Consumers Permanently Downgrading Brands They Buy

A new McKinsey report says that a large number of consumers who are switching to cheaper brands during the recession are switching for good. Of those surveyed, 34% said they no longer preferred the costlier products. 41% said that although the liked the better stuff, it wasn’t worth it anymore. Have you downgraded during the recession? Is the switch for good? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

How the recession has changed US consumer behavior [McKinsey Quarterly] (Thanks to c-side!)

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  1. OmniZero says:

    I’ve always gone for the generic brands before so I don’t see a whole lot of switching coming up for me. Some things don’t make sense to buy the brand name of anyway. Ever hear of a brand name cow? No? Then why buy brand name milk.

    • johnnya2 says:

      There are brand names of cows and milk is processed under different conditions. Milk is one item I most definitely am brand conscious of. I also will only buy milk from farms that do not use steroids or any other growth hormones.

      • Ron Mexico says:

        That’s easy to find around here (North Texas) now fortunately. Both Target and Kroger only carry non-rbst milk.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      I’m worried that cheapo milk might not have been stored properly.

    • DangerMouth says:

      Dairy is one area where I’ll ALWAYS buy the name brand, since GBH isn’t required on the labeling. Yes, I really do want to know what I’m consuming.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Yeah, I’m iffy on store brand milk. I grew up drinking only store brand milk, though. We save some money by changing what brand of milk we buy based on our consumption. If we know we’re going to be out of town, we’ll buy generic. During the summer months, we buy organic because it lasts longer, and we’re more likely to be in town, but out of the house.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          The gas station down the road from me has milk for half the price as the four grocery stores near me. It’s all Guida I think and $2/gal is pretty awesome for milk.

        • rihan says:

          Really most store brand milk is just the name brand stuff repackaged. For example, up here in Minnesota any Target brand or Our Family brand milk is just Kemps in the stores packaging.

          • DangerMouth says:

            When I said ‘name brand’ I meant brands like Horizen or Berkeley Farms, and I’m pretty sure they don’t repackage for Grocery store branding. I’m not even sure what a national name brand milk would be- Bordens?

            However, I’ve known people who worked at canneries, and they taught me that the Libby’s or Del Monte products are the same as the supermarket brands with a different label.

            Thay also taught me to never, ever buy the pre-chopped olives or purreed tomatoes :p~

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I’m with you on the generics for pretty much everything, there are some items I can’t let go of but for about 98% of things I don’t care.

    • JingleTTU says:

      Milk is one thing I will never buy generic brands. Most generic brands of milk are in a clear container instead of yellow which causes it to lose some of its vitamins and minerals. The light passing through also changes the test. On top of that I have really sensitive taste buds and I can taste the difference between Flav O Rich, Purity, and Mayfield. Mayfield FTW

      • mbz32190 says:

        I have never seen “name brand” milk here in PA…all the stores either sell it under the store brand, or the smaller chains get it from very small dairies. I have only seen name-brand when it comes to organic or soy milk.

      • Bohemian says:

        Store brand milk around here tastes like chalk. We pay quite a bit extra for brand name milk in the glass bottles from a smaller local dairy. It tastes awesome. Could I go back to drinking generic milk? No, not the junk we get here, I would rather just not drink milk.

      • Bohemian says:

        Store brand milk around here tastes like chalk. We pay quite a bit extra for brand name milk in the glass bottles from a smaller local dairy. It tastes awesome. Could I go back to drinking generic milk? No, not the junk we get here, I would rather just not drink milk.

      • baquwards says:

        almost all of the name brand milks here are in clear containers and jugs as well, there is only one specific brand that comes in a yellow jug. or opaque jug.

        The store brand here is delivered on the same truck as the brand name, the name brand’s truck. There is no difference in regular milk here between the name brand and the store brand, actually most stores here only carry the store brands, any name brand is usually a specialty product.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      We get our milk, cream, buttermilk and eggs from a local dairy. It’s less expensive, comes in reusable glass bottles (complete with bottle deposits) and everyone always says how good it tastes.

  2. ZekeDMS says:

    Hell, I went a step beyond, I make my own soda entirely now. Bought a Sodastream device, modified it to accept gas from any carbon tank, and I’m somewhere around 22 cents a liter for soda. Initial cost was nothing to sneeze at, but the dramatic reduction in cost and sugar intake was absolutely worth it. I’ve saved money and lost weight, which means long term savings too.

    • brodie7838 says:

      I’ve always wondered about that thing, is the taste of the soda on par with what you’d get out of the can/bottle?

      • Winter White says:

        I’ve only had seltzer from one, but I use it to dilute juice and make spritzer kinda things and it’s great.

        For the original commenter: How did you modify it to take any carbon tank? sodastream’s canisters are killing me.

        • FigNinja says:

          I love seltzer with lemon juice. I used to have a major diet soda addiction but I wanted to give up chemical sweeteners (I use a little stevia sometimes). This lets me have my fizzy drinks without all the additives.

          As for the carbon tanks, I’ve seen adapters on Ebay.

        • ZekeDMS says:

          There’s adapters all over the place, just hit eBay or Google. Ones to let you fill from a siphon tank, ones to replace the valve on the sodastream device itself, and plenty more I’m sure. I know a few people who’ve modified theirs for paintball gas canisters, which seems pretty effective.

          I wouldn’t have done it if SS charged a more reasonable price on tanks, honestly. I don’t mind shipping and such, but they’re asking a hell of a lot for CO2. For reference, it’s easy to get a 20lb tank filled for 30 dollars. They’re asking that much for what, four pounds?

      • kateblack says:

        I have a SodaStream and LOVE it.

        The flavored soda bases that SodaStream sells are revolting. I do not recommend them. But we just like fizzy drinks, so we drink straight seltzer. We mix fruit juice and seltzer. (It’s like Izze or other “gourmet sodas.”) You can make flavored seltzer by adding a drop or three of various extracts.

        There are lots of sodas to be made that don’t have to involve sugar.

        • BustedFlush says:

          “The flavored soda bases that SodaStream sells are revolting”

          They are not. They’re a little different, but they aren’t bad. I really like their Diet Cola.

        • GearheadGeek says:

          I second the fizzy water+juice vote, I almost never drink regular soda/pop/coke anymore, but I often mix limeade or just lime or lemon juice with unflavored fizzy mineral water.

