When to buy “Off-Brand” & When to Buy “Name-Brand” – EP 372

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Many of us think buying generic brands means we’re being responsible with our finances, but navigating when to opt for off-brand versus name-brand can be a strategic decision between quality and savings. In this episode, Jen and Jill discover what experts in their field buy and Tiktok product review videos to know which is worth our money.

You can do the best of both worlds without sacrificing either buying for quality vs. buying for saving money


  • Scoops. Not the tortilla chip. More the measurement of a scoop. Like a scoop of mashed potatoes or two scoops of ice cream. It’s more than a mouthful, but less than a full serving, so you can feel good about it. That said, we’re also talking about scoops in the information sense—like getting the low-down or spilling the tea—just getting the background on some hot gos. If you could use some scoops in your life, you should be getting the Friendletter. It’s our newsletter coming to your email three times a week with the scoop on what’s for free, ways to save, and helpful ponderings on managing your money well. Just like scoops, it’s more than a mouthful but less than an entire meal.

When Do Chefs And Doctors Buy Generic?

This article is a study summary by NPR revealing the products pharmacists, doctors, and chefs buy generic and name brands.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jill likes the found report last year on pharmacists and doctors being more likely than the general public to buy generic medicine. It was revealed that Chefs choose generic brands for baking supplies, canned goods, frozen foods, condiments, and more. Doctors similarly opt for generic pain medication and certain health products more frequently compared to average consumers. Jen notes that organic generic food is the same as the organic brand name food which can save you money.

Product vs Brand: @orenmeetsworld

Oren John (@orenmeetsworld) is a creative director for luxury brands and e-commerce. He has a Tiktok series called, “Product vs. Brand,” where he gives a summary review on whether you’re buying the product for its quality and functionality or you’re buying the brand.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

For pans, he reviewed popular cookware brands like All-Clad (the best but expensive), Our Place (selling lies), Staub (a product and less expensive than Le Creuset), Caraway (brand), Hex Clad (both), and Le Creuset (both).

Jill mentions water bottles, reflecting on the current trend of seeking sustainability and the choice between buying a product for its unique qualities versus buying a brand for its status or affinity. Water bottle brands like Owala (product), Hydro Flask (brand), Simple Modern (paying for their Amazon SEO), Yeti (brand), Stanley (both), Camelback (product), and Nalgene (brand) were also reviewed by Oren. Jen discovers lesser-known phone brands from Oren’s video such as OnePlus, Motorola Razr, and more.

You can find Jen and Jill’s recommended books at frugalfriendspodcast.com/books and makeup at frugalfriendspodcast.com/makeup

What branded products wouldn't you mind spending a couple of dollars on?

Jen expresses her loyalty to Apple products, noting their reliability and how they’ve consistently served her well. On the other hand, Jill mentions her preference for the name-brand Ritz crackers specifically for snacking purposes.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Kate for sharing your bill about grandfather, father, brother, nephew, AND student loan debt forgiven – now able to get married.

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:

Frugal and funny

This podcast is both entertaining and informative. Jen and Jill have a great dynamic and the tools and tips that they provide have been extremely helpful!

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, please take a minute to leave a rating and review, it helps potential new listeners know what our show is all about!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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