Should You Be Buying Name-Brand or Generic?

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Should You Be Buying Name-Brand or Generic?

It’s a dilemma you face every time you walk into a store. Should you be buying the more expensive name-brand items or the cheaper generic items? There is a difference between the two, and it’s not just in price.

Typically, name-brand items are higher quality and you pay not just for the quality, but the guarantee that the name-brand will be consistently of that quality. So then it really comes down to whether the generic brand is “good enough” for you and your family. There are times where the generic version is significantly different from the name-brand version. In canned vegetables, for instance, the generic version might have stems, or leaves where they just don’t do as good of a job making sure they get a quality product. In sauces, like ketchup or salad dressings, the generic version might have a significantly different flavor than the name brand version. If that is the case, and you really don’t like the flavor or quality of generic brands, then it’s worth the extra cost to get the name-brands.

There are cases, though, where buying the generic version just makes good sense. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires that all over-the-counter medications list their active ingredients. If you are comparing these active ingredients, then you can be sure that the generic medication is the same as the name-brand medication, and in many cases, there is a pretty big price difference between name-brand and generic over-the-counter medication.

Another good option for buying generic over name-brand is when you are buying food staples like flour, sugar, cornmeal, and cornstarch. Most of these products have little or no variation from the name-brand product.

Paper products are another good chance to save by purchasing generic. Especially when you’re buying paper plates, napkins, and paper towels, there seems to be little difference between the name-brand and the generic. The exception might be toilet paper, which boils down to personal preference as to whether the generic version is high enough quality for you.

Lastly, gasoline seems to have little difference between the name-brand with additives vs. the generic and it will save you quite a few dollars if you stick with the generic for gasoline.

Overall, you might want to try out generic products here and there and see if they will work for you and your family or not. Buying generic certainly can help you save some money, but only if you will use the products after you buy them. Ultimately the choice boils down to what is good enough for you.


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