Friday, January 9, 2015

List: Store Brand Items That Rock or Stink

As you all remember from this post, Jax loves to stretch out her dollar.
Especially this time of year.  Broke much after the holidays?  Yes, mam!
One great way to save money is to purchase the store brand twins to your favorite products.
If you do that on top of using coupons, the Target Cartwheel app, and browsing through the weekly circulars, you should be in for a huge pile of savings.  And who doesn't love to save money?

There is just one problem with purchasing store brand products.
Some items are legitimately the same, but others are horribly not.
Luckily for you all, Jax already did some of the experimenting!
Since I have a love affair with Target, let's use their products as the guinea pigs. 

1.  Facial Moisturizer
Your skin doesn't get more sensitive than mine, so you can take my word on this one.

Up & Up Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer VS. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer
While the Target brand wasn't as "light" as the original brand, the end result was almost identical.  The best part was, my sensitive skin didn't get a bad reaction afterwards.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

2.  Dish Soap
I enjoy the soaps with the added moisturizers so they don't dry out my sensitive skin.


Up & Up Hand Restore Dish Soap VS. Dawn Ultra Olay Hand Renewal Dish Soap
The fragrance in the Target brand soap was barely existent and it did not suds up as much as the Dawn brand.  The Target brand also left a slippery residue that was very difficult to rinse off.  The only positive was that with both brands, my skin remained equally moisturized.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO NOT!

3.  Glass Cleaner
It's funny how no matter what glass cleaner I use, I will forever refer to it as "The Windex".


Up & Up Glass Cleaner VS. Windex Original Glass Cleaner
Both products left behind a streak free, clean surface.  They both have that same, pleasant Windex-y scent.  The only difference I could detect was the price!
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

4.  Oatmeal
Every morning I eat a cup of Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal for breakfast.  Yummy!

Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal VS. Quaker Instant Oatmeal
The oats in the Market Pantry brand were larger and thicker.  The difference in size did not allow for the same texture after cooking, in a negative way.  The flavor was also not as delicious as Quaker.  
Jax says this swap is a definite DO NOT!

5.  Garbage Bags
I love how garbage bags now have scents!!  We like our garbage smelling good.

Up & Up Lavender Trash Bags VS. Glad Lavender Trash Bags with Febreeze
Both the Glad and the Up & Up brand were very strong.  They both had a light, pleasant scent.  The handles on both brands were similar.  I don't think many people would be able to detect a difference between the two.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

6.  Fabric Softener
Anyone else sniff their warm, freshly laundered clothes like a drug addict? I do!

Up & Up Lavender Fabric Softener VS. Downy Lavender Fabric Softener
The Downy brand left a distinct scent that made me smile.  The clothes also came out baby soft and without any static.  The Up & Up brand left a light scent that you could barely smell.  After use, the clothes were soft and static free.  The Up & Up brand did give me a slight allergic reaction.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO NOT!

7.  Frosted Cereal with Marshmallows
Try the chocolate Lucky Charms.  Oh so yummy!

Market Pantry Frosted Bites with Marshmallows VS. Lucky Charms
The frosted cereal was more frosted in the Lucky Charms.  Lucky Charms also had a lot more marshmallows than the Market Pantry brand.  On a side note, I've had other Market Pantry cereals, and they were great!
Jax says this swap is a definite DO NOT!

8.  Diapers
Diapers have to be good quality otherwise you'll wake up to a wet baby and a stinky crib!

Up & Up Diapers VS. Luvs Diapers
The Luvs diapers seemed to poof up quicker on my poor baby's bum than the Up & Up brand.  There was also a few nights that she slightly leaked through.  The Up & Up brand was strong and had much better coverage than the name brand.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

9.  Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
I make this once a week.  I mean, it's a quick side dish after a long day of work!

Market Pantry Macaroni and Cheese Dinner VS. Velveeta Shells and Cheese Dinner
The pasta in both brands were identical.  The cheese in the Velveeta brand was a little tastier than the Market Pantry brand, but the difference wasn't drastic.  Both brands had the same creamy consistency.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

10. Paper Towels
If paper towels aren't a good quality, you end up using more of them to make up for it.

Up & Up Paper Towels VS. Bounty Paper Towels
Both of these brands were equal in every way!  They were both strong and thick.  They both passed the rinsing under water, ringing it out, and then reusing test.  Neither brand ripped or shredded when used during a heavy cleaning.  They also didn't leave behind obnoxious little dust particles.
Jax says this swap is a definite DO!

What products are a store brand DO or DO NOT for you?


  1. I tend to go to costco for the last one and just get bounty as it is cheaper to buy the big pack then it is to even buy the no name at the grocery store. That is how I save my money, go there and buy big. Only have to buy tp once every 4-6 months, paper towel once every 2-3 months and garbage bags once a year there, so saves dough.

    1. Really? You only buy garbage bags once a year? You just made me sick. I must have an overwhelming amount of garbage since I have to buy a new box at least once every 2-3 months. Sigh... and I buy the BIG box of trash bags.

    2. haha well I only make one bag a week, between me and cat poop lol

    3. I just did my weekly kitchen scrub down this morning...and use TWO garbage bags. Smh!

  2. What a fun series!! I tend to go the store brand with certain items, but hardly ever with skincare stuff LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

    1. Yea, me either. I also do my Dove soap and Deodorant. I mean, I have such sensitive skin that I can never stray from regular brands. That's why I was so surprised with the Target brand facial moisturizer!

  3. haha, love this! yes, I am the same about referring to it as "windex" though I never buy the brand name. Hilarious. Glad to hear you approve of the cheaper mac and cheese :)

    I have found that buying cheap dishwasher pellets are never worth it. I swear, they always suck unless I buy a known brand.

    1. Lol is like windex some subliminal messages in our head. Haha

      Oh what I would do for a dishwasher!!!! Haha

  4. offbrand lucky charms are always terrible

    one that wasn't mentioned (probably because I've never seen Target have Market Pantry soda) is off-brand Dr. Pepper. Tastes pretty much the same.

  5. I do the same thing....test the products and many times the no name is just as good! Did you know that Tide and Era are the same...just different packaging? Era is so much cheaper, too.
    I buy almost all the store (Kroger) brand items...haven't found any I don't like.

    1. I never heard of Era, but now I am going to look for it. I usally buy All because it is always on sale and there are always coupons for it. Free and clear doesnt given me a rash either. Oxiclean is the most expensive and the worst!!!!!

  6. This was very thorough and helpful! Well Done!

    1. Why thank u!! Lol one day you will have to do this too... haha

    2. If you've got time:

  7. That is so true that even when the store brands have supposedly the same ingredients they are not the same. For example, the store brand versions of Excedrin Migraine are useless in comparison, though supposedly the exact same ingredients.

  8. I don't think I use any store brands at all for skin care. I have too many allergies and it's usually only pennies difference, but I look at how much the bottles contain also.

    I'm in charge of keeping my store well-stocked with supplies. Tape, baby wipes, pinesol (NOT amonia, like one girl accidentally bought), paper towels, toilet paper, windex, any sort of writing utensil are all good swaps.

    On the only downside, I discovered name-brand toilet papers are now scenting their rolls. I flipped out. "TOILET PAPER THAT MAKES THE BATHROOM SMELL GOOD OH MY GOSH THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN."

  9. There are some groceries that you can definitely do that with as well. This article is helpful as well:

  10. This is my favorite moisturizer!!! Neutrogena!! I have sensitive skin and Esperanza too:)


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