      • ZekeDMS says:

        Better at this point. Took a little time to adjust, but now I love it, and I’m good at it. Sometimes I’ll throw in a bit of juice concentrate, but there’s plenty to be done with Kool-aid, I just make it with a very low amount of water and pour half the mix into each liter.

        The really shocking part to me was that after a year, I couldn’t drink any pre-made soda except, occasionally, a can of Sobe No Fear. Everything else is syrupy and thick, and even sticky feeling. Not that I’m really complaining, aside from being a little annoyed when I eat out, when I just get orange juice or lemonade instead of a soda.

    • Scoobatz says:

      I can understand the monetary savings, but how are you losing weight?

      • winshape says:

        Splenda instead of Corn Syrup?

        • ZekeDMS says:

          I just use a little real sugar instead of a ton of HFCS. I use 1/4th cup or less per two liters I make (Kool-aid, a little sugar, and a little water makes a fine flavoring syrup), and I’m not opposed to mixing with Splenda either. Sometimes I just use concentrated fruit juices too, if I want something different, but that costs a bit more.

    • dohtem says:

      If you go through that much trouble, why not just cut out soda? Save more money and (I presume) lose more weight.

      • ZekeDMS says:

        I don’t mind the minimal cost I pay now, and I like some fizz. My stomach hasn’t ever agreed with plain water or tea in the morning, and I’ve wonderful chronic sinus issues that tend to make both taste like crap to me.

        A little carbon tastes better to me, and sits better. Clears my mouth out too.

        I figure it’s a low price for a vice.

    • Tim says:

      BINGO!

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    IMO, there are four kinds of grocery shoppers (who don’t buy exclusively from wholesale).

    The people who buy the name brand, regardless of price – either they’re loyal, or won’t compare prices.
    The people who keep buying name brand, but only buy it on sale, and stock up.
    The people who buy nearly everything generic, regardless of price.
    The people who buy nearly everything generic, but only on sale, and they stock up.

    I’ll buy nearly everything in generic. I buy pasta in bulk from Costco, though, because it’s only just a touch cheaper than the same amount of generic at the grocery store. The difference is noticeable. After that, it’s generic unless I have a coupon or there’s a sale that makes the brand name cheaper.

    Once you see how much money you save just by buying generic, you’ll get over any taste difference you perceive. Money moves people.

    • floraposte says:

      I’ll add a fifth–the people who buy some generic where they don’t find the taste difference matters, but the rest brand name. (Though that leaves out all the beans and produce and grains kind of stuff that I buy in bulk.) There is some stuff that I’m willing to pay for the brand name on because I can afford to and I’m eating for flavor.

      • merely_a_muse says:

        I’m the same way, there are some store brands that just don’t have the same flavor I’m looking for (I’m looking at you, Generic Oreos) so I’m willing to pay more for the thing I actually like.

        • kexline says:

          Same here. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of money lately trying generics, actually — I’ve tried some Kroger brands that were flat-out inedible, and I’m just not willing to spend 15 minutes at the service desk every time I can’t finish a package of bad food. Commodity goods — beans, frozen spinach, stuff like that — are usually a safe bet, but prepared foods are NOT.

      • Tim says:

        I’m mostly the same way, but I err on the side of generic/store brand. I’ll almost always try the generic/store brand, then stick with it if I like it and go back to name brand if I don’t. For example, Giant’s store brand orange juice just isn’t right. But their frozen vegetables are good.

      • jesusofcool says:

        Same – there are a few things I really like and I can tell the difference between brand and generic. For those, I hunt for coupons and stock up during sales.
        Though for lots of stuff where there doesn’t seem to be a big difference in flavor or freshness (here’s looking at you Shaws brand cereal), I’m all about the generic brands.

  4. temporaryscars says:

    Some generic stuff is good, some isn’t. The trick is learning and remember which is which. Sometimes, you’re better off buying brand name because it does actually taste better even though it costs a little more, but for most stuff, generic is the way to go. Only fools concerned with image buy exclusively brand name items.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      I agree to this.
      I just switched from brand name detergent to generic due to cost- and now am kicking myself for going brand name in the first place. I mean- I’m essentially dumping the soap down the drain so why waste all that money so Brand Name companies can sell to me?
      However, I do NOT buy generic Mac and Cheese.
      There is something satisfying and comforting in Kraft’s powdered cheese mix and I refuse to substitute.

      • bsh0544 says:

        Go buy a box of Annie’s mac & cheese. Any kind. It’s completely worth the price premium.

        • azzy says:

          Agree about Annie’s, but you’re not saving money with that, which is pretty much what the article is about :)

        • DangerMouth says:

          It might be just me, but I don’t find Annie’s anywhere near as good as it used to be. Seems like they are skimping on the cheese lately.

        • thisistobehelpful says:

          YES. My grocery store has it frequently for 2 for $3. HEAVEN.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Oh that stuff is AWESOME. Especially the Alfredo. Garlicky shell goodness.

          I no longer buy Kraft, except in periodic fits of nostalgia.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        I’ll be belittled for this because it sounds like a ConsumeristCliche, but once you make mac+cheese at home from scratch you’ll never want it from any box ever again. My favorite is with smoked gouda…

        • mk says:

          Actually i totally second that. I recently made mac and cheese for myself and added some left over turkey for yummy goodness. It was wonderful and my husband requested it again.

      • baquwards says:

        I switched to generic detergent and never went back, ALDI brand is $2.29 compared to name brand of equivalent size for over $6. My clothes get just as clean, and my clothes are staying in good condition, no fading.

        No way will I go back to name brand detergent.

    • Sneeje says:

      Another example, at least for me, is generic cheerios. I imagine they are nutritional equivalents, but the generic brand has a different texture and flavor that I dislike.

      • pittstonjoma says:

        Regular Cheerios are actually more nutritious, at least compared to the generic brands offered where I live.

    • hills says:

      I agree – I am loyal to brands for certain things…. (don’t mess with my Charmin TP or my Schwan’s chicken cordon bleu!) – for other things I’ll happily try the generic, but I’m so picky I usually go back to brand & stock up on things when they’re on sale.

  5. johnnya2 says:

    It 100 per cent depends on the item and how I will be utilizing it. A cleaning product that is generic will usually suffice for me, as long as it works and is not dangerous or used to hurt the environment. A food product will have to prove to me they are worthy. I tried a Target Brand of Vanilla wafers from a free coupon, and even free were not worth it.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      You bring up a good point. I always buy good coffee, and I’m willing to pay a significant markup. I’m delighted when it’s on sale, but price isn’t my primary concern. We’re not robots, and life it too short to blindly sacrifice taste.

