10 Best Store Brands for Thanksgiving or Any Other Meal

Thanksgiving grocery shopping at Aldi market
Thanksgiving grocery shopping at Aldi market

There's plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving -- except how much it may cost you. Consumers will spend millions of dollars bulking up on Turkey Day staples, the first wave of many burdensome financial commitments this holiday season, happening at a time when the economy, to put it mildly, isn't in a grateful mood.

But there's one good way consumers can save money for Thanksgiving dinner -- they can buy store brands, also known as private labels. Those are the brands you see on the shelf at one particular retailer, but you don't see them anywhere else.

That's because brands like Great Value, Market Pantry and Culinary Circle are exclusive to Walmart, Target and Supervalu stores, respectfully. There are also growing retailers such as Trader Joe's and Aldi where nearly 100% of their inventories consist of store brands.

Because retailers don't have to pay any portion of sales from store brand products to food manufacturers like Kraft and Unilever, they can pocket more profits and at the same time charge less to the consumers, typically by about 20%-30%, says James Rushing, senior vice president and private label expert at SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research company.