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Skip The Brand Names: 10 Items You Should Always Buy Generic


It’s a sad day when you can’t rely on online reviews or product descriptions. Unfortunately, in this day of fake news and paid reviews, the words Buyer Beware are more on point than ever before.

There is some comfort in buying name brand products that have been around for a century or more, am I right? Sometimes, that peace of mind is worth it and sometimes, it’s just a waste of money.

Let me clue you in on 10 very common items that you can and should always buy generic because they are every bit as good as the name brand but cost far, far less.


Table Salt

Ok, so the little girl in the umbrella is a logo you’ve known forever, but let’s face facts; salt is salt. Read the ingredients on that blue packaged salt and any brand of generic salt. We bet you find those exact same ingredients. You might not be able to buy a new car with the price difference, but a buck saved is a good thing anytime.


As long as your toothpaste has the seal from the ADA, it’s just fine. Store brands are my favorite because they look the same and taste the same. Take note, however, and DO NOT BUY off brands from the dollar store that were made in China. Who knows what’s in that stuff.

Aluminum Foil

The only true difference in aluminum foil is the amount per roll and whether or not it is “heavy duty”, which means that it is thicker. Choose which type works best for you, figure out the price per foot and buy the cheap stuff. You will not notice a difference.

Bottled Water

Water is water is water folks. Almost all of it comes from the same darn place. In our opinion, you should buy a reusable water bottle and stay away from bottled water altogether. However, if you must buy bottles. Buy the cheap stuff, all you are getting from name brands is a pretty picture on the label and a name.


Alkaline batteries last the longest, so you should always choose those. Now that the little bunny is cute, but store brand or generic batteries will last just as long as name brand batteries. Don’t believe me? Do your own test and see.

Breakfast Cereals

My kids would turn their noses up at store brand or bulk cereals, so I did an experiment. I saved their old cereal boxes and put the store brand stuff in the box. I didn’t say a word until the box was finished. No one noticed a thing. Save some serious money and buy generic.

HDMI Cables

This is actually true of a great many types of electrical cables, but HDMI to be sure. All HDMI cables work the same and you will not notice any improvement if you buy a more expensive one. Get the length you need and ditch the label.

Spices, Sugar, and Baking Soda

When it comes to spices, it’s the freshness that makes a difference, not the label. The same is pretty much true with baking soda and sugar. Look at the expiration date and not the label. Store brands are a great way to save money on these items.

Cleaning Products

Every now and again, a truly different type of cleaning product comes along, but for the most part, dish soap, laundry soap, and bleach are basically all the same. Buy the store brand or off brands and save a pretty penny.

Over the Counter Medications

Did you know that the FDA demands that generic items, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and pink bismuth (known to you and me as Pepto Bismol) have the exact same ingredients as the brand name items? Now that you know, why pay for the name?

Kat Begonja

Kat Begonja

Lover of animals, writing and all things Croatian!