"The Cheap Stuff Doesn't Cut It": 23 Everyday Items Where Frugal People Don't Mind Spending More For The Name-Brand Version

Going for the generic version of many products can be a great way to save a little money at the grocery store and on personal care items. Many generic products are made using the exact same ingredients as the big brand versions, and some are even manufactured in the same facilities.

But in some specific cases, the generic version doesn't always measure up, so even the most frugal folks have certain products where they've decided it's worth it to spend a bit more. Recently, u/drakellx asked frugal people on Reddit to share their "brand necessary" items, and it gave me a lot to think about. Here's what people had to say:

1."Hidden Valley Ranch."

Three whole carrots in a bowl of dip on a wooden surface

2."For me, it'd have to be Rain-X Wiper Blades. I have tried many brands of wiper blades, and they lasted the longest and didn't dry out/tear for two years! And the one was torn because I didn't defrost and turned them on in the winter."


3."Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste."

Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste tube against a white background

4."Replaceable brush heads for my Oral B toothbrush. I tried the store brands. The brush heads end up not spinning properly. They just get jammed. I’ll stick to my Oral B brush heads."


5."Puffs Plus Lotion. Any other tissue causes my nose to chap and split. I have severe allergies and go through a lot of tissues in a month. The boxes are so freaking expensive, but the pain of perpetually sore nostrils is worse."

Person sneezing into a tissue, possibly due to allergies, concept for health impact on work productivity
Facundo Diaz Montes / Getty Images

6."Cream cheese. Philadelphia Original in the box, NOT creamed in a tub."

Philadelphia cream cheese package with "Best in Class" seal, for an article on Work & Money
Evemilla / Getty Images

7."De Cecco pasta. I’ve tried going back to different brands because it is more expensive, but they’re never as good."


"I used to buy things like Barilla until we had De Cecco at my dad's house. Came home after that trip, gave away everything we had, found places to buy De Cecco, and have never looked back. That's been probably close to 20 years now. Don't care that it's expensive, it's great. And if you find a store that carries most or all of their line, there are some great shapes to try."


8."Oatly oat milk. I’ve tried several other brands and haven’t found a single one that I like as much."

Close-up of Oatly cartons on a shelf, focusing on the brand name

9."Bounty paper towels. Granted, I use reusable stuff mostly, but when needed, I never found anything better than Bounty."


10."Fage plain yogurt."


11."Heinz ketchup."

Person at a table with condiment bottles, casually checking their phone

12."I just recently learned my lesson with Ziploc bags. I had been buying store brand, but I'm sick of freezer-burnt foods."


13."Coca-Cola. Other colas just don’t taste as good."

Close-up of a Coca-Cola bottle with a straw, emphasizing the brand for a work and money-related article

14."As a teacher: Crayola crayons, Elmer's glue sticks, Expo markers, and Post-it sticky notes are non-negotiable! I would also say Ticonderoga pencils, but so many are destroyed or lost that it doesn't end up mattering."


15."Soy sauce. I initially thought I could cheap out on it. Hell no, Kikkoman for life."

Kikkoman soy sauce bottle with chopsticks on wooden surface, related to culinary businesses
Dariozg / Getty Images

16."Vicks VapoRub. Generic smells way too different."


17."Band-Aid brand band-aids. The cloth ones specifically. Why those things will last through three showers and all the other ones fall off in minutes is a mystery to me."

Child seated with a smiley-face bandage on the knee
Mrs / Getty Images

18."Harry’s razors. They just seem to do it for me. As a female, I get the ones marketed for men."


19."I’m sure lots of stuff, but brand name Oreos is the first thing coming to mind. It’s one of the only foods I can tell a difference from the off-brand."

A stack of chocolate sandwich cookies with a single cookie leaning against the stack
Potaerin / Getty Images

20."Charmin Ultra Soft. I’ve tried other soft TP brands, and they are not."


21."Dawn dish soap."

Shelves with bottles of Dawn Ultra Antibacterial dish soap, priced at $5 and $8.79

22."Scotch Tape, but especially their double-sided tape. It's the very best. I've used it many times in bizarre emergencies. I even use it to mount heavy paper to presentation boards. Their magic tape is amazing too."


23.And finally, "Rao's marinara sauce."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

What are the name-brand products that you think are better than generic? Tell us which ones and why in the comments.