July 22, 2014

Which Brands Can You Not Live Without?

Feb8

TastyTuesday200pix Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods

I appreciate your continued support of my BLT sandwich in the Most Wanted Sandwich Contest. All proceeds will go towards our family’s quest to travel with Compassion International and sponsor a third world village. To vote, go here and select the BLT picture at the bottom of your screen, enter your email, vote and print coupons. For background info on this contest, read my post.

When it comes it comes to financial matters, I think I’ve shared I am a bit of a geek at heart. When it comes to comparison shopping, I am a lot of a geek at heart. Yet you don’t have to be a geek to notice the rising costs of food prices lately? Well, I have been doing more than just raising my eye brows at those prices, I have been tracking, researching, planning, and doing a full blown economic synopsis on some challenges we all may face over the next few years when it comes to food prices, (which I’ll share more in another post). ;)

What this slow stockpiling and preparedness planning has got me thinking about has been brands…consumer brands. Last August, I asked what items you typically stockpile. For instance, what  items do you keep in your pantry and always have on hand as “go to” items for quick meals. I learned a lot about your shopping habits from those answers, but this is a slightly different question, and one I thought would be really interesting. It’s not just limited to food though.

Are there items in your household that you are very brand specific about using? If you knew that prices were going to sky rocket, would you stock up on any specific branded item just because all the other brands you have tried, don’t cut it?
Last week, I was in a focus group for Freshetta Pizza (one of our favorite pizza brands), and they looked highly at their competitor – also a brand which we purchase, but more because of the price point. It got me thinking about how loyal I am to certain products over price.

I put this question before a friend, with the caveat that she was NOT going to be able to have the option to get certain brands later. What would she stock up on now? Her family was very brand loyal to one specific peanut butter and any other would not do. She would have to have that brand.
For me, I definitely would stock up on Starbucks Coffee beans. I don’t splurge much to go out for Starbucks, but I have attempted to enjoy  many other cheaper brands at home, but now willing pay 2x as much for Starbucks beans so that I may brew a great cup of  morning coffee.

So what about you? If you knew that by this time next year, your favorite products could be discontinued or the price may skyrocket, is there something you would stock up on now? What would it be? Detergent, deodorant, toilet paper, a specific make up, salad dressing, condiment brand?

Join in and share what you wouldn’t want to be without. I will be fascinated with the results, and maybe we’ll all find a new favorite brand based on tried and true results.

(If you’d like a break from your dishes, so you can work on your great Tasty Tuesday meals, make sure to enter my Hefty Giveaway.)

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods – If you’re joining in with a recipe link, two simple requests. As always, Please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, link back here so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals.


Comments

  1. Best Foods Mayo–BUT I finally broke down and got the Costco brand–much less expensive…..and the verdict? I don’t taste a difference AT ALL. So I really may not be so loyal after all. :)

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  2. Tide & Crest!! Gotta take care of the clothes (so I can resell them), and teeth are very expensive to fix! :)

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  3. Charmin bath tissue, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Colgate toothpaste, Eucerin Lotion, Skippy Peanut Butter (Extra crunchy) Best Foods Mayonaise, Cardini’s Caesar Salad Dressing, Costco’s uncooked tortillas, Costco’s beef filets. These are all staples in my home and I love these brands and wouldn’t be happy with others, having tried others before.

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  4. As I live in England, I have been known to bring my favourite US brands back when we visit, or even pay extortionate prices to source them from speciality importers over here. Welch’s grape jelly is one of our faves. The last jar I bought cost me over $8 (in Harvey Nichols, a famous store in London). You can’t get them any cheaper here – those speciality importers stick together! So I have to weigh up the risks of bringing back a jar of grape jelly (what if it leaks in my luggage?!) versus shelling out the cash. And did you know that a box of Lucky Charms costs the equivalent of $12 here in England? As you can imagine, I hardly ever buy those!

