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Should You Buy Generic Brands?from: Maxx Family Life
One decision grocery shoppers are often confronted with is whether to buy generic brands rather than name brand foods. So you might wonder which brand is better for you. Can a generic brand be as good as a name brand? Do name brand groceries taste better? Here's a few pros and cons for choosing a generic over a brand name at the grocery store.
Pro: Brand name groceries tend to cost more simply because the manufacturers spend huge amounts of money on advertising to convince you these products are the best. These dollars spent on advertising the product are then passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. However, were you aware that there are cases whe a generic product and a brand name product comes from the same factory? A good example is ovulation predictors -- those little sticks that tell women when they're most likely to conceive -- all of which are manufactured and packaged at one or two manufacturing plants, yet they're sold in a variety of different packages under a variety of names. Some of these are substantially more expensive, even though they're exactly the same product.
Con: If you have a coupon for a brand name product, and if your store doubles coupons, you'll often be ahead of the game by purchasing the brand name, so carefully compare prices to determine if that is the case.
Pro: You can substitute brand name ingredients with imilar generics. For example, your bread machine recipe, which calls for bread flour. This flour can purchased as a brand name item, which is kind of expensive -- as flour goes. However you could substitute this with all purpose flour, which is available as a generic item and save some money. Ingrediant substitutions using generic products is one way to stretch your food budget.
Con: Read the food label and compare ingredients. One important item is sodium content since some generic foods add salt so they taste better rather than higher quality ingredients. Another item to watch out for is the fat content. If the generic brand has substantially more sodium or fat than the brand name, you're going to have to decide whether this is important to you. In some situation, for example, purchasing a can of beans, it doesn't matter as much because you can rinse most of the salt away.
Pro: Always check the weight content of the generic versus the brand name. This is especially important when comparing cereals. You'll probably be shocked to learn that even though some brand name cereals have larger boxes, they actually contain less food by weight? In addition, some brand name manufacturers have slowly started reducing the amount of content without actually reducing the size of their packaging. Therefore size is going to be a factor since generic food manufacturers don't usually play this kind of game with consumers.
Con: Some generic groceries are available in larger volume than brand name counterpart. Now this may be great if you go through these products quickly, however, for singles living alone or on perishable products that lose their freshness quickly, you could wasting money purchasing a generic food item that ends up in the trash after going stale.
Purchasing generic food prducts are often a better investment but there are times when you actually save money by choosing a brand name. This will depend on your personal shopping habits, your family's needs, plus outside factors such as the ongoing sales and available coupons your local grocery stores offer.
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