12 Supermarket Myths That Make You Waste Money

It's time to set the record straight — for the sake of your wallet. 

Shoppers on a budget (and even those who aren't) will be surprised to learn that they may actually be wasting money at the grocery store when they're trying to save. Is bulk always better? And when should you buy fresh fruit over frozen? Here are 12 supermarket myths that might be costing you cash:

MYTH: Organic Is Always the Healthiest Option

It's no secret that organic foods tend to cost more than conventionally grown produce. But is the label worth it? Well, it depends. Some fruits and vegetables consistently carry higher levels of pesticide residue than others, even after washing. Others, particularly those with skins that peel away, generally have less pesticide residue. Splurge on the 12 Foods to Always Buy Organic and save on the others.

MYTH: Bulk Is Best

Sometimes bigger is better, especially when you have a large family to feed. Before you buy in bulk, though, you should consider how quickly the products will spoil — if you won't use it up before it expires, you're just throwing away money and producing waste. Plus, some items are cheaper in smaller quantities. Take a close look at the price tag (and your meal plans) before you drop a pretty penny on a bulk buy.

MYTH: Fresh Is Always Better Than Frozen

While it's always great to fill up on fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh isn't necessarily healthier than frozen. In fact, frozen produce and seafood is sometimes even more nutrient-packed, as flash freezing helps foods retain their flavor and nutrients. Fresh versions, however, often languish in trucks and on shelves, losing substantial nutrition with each passing day. Plus, you can buy in-and-out-of-season frozen foods for much cheaper than their fresh counterparts. Freeze away!

Read more: You Should Buy These Vegetables and Fruit Frozen All Year

MYTH: Sales Always Save You Money

Here's the thing about sales: You'll only save money if you were actually planning to purchase the marked-down item in the first place. When you buy something you don't need just because it's on sale, you're technically losing money that you weren't planning to spend. So, yes, sales are great — but use them wisely.

MYTH: Brown Eggs Are Better Than White

Have you ever heard that brown eggs are healthier than white ones? Well, that's totally false (and it's also not true that white hens lay white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs). The color has nothing to do with the nutrient-value or flavor of the eggs, so feel free to buy whatever's cheaper.

MYTH: Generic Foods Aren't High Quality

Generic brands are often made in the same facilities as name-brand products. The only difference, more often than not, is the label on the package. So go ahead and buy the store-brand version of your favorite name-brand groceries. You most likely won't even taste the difference.

MYTH: You'll Save Money By Shopping Once a Week

Limiting your grocery store visits to once per week can actually end up costing you money in the long run, as you might be tempted to grab things that aren't essential "just in case." If you live near the supermarket, it might be beneficial to visit more often and purchase things as you need them.

MYTH: Don't Stray From Your List

In theory, this is a good rule. But it's not always applicable. Let's say you get to the store and you notice they're offering BOGO rotisserie chickens. You might not have had rotisserie chickens on your list, but you realize you can use them to make cheaper meals than you'd initially planned. In this case, it makes sense to forgo certain items on your list for the more practical ones.

MYTH: It Doesn't Matter When You Shop

Surprisingly, it can matter which day of the week you do your shopping. Experts say that many grocery stores change their ads midweek (Wednesday or Thursday), so that's when you have the best chance of scoring new deals. Another pro-tip: You'll find the best produce selections in the morning.

MYTH: Use Coupons For Everything

Coupons are great to have in certain situations, but use them with caution. If you get too caught up with coupon clipping, you may end up buying things you don't really need. Use coupons for items you use all the time. If you wouldn't normally buy the product, skip the coupon.

MYTH: The Express Line Is Always Faster

This isn't as much a money-saving tip as it is a time-saving tip (and time is money). Most people head to the "10 items or fewer" checkout line because it seems like it would be quicker, but that's just the thing: Most people head there. Your best bet for a short checkout experience is usually the lane farthest to the left.

MYTH: It's OK to 'Fib' On Self-Checkout

As much as you want to save money, it's never OK to steal from the grocery store — and that's exactly what you "fib" while checking out in the self-service lane (for example, selecting the cheaper Red Delicious option when you're buying Honeycrisp). This is not only immoral, it's illegal and can land you in serious legal trouble.

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