40+ Most Overpriced Foods That Are Best to Avoid Buying Altogether

These Foods Are Way Too Overpriced

Food prices have gone up lately, leaving many people unable to stock their fridges the way they used to. However, there are certain hacks that supermarkets don’t want you to know… A lot of overpriced foods can be substituted with cheaper alternatives, or they can even be made at home! Take a look at the most overpriced products that simply aren’t worth your precious money.

Boxed Baking Mixes

On a similar note, boxed baking mixes may be convenient but they cost way more than basic baking ingredients — which tend to be quite affordable. If you want to save time while baking, you can make your own boxed baking mixes at home!

Boxed Baking Mixes

Whenever you have some free time, pre-mix all of your dry baking ingredients and then you’ll have them ready whenever you’re inspired to create a sweet treat. As with all pre-made foods, it’ll be much healthier if you DIY it. That way, you know exactly what’s in it.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds don’t really have any flavor but are often added to foods for texture and health benefits. However, chia seed’s cousin, sesame seeds, are more affordable, offer similar health benefits, and texture, and have some flavor to them!

Chia Seeds

The only downside is the aesthetics — for some reason, chia seeds feel a little more Instagram-worthy than sesame seeds. That being said, if you want to save money on your groceries, sesame seeds are definitely the way to go!

Juice

Store-bought, freshly squeezed juices may save you money in the short term but if you invest in a juicer for your home, you’ll make your money back extremely quickly! Sure, a juicer might cost a hefty sum, but if you’re an avid juice drinker — it’s the smartest financial option.

Juice

Just think of your juicer as an investment. Furthermore, a lot of “freshly squeezed” juices have tons of sugar in them. If you make your own, you can control exactly what goes into your drinks!

Trail Mix

Trail Mix can often feel like the perfect snack! That being said, it’s not exactly a complex dish that’s difficult to make. It’s literally just a mix of different nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t make it yourself.

Trail Mix

That way, it’ll be custom-made to your liking and it’ll cost a lot less than at the supermart. Homemade trail mix can last in a sealed container for up to three weeks, so just make it when you have time and you’ll be set for the month!

Frozen Fruit Bars

Frozen fruit bars, or their unhealthy cousin — popsicles — can easily be made at home and there’s no reason to pay for them at the store. Most of what you pay for popsicles at a supermarket is for the packaging anyway, not the actual product.

Frozen Fruit Bars

As always, making your own frozen fruit bars gives you the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in them. Furthermore, it can be a great activity to do with young kids, as this is a bit of cooking that’s completely safe for small children!

Supplements

Supplements (such as protein powders, collagen powders, and so on) promise to boost your health but for a steep price. The issue is that the supplement industry is regulated as food, not medicine — meaning that companies can claim whatever they want on their packaging, without ever having to prove it, as long as the supplement is edible.

Supplements

The best option, to make sure you’re not wasting your money on something that doesn’t work, is to try and find foods that naturally provide the nutrients you’re looking for. Also, consult your doctor, they should be able to give you a smart recommendation.

Boneless Chicken Breasts

No one’s arguing that boneless chicken breasts are extremely convenient to cook with. That being said, if someone’s really struggling to afford this product, it’s still entirely possible to enjoy some chicken!

Boneless Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts with the bones are literally half the price of their more convenient counterpart! Think about it this way: How long would it take you to cut out the bone, versus how long would it take you to earn that extra money to buy the chicken boneless?

Mashed Potatoes

A general rule of thumb is to buy fresh ingredients and cook on your own, as much as possible, rather than buying the boxes of pre-mixed stuff. The pre-made, boxed foods are filled with additives, preservatives, and a whole lot of stuff you really don’t want to put in your body.

Mashed Potatoes

They’re also significantly more expensive! Want mashed potatoes? Buy a sack of fresh spuds and make them at home. It’ll be healthier, cheaper, and can be an activity to do with a loved one!

