If you shop for everything at your local grocery store, you're probably overpaying. Here are 13 items that you should never buy at your grocer...and what to do instead.
1. Garlic salt and other seasoned salts.
You're basically paying the store big money to mix some salt in with some dried herbs. Make it at home, and you'll have the perfect amount for your next recipe. Plus, it will taste better.
2. Any vegetables or fruits that aren't in season.
Out-of-season produce costs more because it's driven to you from across the country. That's bad for the environment, and it's not even worth the extra money. You're probably not getting the freshest options available (those go to the people who actually live near the fruit), so you'll get bland, tasteless produce for your money.
3. Pre-cut vegetables.
You're paying quite a bit to have someone else cut your vegetables for you. You can handle it; cutting your own produce will save you a tremendous amount of money. Plus, there's less of a chance of getting a food-borne illness.
4. Seasoned or marinated meat.
Nothing's easier than marinating meat. Do it yourself, and you'll save a couple of bucks on each visit. Plus, you'll be able to tailor the flavor to your taste.
These are often much cheaper online. Remember, buy in bulk. It's not like you're ever going to stop washing your clothes (hopefully).
If it's not on sale, head to your local big box store. You'll likely find better deals. That is, provided you're willing to look through coupons and wait for a sale.
7. Birthday cakes.Shaws
Sure, we know why you buy birthday cakes from the grocery store. It's fast, convenient, expensive, and ultimately unsatisfying. Next time, grab some mix and make your own cake at home.
Ever notice that the store keeps the batteries right by the cash register? That's because they know that they're great impulse buys. They're usually marked up, so compare prices before you buy.
Well, specifically, cut-up chicken. Next time you're at the store, note the shocking price difference between whole chickens and cut-up chicken meat. Learn how to cut your own meat, and you'll be saving hundreds of dollars per year.
A cheap bread machine or a stand mixer can give you fresh, delicious bread every day. It's not hard to learn how to make bread, and it's much, much cheaper than heading to the store for a loaf every few days. Be sure to measure your recipes with a scale instead of with measuring cups for the best possible results.
11. Bread crumbs.
Okay, so you want to make some meatballs. Instead of running to the store for seasoned bread crumbs, make your own with (shocker) leftover bread. Bonus points if you're already making your own bread!
Yes, liquor is a bit overpriced, especially if you're not picky. Wholesale stores like Costco often carry liquor, and in many states, law forbids them from requiring memberships for purchase. If you need beer, wine, or liquor, visit your local wholesaler first.
13. Herbs and spices.
You can find most spices cheaper online. If you're especially industrious, you can grow your own. Fresh spices taste much better (especially when you're not spending $2-3 per package).