When shopping, what do you always buy generic and what do you always buy name brand?

I can usually swing most things either generic or store brand.

But I do have some preferences.

Heinz Ketchup
Scott Toilet Paper

I don’t drink soda any more but I was one of the odd ones who enjoyed generic brand sodas.

I used to buy everything generic, but I’ve come around on a few things. I strongly prefer name-brand paper towels, for instance.

But I still buy most commodities (sugar, butter, etc) as generics unless I’ve had a specific bad experience.

I recently wowed my husband with my ability to discern whether I was drinking Kemps or store brand milk. I prefer the store brand and he had picked up Kemps by mistake.

I tried to buy cheap sliced American cheese. Never again. :eek:

Some house brands are even superior to the big brands. For example, Kroger/PayLess Baby Baby pickles are unsurpassed by any other brand.

Kroger house brand dry roasted peanuts are not quite as good as Planter’s.

Bread flour must be King Arthur.

Kroger pasta sauce is good enough.

Red Gold ketchup and pasta is made near here, so I prefer it.

For kosher salt, it’s Diamond Crystal only.

Kroger has a sriracha sauce, but I’m sticking with Huy Fong.

Eight O’ Clock coffee.

Vernor’s Ginger Ale

Old Crow Bourbon is superior to all but a few others.

I tried other tonic waters, but I come back to Schweppes.

It’s hard to tell gins apart; I buy Seagram’s.

In jeans and boxer briefs, gimme Duluth Trading Company.

For the cheese to shred over pasta, Parmegiano Reggiano® or nothing.

Kroger/PayLess makes some delightful artisanal breads, but I make my own now.

Cellphone carriers? Consumer Cellular suits my needs for the right price.

Kroger eggs.

For deli meats and sliced cheese, it’s Boar’s Head.

A very generic ranch beans is excellent.

Kroger brand green olives are just fine.

When I can get local honey, I will. Hey, no double-entendre meant!

Generic breakfast cereals suck.

Saltines? I prefer the cheap ones.
That’s probably more than you wanted…

95% name brands. No particular reason.

Generally speaking, if there’s a marked difference in taste or performance, the name brand gets the nod, and if not, we buy generics.

For example, we buy generic tomato paste, because there’s just no perceptible difference between say… Hunt’s and Contadina vs. Kroger/Fiesta/Wal-Mart brand. We do get either Hunt’s, Heinz or Whataburger (yes, they sell their ketchup now) ketchup vs. the house brand, because the former 3 are better tasting. Other things like bread flour (KA), sodas, laundry detergent and beer are almost always name-brand. Some things like bacon go either way, depending on sale prices.

So for a quick run-down, here goes:

House brand things we use often:

[li]Milk[/li][li]Canned tomato products[/li][li]Canned stock/broth (when house brand is even available)[/li][li]Dishwasher detergent (works the same in our dishwasher)[/li][li]Frozen vegetables[/li][li]Salt[/li][li]Sugar[/li][li]AP Flour[/li][li]Toothbrushes[/li][/ul]

Mostly this! For groceries the main thing we buy brand name is Chocolate!

One thing I buy name brand only is tools. Engine oil, engine parts, motorcycle tires, and almost all petroleum products will be brand name. I choose to not go cheap on these items.

Best Foods Mayonnaise (Hellmen’s for you Easterners) and Heinz Ketchup. They taste right. Best Foods Mayo in particular is just exactly right when fresh, and everything else is weird to awful by comparison, except homemade, which is passable.

Boar’s Head and Vlassic kosher pickles, nobody else’s are any good at retail.

See’s candy. In California it is the most available, and it is also better and far less expensive than Godiva or Leonides or the other fancy and more expensive brands. Kinda like how a Honda Accord is better than a Cadillac.

Oh yeah, I did that once, that stuff would NOT melt, it was so weird. I may as well have left it in its little plaster wrapper thing, the texture wouldn’t have been all that different. For real cheese though, they’re all pretty much fine with me though so I usually just go with whatever’s cheapest.

Things I always get name brand on:
Toilet paper. It just isn’t worth saving a buck or two a month to deal with the roughness.

Batteries. Generic batteries just don’t last long enough.

Shoes. I haven’t bought off brand shoes since I was 12 and went through 5 pairs in 1 school year.

Blank dvds. The off brands almost always have issues for me. I stick to Verbatim or HP dvds now. I’ve used close to 5k verbatims, and close to 3k HP discs, and only ever had 1 bad dvd from each. Both times I contacted customer support for the companies to let them know, and they both sent me a 50 pack at no cost to make up for it, even though I didn’t ask for any sort of compensation.

Power supplies. I can’t tell you the number of generic power supplies I had issues with.
Only ever get Del Monte spaghetti sauce.

Deodorant. I’ve only ever been able to wear Old Spice or Degree without breaking out in horrid rashes, and then it can’t be the powdered solid or the gel kind.