  6. Joel The Great says:

    When I go grocery shopping I use this great feature that has been around a while: A calculator. I don’t care if it’s name brand, or generic, it’s the cheapest per ounce (per item) that I go with.

    Sometimes grocery stores are nice enough to put the price per ounce on products, other times not so much. (Example, laundry detergent..why don’t they put the price per ounce on those?)

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Groceries stores where I am at will always provide a price per unit-of-measure. Sometimes, though, they dick with you by showing the generic in one unit of measure, and the brand name in another unit of measure. If you’re lazy, not good at conversion, and/or don’t have a conversion calculator, it can be a toss up.

      • bsh0544 says:

        The issue I’ve had with that isn’t just comparing price per physical unit but price per use. If brand A of laundry detergent does a load with 1 oz but brand B does a load with just 0.7 oz, is brand A really cheaper even if it costs less per ounce? That information isn’t clearly posted anywhere. Again, you can get it with a quick calculation (usually) but you’ve got to be able to somehow make the calculation.

        • Tim says:

          Laundry detergents always (in my experience at least) have the number of loads on the bottle. So just use that and the price; no need to worry about the volume.

          • bsh0544 says:

            I used laundry detergent as an example. It gets a bit sketchier when comparing, say, paper towels. If brand A is half as absorbent but 20% cheaper per sheet, is it cheaper? How much of my average paper towel goes unused? Are the sheets the same size?

            This usually ends with me buying the generic brand and giving the tree in my front yard the finger as i pull into the driveway.

            • DangerMouth says:

              I finally figured out my papaer towel use: I tend to pull a sheet, use it for small spills or wipes, and toss it. If I need to mop up a whole cup of coffee/gallon of milk, etc, I’ll use a cloth or a mop. So for me it makes sense to get the towels that are perfed in thirds, cuz that’s mostly all I need.

    • Raekwon says:

      Laundry detergent should be based on price per load. Some generics need huge cupfuls compared to other brands. You price per ounce would be good but you lose in the end.

    • Kuchen says:

      Laundry detergent is hard to price by ounce because it depends on if it’s the concentrated kind or not. If you get the concentrated kind, you’ll get more loads per bottle even if they’re the same size.

    • DangerMouth says:

      On the subect of laundry detergent, I’ve discovered I can cut the amount required in half with no noticable difference in cleaning power.

  7. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    I agree with you, and I’ve found that a lot of trial and error is needed to determine what is good and what is bad.

    Some of my experience: generic paper plates, kleenex, hot dog buns? Good. Generic mac ‘n’ cheese? Bad.

    • Ben Popken says:

      Cheap cheese never ends well.

      • thesadtomato says:

        Maybe I’m not the ultra-thrifty Consumerist reader I thought I was, because there are things on which I don’t skimp: food, wine, and clothes–(clothes can not be made of acrylic unless they’re for hiking or rain protection.)

        Do these things have to be “name brand”? Absolutely not, but you often get what you pay for with generic food items. Not buying prepackaged anything is almost always less expensive than buying packaged and I think paying more for better quality makes me happier. In the cheese world, this means buying a little $4 dollar 4 oz chunk of good peccorino rather than a $3 15 oz can of “parmesan” for topping pasta.

        Does a good bottle of wine cost $12? Yes. Am I going to buy a box o’ wine and get more for less? No. Dish detergent? Probably.

    • temporaryscars says:

      Aldi brand Mac & Cheese is actually quite good.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Mac and cheese…get ready for this one….I make my own at home. I haven’t bought a box of macaroni and cheese in years because I finally learned how to mix hot milk with cheese and bake it with some pasta. Really.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        Believe it or not- I just learned to do this in the past couple of months.
        You can whip up some really gourmet stuff when you do it yourself-
        Pasta shells with Havarti and Provolone combined with minced garlic butter?
        Delicious.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Yummy. I haven’t tried havarti and provolone, only gruyere and cheddar. The combination is heavenly. I’m trying colby jack and cheddar next time.

        • pop top says:

          That sounds delicious. How do I do it?

        • SugarMag says:

          I make my own mac and cheese too. Problem is – it is much more expensive to make from scratch vs sale price of the dread blue box. I make it more to use up ingredients I dont know what to do with that will maybe go bad.

          For mac & cheese emergencies I keep a frozen Stouffer’s on hand.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Actually, if you’re looking for cost per meal, you can do one serving of homemade for roughly the same cost as a box of Kraft. Cheese, if you only use one variety, can be about $2 a bag, or less if you buy in bulk. Pasta at $1 or $2 (if you use generic) can easily be several meals. If you were to only cook 1/2 a box of pasta, that’s only about 50 cents or $1 and it feeds two people. A box of Kraft that can feed two people easily runs $3, right? If you only buy Kraft when it’s on sale, why not only do homemade mac and cheese when the cheese is on sale? Pasta is the cheap element – what you want is cheese on sale.

            Pecorino romano could be $6 a pound, but if you’re using it all on one big casserole of macaroni and cheese (which is still only one pound of pasta at $1), you’re essentially getting several days’ worth of meals for $7, and a few cents more for the milk you use.

            • SugarMag says:

              I never thought of cost per meal, but the cheese on sale is $2.50 if I’m lucky. I also use milk, onion, flour, bread crumbs. The pasta is $1-1.25 on sale. The Kraft blue box is around what, $1 ? $1.50? no idea, havent bought it in ages. Buy the stouffers when it is $2 a box.

      • Michael Belisle says:

        I also make my own Mac ‘n’ Cheese at home. And I agree it’s easy and delicious.

        But sometimes I just want some trashy junk food. So I pull out a box of Kraft Spirals, pause to admire its amazingly unnatural orange color, and enjoy a bit of low-brow cuisine.

    • Schemer says:

      Just say no to generic trash bags. So not worth it.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        It depends. If you’re using trash bags for lightweight trash like tissues and q-tips in the bathroom, or you’re using it for papers in a small wastebin, generic is fine. You definitely want to avoid generic trashbags in big kitchen trash cans though.

        • RandomHookup says:

          It also depends on how big the price difference is. If you get generics for 1/2 the price and fill them up only 3/4 of the way, you’ll come out ahead. Have some heavy duty for big loads, but ultimately your bag only needs last as far as the trash can, curb or wherever else it has to be before being crushed in a giant trash compactor.

        • Red Cat Linux says:

          For that kind of thing, I re-use store grocery type bags.

