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Getting Ripped-Off at the Supermarket

(Marianna Massey/Getty Images for Woolworths)

We can all expect to pay more for convenience, but sometimes what we pay far exceeds the value of the convenience.  There’s no better place to see this happening than at your local supermarket.  Most of the time, the rip-offs have something directly to do with the way products are packaged.  I’ve seen them with my own eyes and have fallen victim to them, just like you.  Let me give you some things to think about so that the next time you’re shopping, you can reflect on the money you’re probably wasting.

Here are some favorite conveniences that people will buy and lose a bunch of money on every week:

  • Small packages of cereal.  The “toddler pack” of Cheerios is the worst rip-off, costing $1.89 for a one ounce plastic container.  If you were to combine those until you had a pound of Cheerios, you would realize that you’re paying about $30 a pound for Cheerios!  (Cheerios is a cereal that has a lot of air (space) in it to begin with, so you’re taking a product that’s already fairly expensive and making it more expensive.)
  • Cereal cups.  Not as bad as the toddler packs, but still can be three to four times more expensive than by buying in the box or bag.
  • Dishwasher detergent pods.  These pods can be up to three times more expensive than liquid or powder.  Plus they’re hazards to young children and pets.
  • Coffee pods.  Depending on the brand, these can make your coffee cost anywhere from $22 to $124 per pound!
  • Instant Oatmeal.  About $1 per cup.  Buying regular oatmeal and adding your own ingredients can cost less than 25 cents per cup.
  • Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  At $1 per two ounce sandwich, just make your own at home and freeze ‘em for a lot less.

Maybe it’s time you re-evaluate what you’re buying at the supermarket.  If you look at the products you buy closely, there’s a good chance you’ll find many ways to save money.  Remember, convenience = spending more $.

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