Help Me with $$ Saavy Grocery Shopping in the Mountain View/Sunnyvale Area?

Updated on November 30, 2010
J.S. asks from Portland, OR
4 answers

My family needs to rein in our budget. Groceries is a place we could probably be spending less. Can you help us out with your thoughts on good spots to shop in my area.

Here's what we're doing right now:
-Nob Hill/Raley's is close and pleasant and has a lot of what we need, but I'm pretty sure it's not the cheapest
-I do like to do organic or local produce. I get what I can at Trader Joe's, then other htings at Whole Foods and maybe Nob Hill
-I do Trader Joe's a couple times a month. They seem so cheap, I wish they had more of what I need there!
-Just got my Safeway Club Card, but it doesn't rea;y seem cheap there
-Also just got a Costco card and , yet don't quite know what to get there.
-Getting diapers through Amazon

Thank you for any advice you can share with us :)

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi J.,

I feed my family of 4 on approximately $80 a week. I scan the ads, then I make my menu based on what's on sale. If it's a really good buy (ground turkey - buy 1 get 1 free) then I stock up. My kids (9 and 6) both take lunch everyday. I stock up on the Capri Suns when they are on sale as well as the chips. I primarily shop at Safeway, but I do shop at Costco for larger bulk items and use their coupons as well. My husband and I bring left overs for lunch. I buy fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and juice every week, but I don't care if it's organic or not. I but what is on sale. If organic is cheaper that week, I buy that. I do shop at Trader Joe's on occasion, especially their dessert wine. Whole Foods is too expensive for me and so is Nob Hill.

With a little planning and use of coupons and sales, you will be able to reign in your budget.




answers from San Francisco on

Hi there-

Thanks for posting this! I look forward to the responses, too! We've been saving for a while, but have new expenditures with this 2nd baby and a new house, so would love to get some fresh ideas on how to save more!

Oroweat outlet on 456 West Maude Avenue, Sunnyvale. Half price bread, bobolis, other great items. Such a gem! Worth the drive.

My perspective is that there's a trade-off between cost savings and time savings. To really save money is quite a bit of work, for example:
*Cloth diapering pays for itself pretty quickly (BumGenius:$13, using 2x per week, pay-off in ~2 months). Then we only use the disposables at night.
*Meal planning is a twofer, it utilizes the resources you've already spent and helps to reduce the convenience food excursions. This is really important when getting the most out of Costco produce. We can't get through all the organic spinach fresh. So I make a big batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze 1/2, make a spinach quiche for the weekend, etc.
*The crock pot has been my secret weapon to have dinner ready with our horribly busy schedule. Check out fellow bay area mom, Stephanie at "A year of slow cooking"

Best regards!



answers from San Francisco on

I'm a bargain shopper with limited time, so I will just hit the Milk Pail Market and then Safeway across the street. Milk Pail has awesome produce and cheese and some bulk items - brown rice, oats, etc. - all very cheap, and they'll give you a taste of anything if you ask :). I get most of everything else at Safeway, except for bulk items that I try to get at Costco every other week. Trader Joes is great, but I go there mostly once a month to stock up on "only TJs" sort of items we use - their frozen corn and peas are fantastic, as are some of their cereals and their honey whole wheat pretzels :). Of course I clip coupons as well when I can. Have fun!



answers from San Francisco on

Here are a couple of suggestions to round out your grocery shopping:

1. Mtn View Farmers Market - Sundays by the Castro train station. Great source of local veggies and fruits. If you go towards closing (12-1 pm), some vendors reduce their prices. Every little bit helps!

2. Ranch 99 Market - in the same shopping center as the Mtn View Nob Hill. A lot of times, their prices on produce is much cheaper then their non-asian counterparts. It's one of the nicer Ranch 99 Markets in this area.

3. Milk Pail Market- Funky European-style open market on California St in Mtn View. Great prices on produce and cheese. Very crowded!

4. Sign up on the Nob Hill website for their e-coupons. Every week, there are different items, and usually a free item if you buy a certain amount (ex, free salad express if you spend $10, etc).

5. Sprouts Farmers Market - newish grocery store in Sunnyvale on El Camino. Look for their weekly specials. Produce quality can be hit or miss (in my experience).

Happy shopping!

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