Saturday, October 30, 2010

Store Brand vs Name Brand Label: A Hannaford Challenge

Do you have a hard time figuring out meals to make for your family?  How about when you shop, do you ever look at the name brand products?  With a family of 5, it is sometimes hard to figure out what to make for meals, especially when there is always someone who doesn't like an ingredient, or what you are cooking.  The majority of the time, when I plan my meals, I keep in mind ingredients that my family loves.  There are certain staple item ingredients that we tend to only purchase, i.e., Heinz Ketchup, Hellmanns Mayonnaise, just to name a few.

I was contacted by a representative of Hannaford with a challenge.  A challenge which consisted of eating for 1 week with store brand ingredients only.  I jumped at the opportunity as you would think this would be easy and a no brainer, right?  I, and my family, were quickly surprised at the comparisons of taste between the more expensive brand name label and the basic store brand.

Here is what I purchased and the meals that were made:

Breakfast: (Total cost for 1 week of breakfast = $6.66)
Hannaford French Toast Cinnamon Sticks ($1.00 x 4) ($1.00 per box, though we still, after 1 week of eating have plenty left to last us the month).
Bananas (.55/lb = .47)
Hannaford Hash Brown Patties ($2.19)
This was a HUGE savings to our family.  If I were to buy 4 boxes of Eggo or Aunt Jemima French Toast Cinnamon Sticks, their prices range from $2.59 and up.  My kids couldn't even tell the difference.  Actually, I had Eggo French Toast Sticks still in my freezer, so I dummied up a taste test for my kids and didn't tell them.  On one plate was Hannaford and on the other, Eggo.  Guess what?  They couldn't tell the difference and actually liked Hannaford brand Cinnamon Sticks better.  Who would have known?

Hannaford Homogenized Milk $2.68 (If you have a BJ's, Sams Club, Costco, etc., warehouse club around you, the best milk prices will be there, though between the only two grocery stores I have in my Town, Hannaford is definitely cheaper. And, way cheaper than name brand milk.)

Hannaford Strawberry Milk $1.59 (This is $1.00 cheaper than Hershey's syrup and is just as good, if not better.)

Chicken and Fries: (2 nights) (Total $14.88 or $7.44 per nght)
Hannaford Sweet & Sour Chicken Tenders (from the deli counter) $3.95
Hannaford Fried Chicken Tenders (from the deli counter) $2.46
Hannaford Homestyle Crunchy Chicken Tenders (from the deli counter) $3.89
Hannaford Tasty Taters $2.29 (2 bags)

Chicken from Hannaford's deli is by far the best.  My entire family loves this.  There is no comparison, hands down, the best.

Soup and Sandwich: (Total $10.77)
Hannaford Split Top Wheat Bread $1.79
Hannaford Sliced Bacon $3.99
(I already had lettuce and tomato at home)
Hannaford Tomato Bisque Soup (delicious!!!) $4.99

The price of bread has definitely gone up these past few years.  I tend to buy our bread at a local store that sells only bread products, in bulk, for $1.00, so this price was a bit higher for me.  The cost of bacon is ridiculous.  I remember when it was $1.99 a package, that has since past.  The cost for other bacon is $4.59, so there is a savings to buying Hannaford bacon, though if you have coupons for other name brand bacon, you could save money there.  I am not particular when it comes to brand name for bacon, bacon is bacon and it all tastes good to me.  Soup, now that is where I will spend money.  I LOVE soup and especially Tomato soup.  This soup was rich, creamy and delicious.  My family enjoyed it very much.  There was no additional add-ins, just pour in a pan, heat and enjoy.

Pasta Night: (Total $8.06)
Hannaford Spaghetti Sauce $1.89 x 2
Hannaford Cream Cheese $1.19
Hannaford Ziti Pasta $1.00
Hannaford Meatballs (pre-made by the butcher) $2.09

Hannaford Pasta is the cheapest around town, hands down.  Even against the other grocery store where I live, their store brand is more expensive.  Unless I have a name brand coupon for pasta and there is a great sale, I will always buy store brand pasta.  Philadelphia Cream Cheese is regularly priced at $1.99 - this is ridiculous.  My family uses cream cheese in a lot of meals, from breakfast to snacks to dinner (add in with pasta, or to make alfredo sauce).  So for $1.19 a block, I stock up at this price.  I was able to pick up 9 pre-made meatballs from the butcher for $2.09.  I have never had Hannaford pre-made meatballs before beccause I always make my own, though they were very yummy.  My family definitely enjoyed the meatballs, though still said mine were better (sorry Hannaford).

Pizza Night: (Total $9.18)
Hannaford Bake and Rise 3 Meat Pizza $4.59
Hannaford Bake and Rise 4 Cheese Pizza $4.59

Every Friday night we have pizza night.  This consists of me buying already made dough and letting it rise all day, shredded pizza/mozzarella cheese and sauce, or I make a white pizza with broccoli, chicken, onions (it depends on the night).  If I were to make a 3 meat pizza, well definitely Hannaford was cheaper, though I (and my family) enjoy the taste of homemade better.  This is a great substitute to pre-made pizza and is something in the future we may eat again, but for now, I will continue making our own pizza.  Plus, it is fun for the kids to help me with.

Tortellini Soup: (Total $5.51)
Hannaford Chopped Spinach $1.09
Hannaford Italian Stewed Tomato $.79
Hannaford Cheese Tortellini $2.09
Hannaford Chicken Boullion Cubes 25 ct. $1.54 (I find making my own chicken broth through cubes are much cheaper than pre-made canned chicken broth).

