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Inflation has put a strain on many a budget, but one of the most essential categories inflation has unfortunately impacted is groceries.
Navigating higher prices means being financially savvy and knowing what to buy and avoid at the store.
Here are 15 things to never buy at the grocery store if you want to spend your money more wisely.
#1. Bottled Water
Bottled water is often majorly marked up, and the quality isn’t always much better than what you’ll get at home.
If you want to make more room in your grocery budget, consider investing in a water filter for your sink and a reusable water bottle to always have a drink on the go.
Grocery stores often get people with high prices by offering them convenience.
If you’re at the store and need makeup anyway, you might purchase it.
Makeup is never cheap at the grocery store.
Always go to a dedicated cosmetics store for the best prices on your favorite makeup items.
Batteries have never been cheap, and while you may think you’re getting a deal at your local grocery store, chances are you’re not.
So, where are you supposed to get batteries?
The best place to visit is your nearby Costco or online in bulk on sites like Amazon.
While prices may be comparable sometimes, you may even want to visit your nearby CVS when they’re selling batteries.
#4. Name-Brand Products
Name-brand products are more expensive yet rarely provide anything unique you can’t find in generic options.
If you do have your heart set on certain name-brand products, there are some types you should avoid.
One such example is cereal, for which prices for name-brands have been rising exponentially.
Another great example is chips.
#5. Frozen or Prepared Meals
Frozen and prepared meals or snacks are convenient when you’re on the go and have little time to prepare something for yourself.
However, they’re also quite expensive and only give you one serving of what you want.
Avoid these products and squeeze in time for meal prep to stretch your dollar further.
Diapers are another common product sold in stores but are rarely worth the exorbitant prices the stores ask for.
Always go to a big box store for these parenting products instead of spending the big bucks to get the same thing while buying other groceries.
#7. Laundry Detergent
Doing laundry is no longer an affordable endeavor, especially if you’re doing laundry for the home family.
It’s best to get your laundry detergent from Warehouse stores or even retailers like Target, especially when they’re having a sale on home products.
#8. Precut Fruits and Vegetables
Precut fruits and vegetables might seem like the natural choice when you need something quick for a party or want a quick snack.
However, these types of platters or containers are rarely cost-effective.
You can spend much less on the produce, wash it, cut it yourself, and get far more out of the deal.
Alcohol isn’t generally cheap, except for certain types like wines or vodka, which can often run cheaper if you choose the right brands.
However, cases of beer, other hard liquor, and even seltzers can be priced way higher than they’re supposed to be in grocery stores or convenience stores.
See what types of deals your nearby liquor store offers, or consider a store dedicated solely to alcohol if you find yourself spending way too much while getting groceries.
#10. Cookware and Bakeware
The cookware and bakeware you might find alongside kitchen utensils in one secluded grocery store aisle are overpriced and poorly produced.
Rely on home goods stores to give you better affordable cookware and bakeware options built to last.
#11. Greeting Cards
Greeting cards have always been overpriced, but even these products are not shielded against inflation.
If you need a greeting card, a birthday card, or another card to celebrate a special occasion, try a dollar store where you’ll find equally great yet affordable options.
#12. Magazines or Books
Granted, I doubt many people out there are going to the grocery store to purchase magazines and books, but if you find yourself intrigued with one there, don’t buy it.
Magazine subscriptions are incredibly affordable for most types of magazines, and you can buy books for cheap at thrift stores or even online if you have an e-reader.
#13. Party Supplies
Party supplies shouldn’t be as expensive as they are, especially when you see them at the grocery store.
Party supplies should almost always be purchased from party stores unless you find good deals at other retailers for essentials like themed plates, disposable utensils, and other basic products.
Save Money On Groceries
It’s no secret that grocery shopping is a significant expense every month. While most of us know a few ways to reduce this bill, there are many other simple things we can do.
Learn the easy tricks to spend less on groceries and pocket some savings.
Get Free Things When Shopping Drugstores
Did you know you can walk out of many drug stores with hundreds of dollars worth of items and only pay pennies?
It’s called the drugstore game and I walk you through how to save thousands every year by shopping at CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, and more.
Alternatives To Cable TV
Are you sick and tired paying your cable bill?
In the past, your only option was going without TV. But not anymore. Now there are many options out there.
Here are the best ones to look into.
Fun Money Saving Challenges
Do you find it boring to save money?
If you are motivation by turning things into a game, check out these money saving challenges.
There is a game for you that will make saving fun and exciting so that you make it a priority to save money.
21 Tricks Advertisers Use to Get You to Spend Money
When it comes to spending, we all like to think that we are in control.
The truth is, advertisers know exactly how to get us to spend more than we intended.
By understanding their tactics, you can be better prepared to resist them and keep your hard-earned dollars in your wallet.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.