Navigating the supermarket aisles can be daunting when trying to stick to a budget and eat healthily. While some items are no-brainers, others might surprise you with their costs or questionable nutritional value.
This guide unveils items you should avoid purchasing at your local grocery store to help you save money and make better dietary choices.
You can find better bargains for greeting cards at discount stores or online. Supermarket greeting cards typically have a hefty markup, so you’ll pay more than necessary.
The newsstand and magazine section at your grocery store is also an area you’d be wise to avoid. The magazine markup can be as high as 400%, a tax that a traditional bookstore wouldn’t charge. Consider digital subscriptions or purchase magazines from a discount bookseller.
Although purchasing diapers at the grocery store is convenient, you’ll find better deals elsewhere. Warehouse clubs like Costco, renowned for their incredible discounts, sell diapers in bulk packages at significantly cheaper prices than at a regular grocery store.
Prepared meals from grocery stores come with a high price tag and contain a lot of sodium and preservatives to extend their shelf life. Invest time into meal planning and preparing your dishes at home. Doing this lets you control the ingredients and portion sizes, aligning better with a healthy diet and saving you money.
Most frozen foods contain preservatives that add harmful chemicals to your diet and lack essential nutrients. These dishes also contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium. Cook your meals from scratch using fresh ingredients to avoid the unhealthy additives of frozen dinners.
Deli sandwiches often have less fresh bread and pre-packaged meats loaded with preservatives. If you lead a busy life, consider preparing your sandwich ingredients in advance to save money and enjoy a fresher meal.
Office Supply Items
Pens, paper, staplers, and other small office items come with a higher price tag at the grocery store instead of settling for grocery shopping, shopping online, or visiting a discount retailer. You can find these essential office supplies at more affordable prices, allowing you to keep some extra cash in your pocket.
While certain states allow alcohol sales in regular gsupermarkets, they are often expensive. Purchase your beer, wine, and spirits from a warehouse or dedicated liquor store for the best deal. This way, you can enjoy quality libations without breaking the bank.
Hot Dogs and Sausages
Although these processed meats can be cheap at the store, their high sodium and additives make them unhealthy. If you’re craving a hot dog or sausage, buy organic ones from your local butcher shop to avoid mystery ingredients and support your neighborhood businesses.
Buying bottled water is not only bad for the environment but also bad for your wallet. Invest in a good-quality reusable bottle and use filtered tap water instead. Most of the time, bottled water isn’t much cleaner than filtered tap.
Supermarket smoothies include added sugars and artificial flavors to enhance their taste, making them less healthy than you might realize. Instead, make your smoothies at home using fresh fruits and vegetables.
Save money on dairy products by shopping in bulk at warehouse stores. You’ll find that the price per ounce is much lower than what you’d pay for individual servings from your grocery store. Also, look for store-brand versions of your favorite dairy products; they’re usually cheaper than the name brands.
Grocery stores charge extra for batteries, which can quickly add up. A smart alternative is to stock up on rechargeable batteries or invest in a solar charger. Not only is this an eco-friendly choice, but it’s also a cost-saving solution that will meet all your battery needs in the long run.
Many household cleaning supplies are cheaper at discount stores like Target or Walmart than at the grocery store. If you don’t have access to these locations, you can also purchase items in bulk online and save shipping costs by buying multiples of the same product.
Pre-cut Meats and Vegetables
Pre-cut meats and vegetables may seem like a time-saver, but you pay extra for the convenience. To save money and enjoy fresh produce, skip pre-cut items and cut them yourself. Not only is it cheaper, but you can also control the size of your portions to meet your dietary needs better.
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