Generic VS Name Brand
Great question, Rachel!
- Are organic, all-natural, name-brand products worth the cost?
- Where can I find balance in wanting to cook healthy for my family, but keeping shopping costs down?
- Off-brand foods are way less unhealthy for you, so why would you buy them?
- Is it better to save the money, or keep my family healthy?
- Are you really getting a better product by paying more? Are you getting less product by paying less?
I hear you! So many questions.
Here's my best take on this whole situation...
Yes, I do compare ingredients sometimes. Not with everything, but I try to when I can. I guess it depends on how strict you are health-wise. In my mind, it's worth saving the money because the differences in the food - if any - are so minimal.
We needed Jam (and go through it pretty quickly) so I had my husband grab "the healthiest kind you can find" at Costco. He bought an organic, real-fruit jam that was quality, and expensive. When we ran out of that jam I went to Costco to buy another jar. I noticed that there were two different kinds that caught my eye. One was the more expensive organic kind that we bought before, the other was a cheaper, non-organic, bigger jar...so I assumed it to be less healthy for those reasons.
The non-organic jam
My frugal self couldn't let go paying more for the "healthy" organic jam until I investigated further, so I compared the labels.
I was S-H-O-C-K-E-D to discover that the non-organic, cheaper jam had:
- Less carbs
- Less sugar
- More real fruit in the ingredients
- Less carbs
- and 0% fat.
The organic jam didn't even come close - it was a complete wash. And frankly, the cheaper, non-organic stuff tasted better! I slapped myself on the wrist and told myself I'd never be fooled again.
Moral of the story?
You just have to do your research!Read the labels. Shop around. Ask around. Take two seconds and make a decision based on education, NOT on emotion or convenience.
This is the same with other store-brand things, such as over the counter meds. I'm pretty sure the FDA wouldn't let the Walmart brand Tylenol put anything in it that the name brand Tylenol doesn't, or NOT put anything important in that Tylenol does. I'm no expert, but I'm guessing they have to follow basically the same rules.
Name brands become BRANDS because they put hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars into advertising, market research, and expert endorsements to create a "brand". Store brands don't have that cost, and can simply keep their prices down!
You also have to remember, right now "green" and "organic" are trends. Often times "organic" "all-natural" "full of anti-oxidants" is just a marketing ploy. Do you know that 7-up now claims it has anti-oxidants?? Just because it says it's healthy, doesn't mean it is.
Likewise, just because something DOESN'T say it's healthy, doesn't mean it's a worse choice. And furthermore, just because something is CHEAPER doesn't make it a poorer quality product.
Yes, be health-conscious and mindful of what your family is eating.
Yes, cook home-made, healthy meals using as many fresh ingredients as possible.
Yes, live a balanced life where you are mindful of what you are eating, how much exercise you are getting, and the values you are teaching your family.
Remember that balance is key.
Are your family members going to die an early death if you don't feed them organic celery, canned beans, or jam? No, probably not. But does that mean you should blindly buy the cheapest of everything just to save a buck? No, I don't recommend that all the time.
RESEARCH.Read labels, and offer a little give and take.
You might pay "a lot" for a bag of flax seed that you'd rather have the money go toward something fun, but to add it to your meals will help keep your family healthy and full. But to pay double the price for a jar of jam because it calls itself organic?
Now, that's not doing yourself - or your family - any good.
Let's cut to the facts. Check out this interesting study:
I found this information HERE: