For starters, just shopping at the grocery store instead of eating every meal out is a positive. By eating breakfast at home, brewing coffee before you leave for the office, packing a lunch, and eating dinner at home can save hundreds of dollars a week depending on the size of your family, let alone over the course of an entire month. Doing the shopping every week or at least every other week not only keeps your refrigerator stocked, but also helps to resist the temptation of going out to eat. I am not saying that you need to eat every meal every day at home, but even avoiding during the week and saving for a nice dinner out of the weekend is perfectly acceptable. While grocery stopping saves on your wallet, there are still some items that you may not realize you are wasting money on.
Already Cut Fruits and Vegetables
Sure buying a container of pre-cut pineapple is convenient, but the markup is huge. With so many kitchen gadgets on the market now, you can purchase an easy pineapple slicer for $6.99 on Amazon and it can be cut in less than a minute, hardly worth paying double or triple the price to have it cut for you.
Seasoned Meat at the Counter
The meat looks nicely prepared with seasoning, but it is not worth paying the extra charge to have a rub or a bottle of marinade added that you can do yourself for a fraction of the cost. Items like steak kabobs have a large markup, as the meat was cut into cubes, and put on skewers with pre-cut vegetables. Cutting meat and vegetables takes seconds to do, so spend the extra time doing it yourself, and you will even be able to net a few extra kabobs buying the whole ingredient items.
Produce that is Not in Season
Nothing beats corn on the cob off of the grill, slathered with butter and salt, but frozen corn can be enough to tide over until summer, when you can get a handful for a dollar. Buy produce when it is in season, it is fresh, and it is cheap.
Small Bags of Snacks
Getting a pack of small snack bags of chips can be easy to grab and go, but it is not cost efficient. Instead buy a large bag of chips, and divide into sandwich bags, and you have a snack for every day of the week for pennies compared dollars.