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Are your grocery bills way more than you’d like them to be? You go to the grocery store for a shortlist of items and end up spending way more than you expected to. Yeah, it happens to all of us.
Grocery stores are designed to keep you in the store longer and to spend more money. They sure do a good job at it with their sneaky tricks to get you to spend more money than you intended.
One of the biggest culprits for our skyrocketing grocery bills is convenience. Everyone loves the convenience and the grocery stores know this all too well putting those items front and center knowing that most shoppers will take the bait.
If you are looking to save more money on your grocery bills, then here is a list of items that you should NEVER buy at a grocery store.
15 Things You Should Never Buy At A Grocery Store
Cooking tools and bakeware
Picking up kitchen tools, utensils, and bakeware at the grocery store is very convenient. You’re purchasing some food items that may require a different sized pan or serving dish and what better time to get everything needed.
The problem is that these items will cost you between 30%-50% more if you buy them at the grocery store. It’s worth making a quick trip to a department store to pick up these items.
Herbs and spices
You can easily drop $5 or more on a tiny jar of spice at a grocery store. I think the jars are worth more than the product inside. Instead, head to your local ethnic market to save up to 90% off grocery store prices.
Pass on the high priced herbs from the grocery store produce section and grow your own herbs at home. Anybody can easily grow herbs at home on a window sill or balcony railing. Not only will you save money, but these are also aesthetically pleasing making them a good kitchen décor feature.
This herb garden kit has everything you need to start your own herb garden.
If you’ve ever bought a greeting card at a grocery store, then you know how expensive they are. You’re shelling out about 5 bucks for a piece of cardstock with a pretty design on it. Go to the Dollar Tree to buy your greeting cards instead. You can find some very nice cards there for about 400% or cheaper!!
Batteries are pretty much a necessity these days with all the gadgets, toys, and technology. Just because they are essential, doesn’t mean you need to pay an arm and a leg for them. Instead head on over to a warehouse store such as Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club and stock up on bulk packages of batteries (you know you’re going to need them).
If you don’t have a membership to a warehouse store, you can still save money by buying them on Amazon. Another option is to buy rechargeable batteries. Of course, they do cost more upfront but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.
These are the rechargeable batteries I use and they save me a bunch of money every year.
It’s okay to glance through magazines while waiting in the check outline. Believe it or not, grocery stores don’t put them there for your entertainment, the place them there for profits.
Buying magazines at a grocery store costs you anywhere from $3-$6 a pop. If you are just buying that magazine to read the one article that caught your eye, then you’d probably forget about it before your groceries were loaded into your car.
On the other hand, if you buy the same magazine every week or month, then you are better off subscribing to have them delivered to your home. Best Deals Magazines has great prices, you could get a one-year subscription to a magazine for the price of one or two copies at grocery store prices.
Diapers are a huge weekly expense that all new parents have to deal with. Of course, you can save money by using cloth diapers, but most people prefer disposable diapers for convenience.
Buying diapers from a grocery store is also very convenient but also comes with a huge cost. Instead, sign up for Amazon Subscribe and Save service, you will still get the convenience of having them delivered to your door when you need them while saving money every week.
More ways to save on groceries
Light bulbs, like greeting cards and batteries, are grossly overpriced at grocery stores. It just doesn’t make sense to buy them for so much more than you need to. Instead, stock up when you go to Costco, Sam’s Club, or another warehouse store. If you don’t have a membership, then Amazon is your best option for the lowest prices.
Precut fruit and vegetables
Precut fruit and vegetables do make life easier, but again, that convenience comes with a price tag. According to Consumer Reports, so of these ready-made items can cost up to 370% more!
Some ready-to-cook items cost as much as 370% more than the normal versions, an analysis by Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart magazine found. Really, are you willing to pay 370% more just to have your fruit cut into cubes? You could easily do it yourself at home with this nifty tool in minutes while saving a bunch of money.
Unless your water has been tested and deemed unsafe to drink, there is no reason to be buying bottled water. If you must buy bottled water, then buy it at a warehouse club store. You should also opt to buy gallons instead of single bottles which saves you from not having to pay for plastic.
If your water is safe to drink but you just don’t like the taste, all you really need is a water filtration faucet head or a filtered pitcher, so you can enjoy the taste of your water while saving money.
Over the counter meds
Over the counter meds are expensive enough, why pay even more buying them at the grocery store? You are much better off buying what you can at a warehouse store, Amazon, or even your local drug store. You can even order them online at discount prices on site like YouDrugStore.com.
Pet food prices are not that bad at grocery stores but what they have available may not be what your pet needs. Grocery stores usually have a selection of foods but they are not always geared towards your pet’s requirements.
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Party supplies, like greeting cards, are grossly overpriced at a grocery store. Even if you are just picking up a few helium balloons, paper plates, and candles. You can get everything you need for a party at the dollar tree for so much less, it’s worth the trip.
Personal Care Items
Like over the counter meds, personal care items are extremely overpriced at the grocery store. Again, you are better hitting up your local warehouse club store or using Amazon Subscribe and Save program.
Even your local drugstore will have lower prices on personal care items. To save even more, make sure you use your loyalty card, use coupons when possible, and stock up when they are on sale so you never have to pay full price for these items.
Individually wrapped snacks
Buying individually wrapped snacks anywhere is a waste of money and even more so if you pick them up at a grocery store. All you are doing is paying more money for packaging that ends up in the trash. Instead, buy the full-sized version and use snack bags or small snack containers to make your own snack-sized versions at home.
Ever notice how grocery stores always have those great smelling rotisserie chickens right as you walk in. Yeah, this is the reason you should never go shopping hungry. It’s much too convenient to grab one of these for supper to save time but the cost is ridiculously high.
My grocery store sells them for about $8, for a tiny chicken, no less. That’s nuts, you can pick up a small chicken for about $3 when on sale and make it yourself. Get yourself a rotisserie oven and you’ll have the investment paid off in no time with the money you’ll save.
I know that it may be tempting to buy these things at a grocery store because it’s just so much more convenient. But you are flushing your money down the toilet by paying way more than you have to.
Instead, keep a running list of these types of items and stock up once a month when you hit up a warehouse store. Or better yet order them online and still get the convenience without the high prices.