When to Go Generic - and When to Pay More

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[deleted account]

I *think* that sometimes the brand name company is also the maker of the generic. In that case copyright laws wouldn't apply. Now I guess I need to find a link to back up that claim...

[deleted account]

I generally agree with the link. Sometimes it's worth it to pay more upfront, because it saves you money in the long run!



But I've found that when I use coupons and watch for sales, I can buy name-brand for cheaper than generic anyway.



Also, sometimes generic foods use fillers. I used to read labels and now I know which generics are not as healthy and which are the same as their name brand counterparts. When I go shopping I have in my mind which items I can go for generic.



It's a live and learn thing.

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19 Comments

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Jocelyn - posted on 06/14/2010

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I've tried the generic baby food (presidents choice, walmart and shoppers drug mart) and it looks, smells and tastes the same (to me anyways lol) as the gerber and heinz etc.

Stephany - posted on 06/14/2010

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I guess it depends on the store-brand in question. I'll buy most foods store-brand from Safeway, Wal-Mart, and Fred Meyer. As someone above stated, I've actually found that the generics are sometimes healthier- with fewer additives and more vitamins- than the name brand. I was once told that it is because when the name brand product was released (most of the older ones, at least) that the consumer didn't care so much about vitamins and fillers. Now that most of us do, companies are afraid to change their recipe/formula because consumers don't handle change well. Therefore, a generic (which was introduced to market at a later time) can be formulated to better to reach the current demands of consumers without the backlash of product variability.
There are some things that I just have a personal preference for name brands- like laundry detergent (All Free and Clear), and shampoo/conditioner. With these kinds of things I just think some brands work better than others. We do use either Luvs diapers or Parents Choice diapers because, well, I don't see the reason why I should pay extra just so my kid can poop in style.
I do wonder- how many of you have tried generic baby formula or generic baby food?

Jocelyn - posted on 06/11/2010

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I read the ingredients for everything (it's the vegetarian hippie in me lol). It can go either way, I always buy the store-brand diapers, baking soda (and the like, cocoa, sugar etc) mac and cheese, but I have to buy Miracle Whip, Q-Tips, and my hubby HAS to have Kraft Peanut Butter. Surprisingly, most often it is the generic brands that ARE vegetarian friendly (ie use agar instead of gelatin)

Allison - posted on 06/11/2010

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For foods and most cosmetic/hygeine products, I read all the ingredients, and buy whichever healthy one has the lowest cost. If I can afford it, I buy as many organic products as possible, since it's healthier and better for the environment. Didn't read the article to see if they mentioned that, though...

Amber - posted on 06/11/2010

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I agree with the link, except for food...not a tie for me. I buy name brand foods. That might have a lot to do with what I buy though, I try to buy the healthier things and a lot of them don't have generic yet. I also think that their is a real taste difference, but that's just my opinion.

Brandy - posted on 06/11/2010

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I'm pretty sure all of the ingredients were in the same amounts but next time I am in Walmart, I will compare their brand to Materna's and see if I am correct or not lol.

[deleted account]

Well then wouldn't that make it the EXACT same product? I'm honestly curious....something must have been different? Doesn't it have something to do with copyright laws?

Brandy - posted on 06/11/2010

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The ingredients were the same and in the same amounts and that's all that matters to me!

[deleted account]

Just for the record, things can't be EXACTLY the same....I'm not disputing that they're VERY similar in some cases BUT not the EXACT same!

Brandy - posted on 06/10/2010

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I pretty much always buy generic at the grocery store and pharmacy. There are certain things, like cereal, as noted above that just don't taste the same but most of the time the ingredients are the same, it tastes good, I don't see why not. And as for the medications, I always ask the pharmacy if it is the exact same thing before buying generic. When buying prenatals when I was pregnant with my first, I was always buying the materna brand which was about $20 (canadian) at the time and one day I looked over at the Walmart brand right beside and it was only $7!! So I picked up both and compared ingredients from one to the next and they were exactly the same! Every ingredient matched exactly to the brand name so I obviously switched. I will buy clothes at Walmart or where ever I happen to see something I like but every once in a while, I like to splurge on something brand-name. I'd rather buy stuff for my kids than expensive clothes that I would later feel guilty about. If I had money for both, I would be shopping at high end stores all the time!

Rosie - posted on 06/10/2010

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i live for generics, but there are some brand name things that i have to have as well. hellmans mayo is a great example, i can live without heinz ketchup, lol! i like the smell of gain detergent so i buy that, if there was another generic brand that smelled exactly like gain, i'd buy it. i always buy cheap clothes and they have never let me down, i have had jeans from old navy for a decade before i outgrew them (damn kids), and countless other clohtes that have lasted me years. i ccringe when i spend more than $15 on a pair of shoes, and $20 on a pair of pants.

Suzette - posted on 06/10/2010

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I generally agree with the link, though I don't agree with the clothing option. I've been shopping at Old Navy for a while now and their clothes last a long time for me. :)



As far as food goes, there are food items that I just won't compromise on when it comes to the name brand stuff, like some cereals. There's other stuff with food too, but for the most part, I buy generic.

Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010

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I buy most foods generic depends if they have a generic for what I am looking for or if they have a big sale or coupon for name brand, toilet paper products generic, medicines generic toothpaste, laundry detergent, dish detergent, shampoo, conditioner and soap all name brand.

Jane - posted on 06/10/2010

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For me, I always buy generic when it comes to OTC medications. Our pharmacist has been telling us this for years and over time, i'm sure I've saved thousands of dollars because of that choice. Cereal, however, is one I won't compromise on because it tastes different to me. We basically buy three types of cereal. Cheerios, Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies. All three have an equivalent store/generic brand and all three of the store/generic brands, no matter what store I buy them at taste different to me so I figure I gave it a try and now I'm back to the named brand. Clothing as well, I have found that the Walmart, KMart and some things at Kohls are not worth it in the long run because they wear out faster then a named brand. The only time I buy clothing at cheaper type stores is when I don't care how long it lasts because it's seasonal and I don't need it to last.

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