Ever since I was a little kid, I was appalled whenever my parents suggested that we buy the cheaper store-brand products instead of their name-brand counterparts. To me, there was just something different about the taste and feel of "Chocolate Sandwich Cookies" vs. the OG "Oreos". 

But, now as a struggling college student trying to live on a budget, I made it my goal to find store-brand items that were as good as (or even better than) the name-brand. Lucky for me, Wegmans Food Markets carries a variety of products that are BETTER than the brand-name version, and let you leave the store with a little more money in your bank account than usual. 

1. Wegmans W O's

coffee, beer
Priya Dhond

Usually, when it comes to store-brand Oreo-knockoffs, I am the biggest skeptic. A lot of store-brand chocolate sandwich cookies have a low cookie-to-creme filling ratio, but these W O's are so good, you could eat blindfolded and never know that they aren't real Oreos! 

2. Wegmans Wedge Sodas

alcohol, ice, ketchup, beer
Priya Dhond

Off-brand sodas have gotten a bad rep for being flat and only being offered in flavors like Cola, orange, or lemon-lime. Luckily, Wegmans Brand offers your popular soda flavors, while adding some creative twists on others. If you've never had Wegmans Wedge Grapefruit soda or Wegmans Diet Wedge Cranberry-Lime Grapefruit soda, you definitely should check them out next time you're looking to throw a party or need a movie-night drink. 

3. Bakeshop Chocolate Chip Cookie

candy, sweet, cookie, chocolate
Priya Dhond

A lot of big grocery-store chains have started their own bakeries within the store, but somehow the cookies there can't compete with the chewy, fresh-baked goodness that comes with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Wegmans bakeries, are very different. These chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy, and their mini-size doesn't make you feel bad about eating the entire box in one sitting. 

4. Salad Dressings

dairy product, salad dressing
Priya Dhond

You're probably thinking, "what's so great about Wegmans salad dressing? All I need is my classic name-brand ranch, and I'm good to go". Not only does Wegmans make cheaper versions of traditional salad dressings like ranch, Italian, and Caesar, but they go a step forward and offer dressings like Miso Ginger Vinaigrette, Pomegranate Blueberry Vinaigrette, and Roasted Sweet Pepper dressing. Try one of these on a salad for your lunch this week, and you'll be rethinking the days of when you used to scoff at salad (like I did). 

5. Lemonade

vegetable, marmalade, jam
Priya Dhond

Like Beyonce, I am a fan of lemonade. And while the regular, Minute Maid stuff is good, Wegmans has flavors like Raspberry, Strawberry, and Mango Lemonade! The best part is, all of the flavored lemonades are organic, which basically means they're good for you, right?

6. Pasta Sauce 

jam, pickle, pasta sauce, tomato, vegetable
Priya Dhond

Usually, when it comes down to store-brand pasta sauce, all you can find is marinara, and it tastes like watered-down tomato paste. Luckily, Wegmans is NOTHING like the store-brand pasta sauces you've experienced. With flavors like Tomato Basil, Parmesan Romano, and Mushroom, Wegmans is changing the way everyone perceives store-brand pasta sauce, and you can use it to make pasta or even non-pasta dishes that use tomato sauce. 

7. Ice Cream

Priya Dhond

Ice cream that TASTES like Ben & Jerry's without the COST of Ben & Jerry's? That's a game changer. Not only does Wegmans offer ice cream in flavors like traditional chocolate, vanilla, and (my favorite) chocolate chip cookie dough, they also have flavors like "Cherry Licious" (a store-brand take on Ben & Jerry's "Cherry Garcia"), "Scrapin' the Bowl" (an alternative to Ben & Jerry's "Half-Baked") and even S'mores! This will definitely make you reconsider spending half of your grocery store budget on quality ice cream ( a necessity for finals), because at Wegmans, you can get even better store-brand flavors for half the price. 

Even though store-brand products get a bad rep for being poor quality and cheap, Wegmans proves that some store-brand items can surpass their name-brand counterparts. From ice cream to cookies to lemonade to even salad dressing, Wegmans products prove that you can get the convenience and price of store-brand while getting the taste and quality of name-brand products.