Experts say Brand X is now significantly less distinguishable from name brands!
January 3, 2007 11:40 AM   Subscribe

For which products or services is it worth it to buy name brand instead of generic brand? When will brand X do just as well, or even better?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane to Shopping (69 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent question. Oddly enough the only thing that comes to mind is Chambord (liquor). It's one of those products that if you don't do it right, it tastes like cough syrup. Chambord doesn't, but the cheaper alternatives vaguely do.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:46 AM on January 3, 2007

Some generic drugs aren't as good as the name brand drugs they are said to resemble (such as accutane)
posted by chickaboo at 11:50 AM on January 3, 2007

Smucker's marmalade > generic.
Bailey's Irish Cream> generic.
posted by mhuckaba at 11:51 AM on January 3, 2007

I've begun to believe in brand names for clothing. "Well-madeness" is not always something I can detect upon purchase, but most of my off-brand clothes run or ravel far sooner.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:52 AM on January 3, 2007

Computer monitors, I have found. A cheap LCD can make itself into a brick without extra (unadvertised) failsafe hardware. Brand name monitors may have color calibration software and a lower incidence of pixel death. Two items with the same "specs" (size, resolution, compatibility) but with radically different quality.
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:54 AM on January 3, 2007

I always went with name brands for my tampons/pads. It just seemed like the type of thing you'd want a brand name with. I also love Midol better than the Target generic equivalent.
posted by christinetheslp at 11:55 AM on January 3, 2007

I would say product that you don't use frequently but for which quality or taste matter more than cost, like food, wine, some clothing, etc. Seldom used items won't really benefit from the cost savings of generics.

Also, some products that are based on secret formulas or patents don't really have good generic substitutes. Generic cola tastes nothing like Coke or Pepsi.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2007

Lego > blocko
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:56 AM on January 3, 2007 [2 favorites]

peanut butter. when i was a kid, my parents would always try to sneak in some generic peanut butter and we always, always knew. we were obnoxious kids.

i love the generic brands whose names are slightly abridged versions of the brand names. Like, instead of Easy Mac, they have Express Mac. Ooh.
posted by silverstatue at 11:57 AM on January 3, 2007

I've had some bad luck with off-brand batteries.
posted by muddgirl at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2007

I've had really bad luck with off-brand printer ink cartridges.
posted by Kloryne at 12:05 PM on January 3, 2007

As a rule, I buy store brand groceries exclusively. The exceptions are: aluminum foil (Reynolds Wrap); plastic wrap (anything but store brand); trash bags (although I suspect Wal-Mart's trash bags are just repackaged Hefty bags -- I'll buy those if I'm there); kitty litter (Tidy Cats); ice cream (I like Edy's/Dreyer's); Triscuits (store brand is unfailingly awful). Only coupons or sales will get me to buy name brand of just about anything else.

Conversely, I rarely buy generic electronics. They are pretty terrible, on average, and rarely worth the headache.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:06 PM on January 3, 2007

Seconding peanut butter; at least some of the store brands are more like lard.

Store-brand cereals seem to me to be equivalent to the overpriced name brands.

Traditional name-brand clothes are almost always better-made than trendy designer brands. Shoes, too.

Pizza from a local non-chain place is usually far better than what you get from Papa Domino's Hut (but there are bad local pizzerias, too.)

Consumer Reports has been testing store brands against name brands lately. The results are sometimes surprising.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:08 PM on January 3, 2007

Oh yeah, definitely ice cream.
posted by lampoil at 12:11 PM on January 3, 2007

Prescription drugs. I have first hand experience with name-brand and generic -- the theraputic effects are (must be?) identical, but name-brands have given me much milder side effects. (Specific case in point - two cases of preventative lyme treatment. First time with generic doxy which was brutally harsh; second time with name-brand which barely made a blip on the radar).


On a completely different note, I used to buy generic brand baked beans over name brand, but it turned out I just prefered them due to their higher sugar content. Same applies to some other canned goods (rice pudding comes to mind from uni days).
posted by devbrain at 12:12 PM on January 3, 2007

Pop-tarts. I eat them for breakfast every morning and the generic stuff makes me want to die.

Sun glasses. I treat mine like utter crap. Break 10 $10 pairs in a year or have one $150 pair last me 3-4 years.

