First, let’s be clear. I am ALL about off brand products. I mean seriously that is the entire focus of this website. The motto for Offbrandguy.com is as follows: Saving money is about good habits. Small, simple, and repeatable habits. One route to getting ahead financially is to save money on the little purchases in life that are made every week. Once an off brand product has been proven and integrated into your shopping routine, it brings easy and instinctive savings every day moving forward.
Again, we take off brands seriously. While most articles on the internet focus on funny off brands, this article is purely practical.
The reality is that certain off brand products are not worth the savings. In some areas it pays off to spend a little more and get the name brand product. Today, I look at four off brand items that are no good.
Four Off Brand Items That Are No Good
1) Off Brand Ice Cream – Tillamook Ice Cream Review
Food is the one area where I typically go crazy with the off brands. When in doubt, I am happy to save money and buy the generic or store brand products. But there are some food aisles, where I am likely to give this a second thought. Dairy products is one of these. Local to where I live, the cheap dairy brand in Lucerne. And you can taste the price difference. If I am baking or cooking a recipe in which the flavor won’t be pronounced, I may go with the Lucerne off brand. Otherwise, I pay the premium and get a name brand like Tillamook.
If you are a regular reader of The Off Brand Guy, this may be beating a dead horse. But Tillamook dairy products are really that good. Whether specialty cream cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. Yes, they are bit on the expensive side. But it is worth it. Store brand dairy products are usually bland and flavorless. I’ll get eggs and milk sometimes from an off brand like Lucerne. But ice cream and yogurt, forget about it. Go big or go home.
2) Off Brand Cheese – Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar vs. Kroger Cheese Review
Off brand cheese is another off brand item that lacks flavor. For example, my go to meal when guests are visiting is Good Breakfast Sandwiches, made with ingredients mostly from Trader Joe’s. The bite from a premium sharp white cheddar cheese is what gives these their edge. As with cheese and ice cream, sometimes generic products aren’t as good as the name brand. But if you must save money and get a generic cheese product, please check out Kroger Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
3) Off Brand Batteries – Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries Review
Electronics is another area in which I have been known to shell out for the premium product. Nothing is more annoying than wasting time on poorly produced batteries. For example, you notice your mouse acting up. Maybe it is time to replace it’s AA battery? But then you realize you just replaced it a week ago. Maybe the battery still has juice, it just doesn’t work well with a product like a mouse. So you put the battery back in the drawer… A month passes, and you now need a battery for your TV remote. You look in the drawer for a replacement battery. You try to remember if this type of battery brand will work okay with something like a remote… Moral of the story, buy quality batteries that work in everything. Otherwise, you will waste time and end up frustrated.
4) Off Brand Cologne – Dollar Tree Cologne Review
How expensive is it to smell good? Surprisingly more so than you would think. I mean really cologne and perfume is just a container full of chemicals. Personally, I did not get into cologne until I was a young adult. At this point, I shopped at Ross for a lot of my clothes. So I would also browse the cologne section there. I was surprised at how expensive cologne was even at a discount retailer! The only thing affordable was the generic Adidas brand product, which really is more of an aftershave. If you go to the mall and browse a department store, many brands are upwards of a $100. Even though I know I am paying for a bunch for the marketing and branding, over time I’ve come to somewhat accept it. Because the cheap stuff is just not that good. I dig deep into the topic in my Dollar Store Cologne review.
Generic Food Brands – Knock Off Food Brands
For those new to the off brand world: If you are looking to start building a generic grocery list, check out my article: What Is An Off Brand Product? This article gives a breakdown of some of the larger off brands (and store brands) to keep your eye on. Also, the 20 Things You Should Always Buy Generic by MoneyTalksNews is a great resource for those that want to start saving money on the little things.