How buying store brands at the supermarket will save you money

Consumer Reports

View photo

.
How buying store brands at the supermarket will save you money

Frugal shoppers know that swapping private-label products for brand-name ones can save big bucks at the supermarket checkout--an average of 25 percent, according to industry experts.

And our tests have found that many store brands are just as good as the big names. If you're still reluctant to buy them, here are some more reasons to give them a try, along with tips for making the smartest choices:


  • In a recent comparison of 19 grocery staples, our sensory experts judged that the store-brand and name-brand versions tied in 10 cases, the brand name prevailed in eight comparisons, and the store brand bested the name brand once.

  • You might prefer the taste of the store brand to the name brand. Store brands and name brands rarely taste identical. That's because two products might have ingredients of similar quality but taste very different. For example, our taste testers called Skippy and Wegmans creamy peanut butter a tie. But they found Skippy a bit sweeter and slightly more bitter than Wegmans, which had more of a roasted flavor.

MORE AT COnsumer Reports

  • Some of the same companies produce and package competing name and store brands. Among them are Hormel (canned meat, bouillon, and desserts); Marcal (paper towels, tissues, and napkins); McCain (french fries, appetizers, and frozen pizza); and Reynolds (foil, plastic wrap, and disposable plates and cups).


  • Shoppers are most likely to buy store-brand paper goods and plastics. They're more leery of store-brand pet food, soda, canned soup, and wine.

(See also: Frozen pizza taste test)


  • People are buying more store brands than ever before. Almost two-thirds of shoppers surveyed last summer said that their grocery carts were at least half full with store-brand products.


  • It's a good idea to compare the Nutrition Facts labels of store and name brands before you buy. We recently compared 33 pairs of similar foods. About half of the items were about the same in nutrition. But we found some major differences between the rest, most often in sodium content. For example, Great Value Vienna Sausage contains 88 percent more sodium than Libby's, making the name brand more nutritious. Price Chopper's Clear Value Italian Dressing costs less than half the price of Ken's Steak House Italian. And Ken's is loaded with fat.


  • Pay attention to serving size when you compare store and brand names, even if products look the same. A serving size for Hy-Vee Split Top Whole Wheat Bread is one slice (90 calories). A serving size is two slices (130 calories) for Freihofer's Split Top Wheat. That means the store-brand bread will set you back an extra 50 calories per sandwich.

Copyright © 2006-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Some of the latest ESPN layoffs are part of an effort to save its dying flagship program — 'SportsCenter'

      ESPN announced its latest round of layoffs on Wednesday morning — 100 employees are expected to...

      Business Insider
    • How a Mom's Fitbit Led Police to Charge Her Husband with Her Murder

      How a Mom's Fitbit Led Police to Charge Her Husband with Her Murder

      People
    • Rabbit set to be world's biggest dies on United Airlines flight in fresh PR disaster

      United Airlines has confirmed they are investigating reports that a giant rabbit died while travelling to Chicago on one of its transatlantic flight. Simon, a three-foot continental rabbit, was reportedly travelling from Heathrow to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport after the 10-month old bunny was purchased by a celebrity owner. ‘The client who bought Simon is very famous.

      Yahoo News UK
    • Can You Spot The Snake In This Photo?

      If you can, you have better eyes than most

      Esquire
    • Fox News anchor accuses White House of 'trying to cover up Michael Flynn scandal'

      A Fox News anchor has accused the White House of behaving in a way consistent with a “cover-up” over the actions of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Although the network is frequently accused of being a cheerleader for President Donald Trump, host Shepard Smith did not hold back in his comments, made after the House Oversight Committee said Mr Flynn appeared to have broken the law in receiving payments from Russian organisations and the Turkish Government. Mr Flynn resigned in February after it emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence over conversations he had with a Russian ambassador.

      The Independent
    • Man fatally shot while going door-to-door asking to paint addresses on curbs in Norwalk

      A 50-year-old man was shot and killed Tuesday evening as he sought donations to paint to home addresses along curb lines in a Norwalk neighborhood, authorities said. The man, who has not been identified, was walking along the 14400 block of Dinard Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. when he was shot several times in the upper torso, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He died at the scene. “There is no suspect information, nor a motive for the shooting,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Cotter told reporters at the scene the man had been asking residents if he could paint their addresses on the curb in exchange for a donation to charity. Anyone with

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Tarek El Moussa Just Revealed What Pushed Him to File For Divorce and It Might Shock You

      When Tarek El Moussa filed for divorce from wife and HGTV partner in crime Christina El Moussa in December 2016, we had a lot of questions, and now, he's telling all. Tarek recently sat down with Us Weekly to talk about what caused his split, as well as that shocking incident where Christina called the cops on her then-husband in May of last year. "It was a gradual thing over time," the Flip or Flop star said when asked about what went wrong in his marriage. "We were both very busy people with health issues and kids. We didn't fight, we just grew apart." He explained that his battle with cancer took a toll on their relationship, as well as Christina's fertility issues and their miscarriage after

      PopSugar q
    • America's Ugliest College Campuses (13 photos)

      These college campuses emphasize brains over beauty.

      Travel+Leisure
    • How China's New Aircraft Carrier Compares To The USS Gerald R. Ford [Infographic]

      China launched its first domestically constructed aircraft carrier in the northeastern port of Dalian on Wednesday, according to state media. The unnamed vessel (classified as Type 001A) is set to become operational by 2020 and it’s the country’s second aircraft carrier after the Liaoning, a refurbished Soviet ship purchased from Ukraine in 1998. The new carrier is being viewed as a significant upgrade over the Liaoning, which many analysts believe is being used primarily for training as Beijing seeks to develop a true blue-water navy and modernize its military. The new Type 001A looks similar to the Liaoning but it has a larger hangar and increased deck space, meaning it can carry more J-15 fighter aircraft and helicopters than its predecessor.

