Store Brand vs. Name Brand Foods- A Quick Urban Bachelor’s Perspective

I am a bachelor, living out in the country, and work from home, so I really don’t get into town all that often. And being in the great white north, my trips are even more infrequent, as I’m not a huge fan of white-out driving conditions along icy, 2-lane roadways. As a result of all this, I try to combine all my tasks needed done in town to one bigger trip, saving me time (driving, scraping ice and clearing snow from the car, etc.) and money (gas) in the process.

Food shopping usually constitutes about 90% of my time in town, so when I do go, I generally have a gameplan in when mind when heading to the store.

As I am single, and don’t really do any ‘dinner parties’ here, my food needs are simple. Like most everyone, I like to save money on groceries whenever I can. Having now shopped for myself for quite some time now, I pretty much know what to look for in terms of the food I like, and where to find these items in the store.

Once I get to the areas of “interest” in the food aisles, I find that, invariably, there is a choice to be made for each and every item I wish to purchase: store-brand or name-brand? Sometimes this is a no-brainer. Sometimes, not so much. Some products can go either way (the mental “coin-flip” moments here).

In a very general sense, anything that you can put sugar, salt, pepper (or for that matter, any seasoning) or hot sauce on or in can be a store-brand product. The ‘doctoring up’ of these foods can for the most part compensate for any minor quality drop-off from the name-brands. Canned vegetables immediately come to mind here.

Of course, there are just some items that are name-brand “must haves”. For me, this would include, among other things, soft drinks and beer (after all, “beer is food”, right?) There are just some things you have to pay a bit more for!

And then there are just some things that kind of “straddle the fence”. Products that may be similar across the board, my choice often coming down to what item may be on sale. Crackers and sparkling water seem to fall into this category for me.

Just some musings from a cold, sedentary, cost-conscious and often hungry bachelor here!