Buying the Store Brand is a great way to save money if you are equally happy with the quality (or can accept it). But be careful not to get stuck on buying the Store Brand if you can get the Name Brand cheaper by taking advantage of using a coupon when the item is on sale!

I went to the store to buy a few things to pamper my husband with who has a bad cold. I was planning on buying a few boxes of the Kroger brand facial tissue, which is usually just under $1 a box (if I buy a package of 3). Instead I bought two boxes of Kleenex Anti-Viral for 20 cents each.

Kleenex is on sale at Kroger this week (this sale probably ends today) for $1.00 (regular price is $1.99). I saw the coupon in the SmartSource coupon insert from Sunday’s paper for 40 cents off one box of Kleenex Anti-Viral. Then I found another coupon on the back cover of my Prevention magazine (February issue). I couldn’t even tell it was a coupon, but I pulled the tab and was pleasantly surprised to find the 40 cent coupon. At first glance, this coupon does not appear to be a great one. Saving 40 cents on a $1.99 box of Kleenex gives you a savings of about 20%. When that box of Kleenex is on sale for $1 and you have a 40 cent coupon that the store will double, you pay only 20 cents and get a savings of about 90% – that is phenomenal! I know we are talking about saving pennies here on such a low-priced item. But this is a good example of how collecting coupons and paying attention to prices can save you money. And of course those pennies saved really add up over time!

Back to buying Store Brand vs. Name Brand. It can definitely pay to try the Store Brand, as it is typically cheaper than the Name Brand. But, you have to be pleased with the quality, or at least be able to accept a product that is a little bit different (and maybe not as good). The Store Brand is no longer the generic “brown label” that I remember seeing when I was a kid. Stores are investing time and money into creating appealing packaging and a quality product, all at a price that they think their customers will love.

Here’s a few items that I’m embracing my Store Brand on:
* Diapers
* Paper Towels
* Food Storage Bags
* Trash Bags
* Bread
* Eggs
* Cheese
* Sour Cream
* Frozen Vegetables
* Frozen Meatballs
Of course there are also a lot of other brands that you may not have heard of, that are priced cheaper, so why not try them? I encourage you to explore your options, and try a new brand at your next visit to the Grocery Store. Also, pay attention to your coupons and your store’s sales to get some good deals!