15 Common Grocery Items That Are a Total Waste of Money

People have different opinions of grocery shopping; some love it, and others loathe it. But, no matter what category of grocery shoppers you fall into, one thing is for sure: everyone wants the best out of the money they spend. If you are a new grocery shopper, here are a few items experienced shoppers claim are not worth your money. 

1. Pre-Cut Fruits and Vegetables

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Yes, this is a very convenient option, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, these pre-cut fruits and vegetables are priced way higher than uncut ones. You're paying someone else to cut them up when it only takes a little effort and time to do the same thing yourself!

2. Branded Spices

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Spices are spices. The flavor will remain the same if you buy a name-brand spice or a generic store one. The generic ones will often taste better because they will likely be less processed and fresher. The best part is the generic, store-brand spices are a fraction of the cost of the branded ones. 

3. Bagged Salad 

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Bagged salads are often priced double or triple the price of the actual ingredients if you buy them separately. Many people also claim these bagged salads go the wrong way quicker than fresh ingredients because you never know when the salad was manufactured. It's healthier to buy fresh and put in the effort.

4. Microwave Popcorn

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Let's be honest: microwave popcorn is so limited in quantity that you're done with a packet before the movie. Buying popcorn kernels is way cheaper and allows you to make as much in a batch as you want. You can add any topping and seasoning you like without buying separate boxes for each flavor. 

5. Single-Serve Coffee Pods

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Single-serve coffee pods are very convenient and look fancier and aesthetic. Still, you can buy reusable ones and save yourself a lot of money, especially if you compare these prices to those of brewing a pot. You're paying so much extra for these pods for convenience when you can easily do the job yourself. 

6. Prepackaged Deli Meats

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People often buy these prepackaged deli meats for convenience and to save time, but have you considered how many preservatives are added to them to keep them fresh? Yes, many preservatives are added to them, which is probably why they cost more. Netizens claim that buying fresh from the counter is cheaper and tastes better! 

7. Pre-Shredded Cheese

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How hard is it to shred the cheese yourself? It takes no effort and only a minimal amount of your time. Generally, buying fresh is healthier because the pre-shredded one is expensive and contains anti-caking agents. Also, notice how fresh cheese melts and tastes way better.

8. Individual Yogurt Packs

Yogurt Cups
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You'll notice the difference if you add the price of individual packs and compare it with the cost of buying an enormous container. It's way cheaper to portion out the larger container according to your portion size, and you'll also save a lot of plastic—a win-win situation!

9. Instant Oatmeal

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How much longer does regular oatmeal take to cook? The difference isn't that much. Regular oatmeal also allows you to change the flavors and seasonings as per your mood every time, which is not possible with instant ones. So go for the cheaper option, buy the regular oatmeal packs without the preservatives, and get more for your money! 

10. Pre-Made Smoothies

Woman pouring strawberry smoothie into small cups.
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If you see the amount of sugar and added preservatives in pre-made smoothies, you'll never repurchase them. Let's not trade in our health for a little bit of convenience. Making smoothies yourself also allows you to control the flavors, so you only have to put in the ingredients you like, which is a much better bargain. 

11. Snack Packs

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Popular opinion on snack packs is that they're convenient but way overpriced. You should get a big bag and make your snack packs (the size and ingredients are up to you!). A general rule of thumb is that buying in bulk is more economical, so making potions according to your needs is better. 

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12. Frozen Vegetables With Sauce

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Who came up with this concept?! Netizens claim all that extra money you're paying here is for the sauce, which usually needs improvement. Instead, just buy some plain veggies, add your favorite dressings and seasonings, and freeze them. It's cheaper, healthier, and way tastier. 

13. Branded Baking Mixes

Man Baking with Child
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These things are a total waste of money because the popular opinion is that baking cookies and cakes from scratch is easy and it has advantages, such as changing the flavors and controlling the quantity of your baked goods. The baking mixes are triple the price of what it costs to make the same thing from scratch and without the unnatural taste of the preservatives.  

14. Granola Bars

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If you're a health-conscious person who buys granola bars, consider looking at the ingredients at the back. Not only do granola bars have extra preservatives, but they also have a lot of harmful sugars. Plus, they're so expensive. Don't get tempted by their cute packaging; take that first step and make your own.

15. Juice Boxes

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According to netizens, juice boxes are convenient but create a lot of waste and cost more. The best way to save money here is to buy large bottles of juice, which are way cheaper. You can then pour them into reusable containers to portion them out or pour yourself a glass whenever you want and skip all that hassle! 

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