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15 Costly Mistakes People Make At Grocery Stores

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Grocery shopping and cooking are effective ways to save money compared to eating out. However, it is common for people to overspend at grocery stores without even realizing it. Today, we will discuss how people waste money when shopping at the grocery store.

1. Shopping Without a List

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Not having a shopping list can lead to impulse purchases, leaving you with a cart full of items that don’t add to complete meals for the week. Lists help you stay focused and avoid overspending.

2. Only Buying Brand Name Products

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While brand loyalty is common, opting for store brands can yield significant savings, often around 25%. Remember, some store brands are equivalent or even superior in quality to their more expensive counterparts.

3. Not Buying Items on Sale

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Sales and discounts are an easy way to reduce your grocery bill. Stock up on non-perishables or items you use often when they’re on sale.

4. Only Shopping at One Store

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Diversifying your shopping destinations can lead to substantial savings. Different stores often have various price points and promotions, so exploring alternatives like warehouse clubs, dollar stores, and discount supermarkets can help you find better deals.

5. Not Using Coupons

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Coupon apps and digital coupons conveniently save money without clipping physical coupons. Many stores offer loyalty programs with digital coupons accessible through their apps.

6. Buying Prepared Foods

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While pre-made meals are convenient, they can come with a steep markup. Purchasing raw ingredients and cooking at home is more cost-effective and allows you to control ingredients and portion sizes.

7. Not Buying in Bulk

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Bulk buying is especially advantageous for frequently used items like meat, toilet paper, coffee, and olive oil. It often comes with a lower cost per unit and can save you money in the long run.

8. Buying Food They Already Have at Home

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Before shopping, take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer to avoid purchasing items you already possess.

9. Not Buying Soon-to-Expire Products

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Discounted soon-to-expire items are often perfectly fine for immediate consumption or can be frozen for later use. Doing so is a great way to save on perishable goods.

10. Buying Fewer Plant Foods

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Incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is both budget-friendly and environmentally sustainable. Vegetables and grains are often less expensive than meat.

11. Not Studying the Seasons of Groceries

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Seasonal ingredients are usually fresher and less expensive. Building your meals around what’s in season can save costs and reduce food waste.

12. Not Using Store Apps

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Many grocery stores have dedicated apps that provide information about discounts, deals, and promotions. These apps make it easier to save without the hassle of paper coupons.

13. Shopping on Crowded Days

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Avoiding peak shopping periods can lead to a more efficient and focused shopping experience. Fewer crowds mean less impulse buying and more attention to your shopping list.

14. Not Paying Attention to Unit Prices

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Unit prices (price per unit or ounce) help you compare the actual value of products, especially when buying in bulk. Check unit prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

15. Going to the Store Hungry

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Shopping on an empty stomach can lead to impulse purchases of unhealthy, expensive snacks and items you don’t need. Before shopping, eating a meal or snack can help you make more rational choices and stick to your budget.

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