questionsfollow up question...what brands are a must for…

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I agree with Heinz. Also Wheat Thins, and Cheerios, and Oreos, Store brands of those just suck in comparison.

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Any brand of cereal. I don't care if they taste exactly the same to you, the store brand is just somehow inferior.

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The only brand-name that I insist upon buying is diet coke - but because of food allergies, not brand-loyalty or a belief that it's better than other diet caffeinated sodas. Caramel coloring can be made from a variety of sources, including something to which I'm very allergic, and I've had bad reactions to both diet pepsi and a store-brand, so I now stick with diet coke since I know it's "safe" for my allergies.

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@neuropsychosocial: I am also forced to buy name brand drugs/vitamins so that I can verify the inactive ingredients. Generics often us wheat gluten or barley malt as filler and listing them as "inactive ingredients" with no further description. I had a severe gluten reaction from a generic ibuprofen, so now I have to buy Motrin (verified gluten free) at about twice the price of generics.

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@adadavis: Great point about OTC medications and vitamins! I have similar difficulties finding "safe" products, although I haven't found a pattern between generics and name-brands; I just check every time. (Actually, I often have better luck with specific generics: CVS-brand cortisone cream is safe while the brand-name isn't, and Target Up-and-Up saline is safe while most brand-names aren't.)

For vitamins, check out Country Life brand. I find them at Whole Foods and they're absurdly expensive, but they are outstanding at specifying allergens. I just grabbed a bottle and it says: "NO: yeast, corn, wheat, gluten, milk, preservatives, or artificial flavors. CONTAINS: fish (anchovy, sardine)." They occasionally offer coupons and I try to stock up while they're on sale!

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"Band-Aid" brand bandages. Every other brand is crap.

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Honda
Always
Rojo's fresh salsa.
El Pinto Green Chile Sauce (best when mixed 50/50 with Rojos)
Miracle Whip

Hmmm, I can't think of anything else I really adhere to in terms of brand names. When it comes to food I am more fussy about what's on the back of the label under ingredients and nutritional value than on the front under brand name.

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@neuropsychosocial: Country Life is expensive, but if you want ridiculously expensive, try Rainbow Light. The company has a mania for listing ingredients, trace ingredients, possible cross-contaminants, and everything they don't have - sugar, artificial flavors,artificial sweeteners, artificial anything, wheat, gluten, shellfish, dairy, preservatives, and "objectionable ingredients often found in other vitamins and supplements." Whew. Just reading the label makes me feel like I've been given a stern lecture on diet. I can almost feel the bottle wagging its finger at me, and I have a sudden urge to rid my kitchen of junk food.

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@adadavis: Your post and my response prompted me to check Country Life's website for the first time (duh!) and they have a full product list available. You can filter by gluten-free and supplement category, but each product also has its label available for online viewing to check for other allergens. Plus, I discovered that a number of Country Life supplements are sold on amazon for significantly less than they sell at Whole Foods. I'm embarrassed that it took me this long to figure that out, but I'd really like to thank you for prompting those two thoughts in my head!

(We posted at the same time! ETA: thanks for the "recommendation"! I'll definitely check out Rainbow Light's labels!)

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@neuropsychosocial: Try reading the description of this one which is packaged in 100 percent recycled, 100 percent recyclable, BPA-free EcoGuard packaging, which has a 92 percent lower carbon footprint than virgin plastic. Then feel guilty as you peak in your trash bin looking for evil BPA -contaminated vitamin bottles.

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Angel Soft. No explanation necessary.

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Mountain Dew. The generics just aren't the same. I can usually find them as cheap or cheaper than the store brands anyway. Last week the local grocery store had 12 packs 4 for $9, usually get them 4 for $10 or so.

Ruffles Sour Cream and Cheddar chips. Have yet to find a generic that comes even close to the flavor.

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Q-Tips
Kleenex
Heinz
Miracle Whip
A1
Downy

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I agree with some of the above (Downy, A1, etc) and will add:
Jif peanut butter
Starkist tuna
Nestle chocolate chips (except Aldi chocolate chips...they are delicious)