Although it is convenient to grab everything at the grocery store, sometimes it's best to only buy certain items and shop for the rest at other locations such as specialty stores or the dollar store. One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to keep away from the items that are marked up. I talked to consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch, who shared eight items you shouldn't put in your grocery cart.
Cubed or Presliced Meat
"Meat markup is up to 60 percent and much more for precut or precubed meats. Since meat has a refrigerated shelf life of just five days and must then be thrown out, most meat departments in grocery stores aim for a minimum 30 percent markup, and often much higher, to make up for losses.
Steaks, for instance, are marked up 40 percent to 50 percent; some cheaper cuts, such as round and chuck meat, are marked up as much as 60 percent. Lesser cuts of meat, those typically cut into pieces for stir-fries or stews are marked up as much as 300 percent, should never be bought at full price because they're always discounted at some point (look for markdowns on meats that near their sell-by date or hit up bulk stores like Costco for savings of up to 30 percent off larger slabs of meat. You can refrigerate that which you don't use for later)."
"Name-brand spices are marked up close to 97 percent. Smart shoppers can buy spices at a natural food store to save you up to 97 percent on the basic spices people buy regularly. For instance, a $3.52 jar of bay leaves at the grocery store will cost you only 12 cents for the same amount at a natural foods store. Drugstores and discount stores also sell spices cheaper than at a grocery store. You may have to bring your own bottles to fill but the savings make up for this."
"Bakery items are marked up nearly 100 percent as you’re paying for convenience. For instance, $20 supermarket cake can be made from scratch or out of a box at home for just $5 (or less by purchasing sale items and using coupons for the boxed goods).
Bread can also be baked inexpensively at home. Since most people won't bake bread at home, look for buy-one-get-one-free deals and freeze one loaf or buy when bread is marked down. Savvy shoppers will ask store managers when bread gets marked down — usually nearing the expiration date or end of the day."