Bread

2020 created an interesting combination of people being bored at home with a desire to save money and a need to find solutions to soaring food prices. The result? Everyone learned how to bake bread!

Bread

The truth is that bread prices have gotten out of hand. It also isn’t difficult to make at home, so why not give it a try? Obviously, it’ll be much fresher if it’s homemade, too. This argument can be made for pretty much any baked goods. The ingredients will always be easier to afford than the finished product.

Whole Poultry

Not only is buying a whole bird expensive but, lately, it’s been difficult to find in stores. Another option is to simply buy parts of the bird, which will wind up costing less than the whole thing.

Whole Poultry

Let’s be honest: the food is going to be cut into pieces when you eat it, anyway! Or, if you don’t like that option, you can buy frozen poultry, instead. Hey, it’s gonna have to be heated when cooked either way!

Truffles

Truffles add a high-class, indulgent element to any meal. However, you have to be ready to splurge if you want to enjoy them… Depending on how fancy you want your truffles to be, a pound of them could set you back anywhere from $80 to $4,000!

Truffles

For those of us who don’t want to spend two months’ rent on a meal, there’s a cheaper solution — truffle oil! At an average of $12 a bottle, truffle oil is still an indulgence but a much more manageable one.

Croutons

Like bread, croutons can also be made at home. Like pretty much anything, not only will you save money by making your own croutons but you’ll also be able to control how healthy/unhealthy they are.

Croutons

While you’re at it, you can also make your own bread crumbs at home, rather than buying packets. If you’re not a fan of baking, you can swap out croutons for nuts or chickpeas to get that same crunch, at a cheaper price.

Filet Mignon

If you love steak and you’re buying filet mignon separately, we hate to tell you, but you’re wasting your money! Filet mignon is super expensive and can be found in any good ol’ T-bone steak anyway.

Filet Mignon

Buying a whole T-bone steak, including the filet mignon, rather than just the filet mignon by itself, can save you up to three to five dollars per pound. In short: you get more meat for less money. That sounds great to us!

Garlic

Food snobs will always insist that fresh garlic is the best, but we beg to differ. Garlic powder and garlic paste are just as good, especially when cooked into a dish. Both options are cheaper than fresh garlic and will last a lot longer.

Garlic

If you don’t particularly love cooking, using garlic paste or powder will save you tons of time, as opposed to peeling and cutting fresh garlic. We say any type of this flavoring is fine, just do what works for you.

Spice Mixes

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever, to pay for pre-mixed spices. Spice mixes are simply a combination of basic spices that you most likely have in your kitchen, anyway. It’s very rare that there’s something “special” in the mix that you can’t just get on your own.

Spice Mixes

Our advice is to simply google a recipe for the spice mix you want and make it yourself at home. In fact, out of everything in the supermarket, we have to say that spice mixes are probably the biggest scam.

Fresh Produce

There’s a common misconception that fresh produce is more nutritious than frozen or canned produce. The truth is, that the same nutrients are in all of those options and it’s just a matter of which way you prefer those items packaged.

Fresh Produce

Oftentimes, buying fresh produce can result in spending more money, since it tends to go bad before you’ve had the chance to use it all up. If you buy canned or frozen produce, it’ll last a lot longer, meaning you get more bang for your buck!

Sour Cream

Sour cream and greek yogurt are often interchangeable in recipes, as their textures and flavors are extremely similar. Therefore, if one of the two is pricey at your local supermarket, simply go for the other one!

Sour Cream

This is especially relevant if a recipe calls for creme fraiche, which can be quite expensive. Simply buy either sour cream or Greek yogurt, depending on which is on sale, and no one will be able to taste the difference!

Fresh Seafood

Here’s a fun fact that may make you feel like you’ve wasted your money: there’s no such thing as “fresh” seafood in a supermarket. All seafood needs to be frozen when brought to the store, so the “fresh” stuff has just been thawed out for you.

