6 items you’re paying too much for at the supermarket

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You’re already at the supermarket picking up bread and milk. There’s a long list of other things you need too, and it would just save time to get them at the supermarket, too. But in some cases, you’ll spend a lot more money if you buy them at the grocery store than at a discount store like Target or Walmart. Here are some of the top things that will bust your budget if you buy them at a supermarket.

Household Items

When a lightbulb burns out or you need some plastic tumblers, you’re not likely to find any bargains at the grocery store. There may be some emergency situations where you have to get them at the supermarket, but you’ll save money if you can get them at more appropriate stores like discount stores or warehouse clubs.


It seems like batteries always run out at the most inconvenient times. When your remote control is suddenly dead and you’ve come away empty-handed after searching your kitchen junk drawer for more batteries, it seems easiest just to run to the supermarket for more. But the supermarket is one of the most expensive places to buy batteries—often costing as much as double the regular rate. Get them virtually anywhere else and you’ll save money.

Cosmetics and Beauty Products

Many women know that drugstore makeup and skin care products often work just as well as those at pricier department stores. But if you buy these mass-market brands at the supermarket instead of at a drugstore or discount store, you lose a lot of the savings compared to buying premium brands. Don’t browse for makeup at the grocery store—wait and do so on your next Target run instead.

Cleaning Products

Unless you’re shopping for items that are specifically on sale, cleaning products will generally cost more at the supermarket. This is especially true when it comes to products that are already more expensive, such as laundry detergent and trash bags. If you must buy these items at the supermarket, at least try to find coupons first.

Fresh Herbs

Nothing adds lively flavor to a homemade dish like fresh herbs. Unfortunately, fresh herbs are pretty expensive at the supermarket, and a lot of what you buy goes to waste. But you don’t have to resort to using inferior dried herbs and there isn’t a better place to buy fresh herbs. The real solution is to grow your own! Even those with the blackest thumbs and the tiniest apartments can usually manage to grow some fresh basil or oregano in a pot on the windowsill with a minimum of effort. (Just make sure not to over-water them!)

Name-Brand OTC Medications

When you have a headache or need some cold medicine, you want to get relief as quickly as possible. While you might think that it couldn’t hurt to get them at the supermarket while you’re picking up bread and milk, name-brand over-the-counter medications are much more expensive at grocery stores than at discount stores. Choose to buy them at a different store or opt for the generic version to save money.