If you’re a regular shopper at Kroger grocery stores, you probably have your go-tos—the items perennially on your list that work for your household’s tastes, dietary restrictions, and lifestyle. But if you’re buying a particular category of groceries at the grocery store, you’re doing it wrong, according to a range of retail experts. Read on to learn what the experts say you should never buy at Kroger—and why.
Experts agree—buying pre-cut foods from Kroger is a mistake. “Statistics show that Kroger increases the cost of pre-cut items by almost 370 percent,” says Johan Liebert, shopping expert and founder of the deals platform DazzDeals.
Pre-washed, pre-cut kale costs 317 percent more than the untouched stuff, Liebert says. He also notes that pre-cut celery at Kroger costs $2.99 for 14 ounces. On the other hand, a large celery stalk weighing a little more than a pound costs $1.59.
“There’s no point paying more for an item that you could easily cut at home. It can save you around $1 to $5 per item,” he says.
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Another item that is unnecessarily expensive at Kroger is gift cards, experts say. And that’s not because they are overpriced, but rather because they are priced right at face value.
“You should never buy gift cards at Kroger,” explains Elisa Bender, co-founder of RevenueGeeks. “Kroger always sells gift cards at full price, which may seem normal to the typical consumer. But after conducting some basic research, you’ll find that big-box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club sell discounted packs of gift cards, which can save you 20 percent off $100 worth of gift cards.”
Additionally, she notes, many other small stores and restaurants offer holiday “give one, get one” deals, which can help you get way more value for your dollar than buying gift cards at full price at Kroger.
When you’re filling a prescription, it’s always a good idea to shop around; sometimes costs can vary wildly from pharmacy to pharmacy. And many shoppers swear by a service like GoodRx to help them identify a place nearby with the best price, and provide coupons for purchase at a reduced rate.
With that in mind, you should compare prices, and also be aware that your local Kroger might not have the best one. “One thing that you should never be buying from Kroger is prescriptions,” warns Faruzo CEO Aviad Faruz, an e-commerce business owner. “Stores like Kroger have some of the highest prices for prescription drugs. You’ll fare much better getting your medicine from an actual pharmacy or from Costco. The inflated price won’t matter much if you have insurance, but if you’re paying out of pocket avoid Kroger.”