Store brand vs. the expensive stuff

Dean and I have always purchased a lot of store brand items.  You know the ones “Market Pantry”, “Great Value”, “My Essentials”…

I remember seeing a 20/20 (or something) back in high school about how many of the store brands are the same food processed in some of the same plants, just different packaging.  And I think they’re right.  Except there are a handful of things that I do not like in the store brand.

Mayo – I only like Hellman’s mayo. Don’t give me Duke’s or store brand. My husband likes Miracle Whip – which I think tastes like rancid mayo – but those are the only two brands of mayo we’ll have in our house.

Cheez-its – the original branded ones are definitely the best. I can tell a difference between store brand and regular crackers.  And the Wal-Mart ones are disgusting – they taste like cardboard.

Spaghetti sauce – Prego reigns supreme with sauces.  Something about the amount of seasoning and texture, I don’t know what it is. But I can tell the difference and I always prefer the Prego brand to Ragu or store brands.

Coke – I am not a Coke drinker but my husband is – although he’s cut back a ton! 🙂 And we have done taste tests before with Coke and off-brand Coke and you can definitely tell the difference.  Even I can tell with my limited soda experience.  The store brands often don’t taste as sweet and they’re a little ‘flat’ tasting compared to the original.

Sour Cream – I really prefer the Daisy or Breakstone brand to other brands of sour cream.  I think it’s the texture or flavor but I can tell the difference.

Frosted Mini Wheats – The “real” wheats are thick and big, where the store brand has very thin biscuits. The thin biscuits don’t hold up as well in the milk as the originals and I definitely prefer those to the store brand.

Food lovers… what else would you add to the list?  Anything you absolutely have to buy even though it can cost twice as much sometimes?

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