With rampant inflation on the rise with no sign of stopping, this means high food prices are here to stay. Yet, that DOESN’T mean you have to break the bank every time you head to the grocery store. Cheap grocery stores provide an easy way to save 20-30% on each trip to the store. The savings can add up quickly, making “budget” grocery stores the perfect option for most families. Rather than spending a premium at places like Whole Foods or Wegmans, consider cheap grocery stores near you. Here’s a list of the top cheap grocery stores near you so you can save more on your next food run.
Aldi is a family-owned discount grocery store that opened its first store back in 1961 in Germany.
Today, Aldi provides major savings primarily by providing shoppers with a high percentage of private-label products from Aldi.
By eliminating the excess of large, name-brand food items in the store that are typically more expensive, shoppers can save more.
What Makes Aldi So Cheap: Aldi has smaller stores which can be restocked faster and they leave products inside larger boxes for quick restocks. This leads to needing less employees and passing the savings along to the shopper.
2. Chef Store – US Foods
Chef Store – US Foods, formerly known as Cash & Carry before its name rebranding in 2018, is a Portland-based company that sells large quantities of products from its stores.
While both food-service businesses and individuals can shop here, it can be a great way to buy in bulk and save on your favorite food items.
What Makes Chef Store Cheap: They’re able to offer wholesale prices by carefully selecting the products they stock. They also have a great selection of affordable products for restaurant owners, caterers, and event planners.
Costco is the popular American wholesale chain that requires shoppers to have a membership ($60 per year) to shop.
But don’t let the membership price fool you as you can easily get it back in annual savings.
What Makes Costco Cheap: The bulk aspect at Costco definitely offers shoppers opportunities to save. But be careful as it’s very easy to fill your cart with stuff you didn’t know you needed, but clearly can’t live without.
4. Dollar General
Dollar General sells an array of name-brand groceries as well as private-label products for less.
From Clorox, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, and more, customers can shop for brands they love at very affordable prices.
Plus, Dollar General’s store brand “DG” offers customers even cheaper alternatives to shop for less.
Here are the 22 absolute best buys at your local Dollar General.
What Makes Dollar General Unique: DG stores are not very big, but I’m not sure there are any other “small” stores where you can buy food, clothing, drug items, and even toys all in one spot.
5. Food Max
Food Max is definitely one of, if not the cheapest grocery store in the city I live in.
Located mainly in California, they are a “no-frills grocery store” where customers can buy affordable groceries and bag their own groceries.
I don’t mind bagging my own groceries AT ALL if it means I can save about 20% compared to going to Safeway or Raley’s.
What Makes Food Max Cheap: You bag your own groceries, products remain in shipping boxes on the shelf, no fancy deli counter, very few frills.
6. Grocery Outlet – Bargain Market
Grocery Outlet is a supermarket known for its heavily discounted, overstocked, and closeout products.
Customers can choose from a variety of private-label and name-brand groceries and save up to 40-70% off the usual prices offered at other “traditional” grocery stores.
The selection is a bit “hit or miss” since they carry a lot of overstocks BUT the savings is incredible, especially on things like ice cream, snack foods, cereal, and spices.
What Makes Grocery Outlet Cheap: Store is loaded with name-brand overstocks that are CHEAP, inventory changes every time you visit, no fancy deli counter, you don’t have to bag your own groceries (which is nice).
H-E-B (short for Howard E. Butt, once the CEO of the store, and connected today with their slogan “Here Everything’s Better”) is an American privately held supermarket chain known for low-priced groceries.
This store has locations throughout Texas and Northeast Mexico.
What Makes H-E-B Cheap: While not as cheap as Walmart, H-E-B has a cult following in Texas. Even though their prices are very low, they still offer many unique products like Texas shaped tortilla chips and Texas starry night ice cream.
Kroger is another American supermarket that owns and runs various cheap grocery stores.
Kroger offers both name-brand and private-label brands at discount pricing.
If you’re a loyal shopper at Kroger, check out these clever ways to save even more.
What Makes Kroger Cheap: Kroger has low prices but STILL offers a full-service grocery store with a pharmacy, deli, bakery, and fancy coffee bar. It allows shoppers to get everything in one place and still save money.
Lidl is a German international discount food chain has nearly 11,000 store locations in Europe and the U.S.
Known for offering fresh, high-quality foods at cheap prices, this discount market is another cheap, “no frills” grocery store that minimizes costs by having lower staffing and displaying their products in their original cartons/packaging.
What Makes Lidl So Cheap: Lidl has very limited brands in every grocery category, and only sources brands that they can buy VERY cheap and pass the savings along to shoppers. Their in-house brand, which accounts for 80% of their products, is of very high quality, similar to the Kirkland brand at Costco.
10. Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a popular membership-only wholesale club that offers various discounted products from grocery items to office supplies, electronics, and more.
With a basic membership starting at $50 per year, you can enjoy many of your grocery store favorites, for less and in bulk at Sam’s Club.
If you DON’T want to drop the $50, here are 7 ways to shop at Sam’s without a membership.
What Makes Sam’s Club Cheap: Similar to Costco, Sam’s allows shoppers to save by purchasing items in bulk. But do not make the HUGE mistake at Sam’s of assuming everything is cheaper. Always price compare and opt for their in-store brand whenever possible.
Save-A-Lot is an American discount supermarket that carries a wide variety of produce, meat products, household supplies, and more at affordable prices.
You can find Save-A-Lot stores in over 32 states across the U.S.
What Makes Save-A-Lot Cheap: They have small stores and specialize in only selling a limited number of name-brands at a BIG discount. Save-A-Lot also has their in-house brand which is very cheap but of good quality. By limiting the products they sell, they keep the stores small and their overhead low, passing the savings along to shoppers.
12. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s is known for providing fresh, quality foods to customers at low prices.
The majority of Trader Joe’s products are privately labeled by Trader Joe’s and offer nutritious, quality foods, at a greater bang for your buck.
Also, their fresh cut flowers are some of best quality, for the price, that you’ll find anywhere.
Check out the best buys at Trader Joe’s according to employees.
What Makes Trader Joe’s So Cheap: Very few name-brands. Their in-house brand is 20-30% cheaper than name brands at other grocery stores. They also have a very liberal return policy that lets you essentially taste test new products and return them if you don’t like them.
Walmart offers sweeping discounts on countless name-brand products.
This American corporation offers a chain of supercenters to stock up on all your essentials from produce, grocery items, toys, clothes, electronics, and more.
Perhaps the best way to save at Walmart is to look for some “hidden” clearance deals.
What Makes Walmart So Cheap: Put simply, Walmart pinches their suppliers and makes them produce products cheap in order to sell them cheap to shoppers.
WinCo Foods is a privately held supermarket chain based out of Boise, Idaho.
WinCo is my families go-to spot to buy really cheap staples like canned foods, coffee, baking products, and cereal.
This chain is predominately employee-owned and has store locations in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington where customers can shop for low prices on their grocery favorites.
What Makes WinCo So Cheap: They are definitely no-frills and pass savings along to shoppers. You bag your own groceries and they DON’T take credit cards, only debit cards, personal check, or cash.
Ask the Reader: What cheap or budget grocery stores near you would you add to my list? Let me know in the comments.
By Kyle James