Grocery shopping can be dizzying with multiple brands of every product in the aisle. How can one be sure they are getting the best price without sacrificing taste? Here are a few answers to when you can save with a generic brand and when you should spend an extra buck or two for the real thing.

1. Gummies: Swedish Fish vs. CVS Swedish Fish


Photo by Steven Baboun

While CVS may come in clutch with $0.99 bags, their version has a waxier taste that stays unpleasantly in your mouth. Stick to the Swedish Fish brand, which are also smaller and easier to chew.

2. Greek Yogurt: Chobani vs. Wegmans


Photo by Krysten Dorfman

The sheer amount of greek yogurt that can be found in the dairy aisle is intimidating. All store brands are fairly comparable in nutritional value, but Wegmans‘ brand is by far the closest to Chobani in taste. While this one may be more of a toss up, for the mass greek yogurt consumer, the store brand is not a bad, slightly cheaper option.

3. Cheese Snacks: Pirate Booty vs. Trader Joe’s White Cheddar Corn Puffs


Photo by Jenna Luven

Trader Joe’s has perfected a lighter, crispier version of the childhood snack classic, Pirate Booty. Especially at $1.99 per 7-oz. bag, versus Pirate Booty’s $2.49 per 4-oz. bag at Target, Trader Joe’s comes out ahead.

Warning: Due to better flavor and cheaper prices, it is quite easy to eat an entire bag in one sitting. Open at your own risk.

4. Tortilla Chips: Tostitos Original vs. Whole Foods 365 Restaurant Style


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

Tostitos still reigns supreme in this category. Their perfect combination of crispiness, saltiness and size cannot be beat. Whole Foods is still good, but the chips are dry and lack sufficient salt.

5. Cereal: General Mill vs. WalMart Great Value


Photo by Lawrence Lu Yu

With name brand cereal pushing $4 a box, it is time to seek cheaper alternatives. Great Value offers copycat versions of everything from Cheerios to Coco Puffs and they are always under $3 a box.

Cereal is just going to get soggy under all that milk anyway, so why spend extra money when you can get more for less without giving up taste or crunchiness?

Grocery stores are challenging places to navigate, but with some research, both your tastebuds and wallet can win with the right mix of brand and non-brand products.

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