Many everyday items are being affected by inflation, including what we buy at the grocery store. But there are still ways to save more money shopping — including choosing to buy some products generic.
The next time you go shopping, opt for the generic (also known as off-brand or store-brand) versions of the following items.
Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account
Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1
With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!
This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.
Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.
Basic pantry items like sugar and flour can be very similar whether you buy the name brand or the generic. Other kitchen staples, such as salt, powdered sugar, and even vanilla, are also on this list.
Buy generic, and you’ll bake an extra dozen of those chocolate chip cookies without worrying about how much the ingredients cost.
Items like mustard and mayo use almost the same ingredients between the name-brand and generic versions.
In most cases, you may only be using a small amount for sandwiches or barbecue dishes, making it less likely that you’ll be able to notice a difference.
Pro tip: When you’re budgeting for groceries, you may want to find a way to splurge on condiments on occasion if you’re using them as a major ingredient for things like your neighborhood-famous potato salad.
Milk is a staple for some households, which is why stores have begun to stock their own generic brand instead of going with a brand name for their dairy aisle — even offering an organic version.
In fact, more than 57% of milk sold in the U.S. is a store brand.
Check the label to see where the milk in both the name and generic versions came from. It could have been supplied to both from the same regional dairy farm.
Get a protection plan on all your appliances
Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.
Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.
For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.
Cookies and chips are great foods to have around when you’re in the mood for a late night snack, but have you ever tried the generic brand?
In some cases, they may be just as good at satisfying your snacking as the name brand — but for a fraction of the cost.
Frozen vegetables may have little to no variance in the taste from farm to farm. Once they’re frozen and packaged, the biggest difference between your two options may just be the label on the outside.
In the United States, prescription drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. That means any drug you receive has been approved to be safe regardless of what the name is on the side of the bottle.
If you decide to ask for the less-expensive generic version, know that you’re not alone. In 2019, the FDA found that 9 out of 10 prescriptions filled were generic drugs.
Pasta may not vary much from brand to brand, which means you might not recognize the difference between the name brand and a generic version. Once you add different sauces or other ingredients, chances are your pasta will be delicious.
Like with frozen vegetables, you’re likely to see more of a variation in the packaging of produce than in the actual taste of it.
And with packaged produce like salads or baby carrots, the generic version probably won’t be much different than the pricy name-brand option.
While there are differences between one bottled water manufacturer and the next, the taste will remain basically the same.
So feel free to pick up a pack of the generic version, knowing it’s similar to the name brand.
Pro tip: If you’re working on paying off your debt or saving money, skip bottled water and invest in a reusable water bottle. It’s not only good for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet.
Stop overpaying when you shop online
Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.
Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.
Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!2
You may want to try out the generic version of aluminum foil at your local store and see how it holds up compared to the name-brand versions.
Chances are it may not be that different and could still save you money. Also think about doing the same test with name-brand plastic wrap compared to its generic version.
Those cartoon characters on the boxes in the cereal aisle may be inviting, but they also could cost you more money to put them on your pantry shelf.
Instead, try the generic version of those cereals the next time you head down that aisle. The box may not be as visually inviting, but it could save you some cash.
If you’re working on how to manage your money, try the generic version of your favorite foods the next time you go shopping.
In some cases, it might not only save you money, but you may find there’s no difference from the name-brand version or you actually may prefer the generic.
Remember to think about how you’re paying for the groceries you may be taking home. Some of the best credit cards for groceries could save you even more cash depending on which one you use.
Discover®️ Cashback Checking Benefits
- Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
- No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
- Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
- 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide