8 Knock-Off Kid Products Better Than The Brand Name Version

Kids are expensive. And springing for name-brand versions of the things you need to keep them healthy, alive, and not crusted in old food and dried saliva is even more expensive – why waste money on the fancy brands? Save your pennies for that college fund instead. (Or for that Mommy Juice fund. You do you, okay?) Here are eight cheap-o knockoffs generic equivalents that are at least as good as the famous brands.

1. Pampers diapers

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Pampers diapers are incredibly absorbent, snug, and have cute Sesame Street characters on them. Target’s store-brand diapers meet two of three of those qualifications, and cost about 30% less, which is a price I’m willing to pay not to have Grover’s blue furry face smiling out at me from a broccoli-laden pants-load. Also, Target’s diapers actually have a generous enough waistband to fit my son’s adorably generous waist.

2. Pampers wipes

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Costco wipes are just as odorless, just as damp, and they come conveniently sized in bajillion-packs so that you only need to go shopping for them once between your kid’s birth and the happy day he’s finally potty trained.

3. Nutri-Grain bars

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My requirements for cereal bars are 1.) they come in wrappers so that I can throw a dozen of them in the diaper bag for when I need them, and 2.) they are filled with some food- or food-adjacent substance. The real Nutri-Grain bars come in a variety of a dozen or more flavors; the super cheap store brand, Shurfine, only comes in ‘blueberry’, ‘strawberry’, and ‘who care, you’re going to eat it anyway’.

4. Similac formula

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Of course the very best formula is whichever kind you can get your baby to actually drink. Store-brand formulas (cough, Target again, cough) has literally the exact same funky-smelling powdered nutrition in it as Similac and Gerber. Plus, I never bloodied my finger on the foil lining in the Target containers like I did with the Similac version. It’s okay, kids, that just means extra iron for you!

5. Johnson & Johnson toiletries

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First of all, your newborn doesn’t need a daily bath, and definitely doesn’t need to be greased up with a bunch of baby lotion on a daily basis. Skip the baby lotion – slap some Vaseline on dry patches if you have to, and use the store brand soap or shampoo when you need it (which, by the way, is definitely not every 24 hours).

6. Goldfish crackers

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Our grocery store sells Totally Not Goldfish Ripoffs called “Ocean Buddies” shaped like sharks and starfish, and the poky edges of fins seem to provide easier grip opportunities for my klutzy toddlers than the name brand variety. Oh, and also, the red-and-green holiday Goldfish crackers I put in the kids’ stockings made them barf in Christmas colors, which has pretty much put me off the brand for the foreseeable future.

7. Diaper Genie


If you feel like what your living room needs is a poop-scented white cylinder, sort of a Glade Plug-In gone horribly awry, by all means get a Diaper Genie. Otherwise, a plastic bin liner and frequent garbage emptying will do you nicely, and without risk of inadvertent squirting.

8. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and other OTC medications

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Medicine is medicine. Why pay extra to inflict that nasty faux bubblegum taste on your children when you can get a generic “red” flavor on the cheap?

Bonus: Sophie la Giraffe

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We lost the Sophie teething toy we received as a shower present during a trip to visit family, and no knock-off we tried could replace her. Maybe that $25 price tag is to help defray the cost of lacing Sophie’s all-natural rubber with some kind of addictive drug?

(Image: milanik/Shutterstock)

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