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  5. I don’t think I am too brand loyal. We do like Heinz ketchup, but I will try the store brand version of anything, especially if it is cheaper. I have rarely been disappointed, except for the ketchup.

    Thanks for the link-up.

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  6. I don’t have too many products that I’m loyal too either. Although I agree with Kristia, I do like Heinz ketchup (others taste too sweet.) Good question. Thanks for hosting the blog hop.

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  7. Good morning! Linking up for the first time!

    I much prefer Heinz ketchup as well as other commentors but I really notice a difference in peanut butter. Store brands just are not as good as my favorite JIF. I purchase many store brands and think they are great but a few just done measure up.

    Kindly, Lorraine

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  8. We’re brand-loyal in a few things, but not too many. For our coffee, we have come to love Eight O’Clock, and I don’t buy Starbucks unless they have one of their limited-issue roasts out (the best example is our annual big bag of Christmas Blend.)

    I’ve been using Pampers solely for the baby, but am starting to reconsider. I’m not even really brand-loyal when it comes to makeup; if I have a coupon for something different, I’ll give it a try.

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  9. We are also not a brand specific family. (except for ketchup…which is weird….maybe I should try other brands!) I would definitely turn to a cheaper alternative if prices sky rocket.

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  10. I’m not super brand loyal unless I can’t find something that can replace it like Miracle Whip Light. i have yet to find anything that comes close.

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  11. Oh dear. I will do terrible on this even though we’re really quite frugal and I coupon a lot.

    Charmin because of septic issues and reccomendations by professionals
    Jif peanut butter
    Dukes Mayonaise
    Maxwell House coffee if I’m buying budget consciously (hate Folgers), Starbucks or Eight O’Clock when there are deals
    Sara Lee Whole Grain Bread–any way I can sneak whole grains in
    All Free and Clear (hate the perfumed stuff)
    Hunt’s ketchup but mostly because I refuse to buy anything that supports Teresa Heinz Kerry (lol…my own little personal statement that drives the Hubs nuts–she just rubs me the WRONG WAY)
    AVEENO SOAP, FACE SOAP AND LOTION! Me and the kids. Eczema for them, sensitive skin for me. Aveeno works for us but I’ve been able to use the generic Target and now Walmart versions with very few issues.

    I used to be really loyal to Pampers with #1. I just coupon shopped to make it work with our budget. But with #2, we found we had more leaks and I learned that different diapers work for different babies! With him, Luvs worked best which was quite helpful considering the horribley expensive formula he was on for reflux. With #3 coming soon, I’ll buy a bit of both in addition to cloth diapering.

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  12. Finish dishwasher tabs, Huggies wipes!

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  13. Cascade. It’s not worth it to even mess with the rest to me. I’ve yet to find one thing- even the other “big brand”- that truly gets things clean in the dishwasher. I’d rather pay a bit more and not have to pre- or post-wash my dishes. :)

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  14. The link for where to vote isn’t working, or maybe it’s just my computer, I’ll check out the other post.

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  15. Viva paper towels or secondly, Bounty. The others are all waste of $ b/c they don’t work!

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  16. Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter
    Mrs. T’s Pierogies
    Cheerios (the other brands don’t taste right according to my family)
    That’s about it. I am not brand loyal, for the most part, I buy what is on sale, or the store brand if cheaper, or whatever I can get an excellent discount on because of coupons. This is fun!

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  17. Prego spaghetti sauce (even though I make a good sauce from scratch), Dr Pepper for my husband, Huggies wipes. I’m pretty flexible on most everything, but a few items are musts!

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  18. Thanks for hosting, Jen! :) This may sound silly, but we actually prefer Costco’s brand of paper towels. The rolls are huge and they last for ages…plus you get a ton of them b/c you buy in bulk. :) My husband only like Peter Pan peanut butter, so we stick with that.

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  19. I’m not really brand loyal for the most part. The only thing I have to have is Gain for my clothes – it smells the best!

