Cheapest Grocery Stores and How Do You save $ on Your Grocery Bill??

Updated on May 13, 2011
A.G. asks from Clinton, MA
17 answers

hi everyone
my question is what are the cheapest gorcery stores? we live in massachusetts and it is expensive enough to live in this state but not to mention the groceries are getting out of control!! how do you save $ on your bill and does anyone have any tips?? thanks!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Aldi's! I buy whatever I can there, than Walmart Supercenter, and finally for those niche items the regular grocery store (Giant Eagle).

At the regular grocery store I try to stock up when they have a sale or take advatage of double coupons.

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answers from Boston on

You've gotten a lot of great advice so far. I just wanted to add that you'll find the absolute best prices on groceries in MA at Market Basket. I don't know if there are any out by you, but I have done A TON of price comparing and they blow away the prices of all other grocery stores around. They don't always have every single brand you might be looking for, but for most staples, they can't be beat!

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answers from Topeka on

I shop @ ALDI for produce it is soo much cheaper than all the groceries in town,when its not I can do an ad match @ Walmart for the same item only cheaper or i'll go to that store that is offering a great sale in their ads.I use coupons to buy shampoo,hair produts,soap,hand soap,tooth brushes,floss,snacks,anything that I can use or my kids can use when I do use coupons I can score free items or at least a few dollars.I try to plan meals but it's mostly in my head I have $140.00 a week for my family of 5 & that is usually plenty the meat my kids aren't big on so that we can have left overs,fruits & veggies I have to buy 2 -3 of each a variety so when I do go to Aldis I usually spend $25.00-$30.00 on fruits & veggies that will last a week.I think I do a pretty darn good job in saving money & keeping in budget for the week on our foods there are tiems that we have to eat lunch out.It's not easy being frugal.

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answers from New York on

Saving $$ on groceries is such a challenge. This is one of my husband's pet peeves (overspending and overbuying), so we have found that doing the following helps:
- Buy the "big bag" and portion it out as needed (pretzels, chips, whatever)
- Keep an active grocery list on the fridge. When you use the last of something, put it on the list. If we're running "low", put it on the list (in case it's on sale).
- Plan the week's meal on Saturday afternoon so that there is only one grocery trip for the week. It keeps us from buying non-essentials midweek.
- Buy generic canned goods, spices, pastas and other items that are really the same
- Buy veggies and fruits from the market, not the grocery store (taste better too!)
- Buy paper goods in bulk when they are on sale b/c they don't go "bad" and we have the storage space
**Don't impulse buy at the grocery store
**Use coupons when you have them, ask the cashier when you don't b/c they keep unused coupons behind the counter

**3 or 3 times month we have "freezer and pantry" night meaning that we use items that are IN THE HOUSE and don't buy other items (aside from staples like milk). The meals are completely random, but balanced and much less tossed in the garbage. As long as there is a protein (can be scrambled eggs), a veggie (stir-fried into the eggs) and a small starch (toast) it's fine.

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answers from Boston on

Shop the "loss leaders" that the store marks down just to get you into the store. Don't get sucked into buying more expensive things just because you already saved a lot.

Don't buy pre-packaged or pre-made. Shop at farmers markets or local farm stands. Sales start on Thursdays - go through the circulars and choose your menu based on the sales. Use coupons and also try on-line coupon sources like The Grocery Game and Only buy name brands if the double-coupons make it cheaper than store brands.

Try to buy in bulk and then make several meals from those ingredients. If there is a sale on ground meat (beef, turkey, bison or a combination), make burger patties & freeze them, cook some up for stuffed peppers and tacos, etc. Stretch the meat budget by adding vegetables - they get veggies into kids, and they add moisture to lean cuts of meat. I add such things as defrosted frozen spinach, onion, tomato sauce, hot sauce, wheat germ, sesame or flax seeds, and so on to flavor meats.

Use frozen vegetables when mixing with other things - they are cheaper (especially off-season), have just as much nutrition, there's no waste, and you can't tell the difference in sauces or quiches. Save fresh veggies for regular side dishes and salads.

Use leftovers creatively - pretty much anything goes in omelets, enchiladas, spaghetti sauce, chili, pizza and soup. A green pepper that's getting a little soft might not look so great in a salad, but it's terrific in an omelet or in pasta sauce. Same with wilting spinach.

I use BJs for my bulk purchases, then round out at the supermarket and (now) the farm stands. I grow my own herbs so I can just cut off what I need - I think that whole bunch of parsley or basil at the supermarket is a waste.

Check the bargain shelves for stuff that's about to expire (freeze it - e.g. bread) and things that just have a ripped label. Dented cans are usually okay too.

You have to be willing to buy only the items that are on "special" and then make recipes based on that.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Aldi's! I buy whatever I can there, than Walmart Supercenter, and finally for those niche items the regular grocery store (Giant Eagle).

At the regular grocery store I try to stock up when they have a sale or take advatage of double coupons.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

This wonderful question has been asked many times before. Look up the answers in past mampedias questions.

