Only poor people use own brand

Do you ever think about where your prejudices come from? One that I grew up believing was that only poor people use own brand. But why? So when I was growing up money was an issue. The only time posh brands came out was for birthday parties or Christmas.

What’s the craic with own brands?

Own brands can be hit and miss taste and texture wise. In all fairness so too can the brand name products.

Oftentimes there is less sugar in store own brand products. Sugar is an expensive ingredient and so you can understand why it gets the old heave-ho. Look at children’s yoghurts for an example. The brand name yoghurt is in a beautiful packaging and tastes good. But it’s full of sugar. Now look at an own brand version, there is less sugar but most of the other ingredients are the same. So the own brand is cheaper and healthier. The packaging can be less attractive but how much does that matter?

People will think I’m poor!

I can’t remember where I heard this but what other people think of you is none of your business. That’s not to be harsh. It’s simply the truth. The only opinion that matters here is your own. If you want or need to use own brand products that does not mean you are poor.

It’s interesting that our self worth can be tied to something so abstract. For years I would only send the kids with brand named products for lunch. I didn’t want them to be the subject of scrutiny. In my mind the teachers would be secretly judging me for sending in cheaper yoghurt. As if the teachers gave a second thought to what was in my children’s lunch boxes once it was somewhat healthy.

How to get started with own brands

It might be tempting to go whole hog and try everything store brand labelled at once. I would caution against it. If you don’t like the generic food you could end up with a press full of foods you don’t like and be faced with the choice to choke them down or bin them.

Instead I suggest trying maximum 3 new things per week and never buy more than one of each of them. If you enjoy them it’s easy to buy more. If you hate them you only have to get through one and never buy them again. It’s a simple plan to avoid wasted food and money.

Further reading

Cathriona from @myfamilynutrition touched on this topic this week. Her post about brand name and generic food discusses the fact that many store brand products are made in the same factory as brand named products. That’s not to say they are exactly the same product because different recipes and quantities of ingredients may well be used. But it is interesting that we think foods are wildly different depending on the label.

If you enjoyed this weeks blog post you might also like Clutter and Hoarding. It’s a post about the possible connection between hoarding things and frugal living.

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