Fresh Seafood

Interestingly, frozen fish is a lot cheaper than “fresh fish” and the only difference is that you have to thaw it out yourself. The fact that stores charge extra for “fresh” seafood seems a little fishy to us… Yes, we went there.

Pre-Packaged Meals

Any form of pre-packaged meal, whether it’s a lunch box, snack box, or frozen dinner, is a huge waste of money. Buying those same ingredients in bulk is much cheaper in the long run than getting the pre-packaged meal boxes.

Pre-Packaged Meals

Plus, that way you can customize your meals exactly to your liking! If you find that you’re often pressed for time, simply choose an afternoon to pre-package all your meals yourself, so you can just grab them and go!

Salmon

Salmon is most definitely a superfood but it can also be super expensive! This fish can easily set you back anywhere between $10 to $25 per pound. However, the largely underestimated mackerel is just as healthy as salmon and will also satisfy any fishing craving.

Salmon

At just $7 to $11 per pound, mackerel can be a lot more affordable than the more popular salmon. To get mackerel for an even lower price, get it in a can, it’ll last a lot longer that way, too.

Goji Berries

We’re not arguing that goji berries are healthy for you, they definitely are! However, the benefits of this berry are often exaggerated, as it’s not that different from any other type of berry in terms of health benefits.

Goji Berries

Frozen raspberries are a lot cheaper than goji berries and just as healthy. In fact, since goji berry is dried fruit, it’s higher in sugar than raspberries. Also, raspberries cost an average of $8 per pound, while goji berries are usually around $13 per pound. Just saying…

Pre-Mixed Soup

We can’t stress this enough: pre-mixed anything is a bad move! There are tons of preservatives and unhealthy stuff in there. Furthermore, you’re literally paying at least double the price for someone else to mix your food for you.

Pre-Mixed Soup

Buying soup ingredients is a whole lot cheaper, and you can just mix them independently. If not having enough time is the issue, keep in mind that soup can last quite a while in the fridge. Simply make it once and store it for the whole week, it’ll be just fine.

Health Bars

Health bars, energy bars, granola bars, protein bars — whatever you want to call them, don’t buy them at the supermarket unless you’ve got too much cash. These bars are wildly overpriced and often sold in small packs, or sometimes individually, for a whopping $4.

Health Bars

However, if you buy the huge packs, in bulk, which can be found online, you can get the same item for just $0.88 per bar. It’s also worth noting that health bars are fairly easy to make at home, which is obviously the cheapest option.

Granola

Lately, granola prices have soared! Luckily, this snack is similar to trail mix in that it’s made up of a mix of ingredients that you can just buy and mix on your own.

Granola

Just get oats, nuts, dried fruit, and whatever else you want in your granola, mix it all together, and there you go! Also, keep in mind, that all of those ingredients can be used for a variety of other dishes, so feel free to save money by buying in bulk.

Smoothies

If you’re thinking short-term, then yes, buying a bottled smoothie is cheaper than buying a blender — there’s no debating that. However, if you find yourself buying smoothies quite often, then you’ll find that investing in a blender will actually save you money in the long run.

Smoothies

It’s a lot healthier that way, too, as smoothie labels can often be misleading. Here’s a disturbing fact: a pre-made smoothie can contain the same amount of sugar as a small bottle of Coca-Cola! Um, no thanks!

Guacamole

This is yet another food that’s super easy to make at home and it’s a lot cheaper and healthier that way! Let’s be honest, homemade guacamole is way tastier, too. Who wants a dip that’s been sitting in a jar forever, as opposed to something fresh?

Guacamole

Avocados tend to be just a little over $1 per pound, while a jar of guacamole can be anywhere between $3 to $5. Seeing as how the average bowl of guacamole requires less than a pound of avocados, homemade is definitely the more affordable option.

Salad Dressings

The average salad dressing consists of ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen, anyway. So why would you pay extra for a pre-mixed bottle of salad dressing at the grocery store?

