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Looking for a way to save some cash on groceries? Look no further than discount grocery stores.
While discount grocery outlets — think along the lines of ALDI or your local mini mart — are nothing new, their popularity is on the rise. Why? Because you can save a pretty penny buying their generic store brands.
Keep reading and you’ll learn what discount grocery stores to look out for and what makes them great alternatives to national chains like Walmart or Costco. And before you continue, download the KCL app to see more daily deals and savings opportunities.
1. Shop ALDI’s Weekly Ad and save big.
ALDI is a German supermarket chain that has no problem keeping it simple. This is paying off with shoppers, as it’s the fastest growing supermarket chain in the U.S. ALDI stores are generally small and they strip away the towering shelves and fancy signage that define the national brands we all know.
Set ALDI as a favorite in the KCL app and look for ALDI deals each week (find an ALDI near you) and check out the ALDI Finds or ALDI Savers sections. I found a six-count bag of L’oven Plain Fresh bagels (reg. $1.45) for $1.19.
Great Value’s six-count pre-sliced plain bagels go for $1.50 — that’s $0.31 in savings! You’ll find tons of marked-down products like this if you shop their weekly ads and save big.
RELATED: Ways to Spend Even Less at ALDI
2. Buy exotic wines from Lidl for bargain prices.
If you fancy yourself a sommelier, you’re in luck: Lidl, an east-coast-based chain of discount grocery stores, offers around 80 wines in store at any given time, and Lidl’s wine selection has won over 200 industry awards.
They have a wide variety of wines, like reds imported from both Spain and California, at a great price point. For instance, I found this 1790 cabernet sauvignon Paso Robles for just $8.99, which, according to Vivino, normally goes for around $13.99 — about $5 in savings.
3. Clip Smart & Final coupons and shop their weekly circular.
To shop Smart & Final and get the best deals, check out Smart & Final weekly ads and clip Smart & Final coupons online (or print them out for in-store shopping). You can find great deals at a Smart & Final near you, like save $1.50 on any four SMART ONES products or save $1.00 on Welch’s Fruit Snacks.
4. Check out Market Basket for deals on grocery items and produce.
Market Basket, a small grocery chain based in southern Texas and Louisiana, will inspire you to take a southern road trip just for the savings.
For the best deals, check out Market Basket’s Weekly Flyer, where you’ll find groceries, produce, and other products with crazy price cuts. In August 2020, Market Basket had a deal selling five 16-ounce Barilla pastas for $5 ($0.06/ounce) and family-sized Cheerios from General Mills two for $6.
On Walmart.com, a four pack of 16-ounce Barilla pasta goes for $5.12 ($0.08/ounce) and a single box of family-sized Cheerios runs at $3.64 per box — that’s $1.28 in savings if you took up Market Basket’s deal on two boxes of Cheerios.
When it comes to produce, I found a Weekly Ad selling seedless watermelon for $0.49/pound. At Walmart, you’ll find seedless watermelon going for $8.78 for just over two pounds.
RELATED: The Top Grocery Stores of 2020
5. Look for green price tags at WinCo Foods for sales, and apply store coupons for steeper savings.
You’ll find WinCo Foods scattered up and down the West coast and peppered throughout the Midwest and parts of Texas.
Unfortunately, you can’t shop online right now. So, you’ll have to settle for in-store shopping.
When perusing the aisles, though, you’ll want to look out for green label tags, as these mark their sales items.
For a bigger discount, you can also apply one coupon per item — including sales items — be it a WinCo coupon or a manufacturer coupon.
6. Grab personal care products at Food 4 Less cheaper than you’d find at Walmart.
The biggest savings I could find was on personal care products. For example, I found a 12-ounce bottle of Dove Coconut and Hydration shampoo for just $3.49; the same bottle of Dove Hydration shampoo at Walmart went for $13.40!
7. Check Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page for great deals.
You can’t see what Grocery Outlet carries online since they don’t offer online shopping right now, but I found this insane deal on Sour Patch kids the other day on Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page where you could buy three five-ounce bags of Sour Patch kids for just $1. (That’s $0.06 an ounce!)
Compare this to Amazon where you’ll find same-size Sour Patch kids bags for $0.20/ounce.
Also worth noting is Grocery Outlet’s legendary wine deals. Again, you’ll have to pay attention to their social media posts, as this journalist for Oregon Live discovered. He found bottles from well-known wine producers discounted by as much as 70%!
8. Shop H-E-B for great prices on produce and store brands.
Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B has great deals on their store brands and produce. I found a 12.5-ounce bag of H-E-B Southwest chopped salad for just $3.74, which rivals Amazon’s own 11.5-ounce 365 Everyday Value Southwest salad kit for $3.99.
9. Find great deals on snack foods at Family Dollar.
Family Dollar is owned by Dollar Tree, and they offer products at a similar price range. Like many stores, you can peruse Family Dollar’s Weekly Ads for sweet deals on a broad range of products, from back-to-school essentials to snack foods for your kids’ lunches and more.
In August 2020, I found a coupon in their Weekly Ad offering three two-liter bottles of Crush, Mug Root Beer, or Sierra Mist for just $3. A two-liter bottle of Crush orange soda at Walmart runs at $1.25 a bottle — that’s $0.75 in savings if you bought three bottles.
Family Dollar also has a $1 WOW section on their Weekly Ads where you’ll find select items for $1 or less in store, like Mike & Ike chewy candies, Wise brand Honey BBQ chips, bags of Top Ramen, and more. Check the ads regularly to get the best deals on these pantry staples.
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