Seconding batteries. Nothing's worse than having el-cheapos die every hour instead of lasting 10x as long!
posted by jmd82 at 12:15 PM on January 3, 2007

Garbage bags. Nothing is worse then having a bag rip on the way out of the kitchen. I want all the strength hefty can muster.

Safety equipment - stuff like child seats. I don't know if there are really "generic" brands but there are definitely "value" brands I wouldn't feel comfortable buying.

posted by rsanheim at 12:17 PM on January 3, 2007

Over-the-counter generic painkillers should work just as well as the name brands (Advil v. ibuprofen, Tylenol v. acetaminophen). Although Advil does have the delicious sugar coating.

I still think that Chambord tastes like cough syrup, but that is a very personal preference.
posted by that girl at 12:21 PM on January 3, 2007

Toilet paper. I'm sorry, but my parts are a delicate flower.

Computers. I dealt with the horror that is a dying generic laptop (Windrover), trying to figure out what was going on with parts/drivers/etc. The next time, I spent more and bought a Sony. Yes, you pay for the name, but it's worth it when you need parts or service.

Breakfast cereal. I eat a lot of generics, but I won't skimp there. You can always tell the difference.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:27 PM on January 3, 2007

Neutrogena T-gel shampoo, you know, the anti-dandruff stuff with coal tar in it.

The generic doesn't cut it.
posted by adamwolf at 12:28 PM on January 3, 2007

posted by alikins at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2007

Tools (both hand and power). Off brand tools don't last and some can be downright dangerous.
posted by buggzzee23 at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2007

Years ago, I worked the nightshift at a crisp (USians call them potato chips) factory. Every night, two thirds of the way through the shift, the packaging was changed from the premium brand to any of a number of supermarket brands. The product going into the package was exactly the same.

Since then, I've harboured deep suspicions whenever anybody has tried to tell me BrandX is superior to Generic.
posted by veedubya at 12:35 PM on January 3, 2007 [3 favorites]

Seconding toilet paper. And Kleenex (only Ultra-Soft, no lotion for me, thanks).

I've recently started buying shampoo from a salon, and I really do notice the difference. Suave or Pantene or whatever drug store brand will get my hair clean, but using the expensive stuff saves me time in the morning trying to get my hair to behave.
posted by donajo at 12:39 PM on January 3, 2007

Cough syrup--name-brands are bad enough, but generics can be awful.

On the other hand, I strongly prefer Safeway-brand salsa to all others.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:47 PM on January 3, 2007

I like the taste of Toms of Maine toothpaste; since most or all of the store generics are copies of Crest/Colgate/etc, I buy the expensive hippy stuff that tastes good.

Otherwise, besides cars, tools, clothes, and shoes, I am hard pressed to think of any brands that are startlingly better than the generics. (And even tools and clothes can be hit and miss, with brands.) At the grocery store, I buy mostly by price and by shortness of ingredient list (interestingly, generic brands usually have fewer ingredients; make of that what you will).

I don't buy services by brands, so I'm not sure what the generic equivalent is. Maybe a branded service is a national or international franchise (like Rotorooter, or Jiffy Lube)? If that is the case, I would say that I avoid branded services, preferring local alternatives in favor of better service.
posted by Forktine at 12:53 PM on January 3, 2007

Kleenex, toilet paper, paper towels. Breakfast cereal -- my kids are hardly picky eaters, Mr R even less so, but they -will- -not- eat store brand Wheaties or Raisin Bran. Plastic wrap. Baggies. Garbage bags. Musical instruments. Batteries. Electronics over a certain price range.
posted by jlkr at 12:55 PM on January 3, 2007

Q-Tips are a hundred times better than any generic brand, or even any name brand you buy in other countries.

Everything else I buy generic and it's just fine.
posted by bink at 12:56 PM on January 3, 2007

Toothpaste, Spaghetti Sauce, Beer, Toilet Paper, Pancake Syrup, Cereal
posted by Big_B at 1:03 PM on January 3, 2007

Kraft Cheese Slices, off-brand is nasty.
Toilet paper - only Charmin
Tissues - only Puffs
Mayo - only Hellman's
Ranch dressing - only Hidden Valley
Q Tips - I don't even know what the item is called, only know the brand name, and only Q Tip will do.
Cheetos - again, I don't know what the product would be called in a different brand...crunchy cheese things?
I buy a lot of off-brand items and save a lot of money that way, but these items are deal breakers.
posted by illek at 1:31 PM on January 3, 2007

"Cotton swabs" is what they're called.

