If you're of the opinion that name-brand products are superior when it comes to quality, that's not always the case. What you can count on is that name brands will often be more expensive than comparable store brands.
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According to various reports, store brands are commonly around 20%-25% cheaper than name brands, and these days -- with inflation the highest it's been in decades -- finding products you like that also reduce your grocery bill is like hitting the jackpot.
Walmart offers many of these products via its Great Value and Equate house brands. Not only are they cheaper than their name-brand counterparts, but they also have a standard of quality that compares to more expensive brands. Here are 10 items you should always buy at Walmart, according to experts.
Great Value Hazelnut Spread
A 13-ounce jar of this Nutella knockoff is about 25% less than the same-size name-brand stuff, and you'll save even more by choosing Great Value over the premium brands.
"They taste so similar that no one is likely to know you bought the store brand and not the fancier stuff," said consumer analyst Julie Ramhold with DealNews.
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Great Value Peanut Butter
A 40-ounce jar of the store-brand lunch staple is a bargain compared to a name brand like Jif, Skippy or Peter Pan. If you opt for the same amount of a pricier name-brand, "you'll be paying nearly twice as much for something that tastes basically the same," advised Ramhold.
Equate No-Metal Elastics
"These are a beauty standard that anyone with longer hair that's fond of ponytails should keep in their beauty tool kit," said Ramhold.
A 30-pack of the name-brand Goody Ouchless elastics could cost you 20% more than a 30-pack of Equate elastics. By choosing Equate, "you'll get the same quality at a fraction of the cost, which if you have a tendency to lose them makes this an even better buy."
Equate Cotton Swabs
Grab a 500 count of these staples for around one-third less than you'll pay for the name brand. "There's no discernible difference between the store brand and name brand, so the Equate swabs should suffice just fine at a fraction of the cost," Ramhold said.
Equate Blonde & Silver Shampoo
"This formulation is meant to make sure blonde and silver hairs look their brightest, but they tend to be on the pricier side," said Ramhold. Equate's purple shampoo provides the same benefits as the Shimmer Lights version, and it comes in a nearly identical bottle. But you'll get it for about 50% less.
Great Value Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer
Janell Poulette of Saving You Dinero believes Great Value Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer is something you should always buy at Walmart. "This is my favorite coffee creamer," she said. "It's the right sweetness for my morning coffee."
Natural Bliss is one of the more popular name brand sweet creamers, but the price for a 32-ounce bottle is almost 40% higher than a same-size Great Value Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer.
Great Value Chocolate Chips
I bake a lot!" said Poulette. "[Walmart's] chocolate chips are much cheaper and just as delicious as the name brands."
No matter what type of chocolate baking chips you like to use -- semi-sweet or milk chocolate -- Walmart has them for a great price. A 12-ounce bag of Great Value Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips costs less than any of the name brands Walmart carries, and it's an especially good deal compared to premium brands like Ghirardelli.
Great Value Chewy Variety Pack Granola Bars
"My kids love to have access to granola bars for a quick snack, and they love the variety pack I can pick up at Walmart," said Poulette.
It can be a little harder to compare Great Value against packages from Quaker and other big names because they don't always have the same variety in the same-size package. But priced per-bar, Great Value lives up to its name no matter what size or flavor you buy.
Great Value Salsa
"I love to throw a jar of salsa and chicken breasts into the crockpot for the easiest, kid-friendly meal. [Walmart's] salsa is perfect for this meal," Poulette said.
You can pick up a 24-ounce jar of Great Value Thick & Chunky Salsa for less than a 16 oz. jar of the equvalent Chi-Chi's or Pace-brand salsa.
Great Value Cooking Oil
"When we had a fish fry for Good Friday, I was asked to pick up a gallon of oil," said Poulette, noting that even the store brands were pricey at her local supermarket.
Walmart's Great Value Canola Oil compares favorably to the lowest-cost store brands Poulette saw. And it's a much better value than name brands. Expect to save almost 10% when you choose Great Value over a name brand like Wesson.
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Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.
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