Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Name brand vs. Store brand. Fight, fight, fight, fight!!!!

Leo and I are living on a really tight budget right now. Besides the fact that our new mortgage (which is $250 higher than it used to be…) kicked in this month, we’re dealing with a dwindling savings account thanks to the construction, as well as normal expenses we always incur throughout the year, like doctors appointments, puppy daycare (which will not be as prolific once the construction is done, lemme tell ya!), etc, etc…

So shopping for food has been interesting. We can’t pinch pennies on the meat we buy: we like buffalo in place of beef, and it’s about $6/pound for the ground version right now, for some reason. (I think we need to start looking into buying in bulk online. That will save us a couple bucks per pound, maybe…) Produce is ridiculous in some cases, and I learned my lesson this week when I tried to buy McIntosh (sp?) apples that were on sale for $1.89/pound vs. my normal Fuji apples which were $2.99/pound. The McIntosh ones SUCK. They’re all mealy and not juicy, and I hate them.

When it came time for us to pick out the pickles we needed to go on sammiches and hamburgers we planned on making this week, we actually stood in the aisle and considered the different pickle options we had. I’m fine with a dill chip. But I know Leo likes the stackers. So we were first comparing those. Then I saw a HUGE container of dill chips from a random company we’d never heard of. It was twice the size of the Best Choice (i.e. store brand) jar of dill chips we’d been looking at, and it was still $.30 less.

I’m willing to go out on a limb in lots of cases and get the store brand products. Plastic baggies, Target’s dishwashing liquid, Best Choice butter, and now the pickles…they all stand up well against their name brand competitors.

I’ve only found one store brand thing that was a huge mistake I’ll never, ever make again, and I’m here to warn you all about it now: It was pizza dough in a can. You know, like the Pilsbury stuff that’s over in the cookie area of the dairy case? Yeah, don’t do it. EVER. It baked up harder and more tasteless than a ball of play-dough out of the oven, and it just was so not worth the savings I got on it. (I think it was a good $1 less than the Pilsbury brand, which made a lot of sense after I’d tried it!)

Anyway, I challenge you to try more store brand items at your next visit to the supermarket. But stay away from the random apple sales, and whatever you do, don’t skimp when it comes to pizza dough. OR toilet paper. But that should be a given, so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning, really.

9 comments:

meesha.v said...

I don't hesitate buying store brands, and in many Consumer Reports tests Costco house brand is on top or among the winners.

"The D" said...

I didn't read that 3rd paragraph for obvious reasons.

If you like buffalo so much why don't you by a gun and go shoot one? They still roam free ya know.

How do you know what a "ball of play-dough out of the oven" taste like?

faithstwin said...

I do store brands every now and then, but the Target baggies suck ass.

What's the name of the pickles, dammit!?

D, you never smelled play dough? Never licked it? I guess I am more familiar with it because it was a recent toy in my house. Not that I made anything out of the dough...and then licked it...or anything. :/

Faith said...

Dude, I have no idea what the name of the pickles are. I'm sure they aren't in Cali. Positive.

Plus, can't you just go to Trader Joe's and pick up a 25 oz jar for $.50? Fucker? :P

Sorry, D. This is the last time I bring them up...this week. I promise.

Ok, you got me on the playdough out of the oven thing. Point being, the crust was hard as a rock, and barely palatable. Don't MAKE ME say that word that you hate again!

faithstwin said...

Yes, I can go buy them from TJ's but theirs SUCK. NOT good. They taste like sliced cucumbers in a little bit of pickling juice. Blech.

m.toast said...

It's a Toast article of faith that the cheapest hamburger dill slices are always the best. I say no shame in the cheap-ass pickle game. But maybe that's just the Okie in me talkin...

Nini said...

I pretty much only buy the generic brand. But that's cause I get a discount, and I know that it's the same product with a different lable. :D

Chimpo said...

I guess I'm a little late to the game here. As someone who works in the food biz, I can tell you that a good number of the store brands are likely made by the same company that makes the name brand you like. Store brand products are a growing category and the quality is going to keep getting better as stores start to focus on it. Local KC stores are way behind.

Were the pickles Mt. Olive brand?

travel said...

Have I got a deal for you, Faith. I just bought a hind quarter of beef at Steve's Meat Market in De Soto, Ks. I've bought from them for years and it's really good. After reading your post about buffalo meat and your budget and everything, and since I know Steve's also sells Buffalo Meat, I called them and asked them how much their ground buffalo meat was. Answer: $3.99 a pound ! Pretty good, huh. If you're interested, their number is 913-583-1390.