You can expect to leave the grocery store with your wallet a little lighter this year.  Food prices are up 2.5% over last year.  Grocery stores have become expert at anticipating our every whim, selling everything from lawn furniture and firewood to books, toys, personal hygiene and a world of other items that have nothing to do with food.  And it’s all just so convenient – that one stop-shopping.

You can save a little money by buying smarter. 

Yahoo.Finance suggests 10 items you should never buy at a grocery store.

1.     Salad dressing.  They recommend making a nice vinigarette on your own.

2.     Gift cards.  You pay an activation fee for those cards, unless it’s for the grocery store itself.  Teachers, or whoever the intended recipient is, also eat.

3.     Greeting cards.  Buy blank cards cheaply in bulk from Amazon or other online outlets.

4.     Spices.  They recommend making purchases at health food stores.

5.     Cut flowers.  They don’t make much of an argument.  Buy a single rose.

6.     Party supplies.  Dollar Tree,  “Nuff said.

7.     Lunchables.  Just a very unhealthy choice no matter where you buy it.

8.     Batteries.  Bulk stores are best.

9.     Bottled water.  Often came from a tap.

10.   Diapers.  Bulk stores.

Actually, when it comes to diapers, we found much better advice from KPRC Local 2’s Consumer Expert Amy Davis.  She had two kids in diapers, and says she’s never purchased them at a grocery store.

“They’re way more expensive.  You can get them online just going on Amazon.  And you can also set up delivery.  So you’ll never be making a mad dash, last minute run to the grocery store,” says Davis.

And you look for deals where you can find them.  In 1984 President Ronald Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month.  Check with an ice cream shop near you and ask if they have any July specials.