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3 Potential Supermarket Money Wasters

Updated on March 13, 2011

Do you waste money at the supermarket? Chances are, you'll answer "no" to this question. However, when asked if you spend too much at the grocery store, there's a good chance that you'll say "yes".

While it's true that grocery prices have been increasing at an alarming rate lately, it's a fact that many of us do spend more than we have to when shopping for food and other supplies for our families.

The first step in moving toward reducing unnecessary spending at the supermarket is to recognize the buying patterns and habits that result in wasting money.

3 Supermarket Money Wasters

1. Convenience Products

There are so many convenience products on the market that it's easy to be lured into paying extra by the promise of saving time. What you have to remember, however, is that the cost of many convenience products – such as pasta and rice mixes – is much greater than that of the original items. For the cost of a two-serving package of pasta in sauce, you can purchase several pounds of pasta as well as enough sauce (or ingredients to make sauce) for numerous meals.

Expensive convenience products aren't even always a bargain in terms of time savings. In many cases, so-called convenience products really aren't any faster or easier to prepare than the same items purchased in build. Those items that do cook faster are often so heavily processed that they are robbed of much of their nutritional value. Additionally, the excess packaging used to create convenience products isn't beneficial to the environment.

2. Over Purchasing

When buying groceries, be sure to keep in mind the size of your family and how much of a particular item you are actually likely to use. The per-ounce price for many items can be greatly reduced when you purchase in bulk, so it's often tempting to do so when trying to cut costs on your grocery bill. However, if there is no way that you'll be able to use the quantity of product you are purchasing, the reduced per-ounce price won't do you any good. Before you reach for the supersize package, be sure that the great deal really is a bargain when applied to your particular situation.

3. Coupon Buying

For consumers, the purpose of using coupons is to save money. You should use coupons when doing so allows you to enjoy savings on products that you will use and that you'd purchase whether or not you had a coupon. However, many people purchase items with coupons that they wouldn't buy without a "cents-off" offer and that they don't really need. Getting a $4.99 product for $3.99 isn't a bargain if the item isn't something that you actually need. Instead, it's just an extra $3.99 (plus tax) added to your grocery bill.


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  • nicomp profile image

    nicomp really 8 years ago from Ohio, USA

    A convenience product includes opportunity cost savings that are not available in other products. If your time is worth more than additional cost required to manually assemble the less-convenient products, then you come out ahead in the short run.