The government says you should make a shopping list off a menu you make out before you go shopping and stick to it. As is so often the case, the government is wrong! You should look at the sales ads and make your menu off that. Then when you get to the grocery store look for the discounted meats and cans and alter you menu to take advantage of those specials. When the store has "loss leaders" buy those IF you use those items.

Example: I know from experience that toilet paper will be on a really good sale twice per year. When that happens, I buy enough to last until the next sale. It stores well and doesn't spoil. I do the same with kleenex (or similar). When my family got a cold, we went through three or four boxes in a week or two and all of it was tissue I bought on sale. When I go shopping I usually go to two or three stores to take advantage of what is on sale. By doing all those things I spend about half what my friends do on groceries.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I am not a coupon clipper, but I do go through all of the store ads for my area every 2 weeks when I get paid. All 3 grocery stores in my town are within 1.5 miles of each other so I'm not wasting a ton of gas driving all over the world to get this done. I will absolutely make a trip to a store for just a couple of things if they are having fantastic sales. Normally you need to have their store card to save the extra money on sale items, but they never cost any money to obtain. I also have access to the Commissary on the base where I work as well which is where I buy a bulk of our meat & canned goods as well as any specialty items, but they're not great for produce.

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answers from Biloxi on

I shop local grocery store sales - if chickens are on sale for a ridiculous price, I buy three of them to freeze.
Use coupons only for items I need or regularly use - no point spending money, even with a coupon, for a product we don't normally eat.
I buy the bulk of my groceries from Angel Food Ministries - save over half the retail value.
Stick to my grocery list when shopping to avoid expensive impulse buys.
Buy generic when possible - this saves me a ton of money on over the counter medicines.

I also cook more simply than I used to - meaning no exotic spices - haven't used saffron in years {sigh} and limit the pricey items. I love asparagus, but I only buy it in season and on sale. Brie, of I dream of brie. LOL But I can't bring myself to buy a $10 piece of cheese that only I will eat.

I budget what I will spend on groceries each month. After my monthly Angel Food purchase, the rest goes to milk, bread, juice and other basics. My go to foods when I need to stretch the budget are beans and rice and spaghetti which I always keep in the pantry and stir fries which can be made out of any odds and ends from the pantry and freezer.

I tell my son "no" when he wants specialty items that are not in the budget this week. At 14, he is aware of our finances and is usually okay with it.

But for all my budgeting we eat healthy - always veggies and fruits - and balanced meals.

Good Luck
Good Eats
God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Besides coupons in the paper, I go to and I go to the local grocery stores' websites and download coupons onto my store card. You can use the store coupons and manufacturing coupons at the same time. I also do my best to buy generic items when I can. I know not all generic is as good as the name brand, but when I can I buy generic. Also try your best to plan a big shopping trip so you are not going to the store multiple times a week and end up buying stuff you don't need, unless of course you have the dicipline to go into a store and just get the few items you need.



answers from Boston on

You've gotten a lot of great advice so far. I just wanted to add that you'll find the absolute best prices on groceries in MA at Market Basket. I don't know if there are any out by you, but I have done A TON of price comparing and they blow away the prices of all other grocery stores around. They don't always have every single brand you might be looking for, but for most staples, they can't be beat!


answers from Cincinnati on

Its was actually cheaper when I lived in MA, because your minimum wage is a lot higher, plus you do not pay sales tax on things like clothes and diapers (unless its changed in the past couple yrs) I do most of my grocery shopping at walmart, but if I remember the walmarts up east arent as big or nice as the walmarts down here, I worked at Target when I lived up there and when you use coupons you can save a lot of money there. Also try buying a lot of things you can freeze so nothing gets wasted, and buying foods that require a little more work to fix (such as dried beans that you have to soak, they are 10 cents a serving!) my hubby works in the grocery buisness (save-a-lot stores,which I know they have in MA and have ALOT of great deals...bananas for 33cents a lb!) and he says groceries are suppose to go up another 6% by the end of the month. I dont know if you have this option but if you can grow a garden and then freeze some of the produce for the winter it really cuts down on the food bills.



answers from San Francisco on

Coupons, buying things that are on sale, checking with the stores when they mark down their products and buying the items then. Don't go to middle of the store isles, just go around the perimiter---breads, milk, veggies fruit etc. the stuff in between is the processed junk. and frozen stuff. We try to do as fresh as possible!



answers from Boston on

I buy most of meet at fairway beef if Worcester isn't too far or you check them out. I also get a lot at bjs especially when I have coupons. Whatever else we need I but at walmart or stock up on buy 1 get 2 at big y, produce I buy at fruit stand but it's in Ludlow so that's probably too far for you.


answers from Dallas on

We shop at Kroger for basic shopping and coupon items b/c they double and triple coupons and have great prices. We pick up manager's specials all the time. Last night I got 3 six packs of danonino yogurt for .35 and .65 cents each and put them in the freezer.
I also like the Walmart neighborhood market stores. The meat and produce aren't great, but they match prices and generally have great prices. I buy generic and freeze a ton of stuff. We have a deep freezer so that helps.


answers from Seattle on

I am slowly getting into couponing. It is not easy to figure out, if you are completely brain dead about it. I still dont know what I am doing wrong...I can save anywhere from fifteen to twenty bucks a trip though.

