There Are Some Foods That Should Never Be Made Generic

generic beerGetting my finances in order sucks. It sucks even more when I have idiots teaching me how to do it.

Since I am now writing for a personal finance blog, I decided that I should actually try and get my finances in order. Usually I would call my sister and ask her for help in such a situation, but since I’m still pissed off at her for the entire Paris Hilton is more productive than I am episode, I decided to instead ask my next door neighbor, Frugal Guy.

Frugal Guy is the diplomatic name I give to him. Really, he should be named Cheap Ass Guy.

I should have known that this was going to be a bad idea before I asked for his help. Anyone that puts a bowl on their head and lets their wife go


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22 Responses to There Are Some Foods That Should Never Be Made Generic

  1. devin says:

    Never, ever buy generic peanut butter! I can eat most things generic, but definitely not peanut butter. My dog even hates generic peanut butter!

  2. Jason H says:

    I have found that generic foods more often than not equal bad quality and questionable ingredients. That being said, brand name packaged foods often equal questionable quality and questionable ingredients. If you want good food at decent prices stop playing games and grow your own, go to a farmer’s market, or sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). For meat go to a butcher who specializes in local animals. The supermarket is only good for getting paper plates and napkins, and for those, generic is just fine.

  3. greenday says:

    It seems to me that you are the idiot in this situation. You say you knew what was going to happen before hand and yet you still decided to do it. And then you say the other people are idiots. If you don’t like generic, that’s fine, but stop blaming others for situations you created yourself. You asked for help. At least have the grace to leave civilly when you have been invited after asking for help.

  4. justme says:

    first tip-if you are BBQ near your house just use real plates and silverware I bought my plates 20 years ago and they are still going strong

    honestly full price beer is not too expensive, but buy hamms and its a real bargain ,i just do not drink beer so not an issue,I do work at a store and know there is always someone who hates every kind of beer so I would never expect to make a beer drinker happy with anything other than his favorite brand
    making things homemade is cheaper than generic, pick and choose buy the important things that you must have just right and use cheaper supporting items in generic

    important- tip if you are going to feed someone who is negative about “cheap” food do not let them know what is or is not cheap

  5. jeremy says:

    You can buy everything generic if you go to a decent grocery store. Frugal Guy probably buys his generics at Wal-Mart, but at my mildly upscale supermarket (not Whole Foods), the generics are not packed full of fillers in most cases.

    Also, why is someone who gets his groceries delivered and refuses to use coupons writing for a personal finance blog?

  6. Ann says:

    Of all the things in the world I could buy, food is by far the most important as it keeps me alive. Groceries are my largest bill each month, and will forever stay that way. My mind and body will thank me for it.

    I have GOT to look into this delivered groceries thing.

  7. t says:

    I’ll eat most store brand goods, but sometimes they just taste funky so I stick with the name brand.

    Toiletries, I use a ton of CVS/Walgreen branded products, but again I have some items that I just go with the name brand.

    When it comes to meat, I like it fresh. I don’t like meat that has been frozen.

  8. David Mitchell says:

    Grocery shopping (which I actually enjoy) is about finding value for your dollar. Frugal guy is sacrificing quality for lower cost and he is probably deluding himself that he is getting good value, when he is not. I will always use coupons and I stock up on sale items. If I exclude perishable items, I can generally save close to 50% off of my shopping bill by shopping wisely. For meats and produce and other perishables, I am usually at the mercy of the grocery store but even then, I will try to buy the meets that are on sale and stock up on the cheeses that are a good value. I want to save money when I shop, but not if it means sacrificing the quality of our meals!

  9. Sharman says:

    Your article was hilarious!

    We buy generic brands, but the product has to taste good or we will not purchase it. Gosh, I actually like that you are going through the process to become more frugal and kind of hate it. I mean, I felt your blog was pretty realistic. Everyone does not like cutting back and living a more frugal life. Out of necessity many do it, but not with a lot of love.

    Keep up the good work and stay encouraged. You ROCK!!!

  10. FVP says:

    I hope this isn’t a true story (and I have my suspicions), because I can’t fathom being that rude to someone who invited you over and made you dinner.

  11. Gail says:

    Very funny. I read your article to my hubby and he had a laugh too!

    Apparently you haven’t hit yet on what you can do to save money, but at least you can help us laugh while you search it out.

