Which products are just as good when you buy the store brand?

It’s a given that generic or store brand products are cheapers. But are they as good as national brands?

Somethings I only buy the national brand (like: dishwashing detergent, jelly, frozen dinners)

Other things I think the store brands are just as good (like: salt, milk, calcium supplements)

I became convinced about store brands when I once took a tour of a sugar processing factory and at the end I saw the same sugar being poured into bad with many different labels. Some were national brands, some generic. It was the exact same sugar!

Generic contact-lens cleaner, vitamin supplements, over-the-counter pain relievers and multi-symptom cold remedies are indistinguishable from the national brands, and are much cheaper.

Store brand orange juice is pretty terrible.

Most store brand cereals are good, some (like the fruit rings) are better than national brands. Except for the Cheerios clones. They taste like cardboard.

Those cold medicines are all the same, except the store brands are half as cheap.

I actually prefer store brand cranberry juice because in my experience it’s not as sweet, and tastes more like cranberry juice than sugary stuff.

I was coming in here to mention my intense hatred for generic Cheerios, but someone beat me to it. They taste like feet.

I love generic Cheerios. I can’t tell the difference. Generic peanut butter sucks. Also, I heard that the generic vitamin supplements are often BETTER than the brand names. What the label says and the percentages that are actually in the capsules frequently don’t even come close, but the test I saw showed that the off-brand stuff was usually more accurate!

Just as life is too short to drink cheap beer, my butt is too important to use cheap toilet paper.

Most store brand canned fruits and vegetables are just as good as the name brand. Same goes for pastas, bread, chocolate syrup, crackers, chips, most cereals, ketchup, mustard, cooking oil, pepper, salt, seasoned salt, dill pickle chips, relish, canned tuna, some macaroni and cheese, and kool-aid type drinks. (I buy lots of store brand items because I shop at Aldis) The only store brand things I will never buy is toilet paper, hamburger, milk, butter, and cheese. Most everything else I’ll try at least once and if I like it I’ll continue to buy it.

I also buy the generic brand tylenol and some cough syrups. If you read the box of each brand you’ll see the generic and name brand have the exact same ingrediants… generic is just $4 cheaper!

This wouldn’t be the SDMB if everyone went around agreeing with each other. I disagree about the contact lens cleaner (at least for gas-perms); the store brand cleaner and solution are, well, watery, compared to the brand name stuff. I think the store brand OJ is fine, too, but I’m not an OJ connoisseur.

Cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, pretty much all dairy products seem the same to me whether store or national brand, though my husband disagrees. He says the store brands contain more air and water, especially the butter.

Amen, plnnr,no store brand toilet paper! Or Scott for that matter. Ow!

Do not buy store brand liquor unless you are truly desperate. It is wicked stuff.

Toilet paper has been mentioned, but generic facial tissues are also pretty harsh.

Let me be the first to speak in praise of generic toilet paper. Personally, I hate those thick yet ultra-soft national brands. I can’t fit them in my ass crack. It’s like sliding a roll of papertowels up and down back there. I like the thin, cheap stuff. I dunno…just fits better. :slight_smile:

The OP mentioned that she/he had seen the same sugar put into store-brand and national-brand packages. I’ve heard that this happens often, although I’ve never personally witnessed it.

Is anyone aware of a list of such products and their generic equivalents? Probably an empty wish but this is the information age and all.

I agree on things like medicine, ointments, vitamins, etc- in which the difference is usually a matter of taste, odor, or texture. If you can stand a difference, the active ingredients are the same.

TP is a good call. Cheap TP sucks. I’ve often wondered why there’s no store-brand deodorant, I’d buy it.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this happens with grocery items, since it does in some other areas. In my college years, occasionally I would work factory jobs during the summer, and personally put different brand labels on package bows. I did this in a water filter factory another year.

Cousins of mine who worked at a canning factory said they saw this happen to some soft drinks (a minor brand name vs a store brand) and to canned vegetables.

I shop at Aldi too. Great place, wonderful for a family of 6 on a tight budget.
I always buy Aldi mac&cheese, tuna, salmon, noodles, fruits, dairy…well, pretty much everything except for their yogurt (we didn’t like it) and their vegetables.
At Kroger, I tend to only shop loss leaders with coupons, so I just go with name brand, frivolous crap that I would never actually pay money for. The kids LOVE it when triple coupon days roll around, because they get those candybars-disguised-as-granola bars things, and other goodies.

Store brand grape or orange soda is pretty good.

cola? - YUCK!

root beer - bleeeecchhhhh!

Mt Dew / Dr. Pepper clones - downright EEEVIL !!!

There’s very few things that I WONT buy storebrands of:

  1. Edge Shaving Gel – have yet to find a generic/store brand that works as well.

  2. Velveeta (sp?) – for making Nachos – the generic gets all oily and doesnt melt right.

  3. Um… Yeah. I can’t think of anything else right now. I wish they made store brands with everyething, I’d certainly buy most of them if they did.

Viva Kroger!

Also, sometimes the store brands change in quality. For example, for a while my store had really good frozen whole green beans. After a while they were always bad.

I will second this and repeat the advice given to me by one of my ex-girlfriends, a pharmacist - compare active ingredients on medication and buy the cheapest one with the same active ingredients.