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  20. Coca Cola…you will not find Pepsi in our house unless someone else brings it. We also import Goodhost Iced Tea from Canada. After moving to the U.S. nearly 17 years ago, it is the only product that I have found I can’t live without. I also would not substitute anything for Cindy’s Kitchen Roasted Garlic Caesar Dressing which we get at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section. The only other item we buy exclusively is K.C. Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce.

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  21. Wow, I have been sitting here racking my brain but the only thing I can come up with is Danimals smoothies. Little man LOVES them and I buy them whenever I have the opportunity. Otherwise we are happy buying the brand that is the least expensive.

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  22. DH warned me before we were married that I HAD to buy Charmin TP – there was no other for him! Ha ha! We also use Crest AntiCavity toothpaste b/c DH is very much against having whitening stuff in what he uses which is getting harder and harder to find. I have also never gone this long without a cavity in my entire life so I think there really is a difference!

    I have tried very hard to eliminate most prepackaged foods and make things from scratch, but my one item that I cannot give up is Jiffy cornbread mix! YUM!

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  23. We only have two:
    Skippy reduced fat creamy peanut butter
    Bagels Forever frozen bagels
    We use a lot of store brands or whatever is on sale.

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  24. Banquet turkey breakfast sausage links, Gold Medal Unbleached flour, and either Dawn or Ivory dishsoap. For many items I have a few brands that I am willing to use, and will buy whatever is on sale at the time.

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  25. Would totally stock up:

    Full Circle laundry detergent, Speed Stick regular deodorant (NOT anti-perspirant) – because they do not make any of my guys break out in hives. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing – one son’s loyalty; the rest of us are fickle. But he isn’t picky about much, so I work with it.

    Strong preference but would switch if forced:

    Scott bathroom tissue; Bounty select-a-size paper towels (we use cloth for most things, but grease and cat barf call for disposables); Crest gel toothpaste; Dial soap (yellow); Dawn dish soap (original scent); Mount Olive dill pickles; Country Crock margarine; Luck’s beans seasoned with pork (fickle about unseasoned beans & baked beans).

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  26. If they EVER stop making Jiffy Corn Muffin mix, I’m out of luck. Forever.

    Western Dressing is the best French I’ve ever had, and I love it to the exclusion of all others.

    My firstborn won’t take anything but the real Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal – we’ve tried, he hates them. Really. He also won’t eat the off-brand Pizza Rolls; they’ve got to be Totino’s brand, and only cheese.

    Coca-cola is a must, but we do occasionally get a 2-liter of the store brand orange or root beer, for floats & the kids. We just pare down how much we buy if the deals are bad that week.

    I prefer Hellman’s mayonnaise, and hubby prefers Miracle Whip, so we always stock both. If we run out, someone eats a peanut butter sandwich instead of ham. :) No kidding.

    I think that’s about all! We are pretty simple, don’t bother with many store brands, and I’m always up for trying the store-look-alike if it’s a great deal. However, I do clip my coupons and try to get the things we REALLY MUST HAVE. :) Thanks for a great survey, Jen!

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  27. Most of the brand names we buy are for my husband, but he’s worth it… :)
    Cheese-Its and Wheat Thins for his lunch. (We tried Aldi’s brand and didn’t like them!), Charmin tissue paper (the red package). When it goes on sale, I try to stock up on All Fruit spread and also natural applesauce because I hate added sugar in my food!

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  28. I would say there are very few things I’m brand loyal to. I guess the only thing I can think of is Scott toilet paper since we have a septic system. And I might have to stock up on Ken’s salad dressings. Especially the honey mustard!

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  29. We are not too brand loyal. We shop at Aldi for most of our groceries, but we are brand loyal about Miracle Whip & Diet Dr. Pepper.

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  30. I’ve thought about this and I can’t think of any brand I absolutely could not live without. Before I learned the fine art of couponing we used a lot of store brands. Brand names still feel like a treat to me.