          For my trash can, I go with some kind of Hefty. For serious business, I will buy heavy grade contractor’s trashbags from Home Depot.

  8. The Federalist says:

    The only thing I know is that I can tell the difference in a second between Hunt’s ketchup vs Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand.

    PS- Hunt’s beats Heinz hands down

    • Schemer says:

      I don’t agree with you on the Hunt’s thing, but, yes, generic ketchup is bad, IMO.

    • bsh0544 says:

      LIES. Hunts is inferior.

    • Raekwon says:

      Also going to have to disagree. Hunts is gross. I have never found a good substitute for Heinz in the states. It’s cheap anyway so I don’t look too hard. For those from Asia the Kagome brand of ketchup is actually quite good as well.

    • Kuchen says:

      I can’t find a link that you don’t have to register to see, but Hunt’s was voted best overall ketchup on America’s Test Kitchen.

      • The Federalist says:

        Yes it was! I have yet to find a single person to agree that Hunt’s is better

        • BustedFlush says:

          “The flavored soda bases that SodaStream sells are revolting”

          They are not. They’re a little different, but they aren’t bad. I really like their Diet Cola.

        • BustedFlush says:

          Woops.

          RE. Ketchup – can’t believe I found another Hunts fan! I went so far as to do a blind taste test with the guys at work. Brought in 4 varieties; Hunts and Heinz, Red Gold and a store brand. All were consumed on McDonald’s fries. Hunts clearly won – but even after the results were published the fools at work were making excuses for Heinz.

    • Mr_Human says:

      Your post made me realize that ketchup is definitely one thing I’m brand loyal to. And, dude, it’s Heinz. For real.

    • jp says:

      Make your own Ketchup like I do. There are many receipies on line and its better for you when you use a sugar substitute instead of real sugar.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        If you serve that sugar substitute ketchup to other people, please let them know about the switch — some people (like me) have very bad reactions to that stuff.

    • DangerMouth says:

      Heinz rulez.

      But I like your avatar, have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNFf7nMIGnE

    • Beef Supreme says:

      LIES! Heinz rules! This is one of the reasons I always disliked going to one of my grandparents house, they used cheap ketchup and it scarred me for life.

      Although I must say the Giant Brand ketchup here must be made by Heinz, it tastes exactly the same.

      • theblackdog says:

        Agreed, I love Heinz as well and will only buy their ketchup, even if their stadium is used by a football team I hate.

    • Phildogger says:

      Hear Hear!!! I never understand those that blindly prefer Heinz. I think they have no tastebuds!

    • Phildogger says:

      Also, here is a blind taste test, in Pittsburgh, no less, where Hunts beats Heinz!

  9. hoi-polloi says:

    The products I buy were already a mix of name-brand and generic before the recession. I prefer some products that don’t have a discount/generic equivalent, like my soap or deodorant. I’ve tried generic razor blades, and found them lacking. The generic or store brands of cereals or other foods are often just as good as their expensive counterparts. With medication, the discount is usually significant, and I haven’t found any issues with quality. I’m willing to try the discounted version of most things, then make an informed choice.

    For name brands that I prefer, stocking up when there are sales or buying in bulk (if possible) are other tactics to save money.

  10. Razor512 says:

    most of the cheaper ones taste about the same and in some cases better because they add more high fructose corn syrup

    I mostly have not upgraded, i have always used cheaper brands but I will go with a more expensive one if it is on sale or if I have a coupon.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      This is a good reminder to check what you’re paying for. I generally compare the ingredients between store and name brands. At least in one case, I’ve found the exception to your rule. I enjoy Frosted Mini Wheats. I’ve found that the name brand uses high fructose corn syrup, but several of the discount brands don’t.

  11. Winter White says:

    Nope. I still drink my diet coke. It just goes on sale a lot more now!

    But I eat generic cereal, etc and always have. So I guess in that respect I’ve switched for good.

    • Kuchen says:

      Agreed. I would rather stop drinking soda all together than drink something other than my precious, precious diet coke. I tried Diet Rite for awhile, and it doesn’t taste too bad, but it has NO CAFFEINE! I usually only drink one soda a day, but I want that caffeine.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Yeah, but the Coke sales aren’t nearly as good as they were a few years ago.

  12. CaptZ says:

    I been buying Big K soda and generic bottled water, (Kroger brand), and have no intention of going back. I think the taste is better and it’s about 2/3 less in price.I just can’t see spending $4 for a 12pk of soda. Even Walmarts generic soda is more expensive than Kroger, which boggles me. Lots of alternatives for brand name snacks, cookies, that are just as good as the overpriced Keebler cookie line also.

    • DogiiKurugaa says:

      Agreed 110%. I love Kroger’s soda selection. I used to get their Vanilla Cola (better than Vanilla Coke imo), Dr. K, Citrus Drop, and Citrus Drop Xtreme (kind of tastes like a mix of Surge and Vault but with more carbination than Vault usually has). I miss them so much, but the closest Kroger is now like 45 miles away. Last time I was visitng a friend there was big sale on 12-packs and I ended up bringing home 15 12-packs that lasted me about a month even with sharing with 2 people.

  13. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Aldi brand, 4eva!

    • Pibbs says:

      Damn, beat me to it.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      A few weeks ago, I ended up driving much farther than I had driven before (we mvoed not long ago so I’m still exploring) and I saw an Aldi. I was actually pretty excited, but realized that I was about 40-45 minutes from home and was not willing to drive that far for Aldi.

    • CaptZ says:

      We are finally getting Aldi, here in DFW, Texas….looking forward to them opening here in the next couple weeks. So happy…..right down the road from a Walmart monstrosity. I know they will be getting my business.

    • Geblah187 says:

      Aldi is awesome! Big bag of tortilla chips? 99c. macaroni & cheese is somewhere around 20c. Even when I wasn’t unemployed, I still shopped there.

    • failurate says:

      Our area is pretty economically depressed. Aldi here is very disturbing. Bad florescent lighting, super narrow isles, no real order or grouping of food items, just an unclean feeling place. I don’t know how their other stores are designed, but this one was set up so that there was no way out without going through the super narrow channels/cashier lanes, which were at the time clogged with very sad looking people.
      The place was weirding us out to the point we felt we needed to leave, and quickly. We felt completely trapped. I had move a couple of boxes to open a cattle type gate to clear an escape route. We will absolutely never go back.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Now that I think about it, I think where the Aldi was about 45 minutes away from home was the demarcation line between the ghetto and the rest of the area. I know the TJ Maxx I went to before hand was pretty ghetto.

