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Fighting Inflation: Which generic brands save you the most money

Grocery stores and inflation
Posted at 6:12 PM, Oct 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-20 18:12:20-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Buying generic brand groceries can save you money, but how much you save depends on the store you are shopping at.

Shoppers are frustrated. And they're pinching pennies to deal with the impact of rising prices.

We talked to Hoosiers who say they are turning to generic brands to save money. This comes as food prices have gone up more than 10% over the last year.

"I write down on my list how much I'm spending so before I get to the check-out I have exactly what I am spending I'm not going to go over," Lisa Fox, a Kroger shopper said.

"I'm always trying to save naturally I'm just looking for the Kroger Brand or the off brands,” Megan Ortiz, another Kroger shopper said. “Most of the time you’ve got to go to the bottom of the shelf because you don't want to pay $10 for some sausage biscuits or whatever. It's pretty crazy. "

These Hoosiers like many across the state are struggling to keep buying the grocery items that they are used too. The shoppers we met today have started buying generic brand items rather than name brands.

"Nine times out of 10 I'm going to buy the Kroger Brand the prices are way better,” Fox said.

Are generic brand prices any better? To find out, we compared prices at three different grocery stores Kroger, Meijer, and Aldi.

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We focused on four items, canned corn and green beans, butter and the Thanksgiving staple French fried onions.

At both Meijer and Kroger, the store brands were cheaper compared to name-brand items.

Aldi didn't have as many brand choices, but their brands were cheaper in some cases. When it comes to the price of butter, Meijer brand was the cheapest.

Bargain shopping can save you money, but for shoppers like Lisa Fox, who purchases her groceries mostly with food stamps, being frugal still isn't cutting it.

"Milk and butter I’ve had to not get it because I can't afford it,” Fox said. “So I just try to make it last with the things I do get I make it last because even with Kroger brands it's still really high."

So, if you were to buy the generic versions of each of those items-- you would spend the least at Meijer which equals out to a little less than $8. It'll set you back $9.26 for the generic brands at Kroger, and about $11at Aldi.

Many shoppers we spoke with say they have become more conscious of prices. Some said they used to just throw things they needed in their cart. Now, they're taking time to compare prices before they buy.


Kroger says they are doing its best to keep prices low.

"We are trying to take on as much of cost as we can and pass along only what we have to," Eric Halvorson, a spokesperson for Kroger said.

He says they have kept the prices for Kroger Brand prices low, lower than national brand products.

He says a good way for people to save money at Kroger is to check for coupons on the digital app. Plus, sales will sometimes be better when you shop in person rather than online.