As a rule, it's more affordable to purchase groceries and cook your food at home than to dine out. There are a few exceptions when it comes to actual food items. But what about the other things we purchase at a grocery store? Do you buy cosmetics or grooming products while you're grocery shopping? What about pre-packaged products and single-serve items? If you're looking to fix your finances in 2020 don't trade convenience for cash! And never buy these things at a grocery store...
1. Pre-cut Fresh Veggies and Salads
Vegetables are a keystone to a healthy diet, no secret there. Per the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) website they're packed with essential nutrition and full of healthy fibers important to gut health. Yet you may be spending three to ten times more for cut, packaged vegetables. Examples include:
- pre-packaged cauliflower or broccoli
- salad kits
- green beans
If you're wondering just how much "green" you'll save on greens by washing them and cutting them yourself, weigh uncut veggies at the handy scales in your produce department. One head of cauliflower may cost $2.00 and provide a whole pound of produce, while a bag of cut cauliflower may cost three times as much for less food!
2. Individual Servings of Oats or Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast choice. Like other grains, it's fibrous, and chock full of iron. Oatmeal can be quite filling (saving you from an expensive snack machine trip later at work), and it's affordable too. Until manufacturers stuff it full of sugars, flavors and package it into tiny portions. Buy your oatmeal in a bulk container to save schillings now and encourage overall health in the long run.
3. Shampoos, Conditioners and Hair Products
Purchase your standard hair care products at a discount department store or "dollar store." You'll save as much as 50%.
- Know that most genuine "salon" level hair care products aren't available at grocery stores anyways. If you're splurging $40 for a fancy set of shampoos and conditioners at a salon, be sure to read the labels thoroughly. Then compare those ingredients to the products available at a discount store. (It takes seconds with a smartphone.) You might be surprised to discover you're paying ten times the price for one simple ingredient, which may be as common as lemon juice.
4. Batteries and Device "Chargers"
With all the technology, devices and toys we handle every day, batteries and chargers have become a commodity. We think MoneyMindedMom.com says it best: "Just because they are essential, doesn't mean you need to pay an arm and a leg for them. Instead, head on over to a warehouse store such as Costco, BJ's or Sam's Club and stock up on bulk packages of batteries (you know you're going to need them)."
- Order device chargers online for pennies on the dollar!
If you've resolved to get on top of your finances in 2020, we applaud your decision! One of the most effective ways to gain control of your spending is to take some time price-checking in the grocery store. From personal care products to healthy produce, take a look at the prices you're paying for your everyday purchases. Your bank account will thank you!