Store brands that do and don't make the cut

I do most of the shopping and I pride myself on being discriminating, very careful to achieve the best outcome from all purchasing decisions, and accomplish the goals on the most advantageous terms. My dear wife has another way to describe it, which is I’m cheap.

The unfair things we husbands must endure!

OK I’m cheap. In practice that means I buy a lot of store brands. In most cases that works well. For example, my regular store has name brand milk from the same dairy which also does their store brands, and even has two levels of store brands including for milk (you can check that because all fresh dairy products must stamp the plant where it was produced on the container). Needless to say, given that there is no difference among the three options, I buy the lower level store brand and leave it to others to supply the store and the dairy with their excess profits.

In general, I find that store brands are equal to name brands for most things, and sometimes even better. So unless it’s some especially high end version of something that I want, I buy the store brand if there is one, except when the national brand is on deep sale and is actually cheaper, which happens.

However, there are a few items which, although I’ve tried, I’ve never found a store brand as good as the national brand. Oddly, those are mostly snack items, including Cheez-Its, Ritz crackers, Doritos (which I try to avoid these days anyway) and a few others.

Are you a mostly store brand buyer but still loyal to certain name brands anyway even though a store brand is available? What things?


No store brand beverages, dairy products excepted.
No coffee and tea, no sodas and juices, and most importantly, no house brand

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I buy “store brands” at Costco (Kirkland), especially unsalted butter, tellicherry(sp?) peppercorns, olive oil, pecans, pine nuts, frozen raw tail on shrimp, pistachios, eggs if I need a LOT. When we ate more ice cream, I bought that there as well.

I buy the hot smoked salmon but I’m not sure if its their brand.

Nope; the salmon is Coastal Harbor or Santa Barbara Smokehouse.

The BIG Brands Behind POPULAR Costco Kirkland Items


Funny, I have been thinking of starting a topic: “Where does my Peanut Butter come from?

We buy Kroger branded Crunchy Peanut Butter, and it’s always been, well, pea-nutty; so I wouldn’t switch to Jif or Peter Pan unless those brands were cheaper on sale. (They never are).

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I have a bunch but cheezits are definitely one. No other brand comes close that I have tried. I will report back


As a kid I vastly preferred Better Cheddars. Not sure if they are still around - tried 'em?

FWIW, my doc told me to get off caffeinated coffee and research showed the best decaf is made with something called the Swiss Water Process. Checked lots of markets and the only place I could find one for my Keurig has been Ralph’s (Kroger) market’s house Signature brand. Whole Foods supposedly has one too but I’ve looked there a few times and never found it in stock. So a store brand was not just better, but the ONLY option.


Buy a couple of bags of salted, roasted peanuts. Dump them into the food processor. Let it run for about 4 minutes. At one point it will build a ball. When the ball flattens, it’s ready. Bung it into a container and keep in the refrigerator. This will be orders of magnitude better than any processed peanut butter you can buy.

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If you have a power blender the motor can handle the churn better than a fp has been our exp making nut butters.

The commercial grinders are also a decent value if you want fresh but dont have the home appliances. Around me, WF, Livottis and a health food store all run specials on their nut butter grinding machines to increase turnover of the nuts placed in the commercial grind chute. PB freezes well too.

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To tell the truth, I never tried it in the Vitamix, since the Cuisinart does such a good job. But in general I have found that the blender needs more liquid to get things done. Once I tried to make hummus in the Vitamix. Never again. When I was finished, the result wasn’t that bad, but still, never again.

No kidding. I never add a liquid, I just oven toast the nuts first. Our Cuisinart fp is a workhorse on hummus but the Vitamix turns nuts into butter using the tapper. Hmm…

Well, maybe I’ll try it. Problem is, my wife washes the Cuisinart, but I have to wash the Vitamix!

Don’t you use the Vitamix cleaning trick? blend hot soapy water a few times in the bucket and then wipe clean :grin::rofl:. otherwise its a pita, I agree.

Yes, that’s how I do it.

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I live a few blocks from a peanut butter factory :factory:
Almonds too.

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I buy their almond butter at Costco sometimes but you are very fortunate.

We get seconds for free. :cowboy_hat_face:

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Take the shells off first.:grin:


We’re kind of a mixed bag. For instance last week, I made a store brand spaghetti and meatball dinner. Beef, pork, linguini, Italian flavored breadcrumbs, sauce(add a little wine), seasonings, bread (including the butter and mozzarella for garlic bread) were all store brand . It was delicious.

OTOH - Store brand cheese whales, crackers, corn chips and potato chips don’t hold a candle to PF goldfish, Ritz, Fritos or Lays.

I buy SB canned vegetables unless Del Monte is on sale. And always Jif peanut butter along with Smucker’s preserves. We all spend our money differently don’t we.

I’m sure I’ve had them but can’t remember.

Bbq sauce
Pickles and pickled hot pickles
Does toilet paper count? Lol
Doritos and most junk food
Cold cuts (sometimes)