12 Items You Should Always Buy Generic

When it comes to everyday items, there are things you should always buy generic. Why?  For starters, you’ll save money and often get more of the product at the same time. Below, I’ve rounded up 12 things you should always buy generic when you have the opportunity.


Some people swear by a certain brand of cereal, but honestly there’s not that much of a difference between the big brands and generics unless you’re picky. Generic cereal also comes in larger quantities for the same price as a much smaller portion of the name brand stuff.


Always ask for the generic version of a prescription medication when you can. Generic drugs often have the exact same ingredients in them, just at a lower cost since they’re not branded. You’d be surprised at just how much you can save.

Cleaning supplies

Most big-name cleaning supplies have the same ingredients as the store- or generic-brand, so why overpay for the same formula? Many cleaning supplies are also made up of 90% water, so you’re basically paying a premium for a label.


Store-brand or generic sunscreen is often much better than the name-brand options out there. For instance, NO-AD sunscreen is highly rated for its protection and value. You get twice the sunscreen for a fraction of the price.

Vitamins and supplements

Choose generic vitamins and supplements whenever possible to save big on something you take every day. Generics vitamins and supplements are usually on sale and subject to some great deals like BOGO offers or buy two, get one free. They contain the same basic ingredients just without the label. Take Vitacost’s house vitamins and supplements. They’re a fraction of the price of competitors.


You might not think about meat in terms of brands, but if you do, switching to a generic or store-brand meat can help you save, especially when you’re buying in bulk. You can also look for less-processed or special cuts of meat from your grocer’s butcher.


I covered readers in my post about the top things you should always buy at dollar stores. Readers are a dime-a-dozen these days and people often lose or misplace them, so why pay a fortune for something that’s easy to break, lose, or misplace?


Always look for generic produce when you can, and if organic isn’t important to you, you can save even more by going for the basics. Produce is produce, no matter what the marketing tells you. It all grows the same way.


Clothing basics

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get quality basics like undershirts, socks, and underwear. In fact, you can save quite a bit by switching to a house, or generic brand.

Spices or seasonings

Spices and seasonings are similar to produce in that they all come from the same sources. Quality is obviously a concern with anything you put into your body, but generic spices and seasonings are often made in the same factories as their branded counterparts.

Baby formula

We found a baby formula we loved, that was highly rated and free of any harmful chemicals or heavy metals, at one of the big box membership stores and never looked back. It was half the price for twice the amount of formula. 

Single use products

Why pay more for something you’re going to use once or twice? Items like paper towel, plastic wrap and foil wrap should all be purchased as generics. There’s really no difference and they serve the same function at the end of the day.

And there you have it. This is just a fraction of the many things you can buy generic versions of, so if there’s something missing from the list, be sure to check Rakuten and see if you can purchase it through a Rakuten partner. You’ll earn Cash Back when you do.


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