What a delicious soup!  Here is the recipe for you to enjoy for these crisp Fall days.  1 box spinach, 1 can Italian Stewed Tomato, 1 bag Cheese Tortellini Soup, and as much chicken broth a sou like.  Add to your crock pot, cook on low for a few hours.  A delicious soup.

Store brand products for this entire meal was definitely cheaper.  Where can you get a full dinner for $5.51?  This fed my entire family and some friends.  Every Sunday for the Fall/Winter season, our family and 2 other families get together and we have a "soup" day.  Each family brings a soup to share.  This past Sunday was mine and it was Cheese Tortellini - everyone enjoyed.

Surf n Turf: (We ate this on vacation with 17 of us, so the total price was more, but per family, it would be about $30)
Lobster $5.99/lb
Filet $9.99/lb
Porterhouse $9.99/lb
Hannaford Potatoes $1.99
Hannaford Canned Corn .50/can

From all the people in Maine that we asked, hands down, lobster at Hannaford is the cheapest, and from what my family and friends said, it was delicious.

The steaks were so yummy.  Hannaford meats are definitely rated high in our book.  The canned vegetables are definitely cheaper than name brand and tastes just as good.

Baked Ziti: (Total $8.07)
Hannaford Whole Milk Ricotta $1.99
Hannaford Ziti $1.00
Hannaford Shredded Mozzarella Cheese $2.69
Hannaford 4 Cheese Spaghetti Sauce $1.89
Hannaford Texas Toast $2.59

Other than the spaghetti sauce, prices are pretty much the same for name brand.  If I am not making homemade sauce, we tend to only buy Casa Visca, which is about $3.59 - $4.59 a jar.  There is a big difference in price, though in sauce, not only myself, but my family is very particular about it.  Hannafords sauce was good, especially for a quick meal with other flavors included, however, regardless of price, I still will only buy name brand, or if ever in a pinch, I will buy the Hannaford brand, but hurry up and dispose of the jar so my family does not find out.  hee hee

Hannaford Caramel Cup Ice Cream $2.59
Hannaford Espresso Chip Ice Cream $2.59
Hannaford Rainbow Sherbert $2.59

(I normally purchase Friendly's ice cream which is my favorite, which is normally $3.99 a gallon - a $1.50 savings for buying store brand, and the taste, just as good.  I will say, Hannaford brand ice cream is definitely better tasting than my other grocery store brand ice cream)

* Did you know with every $25 purchase, you can get a FREE Hannaford Fresh Magazine.  This magazine is filled with recipes, sometimes coupons, and fun-filled reading.  There are stands throughout the store where these magazine can be found.  I alwasy spend more than $25, so I regularly get these magazines.

Not only was this an awesome challenge, this was the perfect time to shop.  With purchasing Hannaford brand items, for every 4, I received back a catalina of $1.00 to use toward my next shopping trip.  FREE money!  This is the perfect time to stock up on canned veggies and soups.  These items are priced cheap, taste just as good, if not better, than name brand labels, and you are getting back money to use on your next shopping trip. I told you about this Buy & Save Event here.

During this challenge, we had our daughter, Emma's, 4th birthday party.  At this party we ordered pizza from our local pizza shop, and to keep with this challenge, I made 40 meatballs from Hannaford butcher.  There is definitely no question as to the taste of any type of meat from Hannaford, as quite certainly, they are the best around.  EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, commented about how good these tasted and asked where we got the meat from.  (I'm sure me actually making the meatballs had nothing to do with the delicious taste.) lol.

This past weekend to continue this challenge, our family went on a trip to Ogunquit, Maine.  There, we brought our turkey fryers together with a grill and toaster oven and went to the local Hannaford in Seaport where we purchased Filets and Porterhouse at $9.99 a pound from the butcher, and boy were they delicious.  We also purchased 6 lobsters at $5.99 lb. and they too were yummy, though that is what I am told, because I don't eat lobster, just steak.  We asked a few locals around where to buy lobsters and they all told us to go to Hannaford, they are the cheapest and taste just the same.  Here are some pictures of us cooking our food purchased at Hannaford outside out hotel.  (Who says you can't be frugal on vacation and still eat good???)

Grill Master Dan:  Bringing the food to the grill

Getting ready to cook the steaks and lobster purchased from Hannaford

Hannaford Lobsters cooking

Lobsters from Hannaford

Have you ever compared brand name product prices to store brand prices? If there isn't a great sale or a fantastic coupon coupled with a sale on a name brand product, most of the time the store brand is cheaper, and after this taste test, close in taste most times if not better some times.

There has been an awesome Buy and Save Event for the past 2 weeks at Hannaford, though ends this Sunday 10/31.  To take advantage of this great promotion wherein you receive $1 back toward your next shopping trip for every 4 Hannaford Brand or HOME 360 brand products you buy - up to $10 each time you shop, you will have to act fast as again this event ends Sunday, October 31, 2010.  I posted about this great event here.

After this challenge, my family, including my husband Dan who is my toughest critic when it comes to name brand only, has a new perspective on brand name vs store brand items.  It definitely opened up our eyes to not being so "shallow" and to give the "non-name brand" a chance.  As much of a couponer and frugal person as I am, I always take into consideration that sometimes store brand items are cheaper, even without a coupon, though this has given me the incentive and opportunity to actually try products I may not have ever tried.  I am glad I entered and completed this project with an open mind.  I want to thank my family for participating with me and enjoying the meals I made and some we created together.

Disclosure:  I was provided with the gift cards from Hannaford to purchase Hannaford store brand items to help abide in my review.  In no way receiving the gift cards entice me into writing a more favorable post.  I shop at Hannaford, love their product and will continue to do so.

1 comment:

Everyday Rambling's said...

I am following your blog from the 2011 Dream Team!~ Tara