Stop paying too much for these 7 grocery store staples

Some of us love it; some of us hate it, but no matter how you feel about it, we've all got to run to the grocery store sometime. But even though you have to go, you don't have to spend more money just for convenience. The grocery store is a magical place for food, but can be pretty shady when it comes to sneaking cash out of your wallet for other products. Save yourself a few bucks (and get out to the parking lot faster) by avoiding these 7 grocery store items.

1. Toiletries/Personal Products

So you're cruising through the store, looking for the right frozen pizza, only to pass the deodorant aisle and remember you needed to grab some – don't do it! Grocery stores can mark-up personal care items like anti-stink sticks and celebrity endorsed shampoos by around 30%!

Instead of shelling out extra cash just because you see them, wait to grab personal products at a pharmacy or big box, Target-type store – they'll have a bigger stock of the toiletries and medications you'll need, meaning you get them at a discount.

2. Spices/Dried Herbs

Spices can add something extra to your food, but they can also add a big extra to your grocery receipt. Mark-up on grocery store spices can be up to 100% and they aren't usually put on sale; so you'll always be playing more for them than you should.

Instead, try grabbing slices from a bulk foods store – having more at home means fewer right-before-dinner trips to the store for a teaspoon of cumin. Or, get your spices from a drugstore – yup, CVS has spices and you'll have a hard time finding them for more reasonable prices.

3. Pre-shredded or Grated Cheese

Some cheese companies put fillers in their grated cheese to plump up the bags for sale. But do you really want to be paying extra for a bag of cheese that isn't even 100% cheese? Instead, buy a block of your favorite cheese and just grate it when you need it! Or grate it all and save the cheese you don't need for later.

4. Salad Dressing

Like spices, dressing adds a little something special (or a lot, if you like Ranch, apparently) to your salads and sides, but getting it from the grocery store gives you the raw end of the deal. Salad dressings from grocery stores are often overpriced, thanks to their popularity and that they already come made.

Make your own salad dressing at home, dropping the calorie count of the condiment, and saving you almost 50%!

5. Household Products

Just like the items that make you smell better, grocery stores stock these items because they know you'll pick them up while grabbing other things. Don't take the bait – especially since the batteries, light bulbs, tape, etc. won't just be expensive because of fancy brand labels or mark-ups, but generic versions can often be of poor quality.

Get these kinds of items and cleaning products at big box stores that will not only have them for cheaper, but also have them in larger amounts – less trips to the grocery store every month? Yes, please. Or consider picking up your favorite brand items at the dollar store.

6. Prepped Meats & Cooked Meals

This is another convenience that groceries stores are going to make you pay for. Sure, it sounds great to have meat dishes already assembled or even picking up a whole cooked chicken. But that convenience can cost you a mark up of anywhere between 60% to over 100%.

So grab raw chicken instead of a cooked one – it'll be three-quarters of the price of a cooked one. And if you want some extra help with aking food prep go faster at home, ask the butcher to grind or cut a cube of meat for you, isntead of paying extra for some skewers.

7. Pre-Cut Produce

You might not want to stand at the sink chopping up pineapples for (literally) 10 minutes, but you might find it more appealing when you hear that paying for pre-cubed veggies or fruits are marked up at grocery stores by almost 40%. Just buy the whole fruits and veggies, then take 10 minutes out of your whole life to cut them up at home yourself.

This also applies to small servings of grab-and-go snacks – buy the bigger bag and make smaller snack bags at home for free. And make sure to look out for sales on popular seasonal items like watermelon durin gthe summer or squash in the fall.

What are your tips and tricks to saving money at the grocery store? Share them with us on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.

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