Are you in love with your neighborhood grocery store and buy everything you need there? If this is the case, then your local grocery store probably loves you too. It loves that you’re willing to spend so much money on items you could get for a whole lot less money elsewhere. It is better to keep supporting your local store, but skip the following 12 items and purchase them from a different store. These are the items you should never buy at the grocery store when you have cost-effective options available.
1. Greeting cards
Anyone who’s purchased a grocery store greeting card has felt the sticker shock. $6 for a piece of cardstock with a vibrant design? You can do better than that. Go to the nearby store and pick up some equally pretty options for a few dollars. Purchase items in bulk online and spend even less money. Or if you like to make crafts simply make your own greeting cards.
Batteries are a crucial part of life specifically if you’re a parent on Christmas morning. But, there’s no reason to overpay. Head to the warehouse store of your preferred choice where you can stock up on bulk packages that bring your per-battery cost down. Not a member of any grocery store? Amazon also has good prices on bulk batteries.
A single issue of a magazine at the grocery store will be expensive and set you back $3 or $4. For several publications, you can subscribe for the entire year for less than $20. There are also adequate ways to get discounted access to your favorite grocery items. Or go to your nearby library where the magazines are absolutely free to read.
Who knew it cost so much to cover your little one’s bottom? Well, experienced parents know, but it’s often a surprise to new moms and dads. Using cloth diapers you can wash and reuse is always an option, but for many people, disposables are the only way to go. Buying those from a grocery store is easy, but you’ll pay a lot less per diaper by going through the Amazon Subscribe and Save service. It gives Prime members 20% off diaper subscriptions. Plus, if you schedule deliveries right, you should never have to worry about finding yourself amid a middle of the night blowout diaper-less.
Beer and wine are money-makers for grocery stores, but you can minimize the markup by shopping at a warehouse club instead. Thanks to many state laws, even people who aren’t members can walk into these stores to buy booze.
Are you really buying toothbrushes at the grocery store? Don’t you go to the dentist twice a year? If you do, you’ll find they have drawers full of them for the taking. It is true most people go to the dentist once every six months, and you should change your toothbrush every three months. However, we bet if you ask really nicely, your dentist will give you two to last until your next visit.
7. Special Occasion Cakes
Getting a birthday cake at the grocery store is convenient, but it isn’t all that cheap, especially if you need to feed a crowd. Instead, we’re going to send you back to your warehouse club where you can get a giant decorated sheet cake for the same price many grocery stores charge for their small ones.
8. Pet food
The grocery store isn’t the worst place to buy pet food, but you can do better. You can set up automated shipments and get a discount in return. Stores also offer competitive prices, coupons and loyalty programs that can result in free food. Don’t forget to also visit your local feed store to look for deals.
9. Bottled Water
Unless you happen to live in a city where the water is unfit to drink, there is no reason to buy bottled water. The water from your tap will hydrate you just fine. Invest in a couple of reusable bottles and fill them for cheap at home. If the water tastes awful, buy a filtering pitcher, and keep it in the fridge for a cold fresh drink when you want it and to refill those reusable bottles. If you absolutely must have individual bottles from a store, buy them at your warehouse club.
10. Frozen Pancakes
Why frozen pancakes are a thing is a mystery. Making pancakes at home is super easy. A basic recipe takes about five minutes to whip up and slightly longer to cook. We know you can do it. Cook up a big batch on the weekend and freeze the extras to eat throughout the week. Your cost will be pennies per pancake.
11. Basic Baking Mixes
Let’s take it one step further and say you should banish buying all basic baking mixes from the grocery store. If you’re baking, you really aren’t saving any time if you think about how long it takes to mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. All you’re doing is paying more. Same can be said for basic cookie, cake and brownie mixes. These things aren’t that hard to make from scratch. By skipping the mixes, you’ll save money and possibly be a little healthier too.
Speaking of baking, the grocery store knows you might need some equipment to cook up all the delicious food you’re buying. That’s why most have a selection of pots, pans and even small kitchen appliances for purchase. Resist the urge. You can probably find better prices and quality at stores. For rock-bottom prices on your kitchenware, wait until the Black Friday sales when department stores sell theirs for a song.