Without planning, grocery shopping can be a serious money drain. Be sure to watch out for these 14 things you add to your grocery cart that are generally a waste of money. Make a note of these items so you can cross them off your grocery shopping list, and find out what to buy or make instead!
Precut Fruits & Vegetables
While precut fruits and veggies can save time, they often cost more than their whole counterparts. Instead, invest in a good knife and cutting board to prep your produce at home. It's a cost-effective way to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables while saving money in the process.
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Opting for pricier name-brand coffee is often an unnecessary expense. Many store-brand or generic coffees offer comparable quality and flavor at a fraction of the cost, making them a budget-friendly alternative for savvy shoppers.
While convenient, energy bars can be an expensive substitute for whole, unprocessed foods - and they're often full of sugar. Creating homemade, nutrient-dense snacks like trail mix or granola bars can be a more cost-effective and nutritious option.
Canned Beans & Legumes
Canned beans and legumes are a pantry staple for many, but buying them pre-cooked can cost you more than necessary. Instead, opt for dried beans, and buy them in bulk. They're not only more budget-friendly but also healthier since you can control the sodium content. Soak, cook, and season them yourself for a tastier and cost-effective alternative.
We all love the smell of freshly baked treats, but buying baked goods at the store can be really expensive. Plus, they may not be as fresh as they seem. Instead, try baking at home – it's not only fun, but also saves you money. This way you can enjoy warm, homemade goodies without breaking the bank.
Instead of buying canned or boxed chicken stock or bouillon cubes, consider making your own. Save chicken bones and vegetable scraps that you would otherwise throw away, then simmer them to create a flavorful and cost-effective homemade stock. It's a win-win for your wallet and your cooking, and a great way to reduce food waste.
Those colorful cereal boxes with familiar logos can be tempting, especially to your kids and grandkids, but generic or store-brand cereals are often just as delicious. Save your dollars by choosing the more affordable options, and your wallet will thank you in the long run.
Store-bought pasta sauces often come with a premium price tag, without the taste to match! Experiment with making your own pasta sauces instead using canned tomatoes, herbs, and spices. You'll discover that homemade sauce is not only cheaper but also so much tastier.
Pre-made baking mixes might seem convenient, but they come with a much higher price tag than the individual ingredients. Instead, stock up on basic baking ingredients like flour, sugar, and baking powder. With a few simple recipes, you can whip up pancakes, muffins, and biscuits from scratch, and it's almost often cheaper in the end. And definitely tastier!
While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, it tends to cost more per ounce compared to block cheese. Buy blocks of cheese and grate it yourself for a fresher and more economical option for your favorite recipes, not to mention one with no added ingredients except cheese.
Packaged trail mix can be pricey, especially considering you can also create your own mix tailored to your specific preferences. Purchase nuts, dried fruits, and your favorite treats in bulk, then mix and match them to create your own personalized and budget-friendly trail mix.
Store-bought salad dressings can be expensive and are almost always loaded with preservatives and other nasty ingredients. Instead, create your dressings at home using basic ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. It's not only healthier but also more economical, and much tastier!
Buying fruits and veggies out of season can hit your wallet hard. Stick to in-season produce for the freshest and most budget-friendly options. It'll also taste better, and if you get it from the right place it will also help support your local farmers.
Bottled water is convenient but can drain your wallet over time. Consider investing in a reusable water bottle and at home water filtration system. Not only is it cost-effective, but it's also eco-friendly, reducing single-use plastic waste.
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