If you really want to save money at the grocery store, it is time to be honest about what you are putting in your shopping basket. When it comes to shopping for food, many of us are guilty of buying for convenience over price, and the amount of money we can save by being more sensible and making more of an effort is incredible. With this in mind, read on for 10 pointless convenience foods you should never buy – and why…

1. Shredded Food

Come on, folks: buying shredded cheese, carrot, cabbage, onions or anything else you can think of is simply a waste of money. Besides, as we all know, cheese packs a fair few calories, why not make some room for them by burning a few off with some vigorous grating beforehand?

2. Breadcrumbs

Stop throwing out that day-old bread and make use of it. Stick it straight into a food processor, add your favorite herbs and voila! You have some yummy flavored breadcrumbs to use on for chicken breasts, fish, burgers or anything else you fancy. You can also mix together some bread chunks with olive oil, bake them and turn them into delicious croutons.

3. Lemonade

Making your own lemonade works out far cheaper than buying branded, and it’s healthier, too, because you can really keep an eye on the amount of sugar that goes in there. Wait for lemon and lime season when prices are super low and away you go: you’ll save a considerable amount of money on your refreshments.

4. Burgers

The amount of extra ingredients that are put in many pre-made burgers is astonishing, so why not cut out the garbage and make your own? It only takes a few minutes to shape together some mince, egg yolks and herbs to make a truly great burger.

5. Salad Dressing

Pre-mixed salad dressings are generally packed full of sugar and salt, but you can make far tastier versions yourself. A bit of olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar and a spoonful of whole grain mustard costs a few cents to put together: that bottled stuff can cost anything up to several dollars.

6. Hummus

It might take a while to prepare, but home made hummus puts the pre-made tubs that you buy to shame – and its far healthier. Just mix up some chickpeas, garlic, oil, lemon juice, and your choice of spices into a mixer and you can save upwards of $6 a pop.

7. Cookies

Nothing tastes – or smells – better than home made cookies and they are so easy to make. Just mix up your dough, use what you need and freeze the rest for another time.

8. Pasta Sauce

There is no excuse for buying a jar of pasta sauce when you can make a huge batch of it at home for a fraction of the price. Canned tomatoes form the base, and all you have to do is add some garlic and herbs, heat it up, and it will easily see you through a month or so.

9. Salsa

Having friends over for chips and dips? Why not treat them to a home made salsa? You only need to put together some tomatoes, onions and garlic, before adding enough chillis for your heat requirements. So much nicer, and no sugar!

10. Mixed Spices

Grocery stores can charge an extortionate amount of money for mixed spices, but why buy it when you can do it yourself for a fraction of the price and in no time at all?