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    There is only one thing I don’t buy generic: paper products. I will pay more to not wipe my nose or arse with cardboard. After that, there are a rare few brand names I will stick with, but everything else is whatever is cheapest per ounce/gram/etc.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Target’s store brand, Up and Up, is really awesome. We’ve switched to buying Target’s store brand vs. grocery store brands. Brand name paper towels are such a waste. I have kitchen towels to sop up messes.

      • Kuchen says:

        I’ve liked all the Up & Up products I’ve tried so far. I’m a big fan of their unscented baby wipes, and their baby laundry detergent is cheaper and doesn’t make my daughter break out all over like Dreft does.

      • Tim says:

        Here here. With paper towels my only complaint is that Up and Up doesn’t have half-sized ones. But I usually just end up ripping them in half. For toilet paper, I just go with the most expensive Up and Up variety, and it’s almost as soft and durable as a name brand one.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        We switched to them after Quilted Northern downsized their rolls, then Target’s brand did the same thing. Bummer.

    • Schemer says:

      Same here. Still stocking Charmin Ultra Soft and Bounty in this house.

    • RickN says:

      Cardboard? Are you using the outside of the tissue box? If you open it up, you may be surprised at what’s inside. :-)

    • DangerMouth says:

      I thought I’d be loyal to Scott tp forever, but happenned to try some 4/$1 rolls at the dollar store. Similar quality, who knew? Smaller rolls but it’s still a savings.

      Sometimes it pays to try ‘ouside the box’.

  15. Pibbs says:

    I never upgraded. I’m used to buying house brands, I even laugh about them. Nothing beats the generic yellow boxes/cans of Guaranteed Value at my local Stop & Shop. Of course, I only get those when I’m splurging. For the most part, I have faux brand names courtesy of Aldi in my house.

  16. Raekwon says:

    Malt O Meal Cereals for life! I can’t live without my frosted mini spooners (frosted mini wheats). In fact I like the Malt O Meal versions of most cereals much better than the real versions now. If only they could make a knock off of Reeses Puffs.

    • Schemer says:

      We love their Blueberry Muffin Tops. It’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch with blueberries. I don’t even think it’s a knock-off of any brand-name cereal. Anyway, it’s good stuffs.

    • Pibbs says:

      Blech. I hate Malt-O-Meal. They always had a funny taste when I had those bags as a kid. That and the knockoff Cheerios, the ones that were too puffed up, and got soggy approximately 5 seconds after pouring milk on them.

    • Laines says:

      I used to love MoM unitl this past spring when they both reduced the size of their packages AND raised their prices. Now it’s generic store brands.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      I

  17. Michael Belisle says:

    I’m highly skeptical of anyone’s ability to predict that they won’t loosen up the pursestrings in the future. Generally speaking, people are consistently terrible at predicting the future and remembering what things were like more than a week ago.

    Also to answer the question: no, I didn’t downgrade (except where I perceive the generic to deliver roughly equitable utility) and yes, that’s a permanent lack of downgrading. Ain’t no recession gonna separate me and my Coca-Cola®.

    • floraposte says:

      Agreed. I think also that permanent downgrades, if they do happen, may be influenced by an interest in spending the money elsewhere now that they know they don’t miss the difference.

  18. katia802 says:

    If I’m not shopping in Costco, it’s generic almost exclusively. Certain items, (peanut butter for one) I can’t get sugar free in generic, have to go with name brand. Found that generic soda for my guys dissappears just as quickly, but for a lot less money. Paper products I tend to go for the cheapest name brand, had too many complaints from trying to use generic. I made the switch when my hubby’s 2 teenage boys were in the hosue with us, just to provide for them without going bankrupt. Stuck with it to almost no complaints.

  19. Razor512 says:

    wanted to add something extra.

    Many cheaper brands have actually become better than the paid brands, especially with things like cereal, and many other foods.

    when a brand becomes popular, the companies resort to downsizing and price increases to increase profits.
    smaller, less popular brands generally don’t have a name to back them up so they are less likely to increase prices and downsize.

    and for all of you with kids, the cheaper brands often have more sugar and taste better.

    a cheap brand of cereal is generally $1.99 for a bag that generally has 30-40% more cereal in it than a name brand box of cereal that may cost like $5-6 in many cases and have less sugar and other ingredients due to downsizing so they don’t taste as good.

    when shopping for groceries, remember this simple math formula

    weight in grams (divided by) price. the item with the highest number is the best value and if ti taste good to you then stick with the better value.

    And for those of you in college, you can get more accurate info by weighing the food using one of the analytical balances in the lab in the college (I do this with fast food and noticed that you often get fewer grams of food compared to the advertised weight in grams, (in most cases, up to 30 grams less)

    • morlo says:

      Unfortunately generics have increased in price to be higher than the cyclical sale price of name brands. Quality and sizes of all products continue to be degraded by conglomerates. I try therefore to avoid packaged products when possible, but my freedom in this regard is limited

    • Tim says:

      Meat is advertised as its weight before cooking. For example, in a Quarter Pound with Cheese (or Royale with Cheese), the meat was a quarter pound before cooking. Fat and other juices come off with cooking, so the weight decreases.

      • Razor512 says:

        I know that but if you look at the online nutrition labels which list the net weight, you often lose 20-30 grams

  20. Major Annoyance says:

    I’m probably from a tad different strata than most who comment here. I’m pushing 70, had a paycheck to paycheck job for most of my life and, thanks to open heart surgery that ate up my retirement benefits (no health insurance, pre-existing conditions) now exist on an $837 a month SS stipend.

    With the various benefits that are available to me I do fairly OK on that but I’ve been “downgrading to generics” for a while now. I’ve not only found a lot of store brands that are as good as the name ones, I’ve found many that are, in my estimation, better.

    Sooner or later… if we’re to survive this thing at all… we’ve got to stop buying into the notion that only the products able to afford huge advertising budgets are worth buying. Not only is it not true but it drives the prices on those products up beyond anything that could be considered reasonable.

    If I could do one thing to try to make things better for the working class, it would be to do away with virtually the entire advertising industry or at least restrict what it can say or claim to the absolute truth and the facts on the product(s) being pushed. Advertising is nothing but a parasitic industry, much like the financial industry itself. It produces nothing, it enhances nothing and it serves nobody in any way measurable by ordinary means. Just another way to channel wealth to the Wall Street banksters.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      What’s kind of funny is that if you actually abolished the advertising industry, you’d be sending into disarray the jobs of millions of graphic desighers, copywriters, editors, paper printers, distribution companies, television station workers, sales people, accountants, statisticians, actors, camera operators…you get the idea.

