Consumer product manufactures pay grocery stores something called a "slot fee" for placing their product on the center shelf. They do this to ensure that their product is the first one in the category that the shopper will see when walking down the aisle. This placement also makes it easy for the shopper to reach. If you will notice, the less expensive store brand label products are always on the bottom or on the top shelf.

The national brands companies are willing to pay for the premium spot so that their product will be the first one the shopper will see and hopefully reach for. They are also counting on shoppers being too lazy to bend down and reach for the store's discounted custom label brand. This one factor alone translates into increased sales and huge revenues for the manufactures.

To save money, forego the fancy label and brand name unless you have a coupon for it. Always look down and up at the custom label brand before making a choice. Compare the ingredients, the size of the package and the unit price per ounce. Many of your favorite national brands manufacture the 'custom label' products for several grocery chains. The only difference sometimes is the price.

For now happy shopping!

Laurie Dixon, TheBAG Lady