5 Store Brand Products That Stand Up to the Leading Brands - Quicken Loans Zing BlogAs a frugal shopper, I often find myself reading product labels to discover the ingredients of the products I’m using, to compare the quality and price of the store brand to the leading brand.

After numerous trips to the grocery store, I was surprised to learn that several of the products I use on a daily basis are offered in a store brand that’s cheaper and stands up to the leading brand. Here are the top five:

Liquid Hand Soap

Store Brand Cost  $1

Leading Brand Cost $3

When reading a label to determine how effective a liquid hand soap is, the number one determining factor is the level of the acting antibacterial agent used in the product.

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I was surprised and shocked to discover that the store brand liquid hand soap has three times more Triclosan (acting antibacterial agent) than the leading brand.  Adding insult to injury, the leading brand cost three times more than the store brand!

Consumers who have not read and compared the labels on liquid hand soap may be paying more for a brand name that’s actually less effective than the store brand.

If you’re a frugal shopper or simply want to stretch your hard-earned money further, I suggest reading and comparing the labels of the store brand to leading brand of liquid hand soap before your next purchase.

Paper Towels

Store Brand Cost $4 (6 pack)

Leading Brand Cost $8 (6 pack)

If you’re looking to cut your spending at the grocery store without compromising your shopping list, purchasing store brand paper towel will certainly aid your efforts.

While commercials attempt to persuade you to believe that your life would be much easier if you could clean up spills in one swipe, you could purchase 12 rolls of store brand paper towel for the same price as six rolls of the leading brand.

Personally, I would rather make sure a spill is completely clean than brag about how I cleaned up most of the spill in one swipe. For this reason I suggest trying out the store brand paper towels before you commit to purchasing the leading brand.

Baby Diapers

Store Brand Cost $20.99 (144 pack) $.14 per diaper

Leading Brand Cost $36.99 (128 pack) $.28 per diaper

Considering the fact that diapers are typically sold in packs with as many as 144 diapers, you may need a calculator to accurately compute the actual cost you’re paying per diaper. However, through my trips to retail stores to purchase diapers for my niece, I have yet to discover a brand name diaper that costs less than a store brand diaper.

As far as quality, comfort, and usability, the mothers I spoke to informed me that the store brand diapers work fine (compared to the leading brand) unless you discover your child has a skin reaction, or a problem getting the diaper to seal completely due to high activity.

Skin reactions can occur no matter what brand of diaper you use because babies have ultra sensitive skin.  The friction between the chemicals mixed with the urine (and other waste in a diaper) and your baby’s bottom is more than enough to flare up a case of diaper rash every so often, no matter which diaper you use.

If you’re looking for frugal ways to cut down on expenses for your newborn, I suggest trying store brand diapers.

Infant Formula (Powder)

Store Brand Cost $19.99 (40 oz.)

Leading Brand Cost $23.99 (23 oz.)

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is held responsible for controlling the regulations of all infant formula.  This means, no matter what brand of infant formula you purchase for your baby, the FDA still requires that infant formula include minimum amounts for 29 nutrients, and maximum amounts for nine of those nutrients.

Thus, whether you decide to spend double the cost of the store brand to purchase the leading brand of infant formula, your child will still receive the same amount of FDA-required nutrition from either brand.

If you have further questions regarding your child’s nutritional needs, contact your pediatrician.


Store Brand Cost $1.49 (96 oz.)

Leading Brand Cost $3.29 (96 oz.)

Bleach is used in homes across America as a disinfectant and to kill germs and bacteria in laundry.  While Clorox bleach is 90 percent water, the acting agents in the remaining 10 percent are enough to kill numerous types of bacteria, fungi and viruses that may be present in your home.

While I can’t provide scientific proof that store brand bleach is as strong as the leading brand, I can say (from personal experience) that my laundry seems just as clean using the store brand. As a disinfectant, store brand bleach has also satisfied my standards for cleaning purposes while saving me $1.80 on my grocery bill!

By reading the labels on the products you purchase, it’s a lot easier to differentiate between the products with the best quality and than the products with the best marketing strategy.

What store brand products do you prefer over the leading brands?  Leave a comment below and join in on the dialogue!

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