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I've found out the same thing as you did- it varies dramatically by product. Off the top of my head, I buy generic saltines for a dollar a box, and the brands are about $3 or $4. They're exactly the same.

But I've had other products that don't work, as you describe.

Frugalista-ism is about keeping your options open. I buy a fair amount of generics, but it's been my experience if you want Oreos, get Oreos. The knock-offs just aren't as good. BTW - If you develop a knack for sales and coupons, you can frequently get the name brands for the same price as the generics.

I do buy generic for some things, but for other things, I buy the brand name. It all depends on how important the product is to me, and on what kind of luck I've had with the generic in the past.

The key, though, with all shopping, is to return defective products. Especially at the grocery store. If it doesn't work, bring the crappy, unused foil, take it to customer service and get your money back. With groceries, this is often easy, 'cause you're heading back to the store anyway, so you just have to toss the product and receipt in your car with you on your next trip. If enough people return defective/crappy products, stores will stop selling those brands.

And I know some people don't think about returns when it comes to grocery stores, but most do accept returns of defective products. The return policy is usually listed at the customer service desk.

I get a lot of generic cereal (like the Publix version of cocoa puffs and frosted mini-wheats -very healthy, ha!). I've found those taste no different. Same for Publix frozen plantains instead of a name brand. And I get Publix brand garbage bags, aluminum foil, toilet paper, baggies. They all work fine for me. Whenever I can get generic and I am reasonably confident the quality will stand up, I do.

Bought high end generic lotion. It feels expensive, but twice the pump on the top would not work.

I buy mostly generic, and haven't really had any problems. I do buy brand name Pop Tarts, tho!

Hey,
I pick carefully what I may buy generic, (I may venture into the store brand bread if it is 100% whole wheat)
Like a previous poster stated, I stick with the brands I really want.
I am an avid coupon clipper and sales watcher (matching up coupons with sales or watching for the special triple coupon days are key)
Sometimes generic can be wasteful, if I have to spent twice the amount of time using it if the quality is not there.

I like Clark Howard's take on generics. He tries them all once. If they provide value, he sticks with them. If not, he is not shy about returning them.

Frugalista~ Since you are a Reynolds Wrap foil fan try Diamond Aluminum Foil. I get mine from Walmart. It is a cheaper version of Reynolds Wrap, if you look on the box it is a Reynold Consumer Product. A lot of companies produce the same product under different names.

Girl, LOL!! I hate cheap foil. One thing that I can't believe happened to me though was the disappointment of using Reynolds Wrap recycled foil. I got a free roll of the foil (using a mail in rebate, Oh Yeah!) and can't stand the stuff. I use reynolds foil all of the time, but this new type is thin and chintzy. MAJOR disappointment, and it's not even a store brand or generic.

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