Consumer Reports shopping guru Tod Marks says buying store brands can cut your grocery bills by an average of 30%.
However, a Consumer Reports shoppers' survey reveals 81% are reluctant to give up certain name-brand favorites.
One says, "Pepsi soda."
Another says, "The one thing I won't budge on is Tropicana Orange Juice."
A third remarks, "Kellogg's, things like that that my mom bought for me."
Consumer Reports' taste testers pitted 21 store brands against
big-name brands for staples like … soup … orange juice … and peanut butter.
Tod Marks with Consumer Reports found, "Out of 21 head-to-head match-ups, the store brands won outright three times. Eleven times, it was a tie. So store brands are a good bet."
Walmart's Great Value Original Potato Chips tied with Lay's Classic Potato Chips. Both have a nice balance of real potato flavor, fat, and saltiness.
And Target's Market Pantry Ketchup tied with Heinz Ketchup. But while they're similar quality - that doesn't mean they taste the same.
Marks adds, "The Market Pantry was very "tomatoey." The Heinz was spicier."
But you can skip Target's Market Pantry Chunk Light Tuna.
Marks says, "The product exhibited some off-notes and varied in quality from lot to lot."
Bumble Bee's Chunk Light Tuna was far better in the taste tests.
But on the whole, Consumer Reports finds store brands are worth a try.
Marks says, "Like national brands, store-brand manufacturers and retailers stand behind their products. If you're not satisfied for any reason, you can simply bring it back for a refund."
Consumer Reports says there isn't any reason a store brand can't hold its own against a national brand. After all, some of the companies that make the national brand products are one in the same with those that make the store brands.