went through a barrage of questions and proof to get my money refunded. 

I tried another store’s allergy brand, and it was the most effective to date. 

Finding the one pill to rule all allergies took a while. Still worth it. 

Shopping store brands support serious savings.

I value my finances. 

I value being debt-free and saving for travel and retirement. Store brand is another tool to help me achieve the lifestyle I prefer.

One cheap can at a time. 

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