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

    • 'Put up the picture again': Chris Wallace uses photos to confront Trump chief of staff over false crowd-size claims

      Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Sunday over...

      Business Insider
    • 40-year-old Florida woman accused of sex with teens at her child’s party

      A Florida woman accused of having sex with teenagers is facing additional charges in connection with the same incident. A total of five victims have now been identified, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Three of them are 16-year-old boys. Jaimie Ayer, 40, was charged with an additional four counts of unlawful sexual activity. The sheriff’s office announced Thursday she was originally charged with three counts of unlawful sexual activity of certain minors. At that time, officials determined there were two victims, 16- and 17-year-old males. All seven counts stem from an incident on Dec. 23 in which the Bradenton woman allegedly was giving alcohol and having sex with minors at

      Miami Herald q
    • Royals' Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

      Yordano Ventura quit school as a teenager so he could begin working a construction job to help his family make ends meet, laboring day after day in the hot sun of the Dominican Republic. It was a chance ...

      Associated Press 31 min ago
    • Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it's 'too late'

      In 2010, physicist Stephen Hawking voiced concern about the possibility that we might contact...

      Business Insider
    • Creator of Rihanna’s Iconic Hoodie for the Women’s March Explains How It All Happened

      Model Leomie Anderson’s LAPP line is making waves thanks to stars like Rihanna. Rihanna gave her fans two powerful looks for inauguration weekend. To get her message across, the Barbadian princess chose to wear a new brand, launched just last year by model Leomie Anderson.

      Yahoo Style
    • Discarded protest signs from the Women’s March in NYC (28 photos)

      Following the march in New York City, protesters left behind thousands of signs around Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower. Many signs left near a construction site were taken home by admirers as souvenirs. One group of placards was made into an art installation on East 57th Street, while many of these great signs were discarded near receptacles along Fifth Avenue waiting for sanitation. (Yahoo News) Photography by Gordon Donovan /Yahoo News _____ Related slideshows: Slideshow: Signs of the Women's March around the world >>> Slideshow: Women's March on Washington, D.C. >>> Slideshow: Women’s March around the world >>> Slideshow: How newspapers covered President's Trump inauguration >>> Slideshow: Anti-Trump inauguration protests break out in U.S. >>> Slideshow: Protests worldwide against the inauguration of Donald Trump >>> Slideshow: Obama's Washington >>> Slideshow: Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day >>> Slideshow: 66 hands on 66 Bibles >>> See more news-related photo galleries , and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.  

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Wynonna Judd Reacts to Ashley Judd's Women's March Speech

      Wynonna Judd usually uses social media to share news, bits of wisdom and faith, or to have discussions with her fans, but she found herself in a very different position on Saturday (Jan. 21). After her sister, Ashley Judd, took the stage at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., to deliver an impassioned speech denouncing President Donald Trump, Wynonna turned to Twitter to explain her own position at length. Ashley Judd’s speech was one of the most talked-about moments of the day-long march, which according to multiple media reports drew more people to Washington to protest the election of President Trump than his inauguration drew the day before (Trump called those reports “dishonest” during

      Taste of Country q
    • Criminals can’t wait to be arrested by this sexy cop

      Talk about New York’s Finest. Samantha Sepulveda is a local police officer who doubles as a lingerie and swimsuit model — and her sexy poses have garnered more than 110,000 followers on her @sammysep Instagram page. Sepulveda, 32, is only 5-foot-2 but deceptively tough. She’s a fitness fanatic who wields her femininity more effectively than a firearm. “I talk men into handcuffs all the time because they don’t want to fight me,” she told The Post. She joined the force in 2010. About three years later, a friend who worked for a lingerie and swimsuit company invited her to model in a runway fashion show — and launched her new career. Sepulveda refused to name her police department to avoid any notoriety,

      New York Post q
    • Twitter roasts Trump aide for calling lies 'alternative facts'

