While perusing the vegetable section at the grocery store this week, I began looking critically at the carrots. More specifically, I was casting my critical eye upon the many carrot options presented.
Today, carrots come in a variety of packaging (or non-packaged) choices: there are organic carrots, loose carrots, baby carrots and even tinier baby carrots. Most of the packaged carrots are cleaned, peeled, cut and presented as a ready-to-eat snack.
I never felt that prepping a carrot was too much work, but there were times when I got sucked into the pre-packaged minis that made preparing for a large dinner or party that much easier. Eventually, that convenience for many of us made its way into our everyday lives, so that prepping any vegetable now is considered an unnecessary waste of time.
But this week, I was buying fruits and vegetables for a week’s worth of lunches — well in advance that I’d have time for the prep. So, there I was, staring at the carrots. Or, rather, I was staring at the unit cost of these various carrot options. Whoa.
Here’s the deal: Loose carrots in a bag were around 7 cents an ounce while the little baby carrots were closer to 30 cents an ounce. I ended up spending 88 cents rather than nearly $3. Remember, you are paying for the convenience. The closer your food purchase is to ready-to-eat status, the more you’ll pay. It’s the “value added” markup that is killing us every day.
Watch what you pay. Look for these hidden “values” that you really don’t need. Use the savings to buy income-producing assets. Retire on your own terms. Done.