Salad Dressings

Most supermarket salad dressings are made of cheap vegetable or seed oils that don’t have a lot of nutritional value. Your best option is to just make your own salad dressing and invest the money you saved in some high-quality olive oil.

Chips

Chips are one of those items that seem a lot more complicated to make than they actually are. In fact, if you like healthy chips (which tend to be pricier,) you’ll have an even easier time making those at home!

Chips

The best part about making your own chips is that you won’t have to deal with the infuriating reality of half the bag being filled with just air. So, yeah, let’s not get taken advantage of by half-empty chip bags!

Bagged Lettuce

Yes, bagged salad is significantly more convenient than washing and cutting your own lettuce. That being said, if you’re already going through the trouble of making a salad, you’ve probably got the time to prepare the lettuce, too.

Bagged Lettuce

Bagged salads are usually around $3 while lettuce is just $1. So, it’s literally going to cost you three times the price to have someone else handle the lettuce for you! Which begs the question: How badly do you want to save those five minutes that it takes to wash and cut lettuce?

Hummus

Grocery stores, especially the fancy, health-oriented ones, love to capitalize on hummus’s popularity by selling it for a whopping $5 per tub! However, those who have grown up eating hummus as part of their culture can tell you that it’s incredibly easy to make.

Hummus

A pound of chickpeas costs less than $1, so you’d simply need to invest in a food processor. You can also use the food processor to make hummus’s equally tasty cousin — tahini.

Saffron

Saffron is, easily, one of the most expensive spices in the world and can often go up to $73 per ounce. This means that a pound of saffron could set you back $1,168! While there’s really no way to get saffron cheaper, it is possible to make something similar that won’t break the bank.

Saffron

Mixing paprika and turmeric will give you that same sweet/earthy flavor. Or, you know, you can spend half your salary on flavoring your meal with one of the most expensive spices in the world…

Individual Servings

Supermarkets love to sell individually packaged items for the person who isn’t going to eat a huge amount. However, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy the item at its normal size and simply divide it into serving sizes on your own.

Individual Servings

For example, a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola is roughly $2, and a 24-pack of Coca-Cola, with each can weighing 12 ounces, is $25. You’re essentially paying more for someone else to ration your food for you, and that’s just silly.

Rice Mixes

Rice mixes are a perfect example of how grocery stores can hike up the prices of very inexpensive foods, and people pay it because they don’t know any better. Uncooked, white rice is usually $0.82 per pound. Meanwhile, rice mixes can cost $7!

Rice Mixes

For that kind of price difference, you can buy some seriously fancy ingredients to put in your rice and simply mix it yourself. As always, DIY proves itself to be the best option for most people.

Infused Olive Oils

Another example of affordable food made overpriced is infused olive oils. Infused olive oils can easily go up to $10-$20 more than just a regular bottle of olive oil, which you can infuse with whatever you like, on your own.

Infused Olive Oils

Furthermore, infused olive oils go bad much quicker than regular olive oil, which means you may be wasting your money if you need to throw out the bottle before you’ve used it all up.

Pre-Cut Fruits

Okay, let’s be honest – we’re all perfectly capable of cutting our own fruit. Sure, some fruits are a little tricker than others (we’re looking at you, pineapple) but it’s still a really big waste of money to pay for someone else to cut it for you.

Pre-Cut Fruits

Most pre-cut fruits are literally double the price of the whole fruit. For example, a whole pineapple is typically $2.75, while a pound of pre-cut pineapple is $4.28. Yeah, we think we’ll just learn how to cut it ourselves, thanks.

Baby Food

Having children may be rewarding but it’s also extremely expensive, and to make matters worse, baby food is incredibly overpriced. Luckily, making your own baby food is a lot easier than it seems!

Baby Food

Simply invest in a food processor (it’s well worth the money — especially if you plan to have more than one kid) and put the food into containers. See? It’s easy! This way, you’ll be exposing your baby to more, and fresher, flavors.