And veedubya's experience is repeated in the U.S. Some generics are identical to the name-brands. (And some are better.)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:37 PM on January 3, 2007

Just to be contrary, I find that generic kitchen-sized trash bags (white, with the plastic cord) are always superior to the Hefty version, which feel remarkably flimsy.

But name brand orange juice is worth the extra cash -- the generic stuff tastes watered down or was "made from concentrate."
posted by junkbox at 1:44 PM on January 3, 2007

"cotton swabs"...thanks Kirth! And the Cheetos?
posted by illek at 1:49 PM on January 3, 2007

Cheetos (aka cheese doodles or cheese puffs) are nearly always better in the generics. Something that tastes like styrofoam with cheese dust on it doesn't "improve" in the brand name version. Conversely, generic "nacho cheese" faux-Dorito chips tend toward the terrible.
posted by graymouser at 1:59 PM on January 3, 2007

Most (all?) generic prescription drugs are exactly the same as the "name brand" versions. The different versions of OTC drugs (say WalTussin v. Robotussin) might have different buffers or whatever, so people could conceivably find them different somehow.
posted by jcwagner at 2:03 PM on January 3, 2007

Batteries? Maybe, but generics bought at the right places cost a tenth as much, so who cares if they fail 5% sooner. And don't say for smoke detectors or other mission-critical things, because you should get nowhere near the edge for that stuff.
posted by jcwagner at 2:05 PM on January 3, 2007

For electronics, sometimes it really depends on the vendor. I was just waiting for my generic laptop battery to assplode and leave a smoking crater in my office. But it fit perfectly and works like a charm, so I'm patting myself on my cheap-ass back.

I'd always advise getting branded car parts, though.

And condoms aren't something you wanna go cheap on.
posted by krippledkonscious at 2:10 PM on January 3, 2007

Yay brand-name bog-rolls, ketchup, butter (President > all others), dried pasta, toothpaste.

Also I'm not keen on supermarket packaged meat with a white label on it. Priontastic.

On the other hand, meh to brand-name PCs (I can build my own); batteries (rechargables give a more consistent output in my opinion *and* blah blah environment yada); OTC painkillers; and sunglasses because I always lose them in a matter of days and in any case they only cost three quid at Superdrug.
posted by genghis at 2:17 PM on January 3, 2007

Once when I was feeling particularly poor, I bought the Wal-Mart imitation of Rice-A-Roni. (High class, I know.) It seemed simple enough a product that no one could screw it up. How wrong I was. It was like fried sand topped with fried dirt. Yech. Why did I think saving 9 cents would be worth this?

Same with Mac and Cheese: Kraft only.

Also I only buy the Charmin mega rolls of TP.

I don't mind store brand colas, but they don't taste like Coke or Pepsi.
posted by The Deej at 2:53 PM on January 3, 2007

There are differences in non-brands. For example, Kroger brand American cheese is just at good as Kraft (I was in a blind taste test!). Safeway and Kroger butters are just as good as any normal butter (though they can't compete with luxury butter).

The really cheap generic FMV ("For Maximum Value") brand cheese slices and butter are _nasty_. On the other hand, FMV is fine for canned food.

New Season's/Wild Oats/name-your-regional-natural-foods-chain-here will often have generic brands that are better than the standard name-brand stuff you get at regular grocery stores. And sometimes these stores' generics are more expensive than the name brand stuff, too.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:54 PM on January 3, 2007

I once knew a girl who worked the night shift in a ketchup and vinegar factory. At a certain time of night they'd just replace the roll of "Heinz" labels with a roll of labels for a certain store-brand, then start the line again. No change in product.

Years later, I heard a similar story about pharmaceuticals, which sounds common sense to me, since you're dealing with identical chemistry.

I'm not saying this is true in all cases, and in some it's clearly not, but I've always remembered this anecdote when looking at generic or store brands in general.
posted by rokusan at 2:59 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Only Heinz ketchup and Breyers ice cream (but not together . . . ewwww).