      Advertising isn’t entirely an evil industry of people who want to sell you stuff. Advertising is in everything – the fact that you know Dasani is a Coca-Cola company is partially through advertising. The fact that you know that the next nature documentary on the Discovery Channel is on giraffes is due to advertising. The reason why Consumerist has t-shirts is because of advertising.

      What you’re talking about is the need for education, a need to educate the working class on what they need vs. what they think they need. Abolishing advertising does nothing to help people who aren’t helping themselves by being educated on need vs. perception. People should buy for quality for their dollars, not because they’ve heard that X brand is better than the other. Look at the evidence, not the advertisement. It’s what plenty of users are doing here when they say that they buy Hunts instead of generic, because Hunts taste better. To them, that’s evidence. No one should buy anything just because the TV said so (QVC and HSN addicts included).

      • jesusofcool says:

        Youv’e touched upon a really good point. Advertising isn’t going away, but what we can do is teach people at an early age to understand interpret advertising as an intelligent person. The best classes I took in college were communications courses because knowing the strategies people and corporations are using to convince you of their point of view is half the battle.
        Why can’t we have mandatory Consumer Education classes in high schools or public universities, just like most high schools required students to take some sort of Civics course. Use it to teach the basics – what’s a credit card, debit card, savings acct, checking acct and how do they work, how to balance a check book, history of advertising, grocery store math etc. Schools are phasing out cooking and sewing and home economics but they should be replacing it with Consumer Education.

  21. ElizabethD says:

    Supermarket-brand sliced swiss and mozzarella for lunch sandwiches. Once you get the mustard or mayo on there, the difference isn’t a dealbreaker. (Snacking cheese, though: only good stuff.)

    Store-brand frozen vegetables.

    I always, always buy the generic, cheap-o OTC medications (ibuprofen, antihistamines, Pepto-Bismol, etc.)

  22. colorisnteverything says:

    I buy generic:
    paper towels, milk, flour, sugar, cereal, ketchup, pasta, olive oil (the aldi stuff is YUMMY), snacks, etc.

    I will not buy generic:
    butter (I spend extra for taste), cheese, mac ‘n cheese, cocoa (I want fair trade), coffee (taste and fairtrade).

    I love Aldi. It saves me a lot of money. I shopped there for everything but meat really when I was in the UK. It was awesome. I love their stuff and it is quick and easy to shop there if it is not the first of the month. I usually go there first then hit the grocery across the street.

  23. HeatherLynn30 says:

    I used generic a lot before the recession, but now nearly everything we buy is Target or Kroger brand, and with most stuff, we have noticed no difference. In some cases, the generic is even better than the name-brand. The only generic I can think of that I’ve never been a fan of is generic Q-tips – nothing is as good as the real thing!

    But I do check the prices to make sure that we’re getting the best deal with generic – usually you are, but sometimes you’re not, so it’s smart to stay on top of things.

  24. humphrmi says:

    Ah, a topic near and dear to my heart. Loyal brand-name shopper here, or at least I was until about 2 months ago, when circumstances dictated that we needed to really bear down on our monthly expenses. We’d cut other stuff before, but we needed to take a serious chunk out of our budget – and we did it by switching from name brands to generics.

    We did this slowly at first – trying generics from the nearby Food4Less (Krogers), and as we liked them, we continued to replace our name brands. Now we’re nearly 100% generic.

    The kicker is, Kroger’s is well known… famous, if you will… for competing head-to-head with name brands. For instance, I did not think that we would be able to buy generic orange juice. But we tried it, we love it, and now we won’t go back to Tropicana or Florida’s Best. Found out later that Kroger’s invested pretty heavily in their taste test / R&D kitchens, and spent quite a bit of time finding the perfect OJ. At least that’s what they say. We believe them… and buy it.

    Same goes for other stuff I didn’t think we’d switch to – peanut butter, apple juice, iced tea, etc. Now we’re trying the Kroger brand generic lunchmeat. So far so good. The only thing we’re not 100% thrilled with is the bread; just not as soft as Wonder. But we can live with it.

    We tried these out of necessity. I suspect that the situation necessitating our buying generics will remedy itself in 2-3 months. Will we go back? Why would we? (OK, *maybe* Wonder bread. But that’s all.) Tasty food for cheap at a store closer to our house than the big chain stores, I don’t see any reason to spend more money for the same taste.

  25. Malicious A says:

    It is my personal opinion that in some cases, store brand is way better than the name brand. For instance, I truly love Sams Cola. But Sams brand Dr pepper is terrible.

    It all depends on the product for me.

  26. flyingember says:

    I switched to the store brand (Hy-Vee) for about half of what we buy years ago. there’s some stuff we stick to name brand because of taste or quality but I once looked in our cabinet and well over half was store brand.

    we watch the size and per ounce price of the name brand, Sam’s Club and the store brand of certain items. We’ve decided the huge size of spices Sam’s is cheaper just because it’s bulk but that no one beats the store brand on price for stuff like canned veggies and fruit, cereal and other basics where Sam’s does not have a store brand for sale. (Sam’s only beats on pasta because they sell an offbrand)

    I hardly notice the difference.

    I just can’t get the newest, greatest colored cookie or flavor of pasta side in the store brand and for that we watch for sales.

  27. TheMonkeyKing says:

    In taste…
    Kroger Ginger Ale (BigK) = Canada Dry
    Kroger Ginger Ale (BigK) > Schwepps

    Pricewise…
    Save 50 cents / 2-liter
    Save $1 / 2-liter

  28. alstein says:

    The one generic I like is Wal Mart’s pancake mix. I feel that’s really good.

  29. MaytagRepairman says:

    We are eating at home more. If anything we are actually upgrading rather than downgrading. The money we save eating at home is making us better at cooking and in turn we are buying higher quality items rather than what is cheapest per ounce. Took me 15+ years out of college to quit being a tightwad at the grocery store.

  30. relzlob says:

    Sadly, I have downgraded beers. I hope that it is not for good.

  31. henrygates3 says:

    We already downgraded long before the recession hit. It’s bad in a way, since now we can’t really downgrade now.

