6 Places to Find Cheap, Healthy Groceries

By , SparkPeople Blogger
My sister is a thrifty shopper. She knows where to find deals and is constantly comparing prices, especially when it comes to groceries. When I mentioned that a new Aldi store opened near my house, "You have to check it out!" was her immediate response. "You'll be surprised how many healthy foods you can find there at a fraction of the cost you're paying at the regular grocery store."

Skeptically, I decided to make the trip, assuming I wouldn't find any of the foods I normally purchase and it would likely be a wasted effort. I was completely wrong. For example, the bags of nuts I buy almost every week were two dollars cheaper. The organic apples I pay $2.49/pound for were $5 for a five-pound bag.

Eating healthy on a budget doesn't have to be more expensive than a diet full of processed foods. By planning ahead and comparing prices, you can incorporate inexpensive, healthy foods into your diet for less than you might think. You've probably heard money-saving tips like "buy in bulk" and "shop in season," but are there really certain stores that provide deeper discounts than others?

Bargain Shoppers, Rejoice!

  1. Aldi       
Registered dietitian Jodi Danen frequents Aldi to find good deals on specific items.  "Aldi's pricing on things like organic milk, kefir and specialty cheese is great—along with peanut butter, bread and butter.  Aldi also offers a "Double Guarantee," meaning if you're not satisfied, they will give you a replacement product and your money back. SparkPeople member LADYREDCOMET is a regular Aldi shopper, finding that the prices are consistently 20 to 50 percent less than the grocery store in her area. "For example, I pay $1.49 for a 10-ounce bag of spinach at Aldi," she explains. "A similar (or smaller) bag is usually $2.79 to $3.29 elsewhere."
  1. Costco 
Julia Nickerson, founder of the website Savory Tooth, says that Costco is a great place to find good prices for a number of items. "They have great deals on nuts. Walnuts and pine nuts are usually quite expensive, but you can find them at a great price at Costco. I've also bought pecans, macadamia nuts and flavored almonds from them," she explains. "Costco is great for buying large and cheap bags of almond flour. They also have a lot of low-carb snacks like roasted seaweed, protein bars and cheese crisps. If you don't live near a warehouse, you can buy online from Costco's website." Costco also has a very generous return policy. If you aren't fully satisfied with your purchase, you can bring it back for a full refund.
  1. Trader Joe's      
Talk to anyone who loves frozen foods, and chances are Trader Joe's will come up. The brand known for items with cult followings (cookie butter, Everything But the Bagel seasoning) is also one of the best places to find affordable fare for your meal-planning calendar. Jamie Lopez, a registered dietitian and food blogger, loves Trader Joe's for affordable groceries and says she can buy a week's worth of food staples for around $30. "Some of the basics that are consistently cheaper at Trader Joe's include eggs, yogurt, milk, frozen goods and peanut butter," she says. Trader Joe's is a frequent stop for BATGURL250, too, who says they have cheaper organic produce. "A lot of times you can get organic apples for $0.99/pound, as opposed to $3 or more per pound at other stores. Their organic nuts are usually cheaper, and they have frozen organic produce with prices comparable to conventional frozen produce at regular grocery stores," she explains. 
  1. SuperTarget      
SparkPeople member MLAN613 finds big cost savings at SuperTarget. "I love using their Cartwheel app in combination with the RedCard. Their store brand, MarketPantry, is fairly tasty and I think they have the best deal on frozen fruit," she says.
  1. ShopRite and Wegmans              
SHERYLDS is in the habit of shopping the store circulars and stocks up when there is a good sale on items she buys regularly. "I have found that the two stores with the best prices in my area are Shoprite and Wegmans. My suggestions are to learn prices and try the store brands. I have found that the store brands are just as good as the more expensive name brands," she recommends. 
  1. Online Options
If you live in an area without a variety of stores from which to choose, don't think you're stuck with the options at your only grocery. When in doubt, head to the internet, where you can often find more variety and compare prices before buying. 

TEDDYBEARDONNA orders frequently from Vitacost because she lives in a small town without many choices. "I often get 20 percent off my order and they have specials all the time. I am gluten-free and find I save a lot by using them." Similarly, AJDOVER1 relies on Thrive Market, noting that even though there is a membership fee, the savings make it worth it. "They have a huge selection of organic foods, baking ingredients, spices, sauces, condiments, vitamins, nutritional supplements, nuts and dried fruit," she says.  Amazon's Prime Pantry offers free shipping on orders over $40 (or a flat $7.99 shipping fee on smaller orders.) Although there is an annual membership fee, this is another convenient way to purchase groceries at a reasonable cost.

Protect Your Wallet with These 4 Money-Saving Tips

  1. Buy in bulk. When you see good deals, stock up. Many fresh foods can be frozen to prevent spoilage, and packaged foods that have a long shelf-life can be stored until you're ready to eat.
  2. Shop with a list. When you go in with a plan, you're less likely to get distracted by spur-of-the-moment impulses calling your name from the "deal of the week" aisle.
  3. Know your prices. If you know a good price on the peanut butter you buy weekly, stock up when you see a sale or shop other stores to compare. You might not have the time to visit multiple stores every week, but if you've got time for just a few, it could save a lot of money in the long run.
  4. Check out the sales ahead of time. Gone are the days when you had to wait for the circular to be delivered to your house or had to pick one up when you entered the store. Now you can do that prep work ahead of time by checking out store websites (which often have digital coupons to download) for weekly deals. Many stores even have Facebook pages where they will post deals of the day or week.
Groceries are a significant part of most people's budgets, so it's worth the time to compare prices, look for deals and watch the savings add up. Do your homework and your wallet will thank you!
Where do you find the best deals on groceries? Share your finds with us!