Off brands - I LOVE safeway-brand rootbeer.
posted by Sassyfras at 2:59 PM on January 3, 2007

The generic claritin (loratadine) is the way to go-$15 for 300 at Costco, versus about a buck a pill for the name brand. I take it daily, so it really adds up.

But yeah, Kraft mac'n'cheese is the only way to go.
posted by purenitrous at 3:07 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Scotties brand facial tissue - the glory of their "HypoAllergenic" - means I can't buy the store brand without paying through the nose (Ha!)
I can't wash my hair every day with Suave or other "generic" shampoos, (starts to itch) have to switch with some nicer stuff. This is kind of a bonus, because I don't really like using the same scent every single day, either.
If you give sandwich/snack bags a real beating or reuse them, go with the brand name. But really, you've got to be rough with them to justify it.
Bras- well made really will last longer if cared for, but fit really depends on your body just as much as the brand name, cause you know, we're all shaped differently.
posted by bilabial at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2007

Musical instruments is probably the big one for me--seen too many Walmart-brand "FirstAct" instruments fail, even if they were supposed to be the exact same as their much more expensive counterparts. In one instance, a kid at our church used an off-brand electric guitar, and it caused horrible static that annoyed everyone. He was surprised at the difference when he finally received a Fender guitar as a present. I wasn't.
posted by DMan at 3:17 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

What veedubya said.

When I was a kid I remember taking a tour of the big Wonder Bread factory in our town. I was scarred for life when I realized that one of the production lines for loaves of bread that I was following split into two packaging lanes just before the plastic went over the loaf. One lane was for Wonder, the other was for the local supermarket brand.

Maybe its just bread and a few other products, but for as long as I can remember my rule has been to go with what tastes / smells / feels / etc. the best and try the other one from time to time if its on sale. Sometimes that means I'm buying the generic regularly, sometimes reverse.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:25 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Mouthwash. I love Listerine, but the stuff sometimes costs two or three times more than the generic brand (often branded by by the store like CVS, Walgreens, etc.) I can't tell the difference one bit. The ingredients are supposedly the same according to the labels. They both burn like hell and seem to do the job equally well. Hey that sort of rhymed! Win!
posted by wfrgms at 4:20 PM on January 3, 2007

I tried the generic chocolate chips once, and it will never happen again. After a disgusting mouthful and subsequent inspection of the bag, I found that they were labelled "chocolate flavored chips" -- chips of WHAT, if not chocolate? Yuck. I don't need the ghirardelli, just the standard tollhouse morsels. Mmmmm.
posted by vytae at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2007

Beer. Sam Adams Black Lager.
posted by theora55 at 4:53 PM on January 3, 2007

Generic chocolate chips?? Man, that was brave.

How come you never see generic toothpaste? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Generic adhesive tape is always regrettable. Generic Q-tips: too bendy. I'm with Sassyfras: Safeway root beer is A-okay! (Is that why you're called Sassyfras?)
posted by Lockjaw at 5:00 PM on January 3, 2007

theora55I like microbrews and things mself, but I am not sure Bud counts as generic (although it should).

I WILL NOT buy cheap undies. My undies cost US$ 18 a pair.
posted by oflinkey at 6:13 PM on January 3, 2007

nthing the Q-tip vs. Cotton Swabs thing, nothing else will do the job quite right.

Brand name colas are far superior to their generic counterparts.

From a supermarket insider - salt, flour, sugar and other staples are certainly the very same products with different labels and prices.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:52 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Bounty paper towels! All other brands are too...papery? Rippy? Not rippy enough?
posted by GaelFC at 7:58 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

Large diaphragm condenser microphones.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 9:59 PM on January 3, 2007

Sorry, I'm going to rant for awhile, but i really think this is such a wonderful topic...indulge me.

VIVA brand paper towels. Love them. I mostly/almost always use fabric towels, napkins, etc. Sometimes, however, there is a mess I cannot abide the thought of going through my washing machine, and for those moments, it absolutely must be VIVA. Plus, you can wash at least two windows with one towel, you can rinse them out, they truly are amazing. Actually, the CHEAPEST friend I have is the woman who turned me on to them. And she sleeps in cheap sheets! EGADS! (LOVE Target's 500 TC yumminess, BTW!)

