The 5 Items You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store
These seemingly convenient items come with a hefty price tag.
Let's face it—going to the grocery store can be a bit of a chore, especially if you find yourself there multiple times a week. Once you make it to the counter, the last thing you want to do is add yet another store to your already jam-packed errand list.
While grocery stores might have evolved to include all kinds of bells and whistles these days, we've got some insider knowledge to share with you. According to a recent study by Reader's Digest, there are certain items you should avoid buying at a grocery store altogether if you want to be a savvy shopper.
We know it can be tempting to pick up those extra items while you're already at the store (i.e. that bottle of detergent or a fire starter for the grill), but don't fall for the grocery store's fancy displays and marketing tactics. It might seem like a small price to pay for the convenience of getting everything you need in one place, but those extra costs can add up quickly.
Stick to the food aisles and steer clear of these overpriced items; you'll be a much happier (and richer) shopper for it.
The 5 Most Overpriced Items at the Grocery Store
It’s always tempting to peruse the beauty aisle to discover what might be missing from your getting-ready routine, but we’d recommend making your final purchases elsewhere. According to the RD article, a regular ol’ bottle of shampoo can cost you roughly $20 more if you buy it from Kroger instead of Sam’s Club. Ouch.
When you’re in need of skincare products, makeup, or even a hairbrush, do a little research first and see if there's a local beauty supply store in your area that can offer you better prices and a larger selection.
What pairs perfectly with that birthday cake you just picked up from the bakery? Yep, a fun birthday card. Heck, sometimes, you don’t even think about the major events coming up in the month until you pass the greeting card aisle in the grocery store (p.s. Father’s Day is closer than you think!).
Unfortunately, grocery stores know you better than you know yourself, and upcharge a ridiculous amount for a simple letter and envelope. Unless you’re shopping at Trader Joe's, (which has the greatest, most affordable cards), stop at the dollar store for a way more cost-efficient way to say "I Love You."
Just because the grocery store is the cheapest place to buy yourself food doesn’t mean you’ll find the cheapest food for your pets. The selection is fairly small, which allows the price to skyrocket.
Warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco will give you low-priced bulk options to feed your furry friends on a budget, or, you can sign up for Amazon auto-shipments at a discount that will show up right to your door (saving you from hauling 50 pounds of dog food in and out of your cart).
It’s only logical that when planning out your meal you discover you’ll also need to proper tools to cook it. But, having a little bit of foresight can save you some serious coin.
Food industry expert Phil Lempert told Reader’s Digest many non-food items like cooking utensils go through a "rack jobber" or a vendor that rents space in a supermarket to display and sell their goods. "There's going to be a higher markup because you're dealing through a distributor," he explained.
Instead, consider making a separate stop at a discount retailer like Walmart (or restaurant depot!), where you're more likely to find these items at a lower price, or browse around online for the best deals.
Convenience is key with these household staples, but lightbulbs and batteries can have a massive 60% markup on grocery store shelves compared to other stores, the article states. Buy them online and in bulk to keep the cost down, but your house energized.