Buy Generic Groceries

by Justin Weinger on August 28, 2006

Every Sunday morning, without fail, I wake up, make my grocery list for the week and then head out to do my food shopping.  However, this week I tried something a little different – this time I brought my notebook and jotted down the price difference between the generic and name brand items that I bought.

I was really surprised by how many items had a difference of $1 or more – and was even more shocked by the amount of money I saved by buying generic items as opposed to their name brand counterparts.

Below is a list of the items I bought, along with the corresponding price for the name brand and generic product, as well as the corresponding price difference:

Item
Name Brand Price
Generic Price
Difference
Cinnamon Rolls $ 2.39 $ 1.39 $ 1.00
OJ – 1 Gallon $ 4.59 $ 3.19 $ 1.40
Cheese Slices $ 3.49 $ 2.79 $ 0.70
Spaghetti $ 1.15 $ 0.75 $ 0.40
Mac & Cheese $ 0.95 $ 0.75 $ 0.20
Canned Green Beans $ 0.99 $ 0.79 $ 0.20
Oatmeal $ 3.59 $ 3.19 $ 0.40
Granola Bars $ 3.19 $ 2.19 $ 1.00
Cereal $ 3.19 $ 2.59 $ 0.60
Salsa $ 2.69 $ 1.79 $ 0.90
Hot Dog Rolls $ 2.39 $ 1.49 $ 0.90
Tea Bags $ 2.89 $ 1.29 $ 1.60
Soft Drink – 12 Pack $ 4.49 $ 2.79 $ 1.70
Trash Bags $ 9.79 $ 5.99 $ 3.80
Dish Soap $ 2.99 $ 2.29 $ 0.70
Sponges $ 1.29 $ 0.99 $ 0.30
Total
$ 50.06 $ 34.26 $ 15.80

By buying generic, I saved over 30% on these items.  And the best part is, I won’t even taste a difference.

Granted, you’re not going to buy the generic form of every item you get from the supermarket, and I’m not entirely suggesting that you should.  But, if it helps you save 30% per item, you should probably think about tossing name brand loyalty out the window.

If you were able to save just $25.00 per week by purchasing generic food items (which is probably on the low side, especially if you’re buying for a family), you would save $1,300 per year on your groceries.  That’s a lot of money!

Considering most generic groceries are made from the same ingredients as their name brand counterparts (often they are made in the same locations/factories), it makes a lot of sense to make the switch.

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