With the weekly shop taking a bigger bite out of your budget every month - it’s time to start getting savvy at the supermarket.
And, while some smart shoppers use coupons to shave pennies off their bill, there are certain items that you should be skipping entirely.
Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch told Mental Floss that buying some products at the supermarket could actually end up costing you a lot more with mark-ups as high as 100 per cent.
So, what items should you be avoiding?
More often than not, we end up splurging on items for the sake of convenience with things like pre-prepared fruit and vegetables high on the list.
From diced carrots, sliced pineapple and cubed butternut squash, you probably already know that these packets are going to cost you more but do you know just how much?
It turns out that these pre-chopped items will cost you a whopping 40 per cent extra than if you were to grab some fresh produce at a local market. It might save you five minutes but you’re paying a big difference.
The same goes for pre-packaged meat too. Buying ready-made burgers or kebabs could actually cost you anywhere between 60 and 300 per cent more than buying the meat in its whole form.
According to Andrea, spices also have an exorbitant mark up of nearly 100 per cent. Instead, she recommends buying them at a natural foods store where they tend to be cheaper.
Single-serving portions of crisps can trick you too, typically running 30 per cent more expensive than a big bag of the same product.
It’s not just food that’s to blame here though, as we scour the aisles we’re often tempted to pick up ‘essentials’ we could get elsewhere at a fraction of the price.
Batteries, for instance, are what Andrea deems a ‘classic impulse buy’ which is why you usually find them places near the till points; a place you’re less likely to think about making a saving.
Instead, resist the temptation to chuck them in your basket though and buy in bulk online.
Lastly, you’re going to want to avoid buying any personal care products like deodorant, shampoo or cosmetics as this could end up costing you an unnecessary 30 per cent more.
For real bargains, you’re better off shopping at high street chemists, Andrea said.
Independent News Service