Generics I always buy:

Pretty much any med you can buy over the counter. I’ve tried both several times, and the generics always seem to work just as well.

Generic cleaning supplies.

I’ll buy kroger brand bread before any named bread. The only generic cheese I’ll buy is kroger brand. Otherwise it has to be named brand. To many generic cheeses taste like wax with butter.

I always buy name brand bottled horseradish, mainly because I’ve never seen generic horseradish in the supermarket.

I love the complexity of ingredients on the label: “horseradish, vinegar, salt”.

Gillette Good News Pivot Plus will always be my razor. Kroger had a giveaway coupon for a pack of store brand razors, but after one try I tossed the rest of the bag. They were just awful.

Also, Ranch Style black beans. Can’t be any other. We eat black beans probably twice a week as a main dish so I can be picky.

Cat food/litter. The Kroger cat food just stinks, and the litter isn’t much better. I prefer Iams but I’ll get Cat Chow Indoor if the store is out of the other. Iams for the dogs too, but I have a deal with my roommate there so it really comes out cheaper than even generic.

I can’t do generic sodas. I only have one occasionally but it either has to be Diet DP or Coke Zero, otherwise I’ll just stick with tea, which I prefer to be Crystal Light peach. The generic is truly awful. Might as well be Flavor-ade. Tap water will do if there’s nothing else, but I LOVE Kroger’s brand of the SOBe drinks. It’s a rare treat though because they rarely have any strawberry-dragonfruit flavor and that’s the best.

Oh, and I like instant coffee but not generic. Folgers is fine. Nescafe is better but I always seem to have coupons for Folgers so that’s what I get. Kroger brand tastes like day-old cigarette butts.

I really can’t think of anything else. Kroger and the Walmart brand are just fine for most staples, and Kroger sends me nice packets of coupons at least twice a month for free eggs, dollars off of meats and dairy house brands. My daughters both prefer the Carbmaster Kroger brand yogurt, and I like their ice cream more than any other, especially the caramel praline. They have good frozen veggie combinations too, like the 3 pepper blend with onion and stir-fries. And the fry-fries.

Name brand coffee, always. Otherwise, I go mostly generic.

I buy Cottonelle tp and Brawny white pick-a-size paper towels. Name brand laundry detergent, dish detergent, and cleaning supplies.

Foods I buy the name brand but when it’s on sale. Still higher than the cheapest generic but not full price.


Milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, etc. You know, staples.

Wal-Mart’s house brand trail mix (it’s delicious).

Wal-Mart’s house brand sliced cheeses (they’ll do).

Only Name Brand

Keurig coffee when I can afford it, Folgers when I can’t.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (loves me some Jimmy Fallon Late Night Snack!) when I can afford it, Breyer’s (or whatever) when I can’t.

Angel Soft TP.

Diet Coke (for me) and Mt. Dew (for Mrs. Homie); never off-brand sodas.

Pop-Tarts (never off-brand toaster pastries)

Nathan’s hot dogs.

Actually when tested AND FRESH, the generic batteries have the same capacity as name-brand ones. Also, make sure you’re getting alkalines; cheapo zinc chloride “Heavy Duty” batteries don’t ever last as long as alkalines, regardless of name brand.

The problem for a lot of people probably comes in with freshness; if the off brand ones are from Big Lots and/or don’t have expiration dates on them, they may well be very old and consequently have less capacity than if they were fresh.

Viagra. Outside of the USA - in Mexico and Perú. Without a prescription and at $2.00/pill. We buy enough to last about a year. :smiley:

Best Foods mayo
Heinz ketchup
White Lily flour for biscuits, pancakes, etc.
King Arthur flour for breads (higher protein)
S&W canned beans. Generic canned beans just don’t taste right to me.
Skippy peanut butter only
Kettle potato chips only
Parmigiano- reggiano grating cheese. Never the American parmigiano-rubberano crap.
Generic milk, eggs, TP, paper towels, kleenex (Costco is great for paper products). Generic olive oil from Trader Joe’s.

In both cases, there are too many more to list.

We used to order Crystal Clear by the case is why I know this; you can order cases of 12 by the UPC code for that flavor via the grocery manager. I loved the dragonfruit and the blueberry pomegranate one before I finally eliminated all citric acids after expensive dental bills.

This also.

I know enough about “co-packing” (where a business has its house brand or generic manufactured by an established brand or a company which manufactures solely for individual stores and businesses) to know that house and generic brands are seasoned as heavily or uniquely as name brands. This is done intentionally to avoid conflict between your product and a customer’s.

For me:

[li]Milk[/li][li]Processed meats (bacon, ham,chicken,etc)[/li][li]Sugar[/li][li]Flour[/li][li]Butter or magarine when I buy it[/li][li]SOME snack foods[/li][/ul]

Can be store brand or generic.

Anything else that I eat regularly has to be a certain brand because I’m purchasing it for its expected taste and texture. Unfortunately, most store brands and generics are too bland to meet my “standards” so I spend a few dollars more and get what I want.