After hours of testing, we've determined our favorite private-label products from the discount grocery chain.

By Melanie Fincher
Save A Lot

Whether or not you've ever shopped at a Save A Lot, you're probably familiar with the Missouri-based grocery store chain that has over 1,300 stores sprinkled throughout the country. Save A Lot describes its business model as "limited assortment," meaning much of their products are private-label, helping you to save big at the checkout.

Other brands such as Aldi have taken up similar models, carrying fewer brands but at lower prices. So if you're looking to save big at Save A Lot, you need to know what to get and what to skip. After hours of taste testing here in the Test Kitchens, we've determined our favorite Save A Lot private-label products we'd buy again and again.

1. Marcum Gourmet Beer Can Chicken Seasoning Rub, $1.99

This flavorful seasoning rub is an easy way to spice up meat with little effort. We found it made a great seasoning rub for chicken breasts — it has just enough kick without being overbearing. It's described as, "A tangy herbal blend with a hint of citrus." While this is certainly accurate, it does have quite a bite from the red pepper.

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2. Marcum Gourmet Robust Coffee Seasoning Rub, $1.99

Marcum Gourmet seasonings makes the list again with another unusual spice blend. I didn't quite know what to make of this coffee-flavored seasoning rub. But after using it to season some chicken, we found the coffee flavor to be quite mild. The paprika and chili pepper stood out as the strongest flavors, and as one tester put it, "Yum!"

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3. McDaniel's Coffee Co. House Blend Ground Coffee, $3.79

Unlike many other brands of private-label coffee, the team found this house blend from McDaniel's Coffee Co. to be surprisingly smooth and drinkable with a slight cocoa flavor. One person even described it as having a "classic diner coffee taste." Depending on how you feel about diner coffee, this could finally be your chance to have some in the comfort of your own home.

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4. Crystal Falls Brise Lime Sparkling Water, $2.79

This zero-calorie sparkling water got rave reviews across the board; it's a great alternative to La Croix. The lime flavor is less jarring than that of many competitor brands. It's almost like a more muted version of Sprite, but without the calories.

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5. Nutsome Sweet and Spicy Cajun Trail Mix, $4.99

Here in the office, we found ourselves reaching for more and more of this spicy trail mix. Made from peanuts, butter toffee peanuts, Cajun-style corn sticks, roasted corn, honey roasted sesame sticks, and almonds, it's a perfect mix of sweet and savory, with a crunchy texture that's oh-so-satisfying. We were all pleasantly surprised with this unusual flavor combo!

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6. Kiggins Protein Chew Bars Salted Caramel Nut, $2.49

Each of these chewy protein bars has a whopping 10 grams of protein. It's a great on-the-go snack or meal replacement if you're really in a pinch. The Greek yogurt coating had more of a subtle vanilla flavor rather than caramel, but we all enjoyed it nonetheless. Definitely a great alternative to higher-priced name brands.

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7. Mantia's Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce, $1.99

This tomato basil pasta sauce will make fast weeknight dinners flavorful. We found it to have a nice, full-bodied herb flavor that would complement a variety of dishes. Keep one of these in your cabinet for whenever you need make dinner on the fly.

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8. Señora Verde Chunky Salsa, $1.99

While the name might suggest otherwise, we found this salsa to actually be more smooth and well blended. It has a nice, mild flavor that would be a major crowd pleaser for any game day, potluck, or movie night.

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Related: 10 Target Good & Gather Products Worth Buying

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