Brand-name groceries
Brand-name groceries
Food products from popular brands may come in prettier packages, but that doesn't mean they're superior to their generic counterparts. While a 9-ounce box of Rice Krispies costs $4.79 at one New York City grocery store, its 12-ounce generic brethren costs only $1.99, with an identical list of ingredients.

And a $2 or $3 price difference can add up.

"Part of the time we're not even [buying brand names] consciously, we're doing it because it's familiar and we don't have to think about it," said Diahann Lassus, co-founder of wealth management firm Lassus Wherley.

Lassus said the prices of generic items are typically 5% to 10% lower than brand-name options. Even if there are only generic options available for some of the items you buy, she estimates you could save at least $50 to $75 a month if you're spending $500 to $600 a month on groceries for your family.

If you don't want to let go of your brand name items, shop at discounters like Wal-Mart or shop in bulk.


Last updated May 18 2011: 5:07 PM ET
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