Comments, Tips, and Q&A from readers: How to price-match store brands, and are off-brand foods less healthy?

Lots of great comments, emails, and tips this week. I love my readers! If you have something to share, email me at funcheaporfree (at) gmail.com or leave a comment.
And YOU might just be featured too 🙂
Dream come true, eh?
Enjoy!
On my “spare second cleaning jar” post:
I just found your website a couple days ago and I am absolutely loving it!! I also have 2 young kids and am trying to learn how to balance everything, most especially keeping up with the house. I loved this idea so I went ahead and made one that fit my house and I have already started working on it. Thanks so much for the time and effort you have put in to this site, I am looking forward to reading more of your posts!! – Ashley
Ah my closet is about 90% thrifted! Its kind of addicting.. My friend returned 2 pair of Gap cargo shorts, got $60 odd dollars back, i took him to a local salvation army on their half price the entire store day (yeah you read that right.. 1/2 price on everything every wednesday!) and he ended up with SEVEN outfits! AND had $10 leftover, but that snot even the best part, prior to that experience he turned his nose up at thrift stores, but now every time he is home from college he wants to go look. P.s, im 19 and i watch Nate and read your blog every day!  – Katie
These are awesome!!! Also, cheap plastic tablecloths are amazing. One year I cut them into circles, and glued white ‘M' on the front, then took dark brown ones and made a ‘dress'. My kids were M&Ms and my husband and I were the bags. Another year, I took assorted color plastic tablecloths and wrote ‘crayola' on the front in black marker. We were all crayons.  – Whitney
This is awesome, I just love your site!!! – Brandy
On my “great price-matching deals” post:
I love your site! Thanks for all the great tips! I was also wondering about price matching on all the Wal-Mart brand stuff you got What's the policy on that and why wouldn't you purchase the same brand advertised that you were matching to? Just trying to learn all the ins and outs to best save money on our increasingly tight food budget. Thanks again! – Rachel
That is a GREAT question!
I wondered about that too. Walmart's policy says “Items purchased must be identical to the ad (size, quantity, brand, flavor, color, etc.)”. Their policy doesn't specifically mention store-brand to store-brand, it just says “brand”. However, it never hurts to ASK ASK ASK
I've asked multiple checkers (because the only way I shop is to price-match at Walmart so I've done it A LOT) and so far all of them have said that they price-match store brand to store brand. So if one store has WF (Western Family) canned veggies for $0.50, that would match over to Walmart's GV (Great Value) canned veggies – as long as the cans are the same size. 
Remember THIS shopping trip? Here's the clip from that post:
NOTE:

With the french bread, there was no brand. She almost didn't let me match it with the Walmart brand of french bread, but I smiled and said please, so she let me.

With the milk, sour cream, and spaghetti sauce, on deals to meals it said “WF” which I believe is Western Family brand. I mentioned this to the lady at the register because she said the brands need to match up. Here's our conversation went:

Me: “With these it says WF. I assume that to mean Western Family. Does that still work with Great Value?”
Cashier: “Yup, that's us, so Great Value is fine to match.”

I don't know if that's actually true, but she said it and I didn't question her!”
So I think what she meant by “Yup, that is us” is that store-brand to store-brand is considered the same. This has been the case with 100% of the other checkers I've had. So my advice is, give it a shot! It really depends on the checkers sometimes.

On the same post Rachel also posted this question:
I notice you recommend buying off-brands. Do you compare ingredients in off-brand products to name brand? I have found that off-brand products contain more sodium, preservatives, fillers and other unhealthy ingredients. It is worth it to me to spend a little extra for a higher quality product. You get what you pay for… -Rachel
Another GREAT question!
**I started answering this and it got so long, I've decided to answer this question in a completely separate post. Click HERE to read.
An email from a reader friend referring to my “microwave egg cooker” post:
I make “mini” omelets by spraying pam in a bowl, beating 2 or three eggs in it, adding some cheese and leftovers (Chinese food is a favorite” and microwaving for 2 ½ to 3 minutes.  Slides out of the bowl onto a plate and looks good too. – Gary B
And my favorite email from this week? This one from a FCF reader friend, Becky:
You have inspired me lately.  Thought I would send along a few photos.  Perhaps you have done this already.  If not, you'll surely be proud of me!
I went to Costco the other day.  It is my habit to always get a chicken which I bring home and immediately de-bone and throw in the fridge.  I am also in the habit of eating an apple every day.  So, you can imagine: nearly every trip I am throwing the chicken container and apple container in the recycle bin.  

Not this time!  I used a box cutter to cut out the vent holes on the top of the chicken container.  

I then flipped it over placing it in the black tray that the chicken sits in.

 I filled up the clear top with potting soiled and threw in some seeds.  The black bottom tray is now used to catch extra water.  I used a chopstick from some old take-out and simply adhered the seed packet to the chopstick (in my case, I used sticky dots from my scrapbook supplies) and stuck it in the dirt!  
Now for the apple container.  I simply filled each round “cup” that held the apples with dirt, filled with seed and closed the top.  Voila: instant little tiny greenhouse!  
I'll attach some photos just in case you would like to share!
Thanks a million!
Bex

 Clever, eh??

Thanks becky and readers! Keep the comments and emails coming. TGIF!

Comments

  1. Ack! I can’t find the video that explains your sticky dot system for price matching. How can I best help my cashier quickly sort through prices?

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