Cool Ideas

Is the Store Brand Always Better?

There's a good chance that somewhere along the line you learned that buying a generic or store brand is better than its brand name counterpart. And while in many cases this mantra rings true, there are certain instances where you should consider going with the big name brand. Whether it's a better deal or just better quality, read on to see when you should pass on store brands.

Store Brand Groceries
  • Paper products. This is a perfect example of when quality wins over price. While generic or store brand paper products are cheaper per unit, they tend to fall apart more easily, meaning you'll use twice as much (and have to buy twice as much). Save yourself the headache and opt for the name brand.
  • Diapers. In the case of diapers, unfortunately, not all generic brands were made equal. And while it's no wonder you might be tempted to go with the cheaper brand on this pricey item, it might not be worth it. Many parents complain that store brand diapers leak more, leading to unwelcome messes (usually during the worst possible moment, natch). Lucky for you, diaper coupons are pretty easy to find, especially right here on CoolSavings.
  • Cleaning products. Like diapers, generic brand cleaning products tend to be less effective, and who really wants to spend more time cleaning? Besides, cleaning products tend to last a long time, so we recommend spending a few extra dollars each year to get your home in pristine condition.
  • Trash bags. This is one area where you don't want to mess around—literally! Name brand trash bags are usually stronger and less prone to breaking. If you are lucky enough to have a store brand pass the test, great, but otherwise go with the tried and true.
  • When you have a coupon. Because store brands are so cost-efficient, grocery stores do not typically offer coupons for the products, nor are they available in circulars, online, newspapers, etc. On the flipside, name brand coupons are available just about everywhere, meaning with a little homework they could actually be the better buy. In fact, just a few minutes on CoolSavings each week could equal as much as $75 in savings at the checkout.
  • When you have to sacrifice taste. Unless there is a huge price difference, it's okay to buy the name brand if you like the taste better. While only you can be the true judge, store brand items like condiments and macaroni and cheese have overwhelmingly been voted to be not as good. But, really, it's all up to what you enjoy—and we think you should have some fun conducting the taste tests!