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  31. With the exception of Coca-cola, Heinz ketchup and Crest we will try any brand and use them if we find one we really like.
    Coca-Cola, never store brand cola. Mountain Dew (there is no caffeine in the Canadian stuff) and other flavours like orange, etc. can be store brands.
    Heinz ketchup – nothing else will ever do!
    Royale bathroom tissue but I will buy others if on special.
    Crest pro-health toothpaste is a must have for my sensitive teeth. I’ve tried other brands including the major ones and Crest works the best for me.
    Coffee, I like Starbucks and only buy when on special and clearouts. Sometimes we get great Coffee from El-Salvador from a friend but that is once every 5 years.

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  32. I’m not really that brand specific, but hubby is !
    Has to be Pepsi, Cheez-its, Hidden Valley Ranch, Prego spagetti sauce, to name a few , no substitutions ! :)

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  33. We’re not too brand loyal around here, with a few exceptions:
    Coke for cola
    Twinings loose leaf earl grey tea
    Kirkland organic natural peanut butter — best natural peanut butter out there. I’m a bit of a freak about not serving my kids sugar-laden peanut butter (they’re not totally on board with this, but I don’t give them a choice…). This mixes up better and separates less afterward. And tastes better.

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  34. We cant do without Kraft Mac and cheese or Heinz ketchup. Laundry soap I have to have All or Arm and Hammer because of sensitive skin. TP I really like Cottonelle or Scott extra soft so I stock up when it is on sale. Pet food I try to stay the same just because it is better for them so I stock up on that with coupons as well. Pretty much anything else we buy what I can get for a really good deal.

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  35. *Cereals – no matter which brand, I buy the brand name. The store brands are disgusting, except for Kroger’s frosted flakes.
    *Tide with bleach alternative (original scent only). This is the only commercial detergent that both gets my clothes really clean and does not irritate my kids’ skin. I tried homemade detergent for a while, but it didn’t clean well enough so back to Tide I went.
    *Shout stain remover. I’ve tried others and they set the stains in. Shout gets it out with minimal effort. (Especially grass and dirt – with two boys playing baseball, I have a LOT of that!)
    *Bounty paper towels – they don’t disintegrate like so many others do.
    *Tinkyada rice pastas. The only one I’ve found that tastes goood AND does not turn to mush. Also, the only one I’ve found that has lasagna noodles!

    I’ve had to be more brand flexible with trying new brands as well as more brand rigid on certain foods in the past few years as we deal with food allergies. Once I find a brand that is safe and tastes good, I stick with it!

    Oh, and I can not live without my Diet Coke. It has to be the Coca-Cola company. Nothing else comes close.

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    Cheryl B. Reply:

    Rachel, have you ever tried Amway laundry products? The reason we have stayed distributors of them for all of these years is that my husband (and now a son) does not break out from their products!! I’d suggest finding a distributor near you and giving their SA8, prewash and fabric softener a try!

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  36. Let’s see…. Mayonaise for me has to be Miracle Whip, for Hubby it’s Helmans. Ketchup has to be Heinz, tooth paste is Colgate and we never buy generic cereal. Anything else is fair game, LOL.

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  37. Hi :-)
    We actually tackled this question very early in our marriage (we’ve now been married 30 1/2 years). At that point in time, our local stores were carrying what was called “unbranded” products. In my attempts to be a thrifty new bride I bought various of those type of products. We soon learned that they were not only cheaper in price, but also in quality. To the point that the price difference actually came out to having spent too much on something that bad!

    I then tried products that did have a brand name, just not the well known brand names. Some of these proved themselves worthy of being bought. But there were other items that we decided we were always going to pay the price difference and get the brand name of the brand we were so fond of.

    Some of those big brand name items were things such as Pepsi (TM), Miracle Whip (TM), Lawry’s Seasoning Salt (TM), and Cheerios (TM), as well as Always (TM) feminine products and higher brand names of toilet paper. We also went the same way with underwear and socks for our sons.

