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The cheaper supermarket home-brand products that outperform big-name brands

CHOICE testing reveals how you can get more for less with products from Aldi, Coles and IGA.

generic product illustrations homebrand
Last updated: 07 March 2024

Home-brand products have been the butt of jokes for decades, from quips about scratchy toilet paper to banter about budget baked beans. 

But they've come a long way and – believe it or not – some are so good that they rival products costing many times more. Some even top our tests, beating well-known brands. 

Hesitant to give home-brand products a try?

Most supermarkets have done away with the basic labels with that "I made this in MS paint" vibe, and you'd often be hard pressed to pick them out in a lineup of branded products.

You might be nervous about changing from tried-and-true favourites: will home brand products be as good, or will you be disappointed?

Many people are switching to cheaper products to save money on their grocery bills, but you might be nervous about changing from tried-and-true favourites: will home brand products be as good, or will you be disappointed?

We've taken the guesswork out of making the switch. CHOICE tests more than 2000 products each year in our labs, so we know which cheaper products are worth it and which are best left on the shelves.

So next time you're filling your trolley, try these products instead of your usual brand – you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the performance and the savings. 

A note about prices: Grocery prices fluctuate so frequently that today's price could be completely different to tomorrow's. The prices listed were correct at the time CHOICE testers reviewed the product. Double-check prices before you buy to make sure you're getting the best deal.

Pantry and freezer

just organic aldi black tea

Top tasting tea for a low budget price: Aldi's Just Organic Black tea bags.

The best tea bags on a budget

A nice cup of tea can get your day off to a great start, so it's something you want to get right. And changing what you drink can be daunting – what if it's not as good and the day just goes downhill from there?

Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but tea drinkers do tend to have a lifelong commitment to a particular brand, so swapping to a new one can be almost unthinkable. 

If you're willing to give it a go, however, you can trust our results: we enlisted four tea experts for a blind taste test of 32 tea bag brands, so the products we recommend have the expert seal of approval. 

coles tea cup bags

At just 2 cents a bag, Coles delivers tasty tea for tight budgets.

Aldi's Just Organic Black Tea was the highest scoring overall – by quite a long way. They were rated at 81%, with their nearest competitor coming in at 73%. 

And they're just 6 cents per bag, making them a far cheaper and better-tasting option than big-name brands like Lipton, Twinings and Tetley – even T2 English Breakfast, which costs 52 cents per bag.

The next highest scorer was Coles Tea Cup Bags at 73%. They're dirt cheap at 2 cents per bag, so if there isn't an Aldi in your area or you're a die-hard Coles customer, they're also a great buy. 

coles classic granulated coffee smooth bold

Coffee experts rated this Coles instant coffee higher than coffee made on an espresso machine.

The best and cheapest instant coffee

Another morning ritual that we're loath to change, instant coffee can save you a fortune on cafe-made coffees. 

You might turn your nose up at instant, but our expert panel found that six products tasted either the same as, or better than, coffee from an espresso machine. 

The best news? One of them is the cheapest product we tested, costing just $3.70 a jar!

For an instant coffee that'll keep both your tastebuds and your bank account happy, go for Coles Classic Granulated Coffee Smooth & Bold. With a score of 80%, it's the third-highest scoring coffee we tested – and tastes just as good as an expensive instant that costs three times as much.

black gold baked beans in tomato sauce

IGA's Black & Gold baked beans: does what it says on the tin.

The best baked beans on a budget

IGA brand Black & Gold has kept its packaging simple in comparison to other supermarket own-brand products, but that doesn't mean that what's inside the tin isn't up to scratch. 

Black & Gold Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce were the second-highest scoring beans in our review, with a score of 79% – just one point behind well-known brand Wattie's. 

But the IGA brand costs far less: just 15c/100g, while Wattie's costs 52c/100g. So for the same amount of money, you could buy three times as many tins if you opt for Black & Gold over Wattie's – and you know what they say about eating more beans. You'll definitely get more bang for your buck!

Coles Smart Buy Baked Beans (77%) and Coles Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (76%) were also up there, so if there's no IGA near you, then Coles is the next best place to pick up tasty beans on a budget.

coles irresistible vanilla bean ice cream

Irresistible by name and by nature: this Coles-brand vanilla ice cream ranked highest overall, even beating premium brands.

The scoop on the cheapest, tastiest ice cream

Coles Irresistible Vanilla Bean Ice Cream rose to the top of our ice cream test, beating well-known premium brands such as Gelato Messina, Haagen-Dazs, Connoisseur and Maggie Beer.

At just 65c/100mL it's a bargain to boot, even beating products costing up to $2.95/100mL – that's 4.5 times more. 

This doesn't necessarily mean you should eat four times as much Coles ice cream, but with a price this cheap you can certainly enjoy an extra scoop without breaking the budget!


aldi logix platinum 18 in 1 dishwashing tablets lemon fragrance

Aldi's Logix dishwasher tabs deliver a better clean for a fraction of the price.

Dirt-cheap dishwasher detergent 

You can't put a price on clean dishes, right? Pick a poor performer and you'll have to pick again – pick food scraps off your plates, that is. 

But our tests show that you don't have to spend a fortune for a great clean: Aldi Logix Platinum 18 In 1 Dishwashing Tablets Lemon Fragrance was the highest scorer overall in our test at 79%. And it costs just 19c a tablet. 

With a price like that, you'll have money left over in the shopping budget to buy yourself a little treat. (And if you buy the Coles ice cream above, you can probably afford twice as much.)

The next highest scorers are Finish Powerball Ultimate Plus All in 1 Lemon Sparkle and Finish Powerball Ultimate Pro All in 1 Tabs Lemon Sparkle which are apparently different products despite their almost-identical names. 

But despite having such grand titles, they couldn't beat the supermarket product, even though they cost more than eight times as much. 

aldi di san pro ultra degreaser with enzymes

Aldi's spray stain remover is a stain buster, but not a budget buster.

The stain removers that wipe out stains, not your budget

If you're after sprays and soakers that are tough on stains but gentle on your wallet, head to Aldi. 

Its stain remover spray and laundry soaker powder products didn't quite take out the top spots in our tests but they weren't far off, and they cost a fraction of the big-name brands. 

In the pre-wash stain spray category, Aldi Di-San Pro Ultra Degreaser with Enzymes scored 75% – just one point behind the top scorer, Sard Super Power Stain Remover Toughest Stains. But the Sard product costs $1.90 per 100mL – more than six times the price of the supermarket spray.

While you're picking up the spray stain remover, grab some Aldi Di-San Pro Oxy Laundry Soaker & In Wash Booster as well. It didn't quite reach the podium, but it is recommended by our experts and for just 37 cents per 100g, it'll bust stains just as well as powders costing four times as much. 


coles cub newborn size 1

Coles has your newborn covered with its cheap but dependable nappies.

The cheap nappies that won't blow out your budget

Babies are expensive creatures, and since your sleep-deprived brain might not be able to figure out a budget, let us help you out. 

These nappies are affordable and dependable, so you don't have to worry about blow-outs of the budget or nappy kind.

Coles CUB Newborn Size 1 was the top-scoring newborn nappy in our tests with a score of 89%. Its rival, Huggies Newborn Size 1, scored 88% but costs twice as much at 36 cents per nappy. 

aldi confidence hypoallergenic quilted softness toilet tissue 4 ply

The toilet paper that's best for your bum and your budget

Cheap toilet paper can be a false economy: you might need to use more to get a good wipe, it can be scratchy, and – worst of all – it can give way at the worst possible moment. 

We don't want to give you the bum steer on toilet paper, which is why we tested 43 products in our labs, and we can tell you that Aldi Confidence Hypoallergenic Quilted Softness Toilet Tissue 4 ply gives the best wipe for your wallet. 

It costs a fraction of the price of premium toilet papers – 45 cents per 100 sheets – but outperformed all of them in our testing, coming in at the top of the table. 

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.