I shop at Aldi, mostly, and sometimes Trader Joes. My other options are Hy-Vee, Fareway, Fresh Thyme, and the local co-op.
Prices at Aldi are consistently 20-50% less than Hy-Vee. For everything. It's hard to be more specific because the prices shift on a weekly basis, but for example I pay $1.49 for a 10 ounce bag of spinach at Aldi. A similar (or smaller) bag is usually $2.79 - $3.29 at Hy-Vee. Avocados will be $.49-$.99 at Aldi, and "2 for $5" at Hy-Vee. Same for bell peppers. 16 oz of organic spring mix is $3.79 at Aldi and $5.99-$7.99 at Hy-Vee. And on and on and on. I can't stand to shop at Hy-Vee anymore because I know I'm getting ripped off on everything that doesn't have manufacturer-set pricing.
Trader Joes is generally more affordable than the mainstream options, but I haven't been in a while so I don't have specific examples. The specials at Fresh Thyme are often quite good, but everything else is overpriced. I don't usually shop at Fareway because selection is limited and it's not located convenient to where I live, but I've been frequently told the prices are good.
Prices at the co-op are definitely higher than Aldi, and sometimes even Hy-Vee... However, it's easier to find organic options and most of the produce is local (or at least a lot more local than any of the other options in town). I go there with the mindset that I'm trading the extra cost for a reduced environmental impact and a deliberate choice to support local farmers.
I think I can be more specific. Thanks for clarifying, Jen. I typically buy a lot o the same things: ground turkey, chicken breast, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt (whole and non-fat), fresh and frozen vegetables.
Aldi carries a Tikka Masala simmer sauce for $1.99 and I see a similar sauce at Target for around $3.99. The sauce isn't necessarily a "healthy" option but it tastes good and the calories per serving are reasonable and I add a lot of vegetables and chicken breast. I serve it over the riced cauliflower (usually purchased at Trader Joe's for $1.99 and has 4 servings so about 50 cents a serving).
I also buy the basic pasta sauce at Aldi's for $1.00. It's sugar content is 8 grams per serving and 70 calories per 1/2 cup. I was making my own but it's so time consuming. This brand was a reasonable trade off for me and I serve it with ground turkey and over mushrooms, onions,yellow squash, zucchini, and green peppers.
I usually buy fresh vegetables at Aldi because they are reasonably priced. I also compare the circulars I get with my local paper for Cub and Target as sometimes they have great deals on the items I eat regularly.
I have learned the store's normal prices for items I buy and I shop using the store's circulars When there is a good sale on items that I BUY, I stock up and save. I have found that the 2 stores with the best prices (and the most frequented) are Shoprite and Wegmans. I try the store brands and I am never disappointed. When NOT in season, buying bags of frozen veggie combinations give me a variety of flavors and nutrition, and eliminates spoilage issues. It also saves me time since the veggies are already washed and cut up. I saute them in a broth with a little olive oil, add herbs and spices, and they are delish. When IN SEASON, I shop the sales. Friday seems to be the best day for buying produce (I guess they are getting ready for the weekend).
When it comes to chicken I buy either thighs or breast, and remove the skin myself. The price difference for skinless/boneless cuts is absurd. Wegmans has the cheapest normal prices that match the sales prices for other stores. When it comes to fish, I buy the frozen/pre-packaged sales on tilapia, and flounder (usually 40% less expensive that the never frozen fish).
As for nuts, Trader Joes seems to have the best prices.
My 2 suggestions...learn prices and TRY THE STORE BRANDS. I have found that the store brand is just as good as the more expensive name brands. I have tried plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, cheddar cheese, butter, cream cheese, frozen veggies, canned beans, oatmeal, broth/stock, olive oils, and rice, I have found no taste difference. As for peanut butter...I am a huge fan of Wegmans NATURAL Peanut Butter (one ingredient...peanuts)....and for $2.29 a 16oz. jar, a fantastic buy. And one last hint...I've noticed that these stores tend to repeat sales every 3 or 4 weeks. (Ex. red bell peppers are normally $3 a pound and go on sale $2 a pound).
Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 3/23/2018 (11:11)
Sheryl, New Jersey EST, SUMMER 5% Challenge-KITCHEN CHAMPIONS
Pounds lost: 5.0
Fitness Minutes: (147,769)
3/23/18 9:33 A
I am blessed in that I have several brick and mortar grocery stores within a 10 mile radius or so. I have several Aldis, Target/SuperTarget, WalMart, Cub, and a few others.
The ones I shop most frequently are Aldi and SuperTarget. Aldi has great prices in general and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. SuperTarget has great store brands and I love using their Cartwheel App in combination with the RedCard. Their store brands (MarketPantry)are fairly tasty and I think they have the best deal on frozen fruit.
I go to Cub, which is a local store, sometimes. They offer 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $50 you spend. I like to buy their boxed lettuces; they seem to last last longer than what's available at other shops.
I'm writing a blog about where to purchase healthy groceries for less. Where have you found good deals on nuts, organic produce, or other healthy food staples? These deals can be from websites or in-person stores. Any other tips for how to save money when you're shopping healthy?
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