    Sometimes you get exactly what you do or don’t pay for!

    With the prices being what they are for fresh veggies, I bet more and more people are reverting back to having their own gardens.

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  38. Jennifer R. says:

    So fun to read everyone’s comments! For me, I don’t think I’m too brand-loyal…but it’s definitely Pace Picante Sauce (or salsa) and Coke if I’m buying cola; my girls only like Wishbone Russian Salad Dressing.

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  39. Dove deodorant
    Cottonelle toilet paper
    Downy fabric softener

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  40. The products I absolutely can not/will not live without are:
    *The original Scotts toilet paper.. I would buy a basement full if Iheard they were discontinuing it.
    *Olay Body Cream Ribbons body wash.. I break out & dry out using everything else.
    *Olay facial moisturiser-been using it for at least 35 years and its done me well. People are pretty amazed when they find out I have a 30 year old daughter.
    *Avon used to have a line & wrinkle remover that I wish I’d known they were going to discontinue. It was expensive but it was hands down WAY better than anything else on the market.. I would have bought a couple years worth & kept them in the frig. Havent tried their replacements.

    My honeys list of absolutes are
    Kraft Miracle Whip
    Pepsi

    I too like Costcos paper towels.. Actually I like a lot of stuff from Costco and keep my membership just to buy certain specific things there.
    I prefer Folgers coffee if Im making it in a regualar coffee pot but I have a Keurig and I love the Jet Fuel k-kup I get from Amazon I’d probably buy a boatload if they discontinued it. I love Starbucks too but I dont buy it often.

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  41. I’m too frugal to be super-brand loyal but there are a few things… Adams peanut butter–all natural, just peanuts and salt, it is a NW thing. Best foods/Hellmans mayo. My husband would say JIF peanut butter and Crest toothpaste. As you can see, we have peanut butter wars. :). For things like detergents, lotions, diapers, wipes and such, I used to think I was brand loyal but time and couponing has shown me there are some pretty good alternatives even for my allergic, sensitive skin people. There are also some things I WON’T buy ever again no matter how cheap they are. :).

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  42. Mayo: Can’t handle any generics. *shudder* (And I’m not a Miracle Whip girl, so it has to be Kraft or Hellman’s.

    Coffee: Bless my husband’s heart, he bought store brand coffee a couple months ago. We drank one cup and gave up on it. We use Starbucks or Diedrich, and sometimes Seattle’s Best.

    Canned tomato sauce: A lot of store brand sauces contain (or may contain, as they state) dairy, so we stick with name-brand. It’s a little more expensive, but the quarter keeps my son from getting sick. :)

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  43. I don’t think I have very many specific brands that I buy, I tend to jump around a lot. I do buy specific brands of organic milk and organic yogurt. So I usually stock up.

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  44. Angel Soft toilet paper. I have tried switching to other brands when there is a sale and can get cheap with coupons, but dh complains each time I try to switch.

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  45. I prefer Duke’s mayo, but it’s hard to find here sometimes, so other than that, Hellman’s
    Hunt’s ketchup
    Nature’s Own bread
    Costco Wipes
    Classico pasta
    Dawn dish soap
    Cascade or Finish
    Reynold’s Foil
    These days, most of my brand loyalty is due to my son’s food allergies. General Mills is a favorite here because their labeling practices for allergens are great. Same with Hershey’s.

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  46. Gotta have my Bounty!

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  47. Mountain Dew. Not the Canada stuff. Good Old Ya-Hoo!! Mountain Dew!
    I would prefer never to run out of The Works Tub & Tile Clean or The Works Toilet Bowl Cleaner

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  48. Sue Klingseis says:

    My two are Best Foods Mayo and Tide soap. I might be pursuaded to try the Costco Mayo after reading the first comment except the jar is so giant!