Kosher salt. In the big box. Any brand. Worth it. (Though I'm pretty sure there is no discernible $$ difference)

There are limits, however. And exceptions where store brand is better, or vice versa. Never buy name brand painkillers. Ever. It's insane. Always buy name brand bandages (the sticky ones. No difference with sterile cotton or alcohol or such. Exactly the same) Store brand cream cheese is always better, as is sour cream, eggs are seldom worth the money (unless you can afford to buy cage-free eggs, and then you should,) butter is not (unsalted harris teeter, unsalted whatever, just fine!), buy bulk rice and grains, cheap lamb from Costco rocks, but actually cheap meat ends there for the most part. They have a great New Zealand connection, but trust, the rest of their meat is american. Which, I am sorry to say, is generally scary. They say less is more, and eat really good quality, fresh farm raised meat. And enjoy great cheap food like beans and such in between. Cheap meat is as bad as it might seem. My ex's cousin was a truck driver and the stories of the lice on the chicken? Oof, enough to believe in buying locally, from caring farmers. They exist. Good olive oil (for salads, not cooking) is definitely worth it. Cheap toothbrushes are fine, cheap toothpaste is not. Store fabric softening sheets (unscented) are fine, but for my crazy allergic body, only arm and hammer unscented or all unscented will do. But that's an allergy issue. I've never found a "scent-free" store brand, and my hospital-inducing experiments had to end. I'm in the name-brand tampon, condom, battery camp. Scrimping here makes me feel like i'd be okay with a budget tattoo.

And the above posters are right about the cotton swabs. Q-Tip. Only.

With clothing, I buy really nice used stuff. I live in a city, so it's way easier, but I never buy new clothes...'cept undies. I love the idea of looking great, sure, but i hate the idea of my old clothes sitting in a landfill cause I bought cheap crap I couldn't donate later. In general, I find having a few nice things is way way better than a lot of badly made things. Furniture is a good example. I have the sofa my very poor parents bought (it's leather, thirty) when I was a baby. I won't have to buy one for years. So they struggled to buy it. In the end, I think so very worth it. Fabric sofas, for the most part, and cheap sofas, futons, beds? They make up a huge portion of landfill. Plus a whole bunch of crappy pans.

I think Ikea towels and bookcases and their solid wood furniture is great, but I think cheap pans are the worst. The risk of damaging quality food with a crappy, thin pan is really outweighed by having a couple ( and you really only need a couple!) good pans that are quality.

Dishtowels, dishes, all generic whatever. Pans and knives? Never. Cheap cutting boards rock. Cheap wine does not. Unless it's insanely tasty inexpensive wine, which there is plenty of.

When it matters, take the thing that will out last two of "whatever it is" cheaper rivals. If it's a wasted consumable, take the cheaper, unless you really can taste/feel the difference.

And make mistakes. And try the long-life flourescent bulbs. Love yourself, and the planet.

And whatever you do, do not drive an SUV if you are a daily driver. I admit to owning a VW station wagon, but I get about 26 mpg, and i use less than a tank a month. Walk when you can. NEVER buy dumb crap like starbucks. Save the failing planet for a country who does not seem to care. In whatever way you can. Be cheap, but spend when it matters.
posted by metasav at 10:50 PM on January 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I second Pop Tarts. When you think about it, they're not all that great to start with, but house brands are just awful. I really don't understand how you can screw that up so much worse.
posted by kookoobirdz at 11:34 PM on January 3, 2007

Funny you asked this question, because I was thinking the exact same thing the other night as I was taking out my trash to the sidewalk, and had the crappy, store-brand trash bag rip apart as if it were made of tissue paper.

For years, I've always felt that name brand bags were superior to the generic ones, but I couldn't resist the "OMG!!!!! 4 boxes for $3.00!!!!" sign that taunted me in the grocery aisle. I of course, got what I paid for. It's Hefty or nothing for me, from now on.

Also on my "brand name, or nothin'" list:

• Paper towels
• Mayonnaise (Best Foods)
• American Cheese (generally an abomination, but when you want a grilled cheese sandwich, nothing is as good as those Kraft singles, made from space-age polymers)
posted by melorama at 3:48 AM on January 4, 2007

oh...and I also second cookware. Buying cheap, no-name brands for pots and pans is not only a waste of money, but really hinders your ability to cook food properly.

