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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Helpful tips (not) for buying store brand grocery items

I have been very dissatisfied with store brand foods lately. You know how all the money experts say, "Buy the no-name or store brand things. They have the same ingredients!" FAIL.

Sometimes I think it's possible to save money by purchasing the store brand items, but I think they are only as good as the top brands if the item is going to be used as an ingredient in something you are making. For instance, store brand butter works just as fine in a recipe as a top name.

However, when you get into snack and cracker territory, it's just not the same. But I am hard-headed, and I keep trying. Today's purchase was $2 Kroger graham crackers instead of a $4 box from Nabisco.  We have cold weather and some snow expected over the weekend, so I thought the kids would enjoy making S'mores.  Unfortunately, these no-name graham crackers are pretty tasteless. I can take them back to Kroger, but I don't think there's anything actually wrong with them, they are just dull and boring, like my wardrobe.

Same with Kroger saltine crackers. You can't compare them to Premium Saltines. I don't know what Nabisco does to flour, water, and salt that Kroger can't do too. That one is a puzzler.

You're not always off-the-hook when you buy a top name brand either. I bought one of those large Hershey chocolate bars for $1 to use in the S'mores. For some reason, it's not the same as a regular sized Hershey bar. The consistency is entirely different. If you're wondering, check it out yourself. The large bar has a harder, waxy consistency, and the smaller bar is more oily/creamy and appropriate for decent S'mores. (Yes, I attended S'more University).

If you want to save money then buying groceries for your family, you need to think ahead. Ladies, when your child is still residing in your uterus, you must start buying store and no-name brands. Don't ever let your child get used to the really good tasting stuff, or else you can never go back. The children's taste buds will be spoiled by tasting food with actual flavor.

However, if they start out in life with only the store brands, they will continue to be happy with the taste of the store brands until they get out on their own. Whereupon they will discover how completely delicious the top name products are. But that's okay. They will be spending their own money on the products that cost twice as much, and you can go visit and raid their cabinets. Start practicing your innocent look now.