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Tips on what not to buy at the supermarket

Monday - 5/6/2013, 7:10am  ET

WASHINGTON - For the sake of convenience or cost, many shoppers are bringing home prepared foods - but many of these options shouldn't be fooling anyone.

Yahoo! Shine's "In the Pantry" blog says there are certain items no one should be bringing home from the store.

Aida Mollenkamp says purchasing chopped produced not only costs more, the buyer doesn't get as much. But it's not just fruits and veggies. Pre-grated cheese is a big no-no for Mollenkamp.

"You have no idea when this was grated. Talk about a loss of flavor."

Not to mention that a jar of cheese that seemingly lasts forever is a bit strange.

Regular salt also has more flavor than iodized salt. Pepper should be ground at home from peppercorns rather than purchased pre-ground.

"These, my friends, are black pieces of food confetti," says Mollenkamp.

But, one of the biggest offenders out there is "syrup." Imitation syrup doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. The imitation kind, as Mollenkamp puts it, "is not coming out of trees."

Instant foods like potato flakes, rice and noodle mixes also aren't worth the trouble according to "In the Pantry." One suggestion for those concerned with time is boiling potatoes and then mashing them at a later time.

Bottom line says Mollenkamp: "These items are costing you too much money and do not have as good of flavor."

For more information, watch the video on Yahoo! Shine.

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report.

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