There’s a right way to do your grocery shopping — and, almost by definition, a wrong way. In search of higher profits, supermarkets try to woo you with products that are more convenient, but also more expensive. These products include ready-made items that can be prepared much more cheaply at home, produce you’d be better off buying in its simplest form, and non-food items that are significantly less expensive at other retailers.
I asked a couple of budget-minded bloggers to help me identify which supermarket offerings can blow your food budget — and then I ran the numbers myself. (To avoid having the results skewed by the high grocery prices in New York City, where most of MONEY’s staff lives, I used pricing from a Kroger supermarket in Mount Pleasant, Mich.)