Healthy on a Budget

Lots of store brand items with a dash of national brand for making tomato soup. This is what my pantry looks like.

A recent Freakonomics podcast discussed research on trends for people who buy store brands versus name brands in various products.  Some of these products were food and drink – sugar, salt, baking soda, etc.  Chefs were slightly more likely to buy store brands than the average consumer.

I found this podcast very interesting based on my own experiences at the grocery store and looking in family and friend’s pantries.  I buy A LOT of store brand items, but I know may people who do not.  Flour, sugar, herbs, spices, canned tomatoes, applesauce, and yogurt are just a few things I can think of that I buy regularly that are not name brand.  Store brand products offer a significant savings for me.  I’m on a fairly tight grocery budget.  Every dime I save on a store brand packaged product can be spent on fresh produce.

Also, I focus my store brand purchases on objects that have no nutritional differences from the national brand.  Flour is flour.  Sugar is sugar.  As long as there are no salt added tomatoes, Hunts has no premium over Walmart brand.  I have found some differences at times, however. For example, I bought Crisco shortening over store brand to avoid trans fats.  I recently purchased Campbell’s Tomato Juice in order to get a lower sodium version.

In the long run, it is your decision what to buy at the store.  But if your grocery budget is tight and you feel you don’t have enough money for fresh fruits and vegetables, look at your pantry purchases.  The money you save switching to store brands may be enough to make your budget stretch that much farther.

This post was not sponsored by any brands, companies, or stores.  The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

1 thought on “Healthy on a Budget”

  1. I buy a lot of generic brands as well, except Crisco. I had no idea about the teams fats, so thank you for bluing me into that, but the consistency of the generic brand is awful and doesn’t make the cut when baking bread.
    I do find it interesting how many people do buy the name brand things simply because of name recognition.

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