My Frugal Life: Disguising Generic Items

My Frugal LifeMy husband insists on buying name brand foods, etc. He thinks the generic brand of food is "nasty tasting". I can agree with him on a few items (very few), but I am a penny-pincher!

I have learned a few secrets from being a cook's assistant at a couple restaurants, and I brought them home to try out on my husband. (Sad but true that many restaurants do just what I am about to tell you).

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I buy a bottle of name-brand ketchup to put in the fridge and a couple of store brand bottles to stash in the cabinets. When the one in the fridge is about empty, I fill it up with the store brand. I rarely have to purchase name brand items this way. I just keep refilling with the store brand. No one seems to notice!

Ketchup is just one example. I do the same with flour, salt, sugar, mustard, mayonnaise, etc. I also add a few instant potatoes to my mashed potatoes, and no one ever knows the difference.

I will admit that there are items we buy that cannot be generic. Almost everyone will agree that toilet tissue and coffee are two such items. But, I buy the cheaper toilet paper and put it out for when guests are here - stashing the good stuff for my husband and me! I know this seems a little mean, but it is just how I do things.

In this day and age when prices are sky-rocketing, and yet you live with a picky person, you have to figure out ways to save.

By AuntieAnn from USA

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

Now why didn't I think of this? Thanks for sharing your very creative"tricks". : )

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

Several years ago when I was married and my girls were young, I did something similar with powdered milk. There were a few times we would get low on milk and the budget didn't allow to run right out and buy more, when a carton of milk would get low, I would mix up some powdered milk and pour it in with the regular whole milk. My now "ex" insisted that we have whole milk and he refused to even try the powdered milk on his cereal, which is the only time he touched milk and he never knew the difference. But then we are talking about a man that wouldn't eat homemade spaghetti and meat sauce, but would eat the canned stuff. lol

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

Refilling a ketchup bottle is a good idea, but be sure to empty it and wash it out good so that you don't get some old ketchup lingering at the bottom.

Another way to hide generics is to put them in a reusable container. If your family is used to serving cereal from a sealable tupperware then they may not notice when you switch from Froot Loops to Tootie Fruities.

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

You don't mind the deception? It wouldn't work in our home, because our relationship is built on trust.

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

I remember the day my daughter told me that my grandbabies wouldn't eat generic food. They are 3,6,& 9!! They live with me now and eat anything you put in front of them regardless of the label. The main thing I have found that I don't like generic is creamed corn, there's nothing like Libby's or Del Monte creamed corn.

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

When my grandkids were little, the oldest one had to go to a Shriner's Hospital in another state for surgery and I ended up taking care of his two little sisters for several days. As my daughter and son-in-law were leaving they told me the kids don't like the cereal that comes in bags. When I took the kids grocery shopping I told them they could each pick out the kind of cereal they wanted and they picked out the ones in bags. I thought that was funny.

As far as not switching generic for name brands because a relationship is built on trust, sometimes there is a family member or more that you have to be sneaky. It just sometimes happens.

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

When my daughter was a teenager she insisted she had to have name brand steak sauce. I had a small bottle I purchased with a coupon. I then purchased generic and refilled this bottle. I did this for ages, until the lid on the "real" bottle broke. One day we were eating and my daughter told me she only ate the name brand, and I confessed she has not been eating name brand for well over a year. She is an adult now, and has learned in this economy to be thrifty like me!

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May 30, 20110 found this helpful

Well I must be lucky because I do not have to resort to tricks to get my family to consume other products besides "name brand". As long as it tastes good, they eat it! :-)

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May 30, 20110 found this helpful

Well I must be lucky because I do not have to resort to tricks to get my family to consume other products besides "name brand". As long as it tastes good, they eat it! :-)

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May 31, 20110 found this helpful

It's really ironic that I have found better tasting condiments at the dollar store (the Dollar Tree in this instance)! There was an obscure brand of ketchup that was tastier than Heinz & they have wonderful sweet pickles (made in India?) My husband used to hate dollar stores, as he said that having to go to one was depressing. I said; Why? It's just being smart. And now he picks up all sorts of things in the dollar store, too & reminds me "to buy the cheap allergy pills" (for $1) And I discovered asleep formulation they carry which is better than some costing 6X-8X as much! Go figure.

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June 1, 20110 found this helpful

Lemon crystals and a tiny bit of sugar does wonders for vegetables. Should be able to taste a difference, but not the ingredients added.

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August 28, 20110 found this helpful

My ex husband was the same way he liked Kellogg's rice krispies, and they were expensive to buy. So when the box got near empty I went to the store and bought store brand rice krispies and filled the box and then glued it. I had been doing that for 3 years before he noticed it wasn't his rice krispies.

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