Think Outside the Grocery Store Box

by Ron Haynes

Fresh MarketMany people know the value of coupons and the value of different coupon clubs, but there are other ways to save on your grocery bill by thinking outside the box. Your local grocery store isn’t the only place to go for food. Other stores and chains can offer fabulous deals in the hopes of just getting you in their store. Of course, they hope you will spend money on some of their other items, but if you have the willpower to resist impulse buying, here’s where to look for some great deals on groceries:

Drugstores and Pharmacies

If you’re needing milk, over the counter medications or personal care items, a drugstore like Walgreens can offer some surprisingly good deals. They and other pharmacies hope that when they offer milk for a dollar less than the supermarket, you’ll also buy some higher priced stuff, too. At my local Walgreens, a gallon of 2 percent milk is $2.99, at Kroger, it’s $3.89.


If you’re looking for cereals or cleaning supplies, check out your local Walmart, Kmart, or Target supercenter. As an added bonus, these stores will probably accept competitor’s coupons and match sale prices. You can buy a lot of staples here as well.

Warehouse Clubs

Warehouse clubs such as Sam’s, Costco, or BJ’s sell pantry staples, meats, and even prescription medications at great prices, and many of these sell gasoline at a substantial discount, making it very easy to recoup the annual membership fee. I have to be careful in warehouse clubs because there are lots of tempting goodies (edible and otherwise) that call to my wallet! You can also buy in bulk, but be aware that bulk buys aren’t always everything they’re cracked up to be.

Discount Grocers

For anything else, try Aldi’s or another discount grocery store. These stores usually sell private label products instead of brand names, but in many cases prices can be 20% lower than at a regular supermarket.

Surplus Stores

Most communities have a surplus store but I would only buy dry goods here. When a truck is refused by a supermarket or a portion of the merchandise is damaged in an accident, surplus stores buy the remaining good stock at a very steep discount, sometimes as much as 70%. But buyer beware, these items can be damaged, almost expired, and some completely expired. The deals can be excellent, but you’ll have to be extremely cautious. Check for quality before you buy.

Don’t get into a rut by always buying the same things at the same place without occasionally checking prices. Getting out of your comfort zone just a little can add a few dollars back to your checking account. Give it a try! Remember: a penny saved is just another way to make extra money!

[tags]drugstore, grocery store, supermarket, pharmacy, Aldis, discount store[/tags]

photo credit: NatalieMaynor

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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sue bete

I am a big fan of Costco and I am always happy with the deals I get there – another option is to join a farm CSA – you know exactly where your dollar goes and your money stays local.


Good ideas!!! Thank you for this timely article.

While we don’t have a large family, we do feed a lot of people. Sporadically sometimes……
I have found that by keeping my pantry full and always buying 2 or 3 of any one thing, sometimes even cases, helps keep my mind at ease when company comes or we feel like inviting someone over. Or we have drop-ins frequently. I love to cook and when needing something, it’s always a pain to go looking for it or have someone else hunt for the item. So, for basics I visit my friendly WalMart and stock up. Big savings here. I go to gourmet grocers to get some items also. Things I can’t get otherwise.

Also Sam’s Club is a place that’s good to buy for a longer time or a bigger family! I buy my pecan halves 2 or 3 bags at a time for baking through out the year and keep them in the freezer. But sometimes the containers are too large for me, so halfing them with someone else would be nice. Then it would be less expensive for both of you.

I still cook for large numbers and always seem to cook for an army. I haven’t learned the art of “cooking for 2″ yet. And time seems to be running out for me to learn this particular art!

The best food times of the year are coming and good, tasty food is the main ingredient of the holidays. So this is good. Also big money is spent this time of year for gifts. So, saving on food stuffs is most important.

All this talk about food….makes me want to start cooking right now! :-) I love baking, candy and cookie making. But all cooking makes me happy!!! :-) Yummy in my tummy!!!!

Thank you, Ron. I love your blog.

God bless America!!!!!

Mystery Shopping Company

Safeway is where it’s at. It just feels up-scale in there, always clean, but the prices are always among the lowest. Service is excellent too. I know they spend a lot on mystery shopping to ensure all this.

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