10 Grocery Items You’re Most Definitely Overpaying For

If you’ve been feeling the pinch at the grocery store lately, you’re not alone. With inflation soaring to a 40-year high in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many Americans are looking for ways to stretch their grocery budgets further. A recent American Farm Bureau Federation study found that the average American family is expected to spend an additional $1,200 on groceries this year compared to 2022. But we’ve got you covered with some sneaky supermarket items where you might be unknowingly overpaying. So the next time you shop, you can free up some cash for other essentials:

Pre-cut and Pre-Washed Produce

Sure, convenience comes at a cost – a hefty one in this case. According to a recent NPR article, pre-washed and chopped veggies can cost up to three times more than their whole counterparts. Wash your own fruits and veggies and save!

Organic on Everything

Organic is great, but not for every item. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a yearly “Dirty Dozen” list highlighting fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue. Focus on buying organic for those items, and choose conventionally grown produce for items on the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” list to save money.

Name Brand Everything

Store-brand or generic alternatives often mirror the quality of name brands at a fraction of the cost. A 2023 Consumer Reports survey revealed that 73% of shoppers have switched to store-brand groceries due to rising prices. Don’t be afraid to explore generic options!

Pre-Marinated Meats

The allure of a quick and easy weeknight meal is undeniable, but pre-marinated meats come at a premium. A 2022 study by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association found that marinating your own meat at home can save up to 50% compared to pre-marinated options. Plus, you get to control the ingredients!

Fresh Herbs (Unless You Use Them All)

Those little bunches of fresh herbs can add a pop of flavor, but they can also wilt and turn brown in your fridge before you get a chance to use them all. Consider buying frozen herbs instead – they’re flash-frozen at peak freshness and often much cheaper.

Single-Serving Snacks

Convenience comes at a cost, especially when it comes to portion control. A USA Today article points out that buying larger packages and dividing them into single-serving portions yourself can save significant amounts of money.

Drinks Other Than Water

Sugary sodas, juices, and even flavored waters can significantly increase your grocery bill. Invest in a reusable water bottle and ditch the sugary drinks. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your health too!

Out-of-Season Produce

Berries in December? Stone fruits in January? Supermarkets can offer almost any produce year-round, but those off-season offerings come at a premium price. Stick to seasonal fruits and vegetables for the best flavor and value.

Anything on the Impulse Buy End Cap

Those strategically placed end-cap displays are designed to tempt you with sugary treats and impulse buys. Stick to your grocery list and avoid the checkout aisle extras to avoid unnecessary spending.

Pre-Cooked Bacon

Sizzling bacon adds a delicious touch to breakfast, but pre-cooked bacon can be significantly more expensive than buying regular bacon and cooking it yourself. Save money and enjoy the satisfying sizzle!

Pre-Shredded Cheese

The convenience of pre-shredded cheese comes at a price – up to 30% more than buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself. Invest in a cheese grater and enjoy the savings!

Seasoning Packets

A well-stocked spice rack can add flavor to your meals for a fraction of the cost of pre-made seasoning packets. Explore the world of spices and discover the joy of creating your own flavor combinations.

Coffee Pods

While convenient, single-serve coffee pods can be expensive in the long run. Consider a reusable coffee filter or a French press for a more economical and eco-friendly way to brew your morning cup.

Anything Pre-Made or Pre-Chopped

The more processing a product undergoes, the more it will cost you. Pre-spiralized zucchini noodles, chopped salad mixes, and pre-riced cauliflower might seem like time-savers, but they come with a hefty markup. Do the chopping yourself and save!

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