We all know that sometimes store brands may not compare to name brands…BUT did you know that many store brands are actually manufactured under a “private label” by big brand companies specifically for that retailer and sold at a fraction of the cost? Instead of paying more for the same or a similar product, check out a few store brand items that I found to be just as good as its competition. 👍
– COSTCO –
If you have a Costco membership, you may be interested to know that many of their Kirkland Signature branded items are actually made by big brands and sold at deep discount.
Here are a few…
1.) Kirkland Signature Batteries
According to the CEO of Costco, in an interview he did with a reporter, the Kirkland Signature Batteries are actually made by Duracell. You can pick up a 72-pack of Kirkland Signature AA Batteries for under $19 (that’s 26¢ per battery) whereas a 40-pack of Duracell AA Batteries sell for $15 ( = 37¢ each).
2.) Kirkland Signature Liquor
Buy liquor? A salesperson at my local Costco told me that many of the Kirkland Signature liquors are made in the same warehouse/region as the name-brand product. For example, a 1.75L bottle of Kirkland Signature French Vodka sells for just $19.99 and is actually made in the same warehouse as Grey Goose Vodka that sells for $47.99/1.75L bottle at Costco and even more elsewhere!
Note that not all Costco stores or their Liquor Departments have a liquor license to sell Kirkland Signature branded alcohol, so consider calling your local Costco store before making a special trip.
3.) Kirkland Signature Coffee
Did you know that select varieties of Kirkland Signature Coffee are actually roasted by Starbucks Coffee Company? You can pick up a 2lb bag of Kirkland Signature House Coffee for around $9.99 (31¢/oz) whereas a 20oz bag of Starbucks Coffee sells for $11.99 at Target (60¢/oz). BIG savings!
4.) Kirkland Signature Tuna
If you’re a fan of tuna, the Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna is supplied by Bumble Bee Foods and sells for roughly 25¢ per ounce whereas the 5oz cans of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Canned Tuna sell for $1.59 per can (= 32¢ per ounce) at your local Target and $2.29 at Safeway stores.
5.) Kirkland Signature Pet Food
Also, all of the Kirkland Signature Super Premium and Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Pet Foods are made by Diamond Pet Foods in four company-owned manufacturing facilities in the United States.
A 35-pound bag of Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Grain-Free Dog Food sells for $26.49 at Costco (= 76¢/lb) whereas a 28lb bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Dog Food sells for around $39.99 at Specialty Pet Stores (= $1.43/lb). It’s no wonder Costco’s Dog Food is one of their best-selling items!
– TRADER JOE’S –
Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a factory where it makes its own products but instead sources them from well-known brands and sells them under the Trader Joe’s private label at a deep discount, like these…
6.) Trader Joe’s Pita Chips
Have you ever eaten Trader Joe’s Pita Chips with Sea Salt? These chips are so yummy and taste essentially the same as the Simply Naked flavor of Stacy’s Pita Chips in different packaging with a lower price. A 6oz bag of Trader Joe’s Pita Chips sells for $1.99 whereas a 7.33oz bag of Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips sell for $2.99 or more at stores like Sprouts Farmer’s Market and other stores.
7.) Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili
Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili which sells for $2.29 per can is identical in taste, ingredients, and appearance to Amy’s Organic Medium Chili which sells for $3.49 at Safeway stores.
8.) Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar
If you’re a fan of Annie’s Organic Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni which sells for around $3.49 per box at Safeway stores, be sure to give Trader Joe’s Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese a try as they taste essentially the same and you can grab a box for just $1.29 at Trader Joe’s!
– WALMART –
As a store brand, the Great Value line doesn’t consist of goods produced by Walmart, but is a labeling system for items manufactured and packaged by agricultural and food corporations, such as ConAgra and Sara Lee which, in addition to releasing products under its own brands and exclusively for Walmart, also manufactures and brands foods for a variety of other chain stores. Here are a couple…
9.) Great Value Peanut Butter
Why pay for Peter Pan Peanut Butter which sells for $3.88 per 20oz jar at Walmart (that equals 13.9¢ per ounce) when you can opt for Walmart’s Great Value brand priced at $3.32 for the same size jar (that’s just 11.9¢ per ounce), as both items are manufactured by ConAgra Foods.
