Every time you decide to leave your house to make a trip to the grocery store or eat out, you’re making a conscious decision: to save money or not. Thanks to inflation, a trip to the grocery store will cost you more than ever before, and that’s why it’s so essential to make money-savvy decisions every chance you get. Sometimes you’ll be faced with buying a well-known product and its cheaper, no-name counterpart, but according to many shoppers, there are certain items that you shouldn’t feel guilty about tightening your wallet over.
Spoiler alert: household spices and seasonings are just a few items people do not want to overspend on. Sugar is one of the most common items on grocery lists, but most people have conceded that they don’t notice a difference between different brands. ” I have no reason to buy brand-name sugar,” one shopper said plainly. Think about it: would you be able to tell the difference between two sugar brands? We think not.
Although it’s one of the more basic ingredients found in the kitchen, there’s shockingly more than one kind of salt on the market. From Himalayan salt to sea salt to table salt, we wouldn’t blame anybody for being confused when they’re at the grocery store. “I’m routinely surprised by how much people pay for ‘fancy’ versions of salt,” one person admitted.
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Is more expensive flour worth it? The vast majority of shoppers have answered this question with a resounding “NO.” Frankly, we’re surprised there’s room in the market at all for more than one brand of flour. “I will always buy the store brand unbleached all-purpose flour for $2.50 before ever paying $5+ for a bag of flour that will be gone in 2 weeks,” one savvy shopper revealed. Another person echoed this sentiment, adding, “I love Bob’s Redmill products, but in this economy, I laugh past the whole section on my way to the Kroger brand.”
4. Fast Food
For budget-conscious shoppers (and even people with less-discerning palates), taking a trip through the local drive-through means, you’re getting well-fed and saving a few bucks. Still, certain items at fast food restaurants can be moderately pricey, and that’s why many people agreed with one diner who boasted, “If I have to eat fast food, I’m ordering from the dollar menu.”
Multiple people called out the elephant in the room: prices are sky-high for spices in supermarkets. Many theorized there’s no difference between the spices, as “the ingredients are as basic and simple as you can get.” Another person suggested going a different route: “A lot of people like to go to fancy spice stores and get upcharged for no reason,” they said. “You can get the same spices for cheaper at your local Asian grocery store.”
6. Peanut Butter
While many people debated whether or not well-known companies actually manufacture store brands, one woman said she happily bought cheaper peanut butter to save a few bucks. “My store brand started selling natural peanut butter about 8 years ago, and that’s what I get unless my favorite one is on sale for a comparable price,” she admitted. Come on, people, it’s peanut butter – of course, it’s going to taste amazing no matter which brand you get.
Retail prices for wine regularly approach astronomical levels. However, many shoppers revealed they couldn’t taste the difference between expensive wine and more affordable vino. “Something between $12-$20 is just fine,” a woman said. “Over that much, I can’t tell the difference, and under feels, like I’m either drinking sugar water or vinegar.” So there you go: the next time you want to enjoy a glass or two of wine, don’t guilt yourself over buying an infinitely more affordable bottle.
8. Olive Oil
Our advice? Stop overthinking your next olive oil purchase. Most of the flavor is lost during the cooking process, and nine times out of ten, buying the cheapest version of it is more sensible. Don’t believe us? As one savvy shopper explained, “It’s all adulterated anyway, so unless I’m getting it directly from an olive orchard in Italy… I’m saving my cash,” they declared.
Some people were aghast that others seemingly overpaid for specific pasta brands, calling that practice “crazy” and “silly.” As this person pointed out, all pasta is good pasta: “Maybe it’s worth spending money on something ‘fancy,’ but since I always buy the basic one, I don’t know the difference,” they said. “It’s pasta; it’s fine.” Now let’s all get back to actually eating delicious pasta instead of debating the merits of different-priced pasta.
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Rounding out this list of items that are not worth it if you buy an upscale version of them are eggs. “I’ve never tasted the difference in any eggs,” one woman said. “Whether it’s the economy class eggs or the super fancy organic eggs that cost triple or more.” In 2023, egg prices are getting out of control, so if you ask us, buying the cheapest eggs you can find combats that particular vein of inflation pretty well.
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