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The Worst Grocery Shopping Mistake You've Been Making for Months

This trend is still popular, and means grocery stores won’t be fully stocked anytime soon.

Although states are lifting restrictions and stay-at-home orders are expiring, the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. That means every public outing could be a risky one — even going to the grocery store. There are a few things to avoid while shopping, like buying expensive meat and not buying produce. But one, in particular, could be costing you more money and more calories: buying items in bulk.

There are a lot of grocery staples facing a high demand that ultimately leads to a price increase. Then demand falls and the price falls. Bulk buying some of your favorite items, like eggs and flour, lead to empty shelves and more expensive price tags and is a huge grocery shopping mistake.

Related: 5 Red Flags Your Grocery Store Isn't Safe to Shop In

Yet, many shoppers say this is exactly what they are doing. A survey of 1,600 consumers conducted by PwC found that 42% say they will continue to buy in bulk until the COVID-19 pandemic is officially over. In addition, 24% of consumers will stock up their pantry until grocery stores are fully restocked. Finally, 64% of those surveyed said they will buy in bulk for the foreseeable future, even when the pandemic is over.

Why is this bad? Well, the price of a dozen eggs hit over $3 in March. The cost has since gone up and down due to changes in demand. Buying in bulk, in this case, means you are paying more.

Also, with flour and other baking items out of stock, consumers turn to products that are available. In the case of the pandemic, what is always available are a lot of unhealthy processed foods. In fact, the makers of snack crackers, cookies, and chips have seen huge sales increases recently, according to the New York Times.

More food in the house can also lead to more snacking. According to a study published in the journal Clinical Obesity, 60% of people snacked and stress ate during the pandemic. This, along with less exercise and stress can seriously affect weight loss, weight maintenance, and your overall health.

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Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda