How can I save on groceries?

Grocery store

Store brands have evolved over the years in both popularity and appeal. Today, grocery stores known for solely selling store brands, such as Aldi, have boosted in popularity as many consumers have started to purchase store brands weekly.  In fact, several big box stores, like Walmart and Target, even have their own store brand alternatives that they offer on a diverse amount of goods. Not only are store brands cheaper than name brand items, they also are made with essentially the same ingredients and often provide the same nutrition, just for a cheaper price. What is there not to like about cheaper alternatives?

Let’s dive more into the exact prices. By switching to store brand products rather than name brand for homemade dinners during the week, an average person would save about $20 a week, meaning $80 a month and $1040 a year, according to Dave Ramsey in his article, “How much can buying generic brand save you at the store?”. That is not even including store brand products used for breakfast and lunch items! Imagine how much you could save if you included these too! Try purchasing store brand for a few months and see your spending budget go down! Nothing wrong with saving money for the same amount of benefit!

However, this will require a lot of taste testing on the consumer part to see what specific store brand products are right for you. Sometimes, you may not like a store brand item as much as the regular name brands, but sometimes you genuinely cannot tell the difference. It is all about every consumer’s preference in whether they themselves can taste a difference.

Give store brands a try. You can start out by purchasing pantry items, such as salt, flour and sugar, and work your way up from there all the way to produce! Always try to find new ways to save money, and starting with store brands is an easy adjustment.

Written by Megan Young, Financial Wellness for College Students Peer Educator, University of Illinois Extension, Fall 2018. Reviewed by Kathy Sweedler, University of Illinois Extension.