  32. Tim says:

    I almost always buy Target and Giant brands (occasionally CVS too) when they’re available and of sufficient quality/taste/etc. But I don’t know if I’d call it a downgrade. I entered the “real world” (out of college, first job) in September 2008, and switched to store brands shortly after that. I didn’t buy store brands before that, but then again, I wasn’t buying much of my own stuff.

    I think it’s definitely a decision based on the economy, but not necessarily a downgrade.

  33. Cameraman says:

    Having grown up poor, I am certainly brand conscious. I’ll go even further- having grown up poor, I was actually proud to be able to afford the ‘good’ brands. This is as opposed to my wife, who grew up more or less middle class, and can’t understand why someone would want to pay extra for what is essentially the same product.

    Thanks to the financiapocalypse and my wife losing her job, we’ve had to cut back. We buy in bulk from Costco and I’ve stopped having all my clothes dry-cleaned. There are two things I refuse to buy generic, however- ketchup (Heinz) and mayonnaise (Hellman’s). My wife swears she can taste the difference in orange juices, so we only buy the Tropicana for her. Everything else is Kirkland (Costco house brand).

  34. ichiban1081 says:

    Actually I’ve been making a lot of items I usually buy from scratch. My own BBQ sauce, alfredo, pasta, cookies, mayo, etc. It’s actually a lot more fun and I just stock up on the ingredients I need at BJ’s. During the recession my culinary skills have grown.

  35. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    If anything, going back to school changed my buying habits more than the recession did. But I’d been buying a mix of generic and name brand before the recession.

    But there are some things I just don’t buy at all anymore, like chips. I just don’t get enough out of eating chips to justify paying $3+ for a bag.

  36. gparlett says:

    Completely depends on the product category, everything I buy at the grocery store I go generic. Electronics? Heck no, generics will burn you every time. The Sony TV is absolutely better than the Westinghouse.

    • Fred E. says:

      They’re both brand names: Westinghouse was founded in the 1880′s and Sony was founded in the 1940′s.

  37. SugarMag says:

    I’ve been downgrading for years. Before the “official” start of the recession, I rarely was paying full name brand price on almost all everyday products. I usually only buy things on sale or store brand. Sale + coupon beats the store brand most of the time. Some store brands, like Target and Wegman’s are great – I’m not “downgrading” at all using them.

    If you get into a rountine of never running out of essentials and only buying them discounted, you can live without paying full price for most everyday items.

    If I really downgraded I would have to give up *my* essentials, like fabric softener and good coffee. I would do w/o, especially with something like coffee – it has to be the good stuff or nothing.

  38. amhorach says:

    Funny you selected Food Lion brand soda for your picture.

    I switched from Diet Dr Pepper to Food Lion Diet Dr. Perky simply because Food Lion uses Splenda. The splenda sodas have a different mouth feel and I prefer them. As others have said, in some cases the generic or house brand tastes better than the name brand.

    Food Lion Nature’s Place organic ketchup is another example of a house brand being superior to the name brand, as there is no high fructose corn syrup in it at all.

  39. Andrew360 says:

    I drink a lot of Dr. Pepper. I’ll never even try Dr. Perky. EEW!

  40. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Walmart recently changed their Great Value generic brand packaging to a white background and simple lettering. It’s harder to find what you are looking for as everything looks the same now. It’s cheaper look (even though white costs as much to print) and I feel poorer buying it. Not a good packaging strategy if they want to retain loyalty when times get better.

  41. justsomeotherguy says:

    I normally shop at save-a-lot… with the asian markets, the open air market, and whole foods supplimenting what i cant find there. In general the generics are about the same quality as the non generics.

    mac and cheese? only buy the stuff with the cheese sauce, not the powder. the powder is crap even if it is name brand anyways.

    save-a-lot has spaghetti sauce that doesnt have sugar/hfcs! The ingredients reads like a classico lable.

    The canned goods… far cheaper… and the quality is great. CHEAP CANNED FRUIT! YES!

    Save-a-lot also has great prices and quality produce.

    i recently did basic shopping at giant eagle… paid more than twice what i would have at save-a-lot…. for the very same quality. what a rip off.

  42. DrXym says:

    I don’t know why people are so attached branded items when an generic equivalent exists. They cost more, and often the generic, no-name brand is either indistinguishable from the branded version, or the difference is neglible given the price differential. The extra money is just paying for marketing anyway, not necessarily higher quality.

    This absolutely applies to drugs, cleaning products and most kinds of food and drink too. I recognise that some products are special, or unique, and sometimes the generic might be awful but more often than not, this is not the case. Who the hell cares what brand bleach is? Or nappies? Or cheese? Or ? It is either a good product or it isn’t. The brand name should mean squat.

  43. Outrun1986 says:

    Sometimes the generic is very, very close to the price of the brand name at certain stores, and it may be cheaper to get the brand name if you have a coupon, especially if that coupon doubles. I have seen a 10 cent difference at certain stores (if your buying for one person it might not be worth it to switch for 10 cents). Just saying… ALWAYS buying generic might not be the best way to save.

    • humphrmi says:

      I think that there is a difference (at least for me) on where we do our shopping. We started buying generics when we shopped at Jewel & Dominicks (basically, Safeway and Albertsons in the Chicago area) and, yes, the prices weren’t *much* different, a little lower but nothing that put a noticeable dent in our grocery bill.

      Then we started going to Food4Less, and buying the generic Kroger brand, and there is a HUGE difference in price. We’re seeing a noticeable (couple hundred dollars a month) savings.

      It’s my opinion that the generic / store brands are indeed cheaper at discount groceries than the big supermarket chains.

  44. Ubernostrom says:

    I almost always buy generic, and I’ve been trying to get my girlfriend to do the same for a while now. What most people don’t realize is that a lot of generic food items are made in the same factories, in the same way and with the same ingredients as the name brand items. I probably save 40-50 dollars a week just buying generic stuff.

  45. duncanblackthorne says:

    Other than as a rare treat, people shouldn’t be drinking soda anyway, it does terrible things to your body.

  46. Awjvail says:

    I dunno if you any of you guys have had Presidents Choice (it’s the store brand of all of the Loblaws chains across Canada), but their food is really good… like, on par with the brand name, sometimes even better. They even have the “Blue Menu” which is healthier (and they tell you right on the box HOW it is healthier than the comparable other PC product), which is also really good.

    Although there is one thing that I cannot stand when it is not name brand: Ketchup. Only Heinz has got it right – all the other ones taste like they have way too much vinegar in them.

    And yes, I work for the company.

