View Full Version : Groceries you're wasting your money on

08-02-2012, 09:59 PM

With the average North American family spending around $500 per month on groceries, there are plenty of places for your food budget to stealthily creep up.http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/guIngWN.6_H_ARUwOp20AQ--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9Zml0O2g9Mjc-/http://media.zenfs.com/284/2011/06/08/investopedia-106x27_142340.gif (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AkksQVmfJDmI.TMHibrp_ziU8ppG;_ylu=X3oDMTFobm9 rNTNlBG1pdANQRiBBUlRJQ0xFIEhlYWRlcnIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA 01lZGlhQXJ0aWNsZUhlYWQ-;_ylg=X3oDMTNlNnI2ZzVpBGludGwDY2EEbGFuZwNlbi1jYQRw c3RhaWQDZGRkNjVhZGMtZjUyNi0zNWMxLWE0ZWYtNDZlMWExMW U1ZWZjBHBzdGNhdANwZXJzb25hbGZpbmFuY2V8c2F2aW5nbW9u ZXkEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=0/SIG=11g27d936/EXP=1345168622/**http%3A//www.investopedia.com/)<cite class="byline vcard">By Alexandra Kerr | Investopedia – <abbr title="2012-08-01T19:00:21Z">Wed, 1 Aug, 2012 3:00 PM EDT</abbr></cite>

http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/eU0IHwxRvs8ZaQnwcDtA.Q--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Y2g9MTU5Mztjcj0xO2N3PTM1MDA7ZHg9MD tkeT0wO2ZpPXVsY3JvcDtoPTI4NztxPTg1O3c9NjMw/http://media.zenfs.com/en_us/News/Reuters/2012-07-31T152457Z_1396944153_GM1E87V1STQ01_RTRMADP_3_SPAI N-ECONOMY.JPGView Photo (http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/photos/man-walks-grocery-shop-central-barcelona-photo-152457313.html;_ylt=Aul6Nt3yDqErLxW36_zLFx6U8ppG;_ ylu=X3oDMTQxMjJwaTdhBG1pdANQRiBSZWxhdGVkIExlYWRkBH BrZwM2MjNiNGJkMS1kN2Y4LTM5ZmEtYjg5Mi0zMTBkNWZkMDA5 NmMEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlhQXJ0aWNsZUxlYWQEdmVyAzdlOD Q1NDYwLWRiMjUtMTFlMS1hZmZmLTc5ZTFiNzczZDM2ZA--;_ylg=X3oDMTNlNnI2ZzVpBGludGwDY2EEbGFuZwNlbi1jYQRw c3RhaWQDZGRkNjVhZGMtZjUyNi0zNWMxLWE0ZWYtNDZlMWExMW U1ZWZjBHBzdGNhdANwZXJzb25hbGZpbmFuY2V8c2F2aW5nbW9u ZXkEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=3)REUTERS - A man walks out of a grocery shop in central Barcelona July 31, 2012. Capital flight from Spain gathered pace in May and the central government deficit rose further above target in June, taking the …more

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With the average North American family spending around $500 per month on groceries, there are plenty of places for your food budget to stealthily creep up. Before your next trip to the super market, consider how much of your budget is consumed by food purchases and examine which specific buys are eating up the most cash. You may be surprised to find out why your grocery shopping sprees are becoming more and more expensive.

Money-Wasting Food Purchases
The majority of your purchases at the market are food rather than beverages or inedible products, meaning this is the category you'll need to keep a close eye on. Are you falling into one of these budget-busting traps?

Healthy Snacks
Eating healthy is clearly an important goal and may be worth the price bump (if your budget allows), but before you fork over the extra money for granola snacks, baked chips, multigrain bread and other popular items, be sure the product you want is actually what you're getting. Many products labeled multigrain may sound healthy, but can actually be made with bleached white flour. Baked chips may use less fat, but many contain the same amount of salt and sugar as regular chips. Similarly, granola is another popular choice for a quick healthy snack, yet can contain hundreds of calories you never expected. If you're going to spend the money on healthy foods, always take the time to read nutritional information on each item and ensure you're getting exactly what you pay for.

Individual Servings
A single serving of yogurt, chips, cookies or other snacks may be convenient, but it's also costing you. Take a look at the price per unit of many of these items and you'll notice they far exceed the cost of standard packaging. Buy regularly packaged items and separate them into Tupperware or snack bags when needed for travel.

Pre-Made Meals
Ready-made sandwiches, dinners and picnic foods are an incredibly tempting option, but they're also a great way to waste money. Resist the urge to grab a pre-made deli meal and opt for making your own at home.
You may crave a steak, chicken cutlet or pork chop for dinner, but meat also increases your monthly grocery budget. Consider cutting meat from one to several meals per week in exchange for less expensive options like pasta, soup or salad.

Budget-Sucking Drinks
Staying hydrated is incredibly important, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Make sure you're not picking up extra expenses (or calories) when you shop for beverages.

Fancy Bottled Water
Designer water has become a staple of foodies, health nuts and eco-conscious shoppers, but often these high-end drinks are overpriced for nothing more than an attractive bottle. Before you pay up to $4 per bottle for imported water, try local or store brand options. If you like the taste, you may save hundreds or even thousands per year. Using water filters and reusable bottles at home is another great way to skip these pricey drinks.

Soda Cans
If you can't go without a bubbly beverage, consider switching from cans to bottles. Two-liter bottles of soda are often cheaper than packs of cans. Just be sure to tightly close the cap after each use so the soda retains its crisp carbonation.

