From up & up to Market Pantry, Target is well known for its private label line of brand offerings. These generic offerings are often reasonably priced and work just as well, if not better, than their big name brand counterparts.
But how do you know which generic buys are worth the purchase and which deals don’t hold up? GOBankingRates asked frequent shopping experts which generic items to snag, and which to skip, the next time you’re on a Target shopping run.
Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy, recommends generic Target sunscreen as a must-buy to add to your cart. “It’s cheaper and works great,” said Kazimierski.
As we head into the summer months, consider buying Target brand sunscreen to protect your skin. The FDA regulates all sunscreen products, so you can purchase Target’s up & up sunscreen brand and still receive the same level of protection found in more expensive brands.
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Best: Household Cleaning Products
From all-purpose cleaners to disinfecting wipes, Target’s generic cleaning products work just as well as name brands as household cleaning essentials and have price tags that can’t be beat.
Zach Goldstein, CEO and Founder of Public Rec, said green cleaners like Everspring’s all-purpose cleaning spray are a score for just $3 a bottle at Target.
Best: Office Supplies
Need to stock up on office supplies like pens, notebooks and printer paper for a physical office location or your home office? Buy the generic versions at Target.
There’s little to no difference between generic office supplies and name brand office supplies, as these generic offerings are less expensive and still get the job done for everyone in the office.
Best: Makeup Tools
If you need to stock up on basic beauty tools, Jeanel Alvarado, founder of RETAILBOSS, recommends going with generic Target brands.
“Time and time again, I’ve seen beauty influencers on YouTube go on makeup hauls to shoot videos and when viewers ask what beauty applicator they are using it’s often a generic brand,” said Alvarado.
Some of the most purchased generic Target beauty tools Alvarado recommends buying include brushes, sponges, cotton balls and cotton pads.
“There is a misconception that generic products are of lesser quality, however, many once generic brands become beauty guru recommendations simply because the product gets the job done and without the brand name it’s much more affordable,” said Alvarado.
Buying generic applicators also means shoppers may splurge on more expensive, name brand cosmetics and skin care products.
“A Target shopper may splurge at the beauty counter, and spend $70 on an anti-aging toner by a prestige brand, but purchase Target brand cotton pads for $1.99 to apply the toner,” said Alvarado.
Best: Pantry Staples
Lauren Keys, personal finance blogger at Trip Of A Lifestyle, is a frequent Target shopper. Keys’ Target trips include stocking up on generic canned goods and other pantry staples.
“Generic canned goods and other pantry staples are always going to be cheaper than name brands, even when they go on sale,” said Keys.
Andre Kazimierski also recommends generic pantry staples at Target, especially spices. “They have a far more diverse selection than you’ll find with other cheaper brands.”
Most Target generic brand goods are priced low every day, said Keys, so additional discounts on them are more rare to come by. Usually, these discounts are only for 5% to 10% off. However, Keys said you can sometimes snag bigger discounts — up to 25% to 50% off — when using the Target app.
Keys recommends downloading the Target app and signing up for Target Circle to access all the deals. It’s a free and easy way to save more on your next Target run. Plus, when stacked alongside manufacturer coupons, this can reduce the cost of name brand goods to below the price of generic offerings!
Worst: Trash Bags
Even though trash bags are designed to be thrown out, it’s worth the extra few dollars to invest in sturdy name brands. “I would not recommend choosing the cheaper Target brand option when buying trash bags,” said Kazimierski. “They rip easily and always slip down inside the can.”
While Goldstein recommends picking up essentials like on-sale snacks at Target, your wallet won’t mind if you skip shopping at the produce section.
“It is always overpriced,” said Goldstein, who recommends buying produce locally or finding cheaper options elsewhere at a cheaper price point.
Jill Taylor, founder of Happy Farmyard, has been regularly shopping with Target for more than 20 years. Taylor said while Target’s generic diapers are usually cheaper than name brand options, they don’t always provide the same level of leak protection.
“When it comes to Target, there are certain items that are definitely worth buying in the store’s generic brand, and others that you’re better off spending a little extra on,” said Taylor. “Use your best judgment and don’t be afraid to try out a few different products before settling on one.”
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