Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

A Definitive Guide on Where to Buy Cheap Groceries

Is your grocery budget ballooning by the week? Perhaps you need to find a new store. Here’s a guide on where to buy cheap groceries.

Buying groceries can be costly, especially when you’re feeding a family on a tight budget. But if you’re struggling to make ends meet, don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

When every dollar counts, it’s all the more important to pick the right places to get your groceries. Thankfully, there are several chains out there with a reputation for offering good deals.

You’ll save money in those places by avoiding the top of the line products and favoring store brands, which often taste just as good as name brands.

Where to buy cheap groceries? Read this article and find out!


Aldi has built an unwavering reputation for having very low-priced groceries. You’ll make some of the biggest savings there on items such as butter, juice, and cereal.

Aldi can afford to have these cheap prices because it adopts a different approach compared to most other grocery chains. If you shop there, you’ll find most of the items are store labels and there’s typically only one variety of a product.

You’ll also have to bag your own groceries in bags you brought with you. And to get a shopping cart, you’ll need a quarter that you’ll get back once you return the cart.

These store policies mean that Aldi needs fewer employees than other grocery chains, and it reflects on the prices.

Another way you’ll save money there is by having fewer options. While most stores have about 30,000 items available, Aldi stores generally only have 1,400.

It might seem like a bad thing at first glance, but having fewer options means you won’t have to make as many decisions for your groceries. Plus, you’ll have fewer opportunities to make unplanned buys that inflate your budget.

Aldi’s continuing to expand in the US. There are currently over 1,900 stores in 36 states, with plans to reach the 2,500 mark by 2022.


With only 100 employee-owned stores, WinCo is a smaller chain. It’s based in Idaho, but has branches in the Pacific NorthWest, Texas, California, and Arizona. And it’ll save you money on groceries.

Like Aldi, you’ll have to bag your own groceries. What’s more, you won’t be able to make purchases with your credit card, which is another way WinCo saves money.

Additionally, the store gets its products directly from factories and farms. As they don’t have to go through middlemen, they can keep the prices low. Thanks to this, the store routinely undersells Walmart and other comparable grocery chains.

You’ll be able to find name brands along with store brand products, but you’ll still have less variety than bigger stores. The stores are large and have many items, but remain basic.

Finally, WinCo is very ethical when it comes to treating their employees. Any employee who works there more than 24 hours per week gets health benefits and a pension.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has the same owners as Aldi. It is however much more fashionable with lots of specialty items, especially compared to other discount stores.

Nevertheless, it remains a lot more affordable than other similar stores like Whole Foods which center on quality products.

Again, you won’t find many name brands for items like cereal and frozen meals. You’ll still find more variety than other options on this list, which might tempt you to add frivolous products to your cart.

But the store is committed to cheap prices and should still save you money, provided you don’t go overboard with unessential buys.


Kroger makes the cut thanks to its endless list of offers to let regular customers save money. Kroger Krazy Coupons, weekly specials, and savings cards, among other things, will allow you to cut back on grocery prices on any given day.

Kroger is a paradise for deal hunters. Even as an occasional visitor, getting a Kroger card is worth it as you’ll be able to benefit from the sales prices.

Coupons can get downloaded onto your loyalty card on a special app. Furthermore, the store uses sales tracking to send customers customized coupons in the mail.

It also stands out with its excellent selection and variety of products, in particular when it comes to organic and health foods.

As long as you remain disciplined with buying extraneous items and guilty pleasure foods, you’ll be able to get your groceries for cheap.


Fareway is a discount chain located in the Midwest. It boasts a slightly better selection than Aldi, in particular in terms of produce, but still falls short compared to regular grocery stores.

As the stores are smaller and require fewer employees, Fareway is able to have some of the best prices out there.

Sprouts and Fresh Thyme

Even though Sprouts and Fresh Thyme are technically rivals, they are grouped together due to having the same approach.

They are both focused on cheap, fresh produce. While they have other items, their produce selections are highlights as they are displayed at the center of their stores.

This is a big advantage for both stores. Indeed, discount grocery stores usually neglect their fruit and veggie selection to keep costs down. Sprouts and Fresh Thyme do the opposite, privileging quality and freshness for their produce.

Fresh Thyme is mostly located in the Midwest, while Sprouts has stores in 12 states, primarily in the West. They are both expected to continue expanding, however.

Salvage Grocery Stores

Salvage grocery stores operate differently than the other stores on this list. They buy the products other stores can’t or won’t sell, and sell them for much cheaper.

You’ll find many known brand names, though most items will be dented, damaged, or close to their expiration dates. This is a good option if you want to get your favorite brands but can’t quite afford to buy them at their regular prices.

Where to Buy Cheap Groceries?

With this selection, you now know where to buy cheap groceries. Going to the cheapest stores is great, but there are also other tips to make sure you don’t overspend.

For instance, don’t go to the store hungry as you’ll tend to do more spur-of-the-moment buying. Budget for your groceries and have a list ready before shopping to ensure staying within that budget. Finally, use loyalty cards as much as possible.

Check out our Savvy Deals section to find many more opportunities to save money!

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