Our collective quest to save money at the grocery store is never truly finished. And in today’s blog post, we’re continuing that quest by exploring some of the steepest markups at the grocery store.
While markups are an inescapable part of the retail experience, not all markups are created equal. And nowhere is this more true than at the grocery store, where markups can vary as widely as the number of items they sell!
Today I’ll be shedding some light on some of the steepest markups at the grocery store, and providing helpful money-saving alternatives! For even more tips and tricks for saving money at the grocery store, be sure to check out my e-book Grocery Guru, available in my shop and free to download for OGT Plus members!
7 Of The Biggest Markups At The Grocery Store (And How To Avoid Them)
Most people only buy batteries when they need them, and retailers know it. Markups on batteries are relatively high (about 70%) because they know you’re probably going to buy them regardless of the price!
You can get around the steep grocery store prices by buying batteries in bulk at a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club. This simple switch can save you up to 40 cents per battery!
Retailers also mark up produce pretty steeply, by around 50 to 75%. This is mainly to offset loss, since an average of 20% of produce will eventually be thrown away due to spoilage.
An easy way to save money on produce is focus on what’s on sale whenever you happen to go grocery shopping. Sale prices on produce are typically applied to items that are available in abundance and in season wherever they were grown.
It’s also smart to stock up on produce when it’s on sale, and freeze it to use later!
3. Pre-Cut Produce
If the markup on produce is considered high, then the markup on pre-cut produce must be off the charts! You can pay up to three times as much for the convenience of pre-cut or pre-sliced fruits and vegetables compared to their whole counterparts.
As handy as pre-cut fruits and veggies are to have on hand, they can really make a dent in your grocery budget. To save money, try to set aside a few minutes once you get home from the grocery store to peel, cut, or prep your produce items.
4. Bottled Water
No list of astronomical markups would be complete without bottled water. No matter how much of it you buy at once or in what size container, there’s no getting around the fact that you’re paying hundreds of times more for it than you would for tap water.
If you regularly buy bottled water, you can start saving money immediately buy carrying and refilling a reusable water bottle instead (even if you invest in some sort of water filter pitcher too!)
Cereal is a staple in many households, including mine! But our love of breakfast cereals can come at a cost, to the tune of an average markup of 40%.
But luckily for us, there are plenty of ways to save money on our favorite cereals! Sales and coupons are extremely common for cereal, so you can easily stock up when you find a good deal.
And don’t forget about generic brands too—these low-cost alternatives are often just as good as the name brand stuff!
6. Baked Goods
As convenient as those ready-made pies, cakes, and muffins are in the bakery section of the grocery store, it’s not always worth the cost. In fact, the markup on baked goods is often around 100%!
Many of the items are easy to replicate at home, whether from scratch or using a mix from a box. You’re sure to save quite a bit of money by going the homemade route for baked goods!
I always hate running out of a certain dried herb or spice, because I know I’m going to have to shell out $5 or more to replace it! Spices have consistently high markups, but there are a few ways to save money on them!
One of the best money-saving options is to buy spices from bulk bins, which are often available at health food stores like Whole Foods. The prices are much lower than on the jarred stuff, and it gives you the freedom to buy as much or as little as you need.
You can also save money by picking the generic or private label spices over the name brand options.
What’s your best tip for saving money at the grocery store?