Friday, July 8, 2011

Frugal Friday - Where to buy what.....

This post is a sequel to one of my very initial posts on this blog. I think that post never got read even when it has lot of good information in it. Read if interested about 'Money Saving tips on food'. That was also the first 'tip' post I posted.
Anyway, coming to the point of where to buy what, I am putting up a list of ingredients that I use a lot and where I buy them from. Inspiration to write this post comes from several emails that I get about the ingredients and where to buy them. Even though no one asked me where it is the cheapest, I am giving you that information based on my research and knowledge. This might not work for everyone since the stores I go to are local in Philly area. It also won't work for those who do not like to go around shopping to get nice deals. Remember that it is not worth driving a distance to another store just to save few cents. You will have spent more on the gas. Keeping that in mind, here is what I do and stock up to save. I have given the information on some of the major ingredients. By looking at the below list, you can see that I use 3 - 4 stores for all my cooking/baking needs.

Rice, lentils, dals - best place to buy is Indian grocery stores. You cannot beat the price there unless another store has a promotion going on.
All purpose flour, Bread flour - Costco. Having said that, I stock up all purpose flour for the entire year from Wegman's when they put it on sale during holidays. I pay 99 cents for 5 pounds of APF there which is cheaper than costco.
Sugar - BJs, Costo. But, during holiday season, Wegman's sell it on sale. About 1.99 for 5 pounds.
Brown Sugar, Confectioner's Sugar - Wegman's (Stock it up during holiday season for the entire year)
Spices - Indian grocery store.
Rice - Sona Masoori, basmati - Indian Stores. Long grain rice - BJ's, Costco.
Nuts & Dried fruits - Indian grocery store followed by BJ's, Costco
Chocolate chips, cocoa, vanilla - BJ's, Costco
Breakfast Cereals - BJ's or Costco (If you use coupons, you get a very good deal)
Canned beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and other canned goods - best place is Wegman's but most of the local grocery stores have sale once or twice a year. Stock it up when the sale is going on for at least 6 months.
Best rate I have got for canned goods -
69 cents for 28 Oz can of crushed tomatoes.
89 cents for 28 Oz can of peeled whole tomatoes in juice.
33 cents for canned peas and beans,
59 cents for canned black beans, kidney beans.
89 cents for canned lima beans.
Whole Wheat flour - Indian Stores.
Vegetables, fresh - Produce junction followed by Indian stores.
Vegetables, frozen - Wegman's and BJ's.

Milk is something I pick up from couple of stores depending on which happens to be on my way.

I have huge plastic totes in the basement where I keep all these. One box has flour and sugar. The other has all the canned beans, tomatoes. Apart from beans, tomatoes, few cans of pineapple, few cans of pumpkin and a few cans of cranberry sauce, I don't buy much of canned food. I do have some sweetened mango pulp from the Indian store on hand since mango is not available through out the year. One box has confectoner's sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips. Nuts are usually stored in the freezer.

No one has paid me to write this post. I am merely telling you where I shop.

Do you want to share your favorite store information? Leave a comment.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Happy Friday everyone. Pin It


  1. Those are some great tips Champa. I try to stock up stuff from Costco, whenever I can :)

  2. Have heard a lot about Wegman's from my colleagues, have to go check the store out soon. Great tips.. I shop at Costco & BJs too.

  3. Useful and great tips....Thanks for posting!!

  4. nice Champa..Singapore is damn expensive and we do not get this cheap even during a sale..morever we cannot stock things as the climate is very humid here..

  5. This surely is a useful post for people living in the US.....I love to shop there when I visit my children and am familiar with all these stores.

  6. wegmans rocks. I shop there 90% of the time.

  7. Oh my, I don't think we have a Wegman's in Texas!
    And hey - you keep flour in plastic in basement? Does it stay okay if flour not kept in the fridge?
    I think my MIL told me she keeps in fridge it stays fresh, so I started doing too. Takes up too much space though.

  8. Nish,
    I don't open the pack of flour at all. I keep it in the plastic tote as is. It stays fine in the basement since basement is almost like fridge here. Not that cold, but still not warm enough for that to go bad or start smelling. But use within a year to be safe.


If you have a question and you leave it as a comment, I'll surely answer the question to the best of my knowledge. Thanks for visiting.