Not So Great Value

By : | Comments Off on Not So Great Value | On : December 26, 2014 | Category : Caveat Emptor, General Information

Store Brands and Savings

Large corporations, like Walmart, spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their low, low prices guaranteed to save you money. Store brand products are as common as national brands. Walmart has Great Value, Costco has Kirkland and Kirkland Signature, Kroger has multiple store brands.

You would think buying an identical store brand product by weight or volume would automatically save you money. Isn’t that usually the case for store brands? The savings may not always be a lot, but it should be less than buying an equivalent national brand.

To Save or Not To Save?

On a shopping trip, I stopped into a local Walmart super center to pick up Great Value lactose free milk (it costs $1.25 percent less than other brands) and two bags of noodles for upcoming recipes and videos.

Ronzoni Noodles-4499

Next to Ronzoni, a good quality American made pasta brand, was the equivalent Great Value brand. Walmart is not know for the neatest shelf arrangement so was the GV noodles 88 cents or $1.50 for a 12 ounce bag. Not taking the time to find a price scanner, I picked up a bag of GV and Ronzoni and headed for check out.

GV Noodles-4491

The results:

Ronzoni 12-oz. yolk free noodles: $1.17

GV 12-oz. Egg Free Pasta Ribbons: $1.50

The bag of GV noodles, I mean pasta ribbons, cost 28 percent more! Hello Walmart! This is not a great value in my book. Claiming noodles are pasta ribbons doesn’t justify the 28 percent price increase.

But wait!!! It could be a data entry error. Perhaps the GV pasta ribbons should have scanned at 88 cents and not $1.50. That does happen even though I observed a Walmart associate (that’s what employees are called to justify paying a non-living wage) dutifully checking price accuracy.

During the same trip, I bought Great Value thin noodles weighing 16 ounces that also cost $1.50.

GV Thin Noodles-4510

Is their a 12 and 16 ounce bag of wide noodles, I mean pasta ribbons? I’ll update this post if and when I find out.

In the meantime, it’s caveat emptor when buying store brands! Sometimes they are a great value and sometimes they are not.