Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Name Brand or Store Brand

When my son Tyler was younger, I purchase a store brand cereal in a bag.  I couldn't tell the difference between the cereal in the bag and the boxed cereal, but my son said he could tell the difference, I think he just wanted the cheap prize from the box.  That was the last time I purchased off brand cereal  for him, until his first visit home from college.  I was so excited that he was home, and I wanted to spoil him with all his favorite foods, so we went to the grocery store to stock up.

When I grabbed a box of his favorite name brand cereal, he told me if I would purchase the cereal in the bag, I would get the same cereal for less money.  I didn't remind him that I had tried to tell him that when he was little, I just let him tell me about all the money saving tips he had learned in college.   It was so much fun! 
Our son Tyler

A few weeks ago I saw a news story about name brand spices verses store brand spices.  They found that the expensive name brands were the same as the cheaper store brands.  I decided to do my own investigation and see if Tyler and the reporter were correct.
I had some surprising results.  I purchased name brand and store brand stuffing mix (Thanksgiving is just around the corner) and also name brand and store brand Cream of Mushroom Soup.

I made two separate batches of each.  Then my husband Stan and I taste tested them, just like they do on TV.  I didn't tell Stan which one was store brand and which ones were name brand, of course I knew which was which because I had to make them.

When we compared stuffing mix, we found they had the same look and taste.   The soup was a different story.
The name brand soup looked slightly different from the store brand, but there was no noticeable difference in the flavor.  
With today's economy, everyone is looking for ways to save a few bucks.  If  you can get the same quality at a lower price, why not do it?  Below is a break down of the price difference between three store brand and name brand items that I use often during the holidays.
Name Brand $1.00
Store Brand $0.92

Stuffing Mix:
Name Brand $1.92
Store Brand $1.16

Heavy Whipping Cream:
Name Brand $5.27
Store Brand $2.86

Total cost for name brand products: $8.19
Total cost for store brand products: $4.94
Total saved by purchasing store brand products: $3.25

Check back on Friday, to see 
Tyler's favorite Apple Stuffing recipe.

I will be drawing a name from my followers to win a copy of, MY KIND OF COOKING COOKBOOK and the aprons, this Friday, November 5th.   The contest is open to all of my followers, regardless of where they live.   If your name is drawn and you have a blog, I will mention your blog address on my "Fast Food Fridays" radio show on the The Passion Radio Network, and then post your blog address on my blog.

For more great giveaways, visit my friends blogs!

Bo, at Bo's Bowl, is giving a way a, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook!   You will love his blog!  Not only does he have great giveaways,  his recipes are incredible!  One visit to his blog and you will see why I faithfully follow it.

Also visit my friend Pam's blog, Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner, she is giving away a, John Besh Cookbook.  You will love Pam's delicious recipes!  Once you read her blog, she will be your friend too!


  1. I almost always buy store brand food, as you say it is so much cheaper, particularly in France. Diane

  2. Thanks for the review. I have been so disappointed in the majority of store brands that I seldom buy them anymore. The biggest issue, as you indicate, is taste!


  3. I think there are only a few things that I will by "brand" other than store brand, but that if from experience, and I will only buy the "brand" name when it's on sale! Then there are some that the store brand is my preference. Some "brand" had to make it after all!

    So the soup tasted the same? Did the store brand offer a low sodium? There wasn't a big price difference in that.

  4. I have been buying more store brands, but this was not possible when the children were young because they told me they could taste the difference. I insist on King Arthur flour, but sugar and such can easily be house brand. I never buy prepared mixes, canned soups, etc., so that would not be an issue.

  5. There are a few things that I only buy name brands--mayo is one of those. I'm not finding that much of a difference price wise where I live though. Take care.

  6. Very interesting post. Think I will try the taste test myself. Always buy name brands cause in the past did not like the off brand flavours...

  7. Yes, I always buy store brand too. Unless the "regular" is on sale or something. Most times, even with a coupon, the store brand is still cheaper.

  8. I agree with you and your son, store brand is almost always just as good (if not better) than name brands. I'm a follower and would love a copy of your cookbook :) my blog is http://Andrea-thekitchenwitch.blogspot.com

  9. I've been teaching my children that store brand is the same as name brand but cheaper. I remember going shopping with my mom and the items she purchased had white labels with black wording (no pictures). My siblings and I didn't complain. It was all my parents could afford at the time.

  10. I buy the store brand more frequently then name brand...sometimes the name brand is much better, other times, like you found, they are just the same. Thanks for doing the test, I've always wanted to do the same myself!

  11. Great post Linda! This is funny with your son. I love it now that they are older and give us advice on what we've probably known all along.

    I stopped buying store brands when I opened a can of green beans and found many stems, etc. still attached. After reading this I will give it a try again as it definitely would be a money saver. Good advice!

  12. I just love coming here to read your interesting post. You seem to come up with something that we really wanted to know more about.
    Store brand... name brand; I guess it all depends... Last night we had store brand turkey sausages; lets just say NEVER again.

  13. Great post, I buy lots of store brand items.

  14. I think most store brand items are fine...but there are some things I just can't compromise on...like sodas...Dr. Thunder tastes nothing like Dr. Pepper.

  15. That is too funny. I always try to buy the store brand version when available. The only thing that I won't buy store brand are oreos, they are not the same as the real deal.

  16. Depending on the item,I buy the store brand for some things, and the name brand for others. Some things I really don't notice the difference, but others I do. (Store brand oats are ok. Store brand Cheerios are nasty.)

  17. I depend on the items too. I once bought some store brand cream crackers biscuits because they are much cheaper than the name brand ones I usually buy, my kids noticed the difference and commented why they do not taste like the usual crackers! Some are OK, some not!

  18. Do It Fresh at Home.
    Nice post thanks for share.

  19. I used to buy the store brand cereal and put it in the brand name box. That didn't work at all. My kids were cereal snobs... still are.

    I have many, many products that I buy store brand, but have a few that I'm particular with and buy brand name.

  20. Our store has generic brands but also their own store brand. The store brand tends to be as good as the name brand and better than generic. I do buy the name brand soup and ice cream, maybe in my head but I prefer them. Thanks for the investigating.

    Plan B