12 Expensive Grocery Store Buys You Should Avoid

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Grocery shopping on a budget is easier said than done, especially with the current state of inflation. With so many options and seemingly great deals, it’s easy to get carried away and buy things you don’t need or are unhealthy.

It’s not uncommon for shoppers to feel like they are losing control over their grocery spending. Save money and your health by skipping these items.

1. Pre-Packaged Meals

Convenience comes at a price; pre-packaged meals are often high in sodium, preservatives, and added sugars. Instead, opt for ingredients like fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins so you prepare meals at home.

2. Frozen Juice Concentrates

Frozen juice concentrates aren’t recommended. They’re often high in added sugars and lack the nutritional benefits of fresh juice. 

Frozen juice concentrates are made by removing most of the water from the juice and then freezing it. When reconstituted, these concentrates are often sweetened with additional sugars, which add extra calories.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children and adolescents should limit their intake of juice and instead consume whole fruits. 

3. Processed Snacks

Processed snacks, such as chips and crackers are usually high in sodium and unhealthy fats. Choose healthier options like cut-up veggies and hummus, or a handful of nuts.

Hot Tip: Not only are processed snacks bad for you, they are addictive! Keeping everything in moderation is a good rule to live by.

4. Bottled Water

Not only is bottled water bad for the environment, but it’s also more expensive than tap water. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and fill it up at home or at a water fountain.

5. Pre-Ground Coffee

Pre-ground coffee loses its flavor and aroma quickly. Opt for whole-bean coffee, which you can grind just before brewing for the best taste.

6. Pet Food

Premium pet food is indeed more pricey than grocery store products, but it’s significantly better for your dog’s health and well-being. This could make a big difference to your fur babies’ longevity and quality of life. In fact, it could even save you money in the long-run by avoiding expensive vet bills. 

7. Pre-Cut Fruits and Vegetables

Pre-cut fruits and vegetables are more expensive and less fresh than buying them whole. Plus, they often come in packaging that’s not environmentally friendly.

8. Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products are overpriced — you can make your own with common household items like vinegar and baking soda.

9. Pre-Seasoned Meats

Pre-seasoned meats are usually high in sodium and preservatives, which have negative effects on health. According to the American Heart Association, a diet high in sodium can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

The high amount of sodium in these meats may be a concern for people with hypertension or those who are trying to limit their sodium intake.

10. Expensive Supplements

Many supplements are not regulated and their effectiveness is questionable. Instead, focus on getting your nutrients from a balanced diet.

11. Trendy Diet Foods

Many diet foods are overpriced and not as healthy as they claim to be. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet of whole foods.

12. Organic Food

While organic food can be healthier and better for the environment, it’s often more expensive. Prioritize buying organic versions of fruits and vegetables that are known to have higher levels of pesticides when conventionally grown (like berries and leafy greens).

By taking the time to plan your meals and create a shopping list, you can make sure that you’re buying only what you need. With a little bit of planning, you can still enjoy delicious and nutritious food without breaking the bank. Additionally, you can also consider buying in bulk or from discount stores or farmer’s markets. This can save you money and also support local farmers and businesses.