Why We’re Overpaying For Basic Groceries and How to Avoid the Markup

When you buy certain items at the store on a regular basis, it is normal to expect that prices are going to be marked up over the years.  After all, stores need to pay all of their expenses and still make a profit, and the cost of the fuel used to transport these goods is also going up.


But you do want to watch out for items that are marked up more than you should ever pay.  Here, we will look at the markup choices that offer you the worst available deals.


For starters, be aware that most of the produce on the shelves is marked up between 50 and 75 percent over what the grocery store paid for it, to help make up for the amount of produce that ends up being thrown out before it is sold.  The markup on fruit and vegetables is extreme, due to its relatively short shelf life.  Consider instead turning to farmer’s markets and cooperatives where you can pay a single price for a share of the year’s produce production.


Meat is also significantly marked up, again, to make up for what is thrown out due to not being sold.  Most grocery stores offer steep discounts on meat that is about to expire, however, and if you are going to use or freeze it immediately, buy it – you can save big bucks.


By far, the biggest markup at your grocery store is bottled water.  Believe it or not, when it comes to water, you are paying a markup of up to 4,000 percent!!  The simple fact is that bottle water costs a fraction of a penny per gallon to source and bottle, yet carries a significant price tag.  You are likely better off boiling or filtering your own tap water if you are really concerned about quality.


Markups are a way of life and a way to make money, but paying much more than you should is never an acceptable way to do business or shop, particularly in this day and age.


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