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SHOAPIE 6/9/2021
Good article Report
JUDY1676 4/25/2021
Thanks Report
ERIN_POSCH 2/26/2021
thanks for sharing Report
TESSABELLA42 2/23/2021
Believe it or not, both Grocery Food Outlet and Big Lots often have organic foods for cheap! Report
TESSABELLA42 2/23/2021
Believe it or not, both Grocery Food Outlet and Big Lots often have organic foods for cheap! Report
Aldi's food is comparable to brand names and they have good quality fresh produce. Report
REDROBIN47 2/22/2021
Groceries in our area are going sky high since the pandemic began. I really have to shop around for the best deals. So far Aldi's and Wal-Mart seem to be about the lowest. Report
CD26749895 2/22/2021
We have Grocery Outlet here and you can find really good deals, just watch your dates. Our Walmart has the best prices around . . Unless one of the bigger grocery chains is having a ‘deal’ Report
I love Trader Joe's ! They have the best prices on nuts anywhere. $4.99 for a 16oz bag of raw almonds or walnut pieces. I stop by once every couple of weeks depending on what I need. And I always come out with a bunch of bananas. lol Report
GMACAMI 2/22/2021
I don't shop Trader Joes as every time I find something I like, the next time I go in there, they don't have it any more... kind of like Costco... here today and never to return again
DEBERAH 2/22/2021
Has anyone researched...Canadian stores... lots of Spark members are from Canada Report
My grocery store (Woodman's) has a discount area in each section of the store (dairy, meat, produce, nonperishables, etc.) where I go first to get great deals. I've gotten milk close to expiration for $.69 a gallon, roasts for $2.99, bananas $.99 for a full grocery bag and organic produce at great prices. Check to see if your store has a discount section. Report
CECTARR 2/22/2021
Thank you Report
Not one of those places are anywhere around here, we have very limited options, luckily I grow most of my own food Report
MARTHA324 2/22/2021
In Florida the grocery stores have a lot of BOGO that is a $saver IF you actually need and can use the items! A list is a must. Just went to Aldi and found some incredible buys. Report
OLDSKOOL556 2/22/2021
Yes I shop alot at Sprouts, Trader Joe's, whole Food stores, Farmers Markets love the savings👍 Report
JOYCEHARRIS3 2/22/2021
Those are GREAT places to shop! Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive. Report
Great suggestions. Report
LEANJEAN6 2/22/2021
great info as groceries are SO expensive now Report
NEPTUNE1939 2/22/2021
ty Report
HEDSTS58 2/22/2021
I love shopping at Aldi's. Very reasonable prices Report
I shop at Meijer. Their Mperks program saves me a lot of money. They also have the best fresh produce as well as a huge variety of Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean items. Report
FERRETLOVER1 2/22/2021
Thank you. Report
AZMOMXTWO 2/22/2021
thank you Report
CATNURSE1 2/22/2021
I live in Alaska, and we are limited in most anything. We take what we can get. Online doesn't always work, either, because a lot of places treat us like a foreign country and either charge an arm and leg and more body parts for shipping or don't ship up here at all. Report
Thanks Report
CD24069739 2/22/2021
Great info Report
NASFKAB 2/22/2021
Great Report
DININA48MN 2/22/2021
I shopped at Aldi's in the '80's in southern MO. It wasn't until 5 years ago that the store came to my town in northern MN. I was excited when I heard it was opening. I have used their twice as nice guarantee many times when I purchased a product I didn't like or the produce was bad. The produce at Aldi's is often half the cost of the sale price in my grocery store. Report
-POOKIE- 2/22/2021
Lidl has great quality for much better prices. Report
_CYNDY55_ 2/21/2021
Thanks Report
GMACAMI 2/19/2021
Dollar General and Grocery Outlet are good bargains also Report
MITCHETR192 1/11/2021
I shop at Aldi and love most of their products and prices. I do tend to stay away from their produce, though, unless I’m using it right away. It just doesn’t seem as fresh as my other local grocery store options. Report
GOFORGIN 12/21/2020
Ok Report
WALKZWDOGZ 10/26/2020
Winco and Smart Foodservice have good prices often, but I think they're only in the Pacific Northwest. Report
Aldi fan Report
MJ7DM33 7/9/2020
Thanks Report
CECELW 7/9/2020
ive read this before on here i'm sure Report
LOSER05 7/9/2020
thanks Report
MWHIGGINS 7/9/2020
This works for non perishable items, but things like fresh seafood don't travel well Report
NANASUEH 7/9/2020
thanks Report
Huge Trader Joe's fan here !! You can not beat their prices on nuts. they have the lowest nut prices anywhere. $4.99 for a 16oz bag of walnut pieces. $4.99 for 16oz of raw almonds, $5.99 for dry roasted. And their Belgian dark chocolate is delicious. Report
MIAMI_LILLY 7/9/2020
Aldi and Trader Joe’s are the BEST 2 stores for great deals . Fun fact: they are sister companies started by 2 brothers! Report
MAREE1953 7/9/2020
I have good luck at Aldi, too. Thanks for sharing this info!! I love trying some of the unusual dressings, condiments -- shake it up! Report
NASFKAB 7/9/2020
Thank you Report
Thanks Report
ETHELMERZ 7/9/2020
Our Aldi’s always has a smell about it, not sure why. Report
EVILCECIL 6/30/2020
Good info. Thanks. Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I have noticed that the longer we are in quarantine the higher the prices are getting and many shelves are empty. Thanks for some good suggestions. Report