Forgive my hyperbole for a minute and play along…
When it comes to macaroni and cheese, I’m a firm believer in the Kraft spirals. There is none better (at least for quick, easy, prepackaged stuff). And it’s not like it’s expensive either… at about $1 a box, it’s fairly affordable.
Of course, store brands can offer a huge savings over already decent prices. Take Wegmans for example… Their spiral mac & cheese? About 3 for $1. That’s just insane. But there has to be some sort of trade-off, right? Yes… there is.
First thing I noticed was the Wegmans brand directions require 1/4 of butter or margarine. Compare that to just 1 tsp for Kraft (even the “classic” ingredients on the Kraft box only require 3 tbsp). That is one half of a stick of butter for the Wegmans brand. Also consider that the Wegmans brand specifies 2% milk – and Kraft recommends fat free (though has a recipe for 1%).
Here’s a quick look comparing some of the “nutritional” facts… Comparisons are to the “prepared” values… and percentages are % Daily Value.
So of course this is just one example and doesn’t really mean a whole lot when considering store brands as a whole, but this is a bit disheartening when you have people looking to save money for their families – but then end up feeding them something WAY less healthy than an actual name brand.
Quite frankly, I’m a bit saddened that this particular example is so bad. I like Wegmans… and shop there a LOT. But this is just bad. And really, even the taste of the Wegman’s brand isn’t even CLOSE to the Kraft stuff – really not that good at all.
So go ahead and save yourself a few dollars… but make sure you hit the gym a few more times to work off that cheap stuff.