Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's Talk Brand Names


My sister and I met at Chick-fil-A yesterday morning. Our little buddies ran around the play area for two hours while we chatted and laughed and tried to decide if the breakfast burrito was good or not. We kept going back and forth.

Total toss up.

I think I'm just not a breakfast burrito person. Somethin' just ain't right about it. Maybe I'll give it another whirl, but for now, I'm sticking with the local Mexican place for all things burrito.

We got on the subject of saving money at the grocery store. We talk about that a lot. Between the two of us, we've got 8 boys to feed - two big ones, and 6 littles.

Both of us shop at a variety of places - Target, Walmart, BJ's, two different grocery stores, Trader Joe's, Aldi's, and Whole Foods. And, we buy different things at different places - store brands and name brands.

So, I asked her, "OK, so what are the name brand items you're willing to splurge on? You know, generic won't cut it. It's got to be the name brand."

She immediately shouted, "FOIL!"

To which I sounded a hearty, "AMEN!" Reynolds Wrap, baby. ONLY Reynolds Wrap.

She followed up immediately with "TRASH BAGS!" Yes. Absolutely. Glad or Hefty. One ripped, cheap trash bag leaking all over the kitchen is not worth the savings. Period.

Later that afternoon, I really gave it some good thought.

What are the name brands that I buy - faithfully - even if the store brand is cheaper or another brand is on sale?

I immediately thought of a few:

Jif Peanut Butter.
Lipton Tea Bags.
Bounty Paper Towels.
Ziploc Freezer Bags.
Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup.

So, what about you? What are the brand names you consistently buy - even if you'd save money on the store brand or another brand's on sale?

Let's discuss.


  1. Honestly, there isn't much I'm brand loyal to. I recently tried the Kroger brand tea, after being a Lipton stickler for years, and I can't tell the difference. Same with Bertolli extra virgin olive oil vs. Kroger brand. Stuff like that. (Which isn't to say there aren't BETTER brands of olive oil/tea that I'd buy if we had the money..)

    But...Heinz ketchup. Club crackers. Libby's pumpkin. Swiss Miss. Rodelle vanilla extract.

  2. Because I'm from Pittsburgh, it's Heinz Ketchup all the way! I recently tried the Giant grocery store version of Special K with red berries... tasted like cardboard!

  3. i'm more loyal to my budget than i am to any brand... but if i'm going to drink soda, i prefer to only drink diet coke.

    here is an interesting tidbit that i learned from my dad who has been stocking shelves at Giant for 40 years: the "generic" store brands are all name brands with the labels changed. of course, you can't always tell what the real brand is,... but it's something.

  4. It took me awhile to think of some... I think now with coupons I generally go for what is cheapest...
    However: jello pudding cups, Crispix, glad plastic wrap, Tampax

  5. Soups - if I am making a cassarole that takes soup I use a off brand but if I am using just soup I like Campbells. I use Jiff peanut butter for sandwishes but if I have a lot of peanut butter cookies to make I use an off brand.

  6. Great post! I'd love to "borrow" this idea.

    My must-have brands are: Bounty paper towels, Cottonelle toilet paper, Cottonelle wet wipes, Heinz ketchup, Coca Cola, almost any cereal, Kotex feminine products, Dove soap, Paul Mitchell shampoo.

    I don't eat a lot of processed food, so brand names only matter for cleaning products and condiments (for the most part).

    I only shop at two stores: ShopRite (regional grocery chain) and Costco. I occasionally buy food and snacks at Target. I love Costco's Kirkland brand and I highly recommend you try Kirkland trash bags. They are the only ones I'll buy. I seldom clip coupons, but I know the sale cycle for my favorite stores. I don't have as much time as other women to do comparison shopping. I wish I did.

  7. I'd definitely agree with you on the bounty and reynolds wrap, but I too have to go with Heinz ketchup along with yoplait yogurt. Interesting thing to think about though.

  8. Because of our tight budget, I try to watch what brands we buy and I think I'm not very brand loyal but it's not true as I look around my house. Mostly though I have a certain level that I'll buy from like toilet paper - I usually buy Cottonelle or Northern but Angel Soft is my lowest level that I'll buy from.

    But definite brand loyalty - Bounty paper towels, Peter Pan pb, Softsoap body wash (I have very sensitive skin), Nexxus Therappe and Humectress (but I've been working the deals on those), Dawn dishwashing, Huggies Pull-Ups, prefer Huggies wipes, Reynold's foil.

    Everyone says store brand is the same but it seems like the fruits and vegetables (like cans) are lower quality/color than name brands. And I buy my kids store brand pb and hog the Peter Pan for myself!! :)

  9. I definitely agree with the Ziploc freezer bags and Doritos! Oh, now I wish I had some Doritos right now...

    But I am also very loyal to Juicy Juice, Huggies diapers, all detergent, and only Nature's Own for bread.

    I so wish that I had a Trader Joe's and Whole Foods close to me...

  10. I'm not a big brand name person, but I do agree with you on Reynolds and Coke. Great idea to post about!

  11. This is a fun read. I might have to "steal" this idea. ha!

    I'll buy generic or whatever brand that's on sale whenever possible ... EXCEPT for:

    Diet Coke (no other soda will pass these lips)
    Heinz Ketchup (only because that's what the grandkids insist on)
    Baked Lays (again, because that's what the grandkids want)
    Glad Press n Seal wrap
    Brownberry Oatnut bread
    Ragu Robusto spaghetti sauce

  12. totally enjoying this post and comments. may steal the idea on my facebook! Totally agree about trash bags. Other than that, I am totally loyal to Kotex and Playtex feminine products. I mean, really, if I'm gonna deal with that every month, at least I'm gonna do what I can to make it less unpleasant. heinz ketchup, Herr's potato chips.

  13. Whole-heartedly agree on tin foil and Coke and syrup. Also...
    Heinz Ketchup
    Coffemate Creamer (does that count as food? haha)

  14. i recently tried Target foil, and, i love it.

    i will not skimp on Jif PB, Saran plastic wrap, Heintz, Secret Deodorant, Tampax, Dove soap and Hidden valley Ranch.

  15. The first thing that comes to mind is soda. It has to be name brand, but we drink both Pepsi & Coke. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing (for my husband),Azteca tortillas and Cheerios. Other then that I'm not very loyal to any one brand.

  16. I'm not too picky about many things, but there are a few.

    Reynolds Wrap, Ziploc Bags, Saran Wrap, Lipton Tea (for hubby…I don’t care for myself), Jif Creamy Peanut Butter, Heinz Ketchup, Scott Toilet Tissue and Dial Soap

  17. RITZ crackers. Cheetos. Bread--well, kind of. I don't buy store brand anyway. Here is the opposite: microwave popcorn. If we buy it (I have an air popper that I usually use) I only like Kroger brand! I've become a big fan of the Cascade tablets for the dishwasher. Cottonelle tp. Skippy Natural peanut butter. Blue Bell ice cream.