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The article originally appeared on frugayity.com

I’m one of those people who would never buy an off-brand item, especially in the grocery store. Imagine walking through the supermarket in the gayborhood, seeing a friend and having them glance ever so judgingly into your cart only to see that you had a cart filled with generic groceries. During your conversation, you try covering up your cheap grocery products with more expensive items, hoping that your friend won’t notice your thriftiness, or the embarrassed look on your face. Yup, I’ve done that and I know you have too.

That all changed when Aldi came to town. The German supermarket chain literally changed the way I think of grocery shopping. They do carry some well-known branded items, but for the most part, the items they offer are generic, and cheaper than the other more well-known options…a lot cheaper!

Other supermarkets quickly took notice and joined the race to generic glee. Target, Walmart, Kroger, Publix and other chains all offer their own brands on everything from frozen vegetables to cereal to Greek Yogurt. And guess what? They are just as good as the original, if not better. I am in love with Kroger’s Private Selection frozen pizza. I’ve tried almost all of the varieties and they are incredible. My perfect evening includes drinking a glass of wine, enjoying a Private Selection pizza and watching Golden Girls reruns. Yes, Kroger makes their own cheesecake too, so if you are really in a Golden Girls mood, you may want to pick one up for dessert.

If you have any doubts, conduct your own taste test. Buy the popular brand and an off-brand of a few products and try them out. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results and realize that you actually enjoy the cheaper item more, as much as you may not want to admit it.

Joey Amato is the publisher of Frugayity, a personal finance advice website geared towards helping the LGBTQ community live a more frugal life and save for the future. Amato has been in LGBTQ media for over a decade, having published his own lifestyle magazine UNITE in Nashville and Indianapolis. He is also the publisher of Pride Journeys, a syndicated LGBTQ travel column and website. For more information, visit www.frugayity.com.

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september 2020

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