Save on Groceries with Discount Grocery Stores

by Sarah Winfrey on 8 September 2010 2 comments

With food prices rising all the time, it costs more and more to feed a family these days. While some people become rabid coupon-cutting ninjas and others begin to make more meals out of basics like beans and rice, still others take a different route. They find a bargain grocery store in their area and do the bulk of their shopping there.

What is a bargain grocery store?

There are several different types of bargain stores. Some are outlet stores where food that is refused by regular grocery stores is sold at lower prices. Many times, the food is only refused because of a minor packaging error, so you can get the same quality at lower prices.

Other bargain grocery stores specialize in a certain brand. When items get close to their expiration date, they are moved to these stores and sold at lower prices. While you have to eat foods bought at these stores quickly, it will cost you much less.

Finally, there are "regular" grocery stores that simply sell things at lower prices than their competitors. Their business plan involves moving more items at a lower profit margin so they can stay in business and continue to sell items for less.

Where are the bargain grocery stores?

Bargain grocery stores exist in the same sorts of spots as regular grocery stores. If the stores in your area tend to be part of a strip mall, look there. If they tend to be free standing a little bit out of town, look there.

Most companies that run bargain grocery stores are smaller than those that run large stores, or the bargain stores may exist as a subsidiary of a company that also runs a national chain. Therefore, the names of the stores available in your area may be different from those available in another area. Since these brands aren't as recognizable, you may have to do some searching to find them.

Saving money with a bargain grocer.

There are lots of ways to save at a bargain grocery store. Many times, you'll save on almost anything you purchase there. If you combine that deal with a coupon or a sale, you'll save even more. Many of these stores also offer store brands of popular items, and these will cost you less than the regular version.

Some bargain grocers to consider.

This isn't an exclusive list of bargain grocery stores, but you can start here to see if any of these are in your area.

Save-A-Lot

Relatively new to the bargain grocery scene, Save-A-Lot promises a 40% discount from regular grocery stores with more if you use their printable coupons. Their site will help you locate a store in your area, and also has lots of yummy recipes featuring their food.

As a side note, when they found out I was interested in doing an article on bargain grocers, Save-A-Lot sent me some samples of their store-brand items. They are good — as in, you won't be able to tell the difference between them and the usual brands.

Aldi

Aldi claims to help you shop smarter, and many reviews online confirm this. Their website features special buys, where you can save even more than usual. In addition, their meal planner will help you utilize the bargains you can get at the store to their utmost.

Grocery Outlet

Though their website won't let you see all their products, you can browse their sales to get a feel for what they carry. Grocery Outlet features a blog and a Twitter feed, both of which can help you get access to additional savings and can help you get ideas for making meals out of sale items.

Food 4 Less

A subsidiary of Kroger, Food 4 Less offer print-at-home coupons, the opportunity to purchase gift cards for many different stores, and programs to help local schools earn money, just like the bigger grocery stores. In addition, you get the usual savings you can expect from a bargain grocery store.

If none of these stores are in your area, simply search online or ask around. Most urban areas have bargain grocers, and they can help trim your food budget more than you thought possible.

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Guest

Amen to bargain grocery stores! I shopped at Winco Foods when I lived in Portland, OR. They even gave you 5 cents off for each of your own bags you brought. I miss that place.

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Laura D

WinCo is great, but we found that Grocery Outlet's prices were higher than our regular grocery store's, except on wine and cheese.