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Store Brand vs Name Brand: 10 Ways to Go Generic - Older Children Print E-mail
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Food - Groceries
Written by Ahmed Amr   
Article Index
Store Brand vs Name Brand: 10 Ways to Go Generic
Older Children
Dealing with the Risk Factor
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3. Older children are a little harder to deal with - especially if Johnny is glued to the TV and learns how to read. That’s a tough one and I’m going to leave it to those who have the fortitude to show their kids tough love and teach them the value of independent thinking and eating store brand cereals.  Of course, if Count Chocula or that damn Trix rabbit already has your kid ensnared - you'll have to deal with that the old fashioned way - with coupons.  Sometimes, its not the cereal that kids really want, it's the toys.  So reward your kid; if they eat private label cereal for a month, get them a $1 Matchbox car or a cheap little toy pony.

4. What’s even tougher is getting over your own brand fixation. Go easy on yourself. Start with the products where the label can’t possibly make a difference no matter what the packaging looks like.

Sugar - flour - vegetable oil - butter - milk - cottage cheese - certain canned vegetables - dish towels - you get the picture. You’d have to be very finicky to notice a difference between brand name products and the private label variety on a number of staples. With canned products, there’s a good chance that the store brand is produced by the same manufacturer.  Sure if you are going organic, you might be brand specific, but there are private label organics too.  Seriously, sugar is sugar and salt is salt.  The cheapest one should end up in your pantry.

5. Learn to check the unit price - that can be a real incentive to make the switch. If you’re talking a 30% or 40% savings - close your eyes - ignore the packaging, take a risk and try the store brand. Just do it on a few items at a time. On certain items, you’ll find that you’re addicted to the brand because there’s something very special about it. But eventually, you’ll notice that with some items, it makes absolutely no difference. People swear by store brand cereals. Start with that. I know it’s hard. Just do it a few times and see what happens. If you can’t handle the transition - you can always go back to the brand name.  One of the great things about private label brands is that they don't seem to have the same issue with shrinkage that we discussed in 9 Food that are Shrinking. Their package is actually 16 ounces!

6. Try to educate yourself on which store brand products are made by the same manufacturer as that ‘special’ brand name with ‘secret ingredients.’ If you shop at Walmart or Kroger, be prepared for some serious surprises on things ranging from formula, condiments, juices, diapers, and detergents. Really, guys like Target are not in the business of making their own stuff, they simply find a manufacturer and tell them they want 1 million units of x product per month.  There are plenty of branded guys that are ready to make more money by filling private label orders.


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