Whether it’s cereal, painkillers or batteries, recognised name brands will typically cost you more than their generic counterparts, which can add up in the long run. If you’re looking to save money on your food shop you might be cautious about switching to generic products – after all, aren’t they lower quality? Not necessarily! When comparing generic to brand name, you should always ask yourself three questions: Is the food as tasty? Are they as nutritious? Are they as effective?
Is the food as tasty?
Many shoppers go for brand name cereals, snacks and other products as they believe the extra cost is going to extra taste or quality. But did you know that taste tests by Consumer Reports found that generic was found equal or better than a number of their brand name counterparts? Everyone tastes differently, so it might be worth conducting your own personal taste tests to decide!
Are they as nutritious?
One of the concerns you might have is that generic products might not be as nutritious as they’re cheaper. A good tip when shopping is to take a look at the nutritional information box on the packaging of both the generic and brand name products to see what the difference is. Research by an independent consumer group found that brand cereals are actually loaded with more fat and sugar than generic cereals, so paying more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more nutritious.
Are they as effective?
Similar to generic foods, you might be concerned that generic non-food products might not be as effective as their branded counterparts. Medication and cleaning products are heavily regulated industries and most contain the same active ingredients – just different packaging. Checking the ingredient labels will also help you save money on your shopping bill.
What items you should buy generic
- Over the counter medication and cleaning products – a list of ingredients is always included on the packaging. For example, if you pick up a box of branded ibuprofen and generic ibuprofen you’ll see that they contain exactly the same ingredients at the same dose and will both work as effectively.
- Staple foods – flour, sugar and pepper products are all regulated and some manufacturers will even produce both the generic and brand name products in the same factory. The only real difference is the packaging and the marketing.
- Paper-based products – napkins and toilet paper are all made to the same health standards so you’re not getting much else for your money other than the design / colours when you buy brand over generic.