Powdered Iced Tea Mixes

To tell you the truth, there’s very little tea involved in powdered iced tea mixes — they’re mostly just sugar. Making your own iced tea is a lot healthier, cheaper, and usually tastier than buying powdered mixes at the supermarket.

Powdered Iced Tea Mixes

Simply make a hot pot of tea and then put it in the fridge for a few hours. Mixing a powder with water isn’t really any more convenient than mixing tea bags with water, so are you really saving time by buying those tea mixes?

Kale

Kale can be a pretty acquired taste that health-conscious people often force themselves to like because it’s a superfood. This, arguably unappealing green averages around $3 per pound.

Kale

However, broccoli offers all the same health benefits as kale, it’s just a little less hyped-up is all. This modest vegetable is usually $1.50 to $2 per pound. We have to say that broccoli seems a lot easier to swallow than kale — both in price and in flavor!

Pizza

We don’t really understand why people buy supermarket pizza. If you don’t care about money and you’re going for flavor, simply order pizza from a restaurant — it’ll be much tastier than what you buy at the grocery store.

Pizza

If you’re trying to be frugal, then make pizza at home — which will be much cheaper than buying one from the store. If you want to spend a lot of money on extremely average pizza — then supermarket pizza is perfect for you!

Kombucha

Kombucha is one of the most expensive non-adult beverages in a supermarket and it’s something that you can make at home. To be fair, kombucha can take several days, or even weeks, to prepare, so the store-bought stuff may be the best option if you’re having a sudden craving.

Kombucha

In that case, we recommend buying the lesser-known kombucha, as opposed to the name brands. They taste exactly the same and your wallet will thank you for it.

Organic Produce With Peels

We’re not saying that all organic produce is a waste of money, but when it comes to foods with a thick peel — like avocadoes or bananas — there’s absolutely no reason to pay extra for organic.

Organic Produce With Peels

Given that organic produce can range between 7%-82% more than their non-organic counterparts, it’s probably worth checking which items you can get away with buying non-organic.

Nuts

Nuts can be quite pricey, high in fat, and very easy to overeat. A bag of nuts is kind of like a bag of chips, as with both you keep telling yourself you’ll have “just one more handful” over and over until you’ve eaten all of it.

Nuts

Roasted chickpeas, however, can also make for a great snack, they’re less fattening and much cheaper. A bag of mixed nuts is usually around $6 to $7 per pound, while a bag of chickpeas tends to go for $0.29 to $0.38 per pound.

Organic Quinoa

Quinoa is certainly healthy, and supermarkets love to advertise organic quinoa as even healthier, which is why people are willing to spend so much money on it. However, organic quinoa is actually a huge scam because quinoa doesn’t require pesticides when being grown.

Organic Quinoa

Quinoa crops naturally have a bitter-tasting coating on them, which makes them unappealing to pests. This means that the store’s non-organic quinoa is the exact same thing as its “organic” counterpart — just cheaper. So, don’t be fooled by the marketing!

Pre-Formed Meat Patties

It takes less than 30 seconds to shape some ground beef into a patty and throw it on the grill. So, how long would it take you to earn the extra money that you spend on pre-formed meat patties? Probably longer than 30 seconds…

Pre-Formed Meat Patties

Furthermore, it’s been suggested that pre-formed meat has more E. coli than ground meat. While more research is needed on that, it is a fact that the majority of beef recalls have involved pre-formed patties, as opposed to ground beef.

Bottled Water

Unless you live in Flint, Michigan, there’s really no reason why you need to buy bottled water. Not only is it incredibly expensive but it’s also terrible for the environment. Buying a water filter will save you a lot of money in the long run!

Bottled Water

If you live in an area in which a water filter simply won’t be enough, you can buy large jugs of distilled water. They’re still cheaper than small bottles of water and the jugs can be reused for other beverages.