The grocery store is one of the best, most convenient places to shop, as almost everything you need for your home can be found in just one place. However, are you sure you’re paying the best possible price for all of your grocery items? These aisles can sometimes hold hidden expenses—and it’s best that you know what to watch out for.
Approximately 20% of all produce found in grocery stores is thrown away due to spoilage. To compensate for the produce that is thrown out and won’t be sold, grocery stores often add a markup of 50% to 75%.
Bagged salads and pre-sliced or pre-chopped produce are even more expensive. Consumers often pay about 35% more compared to the whole fruit or vegetable. Chopping your own veggies only takes a few minutes—is it really worth paying extra for?
If you want to get the freshest produce at the lowest prices, the best thing to do is shop at a local farmer’s market instead.
2) Cubed or pre-sliced meat
Are you shopping for pre-formed burger patties or cubed meats? Since meats have a 5-day refrigerated shelf life, most grocery store meat sections have a minimum of a 30% markup. Chuck and round meat are often marked up to about 60%, while lesser pieces of meat used for stews can even have a markup as high as 300%.
If you want to save some money, shop for bigger slabs of meat and ask the butcher to chop it up in smaller pieces for you (for free!), or look for meats that are marked down. You can also buy meats in bulk in places such as Costco or Sam’s Club, or bulk distributors like Zaycon Foods, then refrigerate or freeze what you don’t need for later on.
3) Bottled water
Who needs overly expensive bottled water you can safely drink water straight from the tap in most towns? It may seem outrageous, but bottled water just isn’t overpriced by a little—it has a 4,000% markup. Yes, 4,000%. It’s bad for the environment, too! Carry a reusable bottle instead.
Batteries in the grocery store are marked up by as much as 60 to 70%, so keep in mind that you’ll typically get a better deal at Walmart and Target. To save even more money, you can start buying batteries in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club. You can even get great deals on batteries at Amazon.
These are some of the most overpriced items in grocery stores across the nation. It may require more time and effort to shop for these items elsewhere, but remember that when it comes to these outrageous markups, you’re the one who pays.
Photo Credit: iClipart
(All posts may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.)