You should be jealous! Why? Because right now I’m eating the world’s most delicious and softest molasses cookie ever. Many molasses cookies have come before it in my life, but this one is the best. And I got a whole 12 pack of them from Wegmans for $1.79!
I realize that I am blessed, in a way. Wegmans is a grocery chain that started in my city (Rochester), but hasn’t yet expanded out of the Northeast United States. Personally, I think they should take over the whole world! Their dedication to customer service and quality is legendary. And when I lived in California for two summers? I pined for a visit to Wegmans. Other grocery stores just don’t add up.
For this reason, I hesitate to write about the value of buying generics (“store brand” products). I’m well aware that my local grocery chain offers super-high-quality generics, and that some others don’t. But I’ve been in other grocery stores (had to eat somehow in California), so my experience isn’t totally limited.
Generics are Good/Tasty
Try generics! Most of the time, you won’t notice a difference, because there isn’t one. If the peanut butter and pet food recalls taught us anything, it’s that most foods, no matter what the brand, come from just a small handful of processing centers. Which means that sometimes, the only difference between the store brand and the name brand is literally the packaging. I hate the idea of paying more just for a fancy logo on my shelf, so I always try the generic.
And 99% of the time, I’ve found the generic to be a good substitute. Over the past five years, I’ve only purchased one generic item that didn’t measure up to the name brand (sorry Wegmans, but your Raisin Bran Crunch knock-off needs some work. Too much bran, not enough sugary-crunch).
And generics can save you big money, of course! I haven’t done any scientific study on this, but generics seem to be at least 10% cheaper. That’s a quick way to knock some change off of your grocery bill, without sacrificing quality.
Not convinced? No one’s asking you to switch everything you love to generics right away. And even if you do switch, you might have a “Raisin Bran Crunch” scenario on your hands, and find that you like the name brand better for that particular product. But the best feeling in the world is knowing that you’re buying a product because you like it, and not because you’ve unwittingly become a victim to advertising and branding.
And for some things, you totally know there’s zero difference between the name brand and the generic. Name brand vinegar? Give me a break!
P.S. These molasses cookies are mine and no, you can’t have any.