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Name Brands: Are They Worth the Extra Money?

Until now, for most consumers, buying well-known brands of groceries, health and beauty products or household items didn’t merit a second thought.  Think Kraft, L’Oreal, Pampers, Kellogg’s, Tylenol…you get the idea. When it came to brand selection, we saw, we reached, we purchased.  Not much consideration was given to generic or store brands which were dismissively referred to as “off” brands or “no-name” brands.
Fast-forward to 2008.  In the midst of a recession in our country, we are now faced with soaring costs of food, health and home products.  Many consumers, looking to save a few bucks wherever they can, are finally taking a second look at generics and store brands.

The fact is, there are many excellent products now being offered by lower-profile brands.  Not only is the price better, but the quality of the product is frequently just as good as the higher-priced brand name.
Case in point:  I was very fond of an Olay facial moisturizer called Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum. At $18.00 for a 1.7 oz. jar, it wasn’t cheap, but better than most of the high-end department store brands. While at Walmart one day last year, I noticed that next to the Olay brand was an Equate (Walmart’s house brand) product called Equate Daily Regenerating Serum.  It was $10.97 and had the identical ingredients to the Olay brand.  I decided to give it a try…and boy, am I glad I did. Not only is it every bit as good as the Olay brand, I actually like it better.  And every time I buy the Equate product, I congratulate myself for saving seven bucks.  
Of course, some store brands just don’t measure up to the national brands.  However, there are many that I’ve found which are every bit as good as higher-priced brands.  The cost savings is usually well-worth it, and I feel like I’ve made a smart consumer purchasing decision!

Reader Responses:

There are certain things that I buy in generic form and certain things that I'd rather have that are name brand. Crackers, cookies, q-tips, and mouthwash are items that I don't mind having the generic version of. Items like cold, and headache medicine, soap, and tissue are things that I'd rather have name brand. Generic tissue just never measures up to name brand and doesn't seem to last as long because it isn't as thick, so you have to use more of it. I have to use Dove Sensitive Skin soap because of my sensitive problem skin. I wouldn't trust any generic brand. When it comes to my health, I must use a reputable brand medicine. The generic brand may work just fine but I don't want to take my chances. Cookies and crackers all taste about the same to me, so if I can save a few bucks on those then I do and buy generic. So to sum it all up, I don't shop strictly generic or strictly name brand. It just all depends on what it is.

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