As the economy is lingering at a stalemate between bad and really bad I have been trying to be a more thrifty shopper, especially when it comes to groceries. Therefore, I have divulged into the world of generic foods. Now this is only for my husband and myself. I grew up with the mantra (and still hold on to it) that there are just certain things I won’t buy generic. One is diapers. Another is baby food. And the third is probably ice cream. I’m committed to Blue Bell ice cream. Or maybe Haagen Dazs on occasion. But I refuse to go there. If I’m going to spend the money to buy a treat it might as well be a good one. Which isn’t necessarily thrifty, but we don’t buy ice cream that often. However everything else is fair game. I have lately been comparing and trying different generic products with brand name products to see if I notice a difference. I will share my highly detailed and of course well tested (by my husband and I, haha) knowledge of what I have found to be better, worse, or exactly the same. I will update as I try new things, but here are my first encounters.

  • Brand Name Rice Cereal vs. Generic Rice Cereal
  • The reason I bought it generic: Generic rice cereal is about 1.50 to 2.00 less than the brand product. I put fruit on my cereal anyway, and I don’t care if there is a toy in the box.
  • The verdict: To me it tastes exactly the same. Rice cereal is rice cereal. AND I made rice treats out of it and they tasted excellent.
  • Brand Name Marshmallows vs. Generic Marshmallows
  • The reason I bought it generic: Generic Marshmallows are again about 1.00 to 2.00 cheaper.
  • The verdict: In something cooked (Like the rice treats) they tasted fine. However, plain one’s taste odd to me…a bit Styrofoam-ish.
  • Brand name tomatoes (plain diced, crushed, whole, paste, and sauce…we eat  a lot of things with tomato in them) vs. Generic tomatoes (the same list)
  • The reason I bought it generic: About 1.00 cheaper.
  • The verdict: I haven’t eaten them plain (such as in a gazpacho, or a bruschetta spread) but in cooked foods I honestly can’t tell a difference.

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