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9 Things You Should Never Buy at the Supermarket

February 23, 2012

While most grocery store products are perfectly fine to buy, there are a few things you should avoid due to poor quality or exorbitant pricing. Here we reveal nine items we recommend you buy elsewhere.

1. Pre-ground coffee
It sounds crazy, but buying pre-ground coffee can really put a dent in your grocery-shopping budget. The markup is tremendous! Luckily, many supermarkets offer great deals on whole coffee beans that can be ground right there. Another option: hit the nearby big-box store for some large cans. That's where you'll get the best bang for your buck.

2. Hardware
Nails, extension cords, batteries, and light bulbs are considered specialty items at the grocery store. Not only will the selection be limited and in short supply, the prices will be jacked way up. Make the extra trip and go to the hardware store for these items.

3. Cosmetics
As you probably know, the makeup selection at the grocery store is extremely limited. But when it comes to convenience, a huge selection doesn't always matter. Just remember, you'll be paying a notably higher price for that easy access.

4. Cookware and bakeware
It's happened to all of us: while browsing the grocery store, you decide to try a cool new recipe that calls for a specific loaf pan or steamer pot. But before you grab a new pot or pan at the grocery store, remember, these items are heavily marked up. Additionally, they are rarely of great quality.

5. Certain non-organic fruits and veggies
Yes, we are recommending you avoid specific produce from the very place you'd expect to buy it. Why? Because certain types of non-organic produce are more likely to carry pesticide residue. For example, celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, spinach, potatoes, lettuce all regularly test high for pesticides. If possible, head to your local farmer's market to pick up these items-or buy organic at the grocery. Note: not all produce is covered in pesticides. Here are some that consistently show little to no residue when tested: onions, avocados, pineapples, sweet peas, asparagus, eggplant, cantaloupe, mango, and kiwi.

6. Bulk items
Some supermarkets have added aisles dedicated to bulk items. Guess what? Those items are still not as discounted as the bulk items at the big-box stores. Save your money and skip the bulk purchasing while grocery shopping.

7. Candy
Bagged candy is way overpriced at the grocery store. You can get the exact same item for $2 to $3 less at the drugstore around the corner. Even better: satisfy your sweet tooth at the dollar store!

8. Diapers
Of all the places to buy diapers, the grocery store might be the most expensive. You can save buckets of money by taking advantage of the constant flow of coupons and almost weekly deals from Babies 'R Us or Target. Want to save even more? Buy your diapers online at Diapers.com (free shipping over $50).

9. Greeting cards
Snagging a birthday, condolence, or Mother's Day card at the same store you buy kitchen provisions will cost you. Not only is the selection limited, but also the offerings tend to be shockingly expensive-perhaps $2 to $3 more per card. Stop by a stationer or even a drugstore for better, cheaper options.

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