Frugal Hack #32: Buy the Identical and Cheaper Versions of Name Brands

Updated August 10, 2020 by Kyle

One of my favorite store purchases is always the cheaper version of products that are just as good, if not better, than the more expensive name-brand. But the problem for most shoppers is they have not idea what products fall into this category, and smartly, don’t want to randomly start buying generics just to test them out as it could be a total waste of money.

So to help you out, I researched the cheaper version of many name-brand items, which in many cases, are actually produced by the name-brand and simply repackaged and sold for less. Below is what I found. I hope it helps you make some smart buying decisions in the future.

Kirkland brand


Here are the Costco Kirkland brand items that are rumored to be produced by the popular (and more expensive) name-brand.

  • Kirkland Signature Craft Beer = Gordon Biersch: I love Gordon Biersch beer, and guess what, I love Kirkland craft beer too. Go figure.
  • Kirkland Signature Premium Small Batch Bourbon = Buffalo Trace: From Insider Louisville, “Kirkland is from Buffalo Trace and tastes like Jim Beam — a little bit, anyway.”
  • Kirkland Vodka = Grey Goose: The fact that we’re even having the conversation tells me to always buy the WAY cheaper Kirkland brand vodka.
  • Kirkland Scotch = Macallan 18: A great way to save on a quality Scotch is to buy the Kirkland brand.
  • Kirkland Tuna = Bumble Bee: According to a bunch of Amazon reviews, Kirkland Tuna tastes just like, or better, than Bumblebee Tuna.
  • Kirkland Diapers = Huggies: Apparently the Kirkland brand of diapers is made by Huggies.
  • Kirkland Laundry Detergent = Good chance it’s made by Sun.

Trader Joe’s

If you shop at Trader Joe’s here are some brands to be aware of.

  • Pita Chips = Stacy’s (Frito-Lay): But them at Trader Joe’s for significantly less.
  • Cream of Tomato Soup = Pacific: I’ve never had the soup, but apparently it’s pretty good.
  • Indian Food = Tasty Bite Brand: If you like Indian food, buy it from TJ’s and save.
  • Organic Shells and White Cheddar = Annie’s Homegrown: Never had it. Can it possibly be better than Kraft Mac & Cheese?
  • Yogurt = Stonyfield Farms: I love their yogurt and it’s definitely priced right.
  • Pretzel Chips = Snack Factory: Get your snack fix at TJ’s and save money.
  • Veggie Chili = Amy’s: Yummmm, chili.

Other Products to be Aware of:

  • Girl Scout Cookies = Keebler: Looking for a cheaper cookie fix than the pricey Girl Scout box? Check out this great Lifehacker article to see which cookie alternative fits the bill.
  • Victoria’s Secrets pantyhose = Hanes: Shop the Hanes brand pantyhose and get Victoria’s Secret quality for less cash.

Ask the Reader: Any products that I might be missing? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check it out, thanks.

Happy savings.

By Kyle James

Photo by m01229.


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Carol Y

I really like the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup by Pacific, so if they have that in Trader Joe’s brand I would try it!