16 Things Not to Buy in a Grocery Store

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woman thinking while shopping at grocery
Photo credit: bogdankosanovic/istockphoto

COST PROHIBITIVE

Stuff is expensive. Cutting costs today means being an ultra savvy shopper. The days of stopping at one store and buying everything in one location are long gone. That often means hunting and pecking for the best deals and driving around town to the dollar stores and other retailers. We've put together a list of items you shouldn't buy at the grocery store and we show you where to get them.
Iberia Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

OLIVE OIL

Is it really worth buying expensive olive oil? We don't think so. This 68-ounce Iberia Premium Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on sale at Target for $5.91, down from $7.89. Reviewers love this less-expensive alternative saying it's great for, "sauteing, frying, or for everything else." Compare it to Ralph's 16 ounces of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil at $4.99, and that's a significant savings.
Market Pantry Purified Water
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

BOTTLED WATER

Target offers a 24 pack of 16.9-ounce bottles of purified drinking water for the mere cost of $2.69. Kroger sells 24 packs of 8-ounce mini bottles for $2.99. With Target, you're getting twice the amount of water for 30 cents less, and reviewers give it five stars for taste. Not a bad deal.
Van Camp's Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

TUNA

Essentially a product from Chicken of the Sea, 5-ounce cans of Van Camp's Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water are available for $1 per can at Dollar Tree. Dieting website Fooducate's reviewers give it a "B+" rating on a scale from A to D. A similar product in the grocery store costs 44 cents more per can.
Speed Stick Mens Regular Deodorant
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

SHAMPOO, DEODORANT, SOAPS

Head to Dollar Tree for your hair and toiletry needs, where 1.8-ounce Speed Stick Men's Regular deodorant is just $1. That same deodorant will run you $1.25 at Ralphs. A 15-ounce bottle of Comforts Baby Shampoo costs $2.99 at Ralphs. For only $1, you can get a 15-ounce bottle of Angel of Mine baby shampoo at Dollar Tree. At Dollar Tree, a 2.6-ounce bar of Dove Moisturizing Soap costs a buck each (38 cents an ounce), but it will run you $3.49 for two 4-ounce bars of the same product at Ralphs (about 44 cents an ounce).
Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

CLEANING SUPPLIES

It's such a great feeling to have a clean house, but such a drag when the supplies cost almost as much as hiring a cleaning person. Don't let grocery store prices get you down. A three-pack of Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges will run you $3.99 at Ralphs, but at Target you can pick up a four pack of Scotch Brite Non Scratch sponges for $3.79. At Ralphs, a 64-ounce jug of Clorox Bleach runs $2.79 (4.3 cents an ounce), while at Target, 116 ounces of Splashless Clorox cost $3.97 (3.4 cents an ounce) giving an overall better price for quantity of product.
Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

STORAGE CONTAINERS

For storing food, children's supplies, or whatever your household needs may be, there's nothing better than plastic storage containers. But why pay through the nose for them? Ralphs has Rubbermaid Easy-Find Lids food storage containers priced at $10.99 for a 6-piece set. But you can get the same set of Rubbermaid containers from Target for $5.84 on sale, down from $6.49.
Voila Embossed Wine Bottle Gift Bags
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

WINE BOTTLE GIFT BAGS

It happens all the time. You have to attend a party, you buy the host a bottle of wine and have nothing to put it in. At Ralph's, a True Fabrications Logo Purse Wine Bag will run you $4.24 What a waste of money. It's cheaper in the long run to stop by the Dollar Tree and stock up on a few of these Voila Embossed Wine Bottle Gift Bags for a dollar.
Expressions from Hallmark
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

GREETING CARDS

At grocery stores, a Hallmark card will run you upward of $3 or $4, and that's just the starting price. Dollar Tree has hundreds of cards starting at 2 for $1. Now you can celebrate every moment with family and friends with exclusive greeting cards at the perfect price.
The Home Store White Premium Paper Napkins
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

PARTY SUPPLIES

While Ralphs stocks party supplies, a 24-count pack of napkins starts at $1.59 while a 50-count pack will go for $1 at Dollar Tree.
Great Value Economy Heavy Duty Paper Plates
Photo credit: Courtesy of walmart.com

PAPER PRODUCTS

Dixie brand 9-inch paper plates in a pretty designer pattern may seem like a great deal at $3.69 per 48 count but not when you realize that at Walmart you can purchase 140 count of heavy-duty 9-inch paper plates for $6.32. That's a difference of over 3 cents per plate, and it adds up.
Trader Joe's Vitamin D 1000iu
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

VITAMINS

You might not realize the savings you can reap on vitamins simply by purchasing them at a different store. A 100-count bottle of Kroger Vitamin D 1000 iu softgels is $8.99 on sale at the grocery store. A 180-count bottle of Trader Joe's Vitamin D 1000 iu softgels is only $4.99. That's almost double the amount at half the price. That's a 44 percent savings. Incidentally Trader Joe's has great deals on vitamins and supplements.
Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste with Fluoride
Photo credit: Courtesy of target.com

TOOTHPASTE

Three 8-ounce tubes of Colgate Cavity Protection toothpaste with fluoride cost a mere $4.99 at Target. Compare that to $2.99 for one 6-ounce tube of Colgate Maxfresh Clean Mint toothpaste at Ralphs. Target gives you toothpaste at 20 cents per ounce vs. 49 cents per ounce from Ralphs.
Sunbeam 9-Volt Batteries
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

BATTERIES

Need 9-volt batteries for your fire alarm system? Dollar Tree has Sunbeam 9-Volt Batteries two-count packs available for $1 per pack. Compare that to the $17.99 price for a four-pack of Duracell Coppertop 9-Volt Batteries.
Men's Size 10-13 Low-Cut Athletic Socks
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

SOCKS

Whether you lose one in the dryer or just wear through 'em, socks should be replaced once there's a hole or the elastic gets loose. Dollar Tree has a good selection of men's, women's, and children's socks. Men's size 10-13 low-cut athletic socks come in a three-count packs and cost $1. Hanes Men's Cushion Ankle Socks come in a 6-pack and cost $14.99 at Ralphs.
Supreme Tradition Ground Cinnamon
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

SPICES

Spices are spices are spices. Roxanne Edwards of the Consumer Affairs Department at Stop & Shop told the Kitchn she believes that "the cost differential between the store brand and the marquee names is primarily based upon one simple factor: marketing." Kroger's Spice Islands 1.9-ounce ground Saigon cinnamon retails for a whopping $5.99, while a 3-ounce bottle of ground cinnamon at the Dollar Tree will run you $1. The 2.25-ounce bottle of Supreme Tradition Cayenne Pepper is $1 at Dollar Tree. And Spice Islands' 2.3-ounce bottle is $6.49 at Ralphs.
Breezy Lavender-Scented Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Photo credit: Courtesy of dollartree.com

LAUNDRY SUPPLIES

Shoppers can save loads — so to speak — on laundry supplies at the Dollar Store. Breezy lavender-scented fabric softener dryer sheets are 55 count and $1 per box. At Ralph's, Bounce costs $5.49 for an 80 count box. Buying 50 fluid ounces of Gain detergent will run 99 cents more at the grocery store than at Dollar Tree. Need a bag for your delicates? Why spend $2.99 on one bag at Ralphs when you can purchase three for $1 at Dollar Tree.

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