Readers Share Their Best And Worst Off-Brand Purchases

Photo: ratterrell

As the recession rolls on and food prices keep rising, many consumers are considering off-brand purchases.In some cases this can be a great way to save money. In others it means taking a big hit in quality.

We turned to a popular thread on Reddit for advice on the best and worst off-brand purchases.

Best off-brand purchase: generic medicine

'Always get generic over the counter medicine! It works just the same and is a whole lot cheaper most of the time. Claritin at Kroger was something like $25-$30. Kroger brand, $5.'

Source: fritopie on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: ketchup

'The worst is ketchup. Oh, dear God. I'd gladly pay a lot more for Heinz. It's totally worth it.'

'My silly thing is Heinz ketchup. I've loved it my whole life, and goddamnit, that generic crap just tastes like watered down tomatoes!'

Sources: cydeways and semisonic on Reddit

Best off-brand purchase: dog food

'My dog says the Kirkland dog food is the best! It's super cheap and contains no corn, wheat or soy.'

Source: Liypaamars on Reddit

*Editor's note: We disagree. See why generic pet food might not be the healthiest option for Fido.

Worst off-brand purchase: ground beef

'The worst off-brand thing I have ever bought was the cheapest 3 lb. 'tube' of frozen ground beef I could get at Walmart. Not that there was really a brand to it, but it was so bad and greasy, that we didn't end up using most of it. So it ended up costing me more, because we wasted it and I had to go buy better meat. Lesson learned.'

Source: deadshallweep on Reddit

Best off-brand purchase: Kirkland's orange juice

'Everyone needs to know about this. If you look on the ingredients list, there's only one ingredient: Valencia Oranges. And yet it's sooooo delicious.'

Source: Teebuttah on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: colouring crayons

'colouring crayons from the dollar store. Like trying to rub dried candle wax on paper. Stick with the tried and true: Crayola.'

Source: whuddafugger on Reddit

See how to tell the deals from the duds at the dollar store.

Best off-brand purchase: Walmart coffee

'I read an article claiming that Wal Mart coffee scored higher in taste tests than Starbucks, Dunkin doughnuts coffee and some other well known/marked up brands like that that they carry in the store. Sure enough, I'm drinking that stuff right now, it's the second can of it I've bought. $2.70 for like 2 or 3 weeks worth of coffee. And I drink a lot of coffee.'

Source: ogkhax on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: Kirkland's beer

'One of the grosser things I've tasted was Kirklands beer. One of the few times I have gone without beer when presented with a choice.'

Source: polluteconversation on Reddit

Best off-brand purchase: thin mint cookies at Walmart and Trader Joe's

'I discovered a few months ago that Wal-Mart sells a Great Value clone of Thin Mint cookies. They taste identical, and cost half the price.'

'The Trader Joe's brand of Oreos are better than the actual Oreos, at least for me.'

Sources: coffeeandbooks and freun989 on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: imitation Dr. Pepper

'While I'm trying to drink less and less of it anyways, there is no substitute for Dr Pepper. I've tried Dr Thunder, Dr Dynamite, Mr Pop, just about any off brand I could find and while they aren't necessarily BAD, they are no where near as good.'

Source: reddeth on Reddit

Best off-brand purchase: Target's workout apparel

'Exercise clothes. Target's Champion line is several times cheaper than Under Armour. They're not as high quality, but the savings make up for it. Besides, I wear my exercise clothes for only a few hours total each week, so it doesn't bother me.'

Source: djw87 on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: Q-tips

'Q-Tips for sure. I've tried the off brands and the sticks just bend when you try to use them. Only Q-Tip brand for me!'

Source: t-face on Reddit

Best off-brand purchase: cereal

'Best off-brand purchases: cereal. They taste the same (some off-brands are even better than the original!) and they are always cheaper or come in bigger packages = more bang for your buck.'

'Off-brand Honey Nut Cheerios. I don't remember the price off the top of my head but they taste the same, they're BIGGER (more crunch!) than regular, and cheaper.'

Sources: freun989 and Fauzlin on Reddit

Worst off-brand purchase: hiking gear

'I will never buy generic backpacking/hiking equipment ever again. I once had a pack strap tear on me in the middle of a long hike. Had to carry my pack with one strap for miles. I've also had hiking poles snap and rain gear leak. Not fun.'

Source: tarsus1983 on Reddit

Don't put these gourmet foods in your shopping cart ...

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