Also the less packaged stuff you buy the better. IT is was cheaper to make stuff from scratch. Pizza crust, bread, muffins, chicken nuggets...pretty much everything is better when you do the labor yourself.

Chicken chicken breasts. Cut them into smaller pieces. Dredge them and coat with Panko breading...or make your own breading(stale bread crumbs smashed up)...bake off in the over until they are cooked through. Not only are they yummy depending on how many you cooked up you could freeze and reheat the more then one meal!!

As for actual stores that are less expensive, I dont know what all is up in your corner of the country. Here in Wa, Winco is the cheapest. Not on everything, for most though they are. I also will not buy my meat there. I dont know why. I just can not bring myself to buying meat from them.

I love Fred Meyer/Kroger stores. They have the best selection and one stop shopping in my opinion. I love their natural department. They also have a pretty good array of Gluten free products. They also have great in-store coupons that you can pair up with Manufacturer coupons! Sometimes I think that they do it on purpose so that you keep coming back(this is probably the idea...duh).

Also, for fruits and veggies this time of year, try out your local farmers market. The produce is better, local, much fresher. You can buy items and they can sit a bit longer on the counter, they have not been sitting for days in a plant or in a semi bed. So you can get a few more days out of things.

They are actually selling meat and eggs and cheese here locally at farmers markets. I have done the chickens, cheese and Eggs. I can only tell you wow wow wowie! I didnt know what fresh tasked like until I tried farm fresh eggs! This summer I am hoping to get to try some seafood from the market! You are in an area that they should have some killer seafood too!!

So to sum up my novel....Coupons, Make it yourself, Winco if you have one near you and Farmers markets...Those are my suggestions:)



answers from Washington DC on

I'm not into extreme couponing (I already have a job) but things we do is compare the overall prices for similar products at stores. Sometimes we choose time vs money - do we drive 20 minutes to the cheaper place or do we drive 3 to the slightly more expensive but not using so much gas place? It also varies on what we need. Local is great for milk, eggs, cereal, bread...

We also do a lot of shopping at Giant because locally they give you points to earn toward gas...and then we line up our cars and can regularly get 30 or more cents off the gallon for each of our cars at Shell.

If you have the bonus card AND the coupon AND they double, you can get a lot of money off an item. Read the labels. Price per quanity vs price on the shelf. Sometimes generic isn't cheaper and sometimes bulk is really a huge difference if you can swing it/store it. Buy big packs of meat and freeze them in dinner portions. Stock up on things that keep when they are on sale. We have a small shelf in our basement for things we always use, like canned goods, dish soap and toothpaste.

I also try not to shop hungry and shop with a list. We might deviate from the list, but if my stomach isn't talking and I have a plan, I save more. If you take the kids, watch what they put in the cart and make it a game to find the lowest price or find the coupon items. That way they aren't sneaking in cookies or things they'll never eat but it looked good on the shelf. (My bill is very different when my stepdaughter comes along vs when I get a list.)

Sarah mentioned gardening, which we do, which helps a LOT in the summer, even if your garden is just tomatoes and peppers or something. Whatever you can grow to eat.

My mom also does Angel Food, but you have to be willing to take interesting things sometimes. Overall, it's a good deal.


answers from Sacramento on

I actually find the cheapest food at Target! Our Target sells groceries, and the Target brand food is actually quite good. Definatly stick to a list of items you NEED, and dont buy things you just want (if you can help it). Price shop, I usually buy me meat elsewhere, since its cheaper at a different store.

I dont coupon, but I wish I had the patience to do that crazy couponing to make the bill $5 lol :)


answers from Dallas on

Not sure if you have Aldi there, but I buy milk, eggs, cheese, frozen fruit, and some staples from Aldi. They are significantly cheaper. I certainly don't buy everything there because some of their store-brand stuff is just plain disgusting.

I buy all of our paper products- paper plates, napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, detergent, soaps- at Wal-Mart. They are by far the cheapest for these things.

I shop the other grocery stores for their sales- we have Albertsons, Kroger, and Tom Thumb. I can get meat, produce, and some other stuff even cheaper than wal-mart has it when I shop the sale ads.

It takes a lot of time to shop several different stores and scour the ads- remember wal-mart price matches so you can bring ads from all of the grocery stores there and they will match the prices.

We have also done angel food ministries- it is a huge logistical savings (co-op)- they put together food packages for families of four that will last a week- for $30. They have things like meat, produce, rice, frozen veggies, beans, boxed dinners, even desserts. It is really good quality food and tasty.

I've heard of bountiful baskets as well, which is another co-op that does produce.

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