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  49. Tide. Downey. Dawn. Oh wait, food related? :) JCS Reggae Country Style Brand Dark Thick Soya Sauce. I never KNEW what it was really called and just had to read it off the bottle to tell you! It’s a thick soy sauce. It’s the only stuff I’ll use for soy sauce. Used to be able to find it EVERYWHERE for about $1.29 a 10 oz bottle but not lately :(

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  50. I don’t go with labels or brands as long as the product I bought has high quality.

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  51. Bonsoy Soymilk
    Vegemite

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  52. I included my must have brands in my recipe post then realized everyone else seemed to be adding theirs to the comments. I have a long list. : ) You can see it here: http://grooviemom.blogspot.com/2011/02/taco-pie.html

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  53. Cheerios, for sure.

    And Nutella. :)

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  54. Generic all the way baby. Any Flavor. Unless there is a sale!!

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  55. I used to be an only Heinz ketchup gal… but the Cub foods store brand is a pretty good knock-off (I was worried it would be more like hunts-yuck)-
    I used to be an only Peter Pan PB gal… but then I had good coupons for skippy and my youngest son said that he liked that better than the normal stuff I buy… so now I buy both- whatever I can get a better deal on.
    Tide and Oil of Olay are really the only things that I remain true too- only because they work so well!

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  56. Hellman’s Mayonnaise (regular) and Skippy Peanut Butter…there are no substitutions for these foods in our house! I think I would also stockpile Edy’s Frozen Fruit Bars, if I had enough room in my deep freeze :)

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    Jenn Reply:

    Ooh, you know what else my family loves? Archer Farms Edamame (in the shell). My kids eat it like candy. Weird, right?

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  57. I have been thinking about this a lot lately myself, as prices just seem to be soaring on so many things. As we are still in our “God watch” situation and hubby will be jobless next month, I am trying to be sure we are stocked up before then. Meat prices have gone crazy in our area. The name brands we would stock up on: All Free & Clear laundry soap and Snuggle “free” dryer sheets would be 2 items I would (do) stock up on. Hubby would stock up on Dt. Mt. Dew. As far as food – Kraft American cheese, Splenda, and Glory brand low sodium greens. Besides that we are not too brand loyal.

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  58. Gotta’ have my Rotel. Whatever the heat, it’s got to be Rotel. Off brands just will not do. Hellman’s, Blue Plate or Kraft mayo…no…absolutely no.. Miracle Whip. Luzianne Tea for me. Oscar Mayer or Nathan’s hot dogs…all beef. Hmmm. Coffee is variable. Don’t drink soft drinks. Jimmy Dean or homemade sausage…prefer the hot variety. Riceland rice…gotta support Arkansas.

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  59. I voted for you. My favorite sandwich of all times is a BLT + cheese. I want one with a Cherokee Purple tomato, peppered bacon, homegrown leaf lettuce, and sharp Cheddar on sourdough. OMG…now I’m hungry.

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  60. Peter Pan Peanut Butter
    Tide Laundry
    Downy Fabric softner (April Fresh- although Great Value isn’t bad)
    Heinz Ketchup

    Almost everything else is whatever is cheap or on sale… and while I do like certain chips or crackers, they are not a MUST have item like the above are! :)

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  61. My list includes Cottonelle Toilet Paper, Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, Best Foods Mayo (Where do you find Dukes??) Ultra Palmolive Oxy Plus Foam
    “Fresh Rush” scent dishwashing soap (Pheww..a mouth full..) It smells SO good, but is hard to find here in Washington state..my favorite dish soap EVER!!!
    If you find it, try it..you’ll fall in love. Promise.
    -ann

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  62. Coca-Cola for me; this applies to cola only, not picky with my orange or grape soda – Kroger has good store brand flavored soda, especially Citrus Drop (way better than Sundrop or Mello Yello) and Lemon-Lime. My 16-year-old son actually prefers RC cola, but I love him anyway!
    Hunt’s ketchup
    Jif Peanut Butter
    Charmin Sensitive TP because there are some places you never want to deal with irritated, itchy, allergic skin!

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