Rachel Achmad

9 Biggest Money-Wasters at the Grocery Store: Supermarket Savvy

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I know you all dutifully read my posts and take notes on how to trim the fat from your weekly shopping. But … wouldn’t it be great to have an easy reference list of items you should never buy? Sort of like that “dirty dozen” list that exists for commonly contaminated produce, except this one is for those items that are just the biggest waste of money at the grocery store?


Well, someone at the Huffington Post thought so, too, and they created a list of the top nine grocery items you should avoid if you want to save money. Here’s the list (with my commentary, of course):




1. Pre-packaged salads. I totally agree. You’re paying at least three times as much to have your greens pre-rinsed (and you probably still wash them once you get home anyway).


2. Canned beans. Yes, but only if you’re paying full price on those cans. If you’re combing sales and coupons, you can often get canned beans for the same or less than dried—and canned are far more convenient.


3. Bottled water. Absolutely, and there’s no need for it. Many water companies are just bottling and selling tap water anyway.


4. Spice mixes. Yup. Make your own for far less.


5. Microwave popcorn. Sometimes. As with the canned beans, if you combine sales and coupons, you can get the microwave stuff for far less.


6. Regular spices. For anything beyond the most basic spices, you’ll get better deals at specialty markets.


7. Out-of-season produce. This should be a no-brainer, but often, it’s not.


8. Fresh herbs. If at all possible, grow your own (or find a CSA that includes herbs).


9. Pre-cut fruit. Agree. You’re paying a huge convenience fee. My advice: invest in a good knife!




Shop smart and save! Check out more tips on couponing and savvy shopping!



14 Responses to “9 Biggest Money-Wasters at the Grocery Store: Supermarket Savvy”

  • jit says:


  • Andrea says:

    Unfortunately, many of the money saving tips seem to apply to those in larger towns or cities. They aren’t available to those of us who are in more rural areas. They don’t even know what a csa is, there are no specialty stores, precut fruit is brand new around here, and the produce choices are very basic. And don’t even think about suggesting buying in bulk, it’s not available.

  • mary says:

    Just wanted to add that i find many of the spices I need in the Latino/Spanish food section for far less. Also, microwave popcorn apparently had carcinogens in the bag- throw some popcorn on a brown paper bag and microwave, or better yet, pop in olive oil on the stove!

  • art wegweiser says:

    And all the millions of plastic bottles tossed! Bottled water is one of the biggest scams of the decade. Worried about your water – then buy a filter and save a bag of money instead of shipping it to Pepsi and the other con artist companies at $1 or more a pop. I have a couple refilled bottles in my fridge and have written TAP with a magic marker so people do not take me for a jerk to buy that stuff.

    • rollo says:

      Not to mention these companies are self-regulated. They sample their product, test it and send the results to the FDA for approval. Municipal water, on the other hand, is tested many times daily for a wide array of toxins. Tap water is a thousand times safer!

  • Sondra says:

    Spring water is not tap water and contains no fluoride, which is toxic to humans and banned in Europe.

    • Rachel Achmad says:

      Hi Sondra,
      Many bottled waters are not spring water, but just repackaged tap water. If you are seeking spring water, read labels carefully.
      And while you are right that spring water doesn’t contain fluoride, the claim that fluoride is toxic to humans should not be presented as fact. That’s a controversial claim, with no definitive proof at the time of this writing.
      Many people prefer to consume tap water BECAUSE of the fluoride, since it’s led to such a huge reduction in tooth decay since municipalities started adding it to water supplies.
      But that’s straying from my topic. My point was, read your labels and make sure you know what you are paying for!
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • B says:

      True floride is in a lot of tap water, but as companies do not have to disclose exactly where they get there water for bottling from you could indeed be drinking tap water or spring water from a contaminated source. Read the lablel most are very hazy about the souce of the water.

      • Carolyn says:

        Most of the people in this part of the country grew up on well water that has natural fluoride. Mainly get brown, hard teeth, very few cavaties and long lives–80′s, 90′s.

  • Loisf says:

    I would love this for my daughter she cooks a lot .I have one and use it all the time.

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