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Dec 5, 2009 10:21 AM

Store Brands that are Just as Good as their Brand Name Cousins

In this age of frugality (at least on the personal level), I thought we might help each other out in identifying store brands of groceries, canned items, coffees, etc -- what have you -- that are just as good if not better than their brand-name counterparts. Costco, Trader Joe's and the like are welcome for comparison, as well as regular grocery store brands.

I'll start:

Harris Teeter ketchup is as good as Heinz.

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  1. most walmart brands(good value brands)

    1. President's Choice (Loblaws' various banners, in Canada - believe also in some US markets). They are very innovative and have products "brand names" may not carry, some very good, some deplorable, but in general a good standard.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lagatta

        I find a lot of the PC products pretty decent.

        1. re: raidar

          their chocolate chunk cookies are the best best best!

      2. Here's a thread with a similar topic with lots of suggestons, just to get things going:

        White Rose brand (the old White Rose Tea company) is widely available in NYC metropolitan supermarkets and I've tried many of their products, cream cheese, raisin bran, frozen veggies, breadcrums, even butter, to mention a few. All of their products are very good, some even being better than the name brand (and cheaper.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          i didn't see many specific head to head comparisons on that thread, except in the OP -- maybe a couple others.

          i agree that campbell's tomato soup wins over store brands that i've tried, e.g., giant, safeway. it has a very particular flavor that is not just "tomato-y."

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            harris teeter half-n-half is better than land o' lakes.

          2. As a frequent returning working visitor to my native land (well, DC rather than California and Oregon) over the past few years and after decades of being away, I found all things Safeway, Giant, and Harris Teeter to be inexpensive and excellent. I entertained a lot of Foodie Van Snoots in my posh suite (with great kitchen). No one ever suspected my exclusive use of store brands: meats, sausages, cheeses, coffee, bagels, bread, sauerkraut, cheap pasta sauces to use as a base, pickles, pasta, rice (even found a cheap Japonica at Safeway and made makizushi), hot sauce, peanut butter (for sauces), olives, capers, and selected canned goods. I used a lot of "shortcuts" (cheating) because short stays don't allow you to maintain a pantry of goods. Come to town for 10 days, calculate number of dinner parties and home meals, buy what you'll use up and nothing else, and carefully pre-prep so no one knows what cheating was necessary.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Sam F.
                wuld love to see a thread from u, re ur. short cuts/secrets. I have a smallish pantry and even a smallish budget-
                great thread OP.
                my try-outs: contina canned tomatoes vs. alymer (culd. not afford san marzano)
                i find alymer/store brands too watery/tasteless.

                1. re: divya

                  I agree. I find tomatoes pretty different across the board, and peanut butter while I'm at it. I haven't had kraft mac n'cheese in ages, but I remember store brands never tasting as good back in the day. Of course this was before you could find all these crazy options now.

              2. Shop Rite in the NY area has the best granola cereal. It's called 100% Natural Cereal (I get the one with almonds and raisins) and every time we go home to NY I have to go to Shop Rite and stock up.