      In the world of fake news, now we also have "alternative facts."  On Saturday, President Donald Trump's first full day in office, his press secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference in which he falsely claimed that the previous day's crowd was the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period." SEE ALSO: Inauguration crowds are looking puny compared to Women's March crowds Spicer's false remarks instantly became a new meme and sent the internet into a fury. On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, appeared on NBC's Meet The Press , where Chuck Todd grilled the Trump administration for spreading falsehoods on their first full day in office. In response, Conway called the falsehoods "alternative facts." "Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods," Chuck Todd tells Pres. Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway this morning. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/Ao005dQ13r — Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 22, 2017 Yes. Alternative facts. No, you aren't living in an alternative reality, this is real life.  The hashtag #AlternativeFacts quickly started trending on Twitter Sunday morning. Do you want your pilot using #alternativefacts about speed or altitude? — Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) January 22, 2017 President Trump was honored to have Prince and David Bowie perform at his inauguration. Springsteen cried. So jealous. #alternativefacts — Sean Spiceboy Spicer (@DatSpiceBoy) January 22, 2017 I'm using #alternativefacts on my bank loan application tomorrow.    — Robert Graves (@RggnycRobert) January 22, 2017 Wow #alternativefacts. This is so frightening. This is the scariest part of Trumps Presidency. When facts don't matter anymore we all lose. — Tracy Hardaway (@TracyMHardaway) January 22, 2017 I just saw Conway speak about #AlternativeFacts and I'm so completely disgustedNo, the worlds has facts. You don't get to create the truth — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) January 22, 2017 There is no racism. #AlternativeFacts — Judith Browne Dianis (@jbrownedianis) January 22, 2017 So now there is #alternativefacts....Oh.....ok. pic.twitter.com/oVxmLw0hQk — Benjamin Di'Costa (@BenjaminDiCosta) January 22, 2017 I have a mandate from the people. I care about you. I have divested from my businesses.I have the biggest crowds.#alternativefacts — Unpresidented (@UnpresidentedAF) January 22, 2017 In addition to Spicer complaining about the media's coverage of crowd size, Trump also complained during a briefing at the CIA headquarters on Saturday. "We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed," said Trump. "I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, they show an empty field. I said, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, a million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there." There is no official estimate of the crowd size on inauguration day, but there are some simple facts to prove it wasn't "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration." According to the Washington Post , the D.C. Metro's ridership was "lower than that of an average weekday." About 570,557 people rode the Metro on Friday vs 1.1 million who rode it in 2009 during Obama's inauguration. According to Nielson, 31 million viewers watched the inauguration on TV, which is lower than both Obama and Ronald Reagan's first inaugurations. Spicer also claimed that magnetometers were used on the National Mall for Trump's inauguration and prevented "hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the mall as quickly as they had in years past." A Secret Service spokesperson told CNN that magnetometers were not used during the inauguration. A USSS spokesperson tells us no magnetometers were used on the National Mall for Trump's inauguration. — Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 22, 2017 The floor coverings Spicer mentioned, that was also a lie. Or, ya know, alternative facts.  BONUS: Obama 'Hope' artist has a new set of powerful posters

      Mashable
    • Under Armour Athlete Recover Sleepwear: Our first take

      Officially termed Athletic Recover Sleepwear, these jammies incorporate bioceramic particles into the special pattern on the fabric itself to stimulate cells and tissue recovery. They’re also super comfortable.

      Digital Trends
    • Raging rivers, flooded freeways and a very wet Disneyland — scenes from Southern California's powerful storm

      The storm that hit Southern California on Sunday lived up to its ominous billing, delivering heavy, sustained rain that flooded numerous streets and heightened mudslide worries. Here are some scenes from across the region: Flooding Catching waves Life goes on At Disneyland on Sunday, crowds braved the rain and cold. Some rides were closed, but the fun continued.  Raging rivers Some basic flooding and mudslide facts and safety tips: Just 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwater can knock a person down. It takes only 2 feet of water to float a large vehicle. Floods can rise slowly or quickly, but most develop over a period of days. Property damage from flooding adds up to more than $1 billion a year

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Johnny Manziel Is At The AFC Championship Game And You Can Definitely Guess Who He's Rooting For

      ALERT: Johnny Manziel is at the #AFCChampionship. Johnny Manziel had one of the most notorious flame-outs of any first round draft pick in recent NFL history, but he still loves the game. Sure, he grew up in Texas and was employed by the Cleveland Browns, but that apparently hasn’t stopped him from attending the AFC Championship and rooting for the Patriots, according to his Snapchat.

      UPROXX
    • 10 Cars That Can Take You to 300,000 Miles

      Some of the most durable cars are also ones owners keep longer than a decade. Here are 10 vehicles with the chops to hit 300,000 miles and keep going.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Did Karen Pence and Her Blue Dress Steal the Show at the Inauguration Ball?

      All eyes were on the presidential procession during President Trump’s inauguration, and that includes getting a first look at some of the fashion choices of the new first family. However, it was Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, who according to some observers stole the show in a dazzling blue number at the evening inaugural ball.

      Yahoo Style
    • Carly Fiorina reacts to the Women's March on Washington

      Former presidential candidate suggests on 'Sunday Morning Futures' that demonstrators give the new president time

      Fox Business Videos
    • CNN Declines to Air White House Press Conference Live

      CNN this evening declined to air live a press conference with the nation’s new White House Press Secretary, pointing to a growing rift between the embryonic Trump administration and the press corps that covers it and undermining the credibility of Sean Spicer, a longtime Republican operative who has become the new spokesman for President Donald... Read more »

      Variety
    • Man Killed Trying to Stop Robbery at San Antonio Mall; 5 Others Injured

      A man was shot and killed in Texas while trying to stop a robbery at a mall jewelry store on Sunday afternoon. According to San Antonio police, two armed men robbed Kay Jewelers in San Antonio’s Rolling Oaks Mall. According to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, a second man pulled out his licensed concealed weapon and shot one of the suspects.

      People
    • Kellyanne Conway 'Didn't See the Point' to Women's March on Washington

      Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said she "didn't see the point" to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday. Nobody called me and said, 'Hey, could we have a dialogue?'" Conway told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on Sunday. Conway also addressed the celebrity presence at the march in Washington, D.C., which was one of hundreds such demonstrations Saturday around the U.S. and the world that drew over a million participants.

      Good Morning America
    • Tom Brady's kids have a diet that is almost as strict as his

      Tom Brady is a professional football player who is still in peak shape at an age (39) when most...

      Business Insider
    • Military members describe dancing with the Trumps

      'Fox & Friends' joined by service members who were chosen for inaugural dance with the president and first lady

      FOX News Videos