10 Items You Should Always Buy Generic

With so many choices at the store, which items are the best to buy generic? See more pictures of boxed food.

As of April 2014, the average family of four spends anywhere from $563.00 to $1,283.10 on food a month [source: USDA]. In this economy, we're looking for every possible way we can cut back. Yet many families still aren't interested in buying generic and store-brand products.

Despite plenty of proof that generics are comparable in every way to the high-priced items they're duplicating, only 84 percent of Americans bought even a single store-branded product in 2009. Even though shopping for store brands means an average savings of 30 percent (as high as 52 percent on some items), Americans are still suspicious of generic products [source: Consumer Reports].

The truth is, it's in the big corporations' best interest to keep us in the dark about the way generic and store-brand products arrive on store shelves. After all, they spend billions of dollars a year advertising that their brands are the best!

So what are some items that you should always buy generic and why? What you learn about the products themselves, as well as the reasons for the price differences, may surprise you.