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· Registered
1,061 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

So another Q about grocery stores.
We have a car but use it maybe 1-2 times a month, we live in an large urban area and pretty much everything we do is within walking distance or a short bus ride away...and I dont mind walking 2 miles 1 way to go someplace.

Okay so due to financial issues this summer we have FS...which I dont mind anymore...its quite the blessing in disguise.

ONLY trouble having trouble figuring out where we should do our GS at! Previously we did a once a month food haul at Sams Club...but said Sams Club & a Super Walmart is 30-45min away and we have no desire to drive 45min to shop at Super Walmart just to save $$ when we can take a short busride to various places.

So our wise are...
Trade Joes
Whole Foods
A VERY upscale & VERY expensive Giant Eagle (Like a Krogers or something similar)

There are a few farmers markets around but their produce isnt cheap becos they cater to the wealthier set and I really dont wanna take the bus into the projects to get cheaper produce becos its a bit further for me.

We have a ton of small ethnic grocery stores but they arent cheap either. should we GS? I'm so used to the SC food haul with small ventures to WF or Giant Eagle for produce supplements @ the end of the month.

We do eat meat and not just organics but r trying to eat less meat and more vegetarian stuff-but I bite at making bean dishes and I dont have any clue what to do with Tofu so we just buy the packaged vegetarian faux meat stuff.

So yeah, with those above would u go about GS and saving $?

Umm Ibi

· Registered
5,311 Posts
I think WF is insanely expensive. It's a place we go for a treat every once in a while, and I get a very few things from the bulk bins. Most notably brown sushi rice, one of the things I can not find anywhere else.

I love TJ, though. But, again, many of the things I get there are extras, stuff we see as a treat. I routinely buy seltzer and wine there. I keep a frozen meal in the freezer to ward off take-out.

Our ethnic markets (mexican, Indian, Korean) are definitely cheaper, and I do a good bit of shopping there. I get hot sauce, tortillas, meat, rice, beans, produce, and more at those markets for good prices. I like the cuts of Mexican meat better than Asian, but that's just my comfort level (I don't know how to cook some of the Asian cuts).

If I was really trying to save money, I'd probably go to the Super WalMart, stock up on all the staples you'd need for the month. Like really, really stock up. As much rice, beans, canned tomatoes, spices, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, as you have room for. I'm not a fan of WM meat, but that's just me. With the stores you mention, you'd probably save a good bit on those dry pantry staples. Plus if you really stock up it might last until months after you are done with needing fs, helping you out dwon the road.

Then, I'd do a bit of shopping at all your stores. Get a few bulk purchases from WF. A tiny bit from your ethnic grocers to make things more exciting (like getting nori, to make your own sushi). Homemade sushi is infinitely more exciting than another meal of rice with a few veggies and scrambled eggs.
Wrapping rice and beans in a tortilla with a bit of hot sauce makes that meal better to me. You get the idea.

Then, I'd make friends with my butcher at Giant Eagle. Ask him if they ever mark down meat. My local grocer marks down meat in the sausage/bacon category on Wed mornings, plus they mark down meat in the case every morning. I shop there on Wednesdays after morning nap time, so I can take advantage. GE might also mark down produce.

· Registered
5,311 Posts
More thoughts....

I'd definitely watch the sales on produce and meat at all your stores. I'd plan my meals for the week around whatever is on sale. If spinach is cheap, we'd eat spinach for 4 meals sort of thing. And, I'd buy meat on sale and get enough for the freezer.

Then, there's the idea of cutting down the amount of meat you eat. A few meatless meals a week. There's a poster here who only eats meat at supper time. That's a great idea. (I'm thinking Sharlla??) I took her idea, and if it's not leftovers, then I do the same (thak you Sharlla!). Maybe start with 2 meatless meals a week, and truely meatless, not substituting a frozen meat product (cause, while tasty, they aren't the most cost effective). Then, for the meat meals, you can work on less meat. This has helped us a lot.

For instance... I used to use a pound of ground beef on a meal that gave 4 servings. Not bad, but not great. If I mix the meat 1/2 and 1/2 with TVP (bulk bins at WF), then I'm using half as much, so it's cheaper, but still tasty. Using one chicken breast, sliced thin, in a pot of stir fry, instead of making chicken the big portion. And, of course, served over a healthy amount of brown rice.
Soup. Soup, soup, nad more soup.

I buy chicken on the bone so that I have the bones left to make stock. Which helps make that soup yummy. I save all the odds and ends of veggies (the ends of celery, the skin of onions, the peel of carrots) with my bones int he freezer to make stock. Add veggies and a starch (rice, noodles) or not, and you have a meal that you would have thrown away.

· Premium Member
14,037 Posts
Your options sound similar to ours... we have an Albertsons, a Safeway (Kroger), a TJs, and they're building a WF around the corner.

For me WM isn't an option, so I do the bulk of my shopping at TJs. I visit the HFS about every other month to stock up from their bulk section. Then weekly I visit TJs to get everything I can, and then I fill in the gaps at Safeway. I also hit the farmer's market every week to get fresh fruit. I have the option of Chinatown for produce as well, but can't expect to find organics.

I agree with the pp, WF prices are ridiculous. I would not shop there on a regular basis. Even with the new one going in practically on my doorstep, I'll still be driving to TJs for my organics.

Have you made a price book? When I had to learn frugal grocery shopping quick, the price book made a big difference. I hadn't been shopping at TJs because I thought it was more expensive... doing the price book I realized it was actually considerably cheaper than any of my other options.
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