We all like to save money and constantly find ourselves at the store asking; "what should I buy? Generic or brand name?" Perhaps this information will make the decision easier for you next time you are in this predicament. 

I like to pretend I am a savvy shopper, but the truth is, I have a lot of room for improvement. I don't have the patience for couponing, I hate going from store to store to get the best deals, so instead I usually just grab the generic items to save money. I do realize that choosing generic for everything is not always wise, so here's a breakdown of the best choice for some everyday household items:

Buy generic for :

  • Staple food pantry items: Items like flour, sugar, butter, salt, milk, cereal and grain products are usually made by the same manufacturers as the brand name items, so the ingredients are usually the same.
  • Gift wrap - Sure, the dollar store brand may be a bit thinner than the premium brands of paper, but it's just as pretty, and it just gets ripped up anyway. Use a little more caution while wrapping, and you can save a bunch of money!
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers - The FDA mandates that the generic brands must be of the same quality as the name brands, so why pay a couple dollars more for a bottle of ibuprofen?
  • All-purpose cleaners - Generic brand bathroom cleaners, bleach, furniture polish and other everyday cleaning items usually work just as good as the brand names. Although, brand names are usually best if you're looking for a cleaner to do a specific job such as remove tough carpet stains or get rid of mold and mildew.


Buy name brand for:

  • Paper products - This is totally based on preference. Generic paper plates and napkins are usually o.k., but some generic brands of toilet paper and paper towels can be quite thin. I don't think anyone likes a finger poking through something it shouldn't if you know what I'm saying..
  • Laundry detergent - A lot of generic brands will leave behind a nasty residue, and that kind of defeats the purpose of doing laundry in the first place.

For more information on buying generic, check this out: 10 Items You Should Always Buy Generic.