Generic Brands: to save or not to save? That is (no longer) the question

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PHOENIX - I've been telling people for years that when you can, buy the off-brands.

For the most part, you can't tell the difference between name brand and off-brands, and the price is usually cheaper. However, consumer advocates now say for some things you should skip the generics.

A new list says there are some things you shouldn't buy generic.

First, Soda.  Advocates say it's almost impossible to duplicate a taste you probably grew up with, so go with your favorite name brands for sure.

Ketchup is on the list for the same reason. You can try to imitate, but you can't duplicate a name brand ketchup.

Makeup is on the list because apparently off-brands don't last as long.

You can't skimp on diet foods either. Low calorie food usually isn't as tasteful and the name brands have the taste thing down.

Cheese made the list because generic string cheese and sliced cheese were kind of mushy compared to name brand cheese.

Of course, beer is on the list. As all beer drinkers know, no two beers are the same. The same goes for spaghetti sauce and salsa. Generic spaghetti sauce just doesn't have the flavor like name brands do and generic salsa is just too bland and doesn't pack any good flavor.

And rounding out the list of things not to buy generic, dish detergent. Cheaper brands don't have the cleaning power and you may have to use twice as much to get your dishes done.

With these products, where you may be saving your money you may also be skimping in quality.