Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Brand Name Food

We got into a conversation the other day about what to eat when one is poor. As it turns out, most of us have lived through some lean times and we each have a few things that we refuse to buy generic. For me, I have to have Heinz ketchup and Kraft American cheese. If I can’t afford the real thing, I would rather just do without.

So, how about you? What falls into your “name-brand or nothing” list?

Mmmmm... Grilled cheese and ketchup. Photo courtesy of Takeaway, via Wikimedia Commons.

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

21 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Brand Name Food”

Ohh, I’ve got unreasonable brand loyalty. Just to name a few, I always stick with Simply Orange oj, Silk soy milk, and All laundry detergent, because the last generic I bought gave me the itchies. In Texas, we have the Central Market Organics brand at HEB and it’s usually better than the name brand products, and I find myself to be quite loyal to it.

Huy Fong brand Sriracha & Sambal Oelek hot sauces (so inauthentic but who cares!)

Colgate toothpaste

Glide dental floss

Olay Daily Defense moisturizer/sunscreen

Sadaf pomegranate syrup (I’ve abandoned drinking Roy Rogers & Shirley Temples now that I can’t splurge anymore).

Kerrygold butter

I don’t have a specific laundry detergent but I noticed that generics don’t work as well.


The number one thing I will always buy name brand: Marie Callender microwaveable pot pies. I am 75% sure these were all that stood between me and starvation at one point in my life. Pot pies, bagged spinach, and (for those in the know in the Seattle area) Dick’s hamburgers.

I second the peanut butter – even if I’m doing cheap and non-natural (though I prefer natural,) I will ALWAYS buy name brand.

And Cheerios.  I have never met a generic Cheerio that compares to the real thing, and I eat Cheerios for breakfast every single morning.  All other cereals I will buy generic (in fact, I consistently prefer generic corn flakes to the name brand version) but not my Cheerios.

Tampons. I tried CVS brand once and it was like the flooding of the Red Sea all over EVERYTHING after only a couple hours, so never again.

I’m still at that stage where cheap alcohol is fine by me, and if I can get a box of wine for $4, then I will buy 2 and hate myself in the morning.

Mine isn’t so much a name brand v. generic but a quality level. I like wine. I like dry, red, good wine, and I would rather wait a few weeks so I can buy a decent bottle than settle with something less than delicious. I’m also a produce snob and try to only buy fresh produce from a farmers’ market.

Peanut butter.  I refuse to buy off brand peanut butter.  It doesn’t taste right.  Everything else is whatever.  Though I will say the last time I bought milk, I hipster-ed out and bought it in the glass bottle.  Apparently I love milk.  I just HATE the taste of plastic.  If only I could tell eight year old me!

Absolutely nothing. Sometimes even the non ‘name-brand’ stuff is better at a far lower cost.

I did have to buy store break last week for over two dollars a loaf. That was the first time this year that I didn’t get bread at the outlet for around $.89 a loaf. It will also be the last time I buy ‘store’ bread at that price for the next year, if I can help it.

I’ve been cooking from scratch (no, not the inventing the universe type) so much that any packaged food bought from a store tastes terrible to me. It’s all too bland and still too salty. Rice, beans, grains, meat are all bought in bulk and then fruits and veggies are purchased at the grocery store or, god willing as soon as it opens again for the season, at the local produce farm store.

My parents were very good at instilling an anger in me that flares up whenever food is overpriced. Even at a young age I would shout (in the store even), “$3 for THIS?! Outrageous!” Probably adorable back then but the sentiment remains today.

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