The Grocery Store Mark-Up You Wouldn't Expect While Food Prices Remain High

Anyone who's been to their local supermarket lately has probably noticed that grocery prices have jumped far above what they used to be. Some staples, like eggs, have been marked up so high that people everywhere are creating creative solutions to spend less money at the store. But while some markups are entirely expected, others may come as a surprise.

Besides wondering how food prices continue to climb higher and higher over time, you might also have saving money on your mind when you head to the grocery store. Grocery stores often use mental tricks to lure you in, and with high prices, you might not be able to comfortably afford any impulse buys. One section of the store, in particular, is a "spending trap" — home to some tempting groceries significantly marked up from their production costs. Next time you grocery shop, be careful with this aisle if you want to save money — these products may not be worth your time.

Why you should avoid buying baked goods right now

Stocking up on sugar and spice and everything nice might sound like a tasty way to take the edge off after seeing such high prices at your local grocery store, but baked goods have some of the highest markups right now. Sure, you'll probably enjoy them, but they'll put a dent in your wallet — and who wants that?

Baked goods have astronomical prices across the board right now, especially considering how inexpensive they are to make. When you run the numbers, you'll find that the current cost of baked goods is generally at least three times higher than the cost of making them yourself. Of course, baking your own cookies, brownies, and other treats is a time investment, especially if you work long hours. But if you have the means and the skill to bake, think about whether or not it's worth baking those cookies yourself before you buy them. Some store-bought baked goods might feel financially justifiable to you — after all, not every type of bakery treat is easy to make — but the bakery at your local grocery might be a section to avoid the next time you shop for food.

Other grocery store sections with extreme markups

Lately, the bakery section isn't the only spot in the supermarket with jaw-dropping prices. There are several other items it's best to weigh the costs of when you shop as well.

Beef, dairy, and eggs have some of the highest markups in grocery stores right now. According to Reader's Digest, beef and milk prices have increased by 16% and 17%, respectively, while egg prices have increased by a whopping 50%. And, of course, all three items contain essential nutrients that our bodies need, regardless of their costs. Therefore, if you're seriously considering saving money on these marked-up items, it might be best to consider alternative products. Cutting down on meat and purchasing plant-based proteins instead can help you save some cash and still fuel your body. There are also plenty of non-dairy varieties of milk out there. Buying oat or soy milk instead of dairy milk might help you stick more closely to your grocery budget. Buying egg substitutes can help you save on eggs as well. If you need certain products that have been marked up, consider whether they're worth the investment before you buy.