You can save money on groceries at almost any store, but sometimes the easiest way to save is to step outside of your usual routine. Here are five alternatives to your typical grocery store that we’ve used to save on our grocery bill.
Restaurant Food / Bulk Food Store
Check to see if there’s a bulk food or restaurant food store in your area that anyone can shop at without a membership.
We just went to Chef Store this weekend and stocked up on frozen vegetables. A 2 to 2.5 lb. bag was $2.50 to $3.00 – a much smaller bag would be around the $2 to $2.50 range at the grocery store, so we saved quite a bit.
We used to buy chicken in bulk from Zaycon Fresh before I went vegetarian. You buy 40 lbs. of chicken at a time, and it’s fresh, so it does require some planning (it’s a great opportunity for a freezer cooking session). But it’s a good way to save money if you’re able to put in a little work.
Some of the best deals I’ve found at ethnic markets are rice, spices, fresh herbs, produce and tofu (Asian markets, mainly). The easiest way to find ethnic markets is Yelp, since they can be kind of under the radar and may be in neighboring towns.
If you buy any specialty grocery items, you may be able to save a few bucks by trying to source it online. I buy a big 1 lb. bag of nutritional yeast on Amazon that lasts for months. A tiny container of name brand nutritional yeast is a lot pricier at the grocery store (if you can even find it there).
Upscale Grocery Stores
Okay, I know this is a grocery store – but there’s a specific reason for it being on the list. If you tend to buy healthy packaged snacks, try going to an upscale grocery store and checking out their bulk food bins. We used to love going to The Fresh Market for their green bean chips and found it was cheaper than buying the pre-packaged version at our regular grocery store.
Where are your favorite places to shop in order to save money on groceries?