two grocery bags in the kitchen

15 Generic Products That Are Just As Good As The Brand Names

At Durability Matters, we always recommend that you spend a little more to get a high-quality product. High-quality products are ones which last longer and save you money in the long run.

However, just because you spend a little more money, that does not mean that you are getting a better product. There are many instances where the generic product is just as good, if not better than the brand name.

Here are 15 such instances where you are actually better off buying the generic brand.

1. Medicine

various pills

When we go to buy some medicine, we often reach for the name brand. They must have the best ingredients, after all. Well, they actually have the best marketing. If you take a look at the ingredients and compare a brand name to the generic, then you will find that they contain exactly the same stuff.

You may be amazed to know that doctors and pharmacists often purchase generic brands for themselves. If it is good enough for them, then it is good enough for me.

2. Bottled Water


The main ingredient in bottled water is, unsurprisingly, water. I always recommend taking your own water with you, but if you have to buy a bottle of water, the generic brand is just as good as the brand name. If you are looking for something to quench your thirst, then a generic bottle of water is the way to go.

3. Cleaning Products

cleaning products

What is the difference between a brand name cleaning product and a generic one? Mainly the marketing budget. The same ingredients are often found in the generic as the brand name, so the only choice is how much money you want to save. One thing to check on is the dosage. A cleaning product may seem like a good deal, but if you have to use a lot each time, then you are soon going to run out.

4. Condiments


You may love your Heinz ketchup, but the truth is that generic brands often do just as well on blind taste tests as brand names do, and they are 27% cheaper on average. Do you want something which tastes just as good while spending less money? Choose the generic.

5. Milk


Did you know that many store-brand kinds of milk come from the same dairies as the name-brand ones? That’s right; the milk is exactly the same except for the name. Be sure to check the cartons in the store to see where the milk comes from. In essence, all (cows) milk comes from cows, so how much difference can there be?

6. Herbs & Spices

three spoons full of herbs and spices

A brand name does not guarantee quality. The only thing which can guarantee quality when it comes to herbs and spices is the freshness. When you are choosing between herbs and spices, smell them, look at them, feel them, and choose the ones which have better aroma, crispness, and freshness.

7. Frozen Fruits & Vegetables

closeup of frozen raspberries

When vegetables are frozen, they often end up with more freshness locked in that fresh vegetables. When you use them, they are often used in soups, stews, and smoothies. When you include them in these dishes, it is hard to tell brand names apart from generic. Why would you pay more for something which you cannot taste?

8. Shampoo


Again, this is an instance of brand names having a bigger marketing budget than the generic brands. From the way they advertise shampoo, you would think that there are some magical ingredients in there. In reality, there are pretty much the same ingredients like the ones in the generic brand. Do I need to ask again? Would you rather spend more or less on the same ingredients?

9. Makeup


Makeup is often seen as a luxury item but, again, there is not much difference between the brand names and the generic brands. The generic brands look and feel the same as the big name brands while also costing a fraction of the price. Find what looks good for you and spend as little as you need to.

10. Cereal


If you are anything like me, then you know that there is no cereal which tastes bad. I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In my quest to actually make that happen (it has not yet), I found that there is not a lot of difference in taste between the big brands such as Cheerios, and the cheaper imitators, like Crunchy O’s, Oaty Loops, or Circle Crunch (I just made those up, but they are probably out there somewhere).

There are so many generic cereal brands out there that you are sure to find one which you like.

11. Baby Formula

baby formula

Do you remember the Infant Formula Act of 1980? No? Well, you are not alone. Most people have no idea about this act. The act ensured that all commercially-produced baby formula must meet certain nutritional standards and quality. Now, a generic-brand formula is as high-quality as the name brand. And, as for your baby, they will not be able to tell the difference.

12. Pet Food

pet food

If you can feed your baby a generic brand, then you can feed your pet a generic brand too. We love our pets, and want the best for them, often treating them better than we treat ourselves. How many of us splash out for the name brand when we are feeding ourselves the generic? Well, you do not have to do that any longer.

It may be that you choose the generic brand over the brand name, or vice-versa but the only reason to do that is to find what works best for your pet. Talk to your vet if you are in doubt, and find the best pet food which will give your pet the best quality of life. If that food happens to be generic, then you will save yourself some money while doing so.

13. Toppings

whipped cream

When it comes to treating yourself, there really is nothing better than ice cream. Now, when it comes to the ice cream itself, I agree that paying a little more for high-quality ice cream is the way to go, but not so much for the toppings. When it comes to chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or chopped nuts, you will find that there is almost no difference between generic and name-brand. Go for the high-quality ice cream and save money on the rest.

14. Baking Ingredients


How many times have you baked a cake and have someone mention that the flour tastes high-quality or that the sugar must be premium? When it comes to baking ingredients, it is hard to improve on the staples. If you are mixing baking ingredients to create a sweet treat, then it is probably down to your baking and not the ingredients if the cake does not turn out as it should.

15. Trash Bags

trash bag

Last, but not least, trash bags. Think about it. You fill a bag with garbage and throw it out. Why are you paying more for something which you are going to get rid of in a few days? How much better can brand-name garbage bags be? They may have a scent but, essentially, they do exactly the same job as the generic brand. Save yourself some money and choose the generic.

Wrapping Up

There are a lot of instances out there where it is better to spend a little more money to get a high-quality product which will last, but there are also times where you can save a little money and still get the job done. Choose generic products over brand names, and you could save hundreds of dollars a year without any change to your quality of life.

Andrea Soke

Andrea has a background in economics and finance, but she's also passionate about gardening, sustainable living, and finding new ways to maintain a clean and orderly home. She believes in quality over quantity.

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