You can keep buying and throwing away el-cheapo pans every year, or you can plunk down over $100 for a single All Clad frying pan that will literally last forever.
posted by melorama at 3:57 AM on January 4, 2007

Wow, I’m shocked at the amount of people sold on branding. Not buying the cheapest alcohol means my hangovers are more bearable, but beyond that, and when talking about stuff where ‘how quickly will it wear out’ isn’t a concern, I don't normally feel the need to think any more about my purchase beyond ‘is it the cheapest on the shelf? right!’
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2007

There definitely can be differences between name-brand prescription drugs and their generics.
I take Wellbutrin. I'd been taking the real thing for years. Then, one day, Anthem decided to ship me the generic instead (without my approval...holding down costs, y'know) Well, the difference was like night-and-day. In fact, it was almost like I was now taking the anti-Wellbutrin. I became far moodier and more easily depressed. I thought it was just me, but even my family made comments about how bad I was getting.
A long trial of pleading with Anthem to get me back on the name brand finally worked and, once I started taking the real stuff again, it was like a new morning. Everything was better.
Of course, Anthem insisted that I pay dearly for the name brand now, since they would only approve the generic in their formulary.
As always, YMMV.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:53 AM on January 4, 2007

Nthing Kraft mac & cheese and Q-tips. Though I'm still too cheap to buy real Q-tips, I do acknowledge they're far superior.

Also the store-brand Pantene conditioner doesn't work at all. I can't believe it's really different from the real stuff, but there you are.
posted by pyjammy at 9:39 AM on January 4, 2007


I used to buy the cheap 'chinese knock off' tool sets, and have had more tools than I can remember break, bend, or simply suffer from Soft Metal Syndrome.

Name brand tools > cheap stuff.

metasav: "do not drive an SUV if you are a daily driver"
I have an SUV too and I fill up maybe twice a month. Save the SUV and Starbucks hate for another thread, mmkay? It's completely off topic.
posted by drstein at 11:38 AM on January 4, 2007

Sears Craftsman tools are the least expensive really good ones.

SaranWrap is thicker and more waterproof than house brands.

Trim fingernail and toenail clippers are, for me, better than the competition.

All gasoline is the same and comes from the same wholesalers. On the other hand, stations that undercut everybody often add water to their gas.

By law, all plain bleachs are identical.

Listerine tastes more "Listerine-y" than the house brands.

Q-Tips have more padding than house brands.

Non-prescription drugs are identical between name and house brands, particularly where the house brand says "compare to ____." Bayer may dissolve faster, but it and house brands at 1/3 the price both dissolve before they reach your stomach. "Natural" vitamins are a scam and are identical to house brands.

Slightly OT, but the incremental cost of using butter over margarine is small.
posted by KRS at 1:24 PM on January 4, 2007

Cool Whip.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:44 AM on January 5, 2007

I think that it depends on the generic. The Kirkland brand from Costco is usually just as good, if not better, than the name brand. This goes for cookware all the way down to paper towels. (I love Costco, I'd live there if I could.)
posted by Flakypastry at 5:38 AM on January 5, 2007

I don't know what you guys in the states have, but Cornflakes in the UK are something you have to stay with Kellogs for. Go for the supermarket branded stuff and you just don't get the same. It's like eating mud compared to Chocolate: Looks the same, but by god do they taste bad.
posted by philsi at 12:01 PM on January 5, 2007

SaranWrap is different from GladWrap and that ilk. True SaranWrap is truly air tight. GladWrap and most other plastic wraps are not. GladWrap is the best of the non-airtight plastic wraps, IME. The few cents I'll save by buying the house brand plastic wrap aren't worth the frustration of using twice as much or having it split/come off whatever it is that I've wrapped.
posted by jlkr at 1:01 PM on January 5, 2007

I'll second or third tools.
posted by drezdn at 1:52 PM on January 5, 2007

A couple things.

I second that buying name brand condoms is just plain worth it.

Also, whether it is salad dressing or cookies or (for me) coffee - I've decided that one particular name brand is worth the money: Paul Newman's products. I find the quality good, there are other small quality perks (e.g. with my coffee, it is fair trade and organic), but also every bit of their profits go to truly worthwhile charities. Newman's company (and the daughter company of his...well... daughter) have together given 9 figures of money. I strongly believe in this business model and I get darn good quality coffee in the process.

Peace and good question.
posted by gbinal at 11:24 AM on January 15, 2007

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