Friday, April 29, 2011

More No-Name Reviews

Continuing on my No-Name Experiment, I've tried many, many products and several of them are now staples in our cupboard. As was pointed out in the comments ages ago, things that are the simplest tend to be the best, or to make little difference.
I have found that beans of all kinds (Chic Peas, Black Beans, Romano Beans, Pork n' Beans) are fine (though sometimes have more salt then I'd like).
Tuna, bottled lemon juice, canned tomatoes and tomato paste (both salt-free!) are great, just as good as brand name.

I am a huge fan of No Name perogies. G is a HUGE fan of perogies, so we eat them at least once a week. We were surprised at how good the No Name brand was. We had eaten some Cheemo brand recently (Feta, Spinach and Potato flavour) and those were amazingly good, so the No Name ones didn't live up to those, but they were as good as any other standard potato/cheese ones I've had. They have become a staple in our fridge.

I believe someone mentioned ketchup not being worth it, but I haven't found much of a difference. I don't buy Heinz ketchup ever since I went to Mexico and saw small children picking their tomatoes, so I probably don't know what I'm missing.


  1. Oooh, yes, I'd forgotten about the perogies! They do do decent perogies. I miss those. :( Perogies here are ferociously expensive and you have to go to the little Polish deli to get them. English people don't know perogies.

    I really love reading these entries. I grew up on No Name, since my mom was pretty frugal. It's fun to read someone else's responses!

    I've found a lot of their salad dressings stack up to Kraft, especially the more basic ones. The exception is the Caesar dressing, but then, I don't really like Kraft Caesar either.

  2. I love your idea of testing out No-Name products in a calculated way.

    One thing I've noticed is more preservatives and fillers in the non-brand-name stuff. The way to cut corners - besides using shoddy packaging, as you mention - is to put less expensive food in, and more inexpensive fillers.

    Just another thing to look out for.


  3. Heinz ketchup is one of those products that really is different from the rest of the pack - not necessarily better! I grew up with Aylmer ketchup, and used to buy PC brand for myself before I pretty much stopped eating it. I don't recall much difference between those two, so I'd totally believe that No Name is similar. I can always spot Heinz because it's MUCH sweeter. I find it too sweet; my college roommates would complain about my PC brand ketchup because it wasn't sweet enough for them. I don't think that's a quality difference so much as two different recipes, both valid.

  4. As an aside, I always skip the No Name and go straight to PC, which is decent savings over brand name but not as much as No Name. And almost every product is BETTER than brand name!

    (Although at this point I'm not sure I would call PC a "generic" - it's got all the cachet of a regular "brand name" for me.)

    The only two I've found that I dislike are Blue Menu chick peas (mushy and tasteless) and two-bite brownies (noticeably less tasty than Farmer's Market). Both of which were a shock, because it's so rare to find a bad PC product.