Target 10/19/14

Target tries to be a chic and cheap discount store. It sells everything from ketchup to coffeemakers in nearly 2,000 stores throughout the US and Canada. Consumer Reports’ testing and research shows Target’s store brands are often offer good value.

You can often do very well in Target’s pharmacy department. Over the years, Consumer Reports has found Target’s prices are lower than drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens. Prices can be particularly good for its store brands, like Up and Up naproxen, the generic version of Aleve and Up and Up ibuprofen, the generic version of Advil.

Up and Up is one of Target’s private labels that promises quality for less. There’s also the more upscale Archer Farms brand, and there’s Market Pantry, which is a bit more basic.

Consumer Reports judged Market Pantry ketchup just as good as Heinz and found Market Pantry mayonnaise rivals Hellmann’s and Best Foods. And Target’s Archer Farms Pure Maple Syrup is a good buy. It’s thick, with bold flavors.

Consumer Reports also recommends stopping by Target’s freezer case. Target’s Market Pantry frozen mixed vegetables are just as crisp and fresh tasting as Birds Eye mixed vegetables, which cost more.

Snack foods are another great thing to stock up on at Target. Testers like Market Pantry Peanut Sweet and Salty granola bars, Archer Farms Jumbo Cashews and Archer Farms trail mix.

You can start your day with the Black and Decker 12-cup drip coffeemaker CM4000S12. It made Consumer Reports’ pick list and is a Target exclusive. But shop elsewhere for your coffee. Market Pantry Classic Roast is near the bottom in Consumer Reports’ ratings. It lacks complexity and leaves behind a bitter taste.

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