The Most Overpriced Items at Your Grocery Store

Save money by avoiding these overpriced items at your grocery store

Pre-Cut Chicken

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Pre-cut chicken is seldom a good bargain. Try buying a whole chicken and cutting it up at home; you’ll save money per pound and can use the bones to make your own chicken stock.

Vanilla Beans

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At the store, you’ll find one or two vanilla beans per jar. Online, you can buy vanilla beans in larger quantities, for a lot less money per ounce. Don’t think you need 1/4 pound of vanilla beans? Share with friends, or use them to make vanilla extract that will keep almost indefinitely.

Breadcrumbs and Croutons

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Bread crumbs and croutons are simple to make, and a great use for leftover bread that’s starting to get a little dry on its own. To make croutons, just cube or shred the bread before drying it in the oven; if you’re making bread crumbs, pulse the dried croutons in a food processor.

Crème Fraîche

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If you can find it, crème fraîche is packed in small containers and way too expensive. There’s no need to buy it: it’s easy to make at home, using heavy cream and buttermilk. Click here for a recipe.

Seasoned Salt

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Most seasoned salts taste like salt because that’s the main ingredient. You’re paying a premium for a lot of salt mixed with a little bit of colorful paprika and a hint of other flavors. Make your own with plain salt and your favorite spices or seasonings.

Whipped Butter

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It’s a little easier to spread, but you’re paying extra and getting less. If you prefer whipped butter, allow your butter to soften slightly on the counter before whipping it in an electric mixer.

Pre-Cut Produce

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Who cut that pineapple, anyway? Were those mushrooms cleaned before cutting? Are all the bruises, dings, and dents cut off? You pay extra for pre-cut produce, but it goes bad faster and still needs a looking-over before using. Cut your own to save money and control quality.

Out-of-Season Produce

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Sure, you can buy strawberries in December, but they are tasteless and overpriced. That doesn’t mean you have to subsist on potatoes and cabbages from your root cellar all winter, but be selective; sometimes a bag of frozen berries is a better bargain, and more flavorful, too.