      Forbes q
    • The latest on ESPN layoffs: Ed Werder among list of employees let go

      ESPN is set to lay off about 100 staffers, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports, including recognizable reporters and analysts.

      Sports Illustrated
    • Caitlyn Jenner kept rudely interrupting Kelly Ripa on ‘Live’

      It’s “Live with . . . Caitlyn!” On Tuesday morning’s “Live with Kelly” show, Caitlyn Jenner was a guest — and possibly one of the rudest ever. Jenner, who appeared to promote her memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” continuously cut off Kelly Ripa and guest co-host, John Leguizamo. At one point, Jenner even turned the tables on Ripa, asking when she first identified as a female. “Just think about that,” she said, pointing her manicured finger at Ripa. “When did you know you were a girl?” Jenner then made Leguizamo her target, asking him how he enjoyed dressing in drag in the 1995 comedy, “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” The painful 15-minute interview consisted of endless, self-congratulatory

      New York Post q
    • Vin Diesel Responds to Charlize Theron’s Comments About On-Screen Kiss

      Fate of the Furious star Vin Diesel stopped by Ellen on Tuesday where he finally got the chance to respond to Furious co-star Charlize Theron’s comments when she appeared on the show recently. Diesel and Theron’s characters in the film, Dom and Cipher respectively, share an on-screen kiss in which Cipher grabs and kisses the unwilling Dom. In an interview, Diesel said the kiss was great. Theron’s response Diesel’s comments regarding the kiss was anything but kind, and apparently this is the first he was hearing about it.

      Superfan Movies
    • Man threw girlfriend's autistic twins, 4, into bitterly cold sea while high

      A Boston man is accused of throwing his girlfriend's four-year-old autistic twins into bitterly cold water at a beach on Monday (24 April) while high on heroin. Mikel Anthony Hilerio, 29, of Roxbury, has been charged with two counts of recklessly endangering a child. A police report described the state of the children after troopers were called to the scene by witnesses.

      International Business Times
    • Rockets and Sparks! Inseparable Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott “Definitely Looked Like a Couple” at PDA-Filled NBA Game

      A week after hitting up Coachella together, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott were spotted getting cuddly at an NBA playoff game in Houston.

      People
    • Republicans have a new plan to repeal Obamacare — and it may bring them closer to passing 'Trumpcare'

      Republicans have a new plan to revive their overhaul of the healthcare system, and it may bring...

      Business Insider
    • Amazon’s $96 sound bar is so good it doesn’t need a separate subwoofer

      It used to be that if you wanted to add decent sound to your TV, you need to spend upwards of $1,000 on a surround sound system. The the home audio market got much more competitive, and prices began to fall. Things really took a turn when companies began launching sound bars, which cost less to make and didn't require users to run cables all over their homes. Fast-forward to today, and you can get a solid sound bar with a wireless subwoofer for between $200 and $300. And then there's the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofer , a 4-star rated home audio solution that costs less than $100. The nifty design builds the sub right into the sound bar itself, delivering great sound, a compact design, and the easiest possible installation. Here are a few more details from the product page: 31.5-inch sound bar with built-in subwoofer enhances home-audio systems (not compatible with universal or TV remotes) Bluetooth technology v2.1 + EDR with A2DP & AVRCP for seamless streaming from various devices Full-range stereo speakers; up to 92 dB (2.1 channels) 4-piece 2-inch round frame; mid- to high-range drivers; 4-by-2.7-inch sub-range driver; 2-piece passive radiator 3 sound modes: Standard, News, and Movie; remote control and wall-mount hardware included; measures 31.5 by 3.2 by 3.5 inches (W x H x D)

      BGR News
    • I've Slowly Discovered The Tragic Curse Of The Nintendo Switch

      I’m on vacation, which means naturally, I’m still writing as I haven’t taken a day off since uh, 2011. But this trip actually inspired a story all on its own, as it’s allowed me to experience the full appeal of the Nintendo Switch for the very first time. I’ve spoken previously about how much I was surprised to find I liked handheld mode, and while I’ve taken my Switch here and there so far, this was my first international trip where I got to literally take a home game console along for the ride. Breath of the Wild on the plane. Mario Kart at the hotel. It’s been an almost surreal experience that Nintendo actually made this work. While a portable/handheld merge always sounded good in theory,

      Forbes q
    • ESPN will cut 100 on-air personalities today

      ESPN is cutting 100 on-air personalities, and more than 100 employees in total. It's a result of rising programming costs and falling subscriber numbers. Here are the full details of the layoffs.

      Yahoo Finance
    • Coulter says ‘Gotcha!’ to cowards at UC Berkeley

      So it looks like Ann Coulter just turned the volume up to 11 and broke off the knob. The reference is to her ongoing dispute with UC Berkeley, which declined to provide her a venue for a speech she was contracted to give on campus Thursday. As more than one observer has pointed out, in cancelling a speaking engagement by the right wing flame thrower, the famously liberal school has embarrassed, betrayed and besmirched its proud legacy as the birthplace of the free speech movement of the 1960s. It has also more than earned the lawsuit filed against it Monday by the Berkeley College Republicans and Young America's Foundation, the two groups sponsoring Coulter’s appearance. The school says free

      Miami Herald q