Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Grocery Shopping Basics-what's in a name?

Let's talk for a minute about name brand versus store brand. I have found that this is an issue that stirs up very strong feelings in people. So, I proceed with caution and aim to simply share my thoughts on the matter.

As a general rule, my goal is to buy the best quality food for my family for the least amount of money. Keeping that in mind I have found store brands to be a great asset in achieving this goal. In fact, this has saved me from thumbing through pages of coupons because I have learned that in most cases I can save more money with the store brand than I could by using the coupon on a name brand item (there are exceptions to this rule of course, but not many).

When it comes right down to it this is a discussion about personal preference. For the most part, I am happy to buy the store brand and can't tell a difference in taste. Now, there are some particular items that the taste is noticeable and I am willing to pay the extra money for the name brand. So, the trick is to find the items that your family really can't skimp on and cut costs other places. For example, my sister-in-law Ashley LOVES mustard. She is willing to tolerate my Kroger brand mustard when she comes to my house, but I can tell you that her fridge is stocked with a variety of French's mustards only. I can't tell the difference on mustard, but when it comes to ketchup I don't want anything but Heinz. To each his own!

You may say that it is just a difference of 20 cents. Well, sometimes it is more and either way 20 cents here and 30 cents there adds up fast when you are shopping for a family. So, try a store brand item this week and see if your family notices the difference.

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