Name Brand or Generic? 10 Items Where It Pays to Pick Right

By Trent Hamm

It's a decision you face dozens of times shopping for groceries and household necessities: Should you buy the generic or the name-brand item?

On the one hand, the branded version has a name you recognize and, in theory, higher standards. On the other hand, the generic version is cheaper and nearly identical.

Naturally, if you find products for which the generic works just as well as the name brand (or better), it can be an easy way to save money. The problem is that this requires trial and error and sometimes results in the purchase of generic items that just don't work out.

Over the years, I've discovered a number of generic products that work really well -- and a number that aren't quite so good. Here are a few tips that can save you both money and a headache on your next shopping trip.

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Trent Hamm is the founder of the personal finance website, which provides consumers with resources and tools to make informed financial decisions.