Vitamin Enriched Water
Vitamin enriched waters may sound like a nutritious choice, but many contain as much sugar as a can of soda. Drink plain water for a more nutritious and less expensive choice. You'll be doing your body and your wallet a favor.

SEE: WaterSense: Saving Water And Money (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=Arqd5byvBireYc3Qk5BayT.U8ppG;_ylu=X3oDMTFuMG5 qdXJhBG1pdANQRiBBUlRJQ0xFIEJvZHl5BHBvcwMxBHNlYwNNZ WRpYUFydGljbGVCb2R5QXNzZW1ibHk-;_ylg=X3oDMTNlNnI2ZzVpBGludGwDY2EEbGFuZwNlbi1jYQRw c3RhaWQDZGRkNjVhZGMtZjUyNi0zNWMxLWE0ZWYtNDZlMWExMW U1ZWZjBHBzdGNhdANwZXJzb25hbGZpbmFuY2V8c2F2aW5nbW9u ZXkEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=0/SIG=12nf0oatt/EXP=1345168622/**http%3A//www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/09/save-money-and-water.asp)

Don't Pay More for Non-Edible Products
The thought of shopping at several stores for all your groceries may be tiring, but sometimes it's the best way to save money. Just because you can find something at your local grocery store doesn't mean you should buy it.

Beauty Products
One lip gloss here and one face wash there may not seem like an extravagant expense, but grocery stores are typically the worst place to buy beauty products. They're often far more expensive than when purchased at drug stores, online or at discount "big box" stores.

Cleaning Products
Even on sale, grocery store cleaning products may be several dollars more expensive than at drug stores, discount "big box retailers" or online. You can also make your own household cleaners with baking soda and white vinegar.

Novelty Items
Grocery stores are packed with conveniently placed novelty items. From tiny frying pans to children's toys, every aisle holds a potential money-wasting trap. Resist the urge and at least take some time to decide if you actually need a small container for microwaving scrambled eggs.

The Bottom Line
When shopping for groceries, the money saving begins at home. Make a list, plan out meals and look through your kitchen. Going into the store already knowing what you do and don't need is the best way to prevent unnecessary purchases. Don't be tempted by cute products, pretty bottles or impulse snack foods. Always try to find household cleaning and beauty products at other stores for a better price.

08-03-2012, 05:14 AM
I'm wasting too much money on chocolate. I could save a lot of money if I wasn't such an addict for Ritter Sport chocolate! ;)

Lady's Human
08-03-2012, 06:44 AM
You had to mention ritter sport bars, didn't you? :p

The chocolate with mint filling bars are .......evil.

08-03-2012, 06:58 AM
You had to mention ritter sport bars, didn't you? :p

The chocolate with mint filling bars are .......evil.

They just make the best chocolate! :)

My faves are Extra Fine Milk Chocolate, Alpine Milk Chocolate, Strawberry, Whole Hazelnut, Marzipan, and the Olympia Edition. :)

08-03-2012, 10:25 AM
I have been toying with the idea of creating a $100.00 a month budget for J and I (pet food...eh...can't do much about that!). Think that is possible? It will probably mean *I* eat poorly and J eats like the champ he is. :)

I would want everything but pet related products in that $100. I think wine will be the first thing that gets cut of the list.

08-03-2012, 11:07 AM
I have been toying with the idea of creating a $100.00 a month budget for J and I (pet food...eh...can't do much about that!). Think that is possible? It will probably mean *I* eat poorly and J eats like the champ he is. :)

I would want everything but pet related products in that $100. I think wine will be the first thing that gets cut of the list.

Since I'm really poor now, I tried to spend not more than 100 € (which is $123 US) on food, but for a couple of months, it's no longer working. I'm usually ending up with about 130 € ($160 US); I figure the prices for groceries have risen. I really need to cut down my chocolate and icecream comsumption, especially as it's contantly terminating my plans on going vegan. :o On the other hand, vegan products are even more expensive and I couldn't affort them. Go figure the moral dilemma I'm in. :rolleyes:

08-04-2012, 10:00 AM
I'm on a very tight budget. When I need staples such as cleaning stuff, paper towels, I go to the "Dollar Store" A lot cheaper. I make my own glass cleaner with ammonia. That's all Windex is, ammonia and coloring. Sometimes my daughter and I will go to Sam's Club and split a big order. I haven't eaten red meat in over two months. I try to buy Morningstar Farms meatless grillers whenever they're on sale too, cuz they can be expensive ($6.99/box).

As far as other groceries like chicken, shrimpies (for Bartie) coffee creamer and stuff, I shop at either Aldis, or Shop Rite (they have senior day, 5% off your entire order on Tuesdays). I spare no expense when it comes to my cats though. I have two cat fountains with filters. I was finding that the replacement filters were expensive. So I went to the pet store and got a container for charcoal that they use in fish tank filters. I simply replace the charcoal in the filter. MUCH cheaper!!

I do not drink soda at all. I drink ice water. Better for you and costs nothing.

08-04-2012, 10:48 AM
I spend on the average of $200-250 per month - and that doesn't include Myndi's prescription food. I try to buy store brands whenever possible, tho some of those items just don't cut it, and I will buy a favorite major brand. Cleaning products and paper goods really jack the bill up when I need to purchase those. I always buy my meat, eggs, butter, vitamins, and a few other things at Sam's, since they are so much cheaper.