Cent-Saving Saturday: My Take on Buying Generic

Cent Saving Saturday

This is a heavy shopping week for me. I am planning, from today until next Sunday, eight days of new menus. The only repeat dish is going to be 2-ingredient pizza dough pizza.

Several of the items on my list are going to be purchased as either store brand or generic. I rarely buy name brand orange juice and cheese. I prefer to buy Kroger brand (for the gas points). Luckily, Kroger puts their orange juice and cheese on sale often.

In general, we usually purchase store brand over generic (or no-name brand) items. When I went to Canada the very first time, I marveled at one store’s store brand that was actually called “No-Name Brand.”

I tend to purchase (unless there is a HUGE sale) store brand bread. Ever since our better bread thrift stores closed, Mrs. Baird’s and Sunbeam have priced themselves out of my budget. I actually found the Kroger Texas Toast to be pretty awesome. Josh likes to use it for toaster breakfast sandwiches. I like to use it for pizza or garlic bread.

In general, the most stable store brand (in which most of the products are comparable to the name brand) is WalMart’s Great Value Brand. Their World Table brand is great as well, but it’s on the pricey end (so too of Archer Farms). Salad dressings tend to be fairly reliable in store brands.

I have found that the more processed the product (soda—especially cola, processed cheese block or spread, or Hamburger Helper equivalents) tend to be the most questionable in quality, taste, and texture.

But…on to the list for the week. Kroger is having a big Buy 5, get $5 off sale, but many of the items are items we don’t use or that we have quite a surplus of already (Capri Suns for 98 cents per 10 pack, for example).

Chicken breasts (Super1 has them for under $1.50/lb for boneless skinless)


bacon (Kroger has a few brands on for $4/pound)

orange juice (oddly enough, Brookshires wins the price war…a gallon for $4)


green onion

lettuce head (or bag of reduced produce)


sour cream ($1.99 for 24 ounces at Kroger)

3 cans chopped green chilies

Monterey Jack (Kroger has cheese on sale $3/pound)

cheddar cheese

smoked sausage—Brookshire’s has Eckrich for 2%$5

cream of chicken soup (I will probably purchase store or generic)

2 pounds shrimp

1.5 pounds red potatoes

beer (at least one bottle)



lemons (I need a lot because I’m also fulfilling a present of my mom’s for Christmas)

cocktail sauce (unless it’s cheaper to make it)


dry white wine



garlic (I may reassess and see if I have enough for the week, but the week is going to be fairly garlicky)

mushrooms, 1 pound, whole

butter (if on a surprise sale somewhere)

pepper jack cheese (I’m hoping this is also on sale at Kroger)

tortilla chips (Calidad brand are 98 cents a bag at Albertson’s)


bottom round roast at Kroger for $2.79 (to grind on the “meat factory bee-sheen”)

Pepsi 2L 99 cents at Albertson’s

What are you planning to buy this week? 

What do you think?

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