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Grocery Geek Presents: Local Stores and Good Deals

If your favorite grocery store is one of the big names, such as Safeway, Kroger, or Albertsons, then chances are you’ve found a blog (or twelve) that regularly report the good deals and how you can save a buck at those shops. But, believe it or not, there are still stores out there that don’t belong to big conglomerations. They may be individual mom and pop grocers or small chains that work within a smaller geographical area.

And, believe it or not, they’ve got good deals, too. The trick is to get to know how your store works and take advantage of its strengths. Here are some things to think about or research about the store nearest you:

  • When does the ad come out? When does the ad start? Are there “double” ad days (where the sales of one week overlap the sales of the next week)?
  • What is their coupon policy? Will they double? Do they have limits?
  • Do they do mark-downs? What days do they “clearance” items?
  • Can you get a discount for buying in bulk?
  • What is their specialty? For instance, is this the place to get really fresh produce, dairy or meat?
  • How do their “loss leaders” compare to other, bigger stores?

You may be surprised to find out that they are just as good if not better than bigger name stores, depending on what you buy. I am blessed to live within driving distance of two smaller grocery chains that appear to be high priced, but actually have some fantastic deals and specialize in wholesome, healthy foods.

Here’s what I’m talking about. This past week I spent $50 on the following items:


Everything pictured here is wholesome, healthy food with few, if any preservatives. The prices of almost everything here were sale prices:

romaine hearts (3 pk) $.99
green onions $.50
cilantro $.50
zucchini and crook neck squash $.77/#
red bell peppers $.77
strawberries $1.49
apples $.77/#
tomatoes $.77/#
bananas $.77/#
bagels $2/6 pk
country style pork strips $1/#
baby back beef ribs $1/#
chicken nuggets $1/#
boneless, skinless chicken breast $1.99/#
Milton’s crackers $2/box – $1 coupon = $1

This isn’t a big chain. There are only 5 or 6 locations in the state. And, in fact, it’s a “health foods store” so a lot of their items are really expensive. But, I’ve learned that I can get killer deals by getting to know the store and limiting my purchases to what’s on sale.

I bet you can, too.

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Comments

  1. Those are some really good prices! I wish we had more stores to choose from where I live.

  2. Wow! Those are some really great prices.

    I actually haven’t found any blog that reports the deals for the story that I shop at in my town (Weis Grocery) – so I have learned to do my best to stick to sale items and basics – and stock up when things are on sale.

    I also do a once a month stock up at Costco (about 30mins away).

    Thanks for your encouraging blog!

  3. Is that Sprouts? Henrys market here in the Inland empire is very similar and they have overlapping ad days on Wednesdays. Youre right if you shop the sales youll get some great deals!

  4. We have two independently owned stores and one Albertsons in our area. For years, I shopped mainly at Albertsons thinking that it was the cheapest. Then, about a year ago, I ran into a friend who’s hubby works for one of the other stores. She was getting price comparisons at Albertsons for the other store and told me that her husband’s store was cheaper on a lot of things. It made me rethink it and really look at the prices. Albertsons had recently remodeled and their prices jumped. For the most part, I shop at the other stores now and just go to Albertsons if they have a screaming deal on something. I’ve found that the local stores really do have good sales — especially on produce and meat which is often better quality than what I get at Albertsons. Plus, one of the independent stores will donate 5% of my purchases to a Moms group that I’m a part of. So, I mainly shop there now.

  5. Don’t you just love Sprouts? I am so thankful that we have one just up the road from us. We are big produce eaters, so they are the best deal for us. And you really can’t beat double ad Wed. Their bulk bins can have some good deals too!

  6. WOW I wish I could find cheaper stores I did challenge my self to a 100.00 for 2 weeks to see if it was possible check my blog!

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