Leave It On The Shelves! What You Should Never Buy At The Grocery Store
You might think making a list before going grocery shopping, snipping coupons, and sticking to your to-buy list is the best way to save on grocery shopping. But buying everything at the grocery story might actually be costing you too much money.
There are certain items that are overpriced at grocery stores and you should either skip them or shop for them elsewhere.
For example, cubed or presliced meat at the grocery story has a high markup of up to 60 percent. “Since meat has a refrigerated shelf life of just five days and must then be thrown out, most meat departments in grocery stores aim for a minimum 30 percent markup, and often much higher, to make up for losses,” consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch tells Pop Sugar.
Steaks are marked up 40 percent to 50 percent and even some cheaper cuts, such as round and chuck meat, are priced 60 percent more than they are worth. And get this, according to Woroch, lesser cuts of meat, such as the type used for stir-fries or stews, are marked up as much as 300 percent. Instead buy meats that are near their sell-by date or get them at bulk stores like Costco for savings of up to 30 percent off. (Costco, Target, Walmart and the like are also good places for batteries and detergent.)
Another thing to skip at the grocery store is name-brand spices. They may cost you a whopping 97 percent more. “Smart shoppers can buy spices at a natural food store to save you up to 97 percent on the basic spices people buy regularly. For instance, a $3.52 jar of bay leaves at the grocery store will cost you only 12 cents for the same amount at a natural foods store. Drugstores and discount stores also sell spices cheaper than at a grocery store,” explains Woroch.
If you need baked goods, do it yourself. It’s much cheaper to bake a cake from a box — or even a cake from scratch — than to buy one from the grocery story which could be marked up nearly 100 percent. When buying bread, get buy-one-get-one-free deals or buy when bread is marked down, which usually happens when the bread is nearing the expiration date or end of the day.
Personal care items should also be bought somewhere other than the grocery store. The best prices can be found at drug stores. And for items like cotton swabs and even shampoo, check out the dollar stores.