10.) Great Value Bread
The 20-24oz loaves of Great Value White Bread sell for just $1.48 at Walmart and are actually made in the same bakery that makes Sara Lee Bread (as well as Nature’s Harvest, Bimbo Bread, and other brands), which sells their loaves of classic white sandwich bread for $2.28 each at Walmart.
Note that the companies I contacted were not willing to disclose this information to me, so some of the data in this post is based off online research and my “detective work”. 😃 I suggest grabbing a few store-brand & name-brand items and doing a taste test to see if YOU can tell the difference!
Although personal taste and preference will vary by person, here are a few store brand items that I love buying at a fraction of the cost and think they are the same or better as competing name-brands! If you are looking to save without the hassle of coupons, buying store brands is an easy way to do that!
Normally-Expensive Hair Care
If you’re looking to save on hair care products, consider grabbing these large bottles of Kirkland Signature Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner at Costco – a 33.8 fl oz bottle of shampoo sells for around $9.99 and the matching conditioner sells for just $7.49. This product smells amazing, is sulfate free, paraben free, color safe… and rumor has it that this product is actually made by Pureology.
As you can see, a 4lb bag of Great Value Pure Cane Sugar at Walmart sells for just $1.98 whereas a bag of Imperial Sugar sells for $2.44… and they are virtually the same exact item in different packaging.
Store-brand medications must be FDA-approved and must carry the same active ingredients as name-brand drug manufacturers, so consider buying store brand whenever you’re feeling sick.
For instance, a twin pack of Equate 220mg Naproxen Sodium 150ct Caplets sells for only $5.98 at Walmart (that’s just 4¢ per caplet) which compares to Aleve’s Caplets 220mg with the same active ingredients that is priced at $12.67 at Walmart (a whopping 8¢ per caplet). Need I say more?
Despite the myth that generic, off-brand gasoline is weaker, it is actually just as effective as stations like Shell, Chevron or ExxonMobil as ALL fuel (including unbranded fuel!) must meet certain regulatory guidelines for for RVP, ethanol percentage, octane and more.
Although gas prices will vary greatly by region, I often find that Sam’s Club and Costco have great prices on gasoline. Also, you can often earn points by filling up at stores like Kroger or Safeway. Be sure to check out for local pump prices in your area.
One of the products I love to grab while shopping at Costco are their Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels with 160 sheets per roll. The Kirkland brand regularly sells for around $1.53 per 100 square feet whereas the Bounty Advanced Paper Towels sell for $2.63 per 100 square feet.
Although you may be able to find cheaper prices on paper towels at other stores during a sale and/or with coupons, the Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size 2-ply Paper Towels are a nice price and work well.
Did you know that Target offers a 1-year satisfaction or money-back guarantee on ALL of their exclusive-brand, private label items? If you are not satisfied for ANY reason, just bring back your receipt to a Target store to receive a full refund within one year of the item’s purchase date. LOVE!
Not to mention that many of the Target store brand items work amazing or even better than name-branded items as they are always working to improve their brands. For instance, a 72ct package of Up & Up Baby Wipes sells for $1.59 (that’s 2¢ per wipe) at Target whereas the same size package of Huggies Simply Clean Wipes retail for $1.99 each (that’s 3¢ per wipe).
Although some name-brands may have more enticing and colorful labels when compared to store brands, keep in mind that their canned vegetables are essentially the same exact thing.
For instance, a can of Sweet Peas at Walmart regularly sells for just 68¢ each whereas a can of Del Monte Sweet Peas with the exact same ingredients (aside of using sea salt instead of salt) sells for 98¢.
Interesting Facts from the Private Label Manufacturers Association:
- About $150 billion worth of store brands were sold in 2016
- Shoppers can save $44 billion per year by choosing private label products over national brands
- Store brands are not cheaper – they are just less expensive to market than national brands
- Retailers use manufacturers to supply their products, including large national brand manufacturers that utilize their expertise and excess plant capacity to supply store brands
Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.