  47. Naame says:

    I have downgraded to some stuff permanently. There is other stuff which I tried to downgrade to for a while, but later decided that the better stuff was worth paying the extra money. There are not so many products which I have downgraded to only temporarily due to the recession. Although, there are products which I have decided to forgo almost completely until the recession is over.

  48. thisistobehelpful says:

    I don’t buy a lot of stuff that comes in brand/generic except for veggies. And for some odd reason the grocery store I go to frequently has birdseye veggies going for less than their store brand stuff which is a surprise to me. Then the stuff I do buy that’s packaged is because I know that brand has a quality that other brands and the generic don’t have. Like I don’t get Annie’s shells and cheese because it’s organic I get it because I find them hella tasty compared to Kraft or Stop n Shop. I go for cheapest milk and a certain brand of egg because I find it takes only two instead of three to make an omelet because their jumbo is really jumbo.

  49. dolemite says:

    I bought some “Mountain Lion” the other day, when I noticed a 12 pack of Mt. Dew was *on sale* for $4.99. Lion was only $1.99. I’d say it is 80% as good as the original, for about 60% less money.

  50. mbz32190 says:

    I always buy generic unless I can get the name brand cheaper with a coupon. I also shop (and work) at Wegmans, and have never had a problem with any of their items. The “W-O’s” taste no different than Oreo’s…the 79 cent boxes of tissues are really made by Scotties, some of the cereal, I discovered, comes from Quaker plants, etc. There really is no difference. Store brand cookies from most stores though, are plain nasty and I always avoid them when shopping at another store. I would even go with the store brand tissue (pretty much all comes from Scott), except I can usually get the name brands with a coupon for less. I still don’t understand why people pick up Bounty or Tide, which are extremely overpriced to begin with..or Aquafina, which isn’t even real spring water, when the store brand actually comes from some sort of spring and costs less! (Also, stores love generics because they have a much higher profit margin than the name brands).

    • SugarMag says:

      Tide really is the best though. It truly is. Buy on sale + coupon – it isn’t so bad in price, maybe $1 – $1.50 more than the store brand. I think it is worth it. Plus a $11 bottle lasts me eight months.

  51. NoDavidOnlyZuul says:

    My fiance’s aunt and uncle live in South Carolina. When i’m down there, I love going to the Piggly Wiggly and picking up some Mr. Pig (Mr. Pibb). Being from IL, the closest i can get to that store is Moo & Oink.

  52. dryfire says:

    For some things I buy regularly I generally buy one of each and taste each one. I rank each one, calculate the price per gram/L/item etc… (ounces, quarts, pints, pounds etc… still confuse me) and decide what to buy from there.

    However, in areas where there are a lot of options some initial filtering is necessary. For instance with bread I remove items with HFCS and bromated flour (if possible). Then I sort them depending on the number of ingredients then choose the top 5 or so for testing.

  53. 3rdUserName says:

    I wish someone would make off brand nutrition supplements.. I spend about 300.00 a month on overpriced MRP and other assorted powders..

  54. Scotus63 says:

    Aldi is a great grocery store (small store and they carry mainly Aldi brands). The Aldi brand items are good quality, the prices are fantastic, and they occasionally have store brands too. Try out their items and see what you can subsitute for items you buy at the regular grocery store.

  55. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I buy a LOT of generic stuff from Aldi, but there are some things I won’t budge on when it comes to the name brand. If I’m gonna get bologna, it better be Oscar Meyer; same with hot dogs. Cheerios – the same. Things like graham crackers don’t matter. They don’t have to be Honey Maid.

    With milk I don’t care either way. Aldi’s milk comes in an opaque container and it tastes as good as regular. Since the price has gotten so high on milk and I drink a lot of it, I tend to buy whatever’s cheapest, be it store or name brand. Dillon’s store brand is okay, and the Prairie Farms at Price Cutter too.

  56. Garbanzo says:

    Pretty much for every type of food we eat, we try different brands (including store brands) until we find the one we like the best. Then we buy that brand until they discontinue it.

    After they discontinued our salsa, we got over a dozen different ones to try. I’m keeping track of the results in a spreadsheet. Right now I’m also working on picking a low-cal salad dressing.

    Pretty much we just buy whatever we like best. We stock up when there are sales, but otherwise we just pay what it costs to get what we want.

  57. clairedeloony says:

    Safeway diet soda! Seriously, I don’t even buy Diet Coke on sale anymore. First of all, the Safeway brand is delicious – strikes that balance between the bitterness of Diet Coke and the sweetness of Diet Pepsi – and second of all, it’s cheaper than even the sale price of brand-name stuff. Even during the “Buy 2 Get 3 Free” 12-pack sales. Can you tell I’m kind of hooked on diet soda?

    Also they call it “Go2 Cola.” It’s a subtle joke, but it makes me snicker.

  58. pittstonjoma says:

    I buy everything I can in generic. I also do my absolute best to get the cheapest price for everything. For instance, I almost never buy something that isn’t on sale, and if it isn’t on sale, I’ll buy it where I work so I can get my employee discount.

  59. rwalford79 says:

    I see so many people complaining about “milk” on here… I cant stand cardboard containers. 1. They taste weird, like paper and wax 2. They usually arent as reusable as plastic jugs (certainly not as easy to use to pour) 3. I dont care about missing kids on the boxes, I pay for milk, not missing kids. To me, milk is milk, as long as it is in a plastic jug. I have a taste preferrance for “Clover” but I dont always buy it. I also like “Safeway” Eggnog more then any other brand, but whatever.

    Soda, its Pepsi or anything “Lemon-Lime, Grape, Strawberry, or Dr. Peppery” that is cheap non-name brand. I will NEVER willingly buy “cola” flavored off-brand, and I NEVER buy “Coca-Cola” colas..eww.

    My point is…Ive always been thrifty. My roommates hate the fact that Ill shop at a WinCo, Food-4-Less, or FoodsCo. and not shop at Whole Foods (where I used to work) and buy all organic. Personally, outside milk and soda, in a time of need and recession, its about saving money, and while Ive always been a thrifty shopper, I will spend more when I want to try something new, but I just cant justify affording so called “better” things in smaller amounts because “its organic” or because others might judge me…

    For me, its all about HOW MUCH food and full I can get for less, not how cool I look with the brand names I can get.

  60. bhost1 says:

    I used to drink Pepsico and Coc-Cola products, even though they cost more tna gasoline, but have since changed to Meijer store-brand soft drinks because the taste is close enough and they’re half the price!