    PS> We use carefully selected generics for certain items. The exceedeingly few times I ever buy paper plates I never get generic as they are too flimsy.

  12. leslie says:

    Not all generics are awful but people who say that buying generics 100% is the solution to a high grocery bill are kidding themselves. For example, there is no difference between the store brand can of black beans and the name brand (and that applies to the vast majority of canned goods). However, I can not stomach generic Cheerios – have to go with the name brand there. The key is to be open to trying the store brand stuff and seeing if it is worth it to you. Some are hits and some are misses but overall you would most likely be saving a significant amount of money if you switch even a few things that you buy regularly to the store brand.

    Generic Beer would be a no way, no how for me though I have to say.

  13. Cindy M says:

    Hey, bud, that’s elitist. That or you just have hypersensitive taste buds and/or are at least 20 years younger than me. The young are just so darn picky usually too worried about being cool (like anybody really cares). One thing about getting frugally older is your sense of taste in most things must diminish, unless you’re still worried about trying to impress other people, that is. The only generic product I can’t abide these days is the Dollar General’s cola. Big K doesn’t bother me nor does Sam’s or Aldi’s versions, but Dollar General’s cola sucks and I’ve told them so, ha-ha. I think overall the generic house brands have improved immensely and in some cases even taste better than the name brands these days, from spaghetti sauce (Kroger’s house brand was awful but no more) to ice cream and yes, peanut butter, in my opinion. I’m not a beer drinker but a few times have bought the cheapest type and it did what it finer brews do to me, namely make me want to take a nap and wake up with a headache. Oh, and I’m particular about my bath soap; it’s gotta be Caress or Dove. Other than that, I’ve tried tons of products and have pretty much decided I can fix a great meal without spending a fortune.

  14. Cindy M says:

    P.S. – I’ve heard it said that many generic items actually have the same contents as the name brands, that at the canning places, it’s just a matter of labels being switched at a certain point in time. Interesting thought, but I have not checked this one out.

  15. patricia says:

    Most generic food sucks! The beverages are even worse. I know it would deflate your manliness but (I have no affilitiation with this site)posts way to get REAL food for almost nothing using coupons.

    I got 3 bags of groceries last week for $5.

  16. Topwaystosave says:

    I could never drink generic soda. I have tried lots of different stores and to me none were ever really good. Grape soda and ginger ale were okay. It’s always the cola which tastes weird to me.

  17. livingplanet says:

    i think beer guy and generic guy are twin brothers! or, just one person, with two personalities! hilarious.

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  19. Marie says:

    That’s definitely a made up story. Who throws food away when a friend went to a lot of trouble to make it for you? If it’s not made up, it’s a really immature thing to do.

  20. MikeN says:

    Frugal guy was right about the paint, only he should have blended all of his paint together in order to get one consistent color.

  21. Bryan Robertson says:

    This is an interesting article. For those that say quality of generic food is lower than that of name brands, I would say that is wrong 90% of the time. The truth is a lot of generic foods, especially store brand labels are made by name brand companies. This fact is purposely hidden by these name brand companies, for obvious reasons. Generic brands are usually equally good or even better and most importantly cheaper. The exceptions to the cheaper rule are when your local store runs a good sale and you happen to have a coupon for the name brand. There are several ways you can reveal who makes what, any of these combinations are a good sign:

    1) similar packaging either externally or internally (For example frozen pizzas most store brands are made my name brand companies

    2) ingredient list, the manufactures will sometimes purposely change the order of the ingredients are listed to cause confusion. (For example, they might even replace the words salt with sodium – or water with H2O)

    3) The fastest way to decode, most reliable when also compared with number 2 is the matching nutritional facts on products

    4) same city and or state of manufacture, distribution, or packaging.

    5) Ask a friend that works for the manufacture, distributor, or even a personal friend to that works that the local grocery store (Department manager, a store manager, or other person that regularly communicates with venders or distributors .

    6) past product recalls, would be my last recommend source.

  22. Bob says:

    We get what we expect. You don’t want generics, because you believe they are inferior. To that end, your own mind picks out and amplifies any and all perceived bad qualities. Often, the mind also invents a few. Anything that goes against our strongly held notions, we ignore. Did the cheese taste bad? Probably not. Compare your brand name products to generics and store brands. They almost always have the same ingredients in the same order. Many times, the same plant will package the products. Say half goes into a brand name package, the other into a store brand. The difference is all in your head.

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