If you are making a trip to the grocery store anytime soon, then this is the article you should be reading. The grocery store is a great place, don’t get us wrong—we love food!
But with warehouse stores like Costco, offering much cheaper prices, and Amazon, which offers free shipping, your options for other homewares are plentiful. In order to save some money, it’s best to do your homework. Which we did for you. You’re welcome.
These days, when you go to buy a greeting card you’ll be looking to spend around five dollars. You know what the person would appreciate much more than a $5 greeting card? A $5 gift certificate to Starbucks. At least then it’s something they can use, rather than read a couple times and place in a closet, thinking they’ll go back and reflect on it later, when we all know that never happens. It ends up just taking up space.
So, instead of the greeting card at the grocery store, buy one of those prepaid Starbucks gift cards and put some money on there. Then just write a nice, personal note—instead of relying on something a bored greeting card writer stuck in a dull, corporate office created for you.
While most electronics these days are charged by an outlet over battery use, we still sometimes power through them (pun intended). Instead of purchasing a pack of batteries at your grocery store, buy them at a Walmart or Costco to save yourself some money.
Sure enough, those batteries will keep running out so if you buy in bulk you’ll save both time and money.
The only time we really see people reading magazines these days is when they travel. With the popularity of iPads and Kindles ever on the rise, paper magazines are being read less and less often. Join the crusade and opt in for the digital life instead of using paper magazines.
You’ll save the $5 you’d spend buying it individually when you read it online. On the other hand, if it’s a magazine you read often, you could always subscribe to the yearly order; you’d save in the long run, and most companies offer a free reading online.
But we suggest sticking to the digital version of ‘zines: you’ll be helping the environment go green and save paper, since you’ll just be tossing the magazine out in a couple days anyways.
Diapers can rack up the bill really quickly, no matter where you buy them, but it’s even worse when you pick them up at the grocery store. If you are trying to save some money, go elsewhere where you can buy in bulk like Sam’s Club.
If you don’t have a membership there, check CVS—they offer coupons all the time and have a rewards program. Along with a four-page receipt, you’ll get more discounts for your next CVS run where you can keep saving money.
Amazon Prime also offers a subscription to certain household items and you can pick the delivery option so you never have to worry about running to the store for diapers. They have their own brand, which will save money as well.
Again, you could also do the green option and use cloth diapers, but we understand that may be a little much.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, but let’s be honest, most of us replace our toothbrush maybe twice a year. However, if it is time for you to get a new toothbrush, don’t do it at the grocery store.
Your best bet is to go somewhere like Target or CVS where it will be cheaper. We’ll caution you against the warehouse stores here, though. Unless you’re buying for your whole family, there is no reason to buy in bulk at a Costco.
If you really want to save money, just ask your dentist for one or two on your next visit. And definitely take the one from the hotel on your next vacation—it’s what they’re there for.
There are a couple options here. You could go all out and go to an actual bakery and get one of the great cakes they make from scratch. Or you could go to a Costco or Sam’s Club and get a good cake for a fourth of the price you’d pay at your local grocery store.
Grocery stores may have some decent frozen cakes or pre-made ones, but if you really want the biggest bang for your buck, a warehouse store is the place to go. Or you could just make it yourself; even if you aren’t the best baker, remember, it’s the thought that counts!
The reason we don’t think the grocery store is the best place for pet food is because of their lack of incentive. They don’t offer anything to entice us to go there whereas Petsmart or PetCo have loyalty rewards programs where you’ll end up saving money.
Alternatively, hit up Costco and you’ll have enough dog food until Armageddon, but you’ll only have to go once every so often and it’s cheaper. You could also look on Amazon for their subscription service, as they have plenty of affordable options.
Truth be told, we should try not to buy bottled water if we can help it. It’s essentially the same thing as using a Brita, but it’s more expensive and a lot more plastic. Stop killing the environment, and your wallet, by buying loads of bottled water at your local grocer.
Having said that, we encourage you to look into the Brita-style options that go in your fridge or attach to your sink.
If you’re interested, there are also home delivery options by companies like Arrowhead with those five-gallon jugs and water dispensers where you could just fill up your own bottles on the spot.
Sure, the grocery store has a half aisle dedicated to kitchenware but you really shouldn’t even consider looking at it unless it’s a true culinary emergency. There is not a big selection, and the items they do have are going to be incredibly more expensive than a place like Costco or Target.
If you’re willing to search, some other great options for super cheap kitchenware are discount stores like T.J Maxx and Marshall’s.
Spices are expensive. Necessary, but expensive. Especially when you only use that paprika seldomly but it costs you $5 for three ounces.
The best thing is to go to a wholesale spot like Costco, or a local market where you don’t have to buy so much of it. If you shop around online, you’ll be able to find a starter kit, which will give you a lot of the basic spices every home chef needs at a discounted price.
We haven’t mentioned the dollar store yet but this is the only spot where you should get party supplies. Tablecloths, balloons, hats—all the things you will only use once and then throw out. They don’t need to come from the grocery store, which will charge an arm and leg, and they don’t need to come from Costco, which will try to sell you at least 100 party hats.
This is where the dollar store will save you a bunch of money, plus they’ll probably have more options than your basic grocery store.
This is the same theory as the kitchenware but to an even greater degree. The grocery store is not a hardware store—stop trying to make it into what it is not.
You want to go somewhere like a Target, Home Depot, or Lowe’s for light bulbs. You could also look at—you guessed it—Amazon, since they always have cheap electronics. However, if you really want to light it up and you have a lot of light bulbs in your home or apartment, then, of course, the leader is Costco.