18 Things To Stop Buying At the Grocery Store If You Want to Save Money

Inflation is eating deep into our pockets, and grocery stores aren’t particularly your friends when it comes to controlling costs. If you’re looking for ways to cut down on your spending, avoid these 18 items at the store.

Canned Soup

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It’s never a bad idea to take that extra time out to make some tomato soup, vegetable and potato soup, or chicken soup to freeze for later. Not only is this cheaper than canned soup found in grocery stores, but you also avoid consuming unhealthy preservatives and heart-threatening salt.

Bottled Water

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As the Minnesota Department of Health confirms, bottled water contains water from the same source as your tap water—only purified with minerals. If you have a water purifying system at home, buying bottled water at the grocery store is an unnecessary waste of money, the cost of which can go up to $260 per year.

Paper Towels

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We understand how hard it can be, but paper towels are one of the things you just have to take your mind off. Opt for cotton towels or cloth napkins instead, as they are reusable and excellent choices to dry down your dishes and kitchen counters.

Single-Purpose Cleaning Supplies

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Did you know dish soap can be used on your floors, clothes, and furniture? Given the multipurpose nature of most of the cleaning products you use at home, it will be more cost-efficient to dump the more expensive branded, single-purpose soaps for all-purpose cleaning supplies.

Plastic Containers

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Help your pockets and the environment by reusing plastic containers. They are extremely versatile, as they allow you to store food, ingredients, and craft supplies. Investing in sturdier plastics upfront will save you a lot, and a quick wash can get the stains off the containers if that’s what causes you to throw them out.

Pre-Made Frozen Food

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Pre-packaged takeaways from stores around you aren’t especially good for both your pocket and your health. They are certainly more expensive than homemade meals, as PubMed research shows, and they come with unhealthy amounts of saturated fats, salt, and preservatives.

Plant Food

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For the plant moms and dads out there, you don’t need to spend money on marked-up fertilizers at the grocery store. Just get yourself some kitchen scraps like banana peels, potato peels, broccoli stalks, and eggshells, and you’re good to go. Make sure you feed your plants in appropriately measured amounts, however.


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You get more baby care options at lower prices at superstores like Amazon, Target,  and Walmart than you’ll get at your local grocery store. Since Healthline says you’ll probably go through up to ten per day, wholesale purchases at these superstores can save you hundreds of dollars.

Fruit Juice

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One of the easier things to make at home is juice, as you only need to squeeze out the moisture from your favorite fruit. But this isn’t all. Alongside saving you from paying extra for “packaging,” opting to eat your fruits instead will give you more stomach-filling fiber and prevent you from consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar additives.

Packaged Popcorn

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Why spend money on popcorn loaded with unhealthy sugar and preservatives when you can make yours in less than five minutes? As long as you have a microwave, AllRecipes says you only need to mix one scoop of unpopped corn with some oil and optional seasoning and wait for the microwave to do its job in three minutes.

Farm Produce

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Instead of going to the grocery store for your tomatoes, potatoes, apples, and corn, head to the closest farmer’s market to you. Not only do you get them cheaper here, but produce at farmer’s markets is typically harvested one to two days prior. They are much fresher than produce at grocery stores that comes with preservatives to keep them looking fresh.

Spray Cleaners

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When it comes to spray cleaners, you should know that you always pay extra for branding and packaging. What you can do is use an empty spray container to make your own homemade cleaner for your floors, kitchen countertops, and appliances. The UAEX says all you need is a quarter cup of vinegar, dish soap (or washing soda), and distilled water.

Fabric Softeners

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Fabric softeners don’t really offer much value while you do the laundry—they don’t make your clothes any cleaner, and they don’t protect your clothes from damage. All they do is make your clothes soft. So, unless you’re already addicted to the soft feel of clothes after your laundry session, it’s best to cut them off entirely.


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If you don’t mind taking the time out to prepare a large batch of cookies, homemade cookies will save your pockets and even your health. You can make cookies free from saturated fats and sugar additives, store your cookies for later use, and save yourself an average of $1 when compared to a pack at the store.

Canned Pasta

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Like canned soups, making pasta at home will save both your pocket and your health. The best part is that you can make a delicious dish in under an hour. If you are afraid of botching your dinner, there are plenty of easy-to-follow, restaurant-standard recipes on the internet that will help.

Bagged Salads

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Some of the worst things to spend your money on are bagged salads. You don’t just miss out on the nutrients of freshly cut vegetables; Yahoo also shares that, although they “are time-savers when you’re making dinner and packing lunches, they’re also one of the things people throw away most often; as much as 40% of bagged salad ends up in the trash.”

Lip Balm

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This is for people who really need to save themselves as much money as possible. Branded lip balms may come with enticing flavors and promises of long-lasting moisturization. Nonetheless, they won’t perform much better than plain coconut and avocado oils.


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Now, why continue buying books from grocery stores when there are bookshops and even libraries around you? Avoid paying full (and even marked-up) prices for books by renting them for cheaper or even free. You even have access to categorized recommendations at these places.

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