Money-Saving Magic: 10 Surprising Foods and Essentials That Are Just as Good on the Cheap

Which food, drinks, or everyday essentials is worth cheapening out on, and there’s no noticeable difference? Some items are worth the extra money, but some everyday essentials taste the same, no matter the price. So definitely don’t spend the money!

Spice and Seasonings

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For example, spices and seasonings.

I don’t think seasonings that are cheaper are worse. There are plenty of dollar store seasoning that have helped flavor my food. And they all did a fantastic job. Here is how others answered the question.

Tap Water Is Just Fine

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The myth that bottled water is somehow better than tap water is laughable to many. Tap water is “just fine,” and “bottled water is a waste of money.”

Someone noted how the rules governing acceptable contamination in drinkable water are  “stricter than bottled water in this country.” Therefore, tap water is generally safer than bottled water unless there is a large-scale contamination issue.

Related: 19 Healthy Lifestyle Habits That Don’t Break Your Wallet 

Cheap Garlic Bread

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One person admitted to only buying budget-brand garlic bread. They elaborated, “They taste the same as the ones that are over £1($1.20) each.” Another said the fancy stuff pales compared to the cheap garlic bread.

Over the Counter Medication

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Over-the-counter medications generally contain the same ingredients as their big-brand counterparts. “Common over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen” are likely manufactured in the same places. Several people agreed this comment was too far down on the list.

Store Brand Cereals

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Many joked about needing to “take out a mortgage” for a box of Krave cereal. The prices for brand-name cereals are rising, but it’s “not like the boxes are big either.” Several others admitted to researching cereal prices and stated there is little change in size, “£4 ($4.81) for an 850g box but about £3 ($3.61) for one half the size.”

Beans in a Can

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One individual treats themself with a can of baked beans and sausages every once in a while “for old times sake.” They usually go for the local store brand, but once grabbed a can of Heinz beans and how much they prefer the store brand to any big name can.

Related: 21 Lentil Soup Recipes To Keep You Warm and Satisfied 

Laundry Detergent

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“I only used to buy one specific name brand,” but now the store brand does fine. It’s also half the price in most places. Multiple people explained the benefit of the “premium” detergents is you can use less of them, but most people argued the local store brands clean clothes precisely the same as the big brands.

Related: How to Find the Best Laundry Detergent On A Budget 

Cheap Pizza

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Numerous Redditors confessed that cheap pizza, adding extra cheese, is a great family night. One big store-brand block of cheese is enough to last for multiple pizzas. Once you add in your additional toppings like leftover meats, onions, jalapenos, etc., it could be a great meal.

Sparkling Water

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One declared they drink more sparkling water than not, and they “can taste the difference between the ones that cost 17p for two liters and the ones that are £1.50 ($1.81) for a liter and a half.” The store brand has a better fizz that lasts longer than the big brands.

Budget-Brand Soda

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The store’s “equivalent of Pepsi Max” is an excellent replacement for the branded stuff. Various users noted their local store’s Coke Zero and Diet Coke equivalents are suitable substitutes for the real thing. They only wished their stores had a better caffeine-free selection.

Filtered Milk

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Finally, a user said, “There is no difference in milk between the cheap and the fancy brands.” Filtered milk lasts longer than its non-filtered counterpart due to eliminating impurities during filtration. “Supermarkets have their brand of filtered milk that’s identical” to the fancy ones.

What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or do you need the store brand-only items on this list?

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.

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The 90s saw a tremendous shift in technology, and many skills that were once essential have become irrelevant in today’s world.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.