Ever wondered why prices vary so much while you are grocery shopping? Have you noticed the “price per ounce” labels under the item on the shelf? Grocery stores and even big box stores are always going to do whatever they can to up their profit margin. By being a savvy shopper, and by not falling for the impulse or time-saver buys, you can save a lot of money. That means you stretch your grocery budget even further! And isn’t that what we are all looking to do? Make your buck go further by remembering these 6 things to never buy at the grocery store.
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It’s easier to pick up that container of pre-cut celery sticks. Grocers know this. And they up that price tag because they know that you love that you don’t have to chop celery. That tub of celery sticks or even the individual sealed containers of fresh produce snacks will cost you a lot in the long run. You are paying approximately $2.99 for a 14-ounce tub of celery sticks. Down the aisle, a bit, the bag of celery still on its stalk could be as low as $0.99 some weeks. That bag for $0.99 can produce way over 16-ounces if you take the time to find the largest bunch. Isn’t cutting up some celery worth $2 toward your budget?
The same concept applies to single-serve or individually packaged bags of snacks. Those little bags of chips or crackers that are so easy to toss into your kids’ lunch boxes are costing you $0.24 per bag!
I have yet to understand why anyone buys frozen rice when a huge bag of rice is always going to be the better buy. And rice will last for years in your pantry when stored properly. Unlike frozen vegetables, frozen rice is never a money saver. A 12-ounce box of cooked, frozen rice costs around $1.89 where I live, while a 32-ounce bag of rice costs $1.39. That $1.39 will also yield about 90 to 100 ounces of cooked rice.
Sometimes we just don’t want to have to be inconvenienced and have to spend more time in the kitchen. I get that. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your budget to gain a little time. Instead of buying high priced, overly processed convenience foods, why not try your hand at making freezer meals instead? A few hours on a weekend can get you a ton of pre-made meals ready to pop into your crockpot or oven on a busy weeknight.
Buying your poultry raw and spending the time to either roast it or bake it will always be more cost efficient. A pre-roasted chicken costs about $0.46 an ounce. Buying a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts when they are on sale for $1.99 a pound (or $0.12 per ounce) saves you $0.34 a pound!!
Yes, they are just adorable. Housewares and other items that you grab on impulse in the grocery store are always marked up. If you are in need of a new cookie sheet or baking pan, make a special trip to a different store. Your options will be larger and the cost will be much more budget friendly.
Taking the time to plan your shopping trips and meal planning can be so much better for your budget. Make sure you are taking advantage of sales, but make a list and a plan, and stick to it. Impulse buys will always be the bane of your budgeting efforts.
Have anything else you refuse to purchase at the grocery store? I’d love to hear what you avoid and how you do your shopping to keep your budget in check.