Random Things I Can’t Buy Generic

I don’t consider myself a “brand snob.” I don’t turn my nose up at generic yogurt or vitamins. I see no reason to spend $5 more on Tylenol Cold or $1 more on a gallon of Dean’s milk when the Safeway version will do me quite nicely.  If I can save a few bucks on what is essentially the exact same thing, then why not? Those few dollars add up after awhile. And in most cases, the generic is just as good, isn’t it? Yes. In most cases, it is. There are, however, a few exceptions. And I’ve had to learn about them the hard way.

1) Granola bars

Go Chewy or go home. I bought a box of Target brand granola bars once. I got halfway through one bar before I threw them all out. They tasted mealy and like a bunch of separate ingredients as opposed to the gooey cohesiveness of a Quaker Chewy bar. Yuck.

2) Paper towels

I usually buy Bounty paper towels, but it’s just out of habit. I never really thought of generics as being inferior. I thought that those simulations of ‘bargain brand’ paper towels falling apart when they got wet was just an exaggeration for the commercial. I can now officially say from personal experience that it’s not.

3) Cheerios

Have you ever had generic Cheerios? They get soggy way too quickly. I kind of feel like they start out that way…

4) Sponges

Much like the paper towels, I have always bought the 3-pack of Scotch Brite for no particular reason. We bought Safeway brand sponges last week. They’re thin, they don’t scrub very well, and food residue sticks in them incredibly easily. Won’t be buying those again.

5) Band aids

I will only buy the Band-Aid brand cloth bandages. I don’t know if Band-Aid brand has a patent on this adhesive, but it feels like they do. They stay on for days through showers, swimming, sweat, etc. Every other brand/style seems to peel off me within 10 minutes. No idea why.


Am I alone in all this, or are you guys weird like me? 🙂



14 thoughts on “Random Things I Can’t Buy Generic

  1. I think Dawn dishwashing detergent is the best. I can’t stand the generics. I am convinced Dawn cleans better. But we almost never have it in the house, because the husband does not concur. And he’s the one who does the shopping and washes the dishes.


    1. I use Ivory myself. But that’s mostly because my mom did. It’s also why I only buy salted butter, even when a recipe says unsalted. Unsalted doesn’t taste right to me.


  2. Yep, I am committed to Always for my girlie product needs. And dove, it’s the only body wash that makes my skin feel hydrated after my shower. Sometimes it’s worth it to suck it up and pay more for the name brand.


  3. I use the bounty vs generic argument a the time at work!! (Comparing Generic acne meds to brand) I HATE generic paper towels!

    Have to be careful with the generic Tylenol/ ibuprofen though.. no coating for the tummy, might make you barf.

    Also, for me: Oreos, tide, and pledge. 🙂


  4. I agree with you that sometimes, you just need to buy the name brand stuff because you are paying for the quality. I love finding deals especially on the store brand stuff, but sometimes like paper towels it is best to buy what you know. This post has inspired me to make a list myself. THANKS!


  5. While I am far less brand conscious then my wife is, I have found that not all generics are created equal as well, for example Walmart’s generic brand of potato chips are the devil. I just can’t stand them and I honestly can’t put my finger on why. but the Kroger generic brand (a central Illinois Grocery store chain) is awesome.

    I also find myself steering more toward items made by the bakery or cut int he butcher department rather then name brands (except chex mix, I have yet to find a store made brand that didn’t taste like I was easting a stick of butter)

    but to you original question of are there any times I prefer brand names over generic, yep here are a few:

    Burnable CD/DVDs: I have had very bad experiences with generic spindles of discs. the silver coating flakes of making them useable and loses all data stored on them. while I could just leave things in a digital format I prefer to “kick it old school” by burning things to disc. hell I still burn the occasional Mix CD.

    Kraft macaroni and Cheese: while I typically prefer homemade casserole style mac and cheese, the blue box does make a decent side dish when you are in a pinch, but try as I might to use the generic version it’s never quite as good.

    TV dinners: this is an older one that harkens back to my freewheeling bachelor days, in an attempt to make cooking duties easier I started eating pre-made TV dinners (not the healthiest, but I was also exercising quite a bit more back then so it balanced out), while experimenting with this I indulged in a 10 for $1 sale of generic TV dinners… let’s just say that my stomach got what i paid for

    Tropical Fish Heaters: OK this may be a weird one but hear me out. the best kind of heater is the under water type, which has no generic version (as far as any of the stores near me go). it is the only type of heater that I will use as the ones you hang on the side of your tank that are readily available as generic brands have a tendency to short out and boil a tank. after hearing about it from other people it actually happened to me once, after that I stuck with the more expensive but far superior name brand.


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