When people in LA need groceries they go to Ralphs or Albertsons and leave spending $75 to $100 on groceries for themselves only to return two weeks later and spend just as much. If you’re on a budget it’s easy to avoid going to out as much to save money but how do you get around the expensive necessity that is grocery shopping? Instead you just suck it up, clip some coupons, and accept that saving $10 with your Vons club card is the best you’re going to get. Well, we’ve got a better idea…
Most blogs and bargain sites will tell you the way to save money on groceries is to go to Costco and shop in bulk. That’s all well and good when you’re shopping for barrels of cheese puffs or you need an 18 pound box of fruit snacks but the reality is bulk shopping isn’t good if you’re a single person living in a Hollywood apartment. You don’t have room to store five boxes of Cheerios and forget about fresh produce, one person cannot go through 8 heads of lettuce before they go bad.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know we love the 99 Cents Only Stores and we decided to prove to you just how great they are. The trick to shopping at 99 Cents Only is two-fold:
1. Know when they get their shipments and 2. shop there first.
Knowing when your local store gets their shipments in is important because 99 Cents Stores always have different items. One day they’ll have cases of Bertolli Ravioli and the next day it will all be gone. For that reason you’re going to have to shop there first. There are always going to be things you won’t find at 99 Cents Only but you can get most of your shopping done and then hit up Vons on the way home for your can’t-live-without-it Raisin Bran Crunch.
Now for the numbers…
To prove just how much you can save by shopping at 99 Cents Only first we did a little grocery shopping at 99 Cents and then went to Ralphs and Rite Aid to see how many of the same items we could find. Below are the prices from Ralphs or Rite Aid on the exact same item, by the exact same brand, in the exact same size including the sale price if there was one:
Breyer’s Light Carmel Tracks – $6.49/$4.99 sale
Dozen Large eggs – $2.99/$1.79
Ore Ida Steam ‘n Mash Potatoes – $3.99/$3.69
SouthWestern Style Egg Beaters – $3.99/$2.99
Jell-O Oreo Pudding Snacks – $3.99/2 for $6
Friday’s Steak Quesadilla – $4.99/$4.29
Quaker Tortillaz Guac. Chips – $2.79
Quaker Mini Delights Cinnamon – $3.49
Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Baprs – $3.99
Pilsbury Grands Biscuits – $2.99
Campbell’s Select Harvest Soup – $2.99
Rinaldi Tomato Sauce – $2.50/$1.99
Goldfish – $2.39
Smart Ones Personal Dessert Sundae – $3.29
Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Combinations – $2.99
Softsoap Elements – $2.99
Knorr Sides Plus (seasoned rice) – $2.69
(Rite Aid) Sunsilk Volumizing Creme – $4.49
(Rite Aid) Contac Cold and Flu – $7.99
Grand total at Ralphs/ Rite Aid (with sale prices)- $68.82
All these items at 99 Cents Only – $20.00
This list does not include any items that were not brand name or any items in different sizes. This allowed us to do a true one-to-one comparison. 99 Cents always has fresh fruits and vegetables and you could compare any of the smaller brand names found at 99 Cents Only with a generic equivalent from Ralphs or Vons. With that in mind it’s easy to see how you could easily save $100 or more every month on groceries.
So next time you need milk, eggs, and bread bring your grocery list to the nearest 99 Cents Only Store first and you’ll be amazed how much will get crossed off! Happy Shopping!