Even in the age of online ordering and discount warehouses, there’s still something to be said for your local grocer. Supermarket darling of the South, Kroger reliably stocks organic items at budget rates, right around the corner from wherever you live. What could it help you save? Here are four examples of prices hard to beat.
Ask anyone looking for quality food on a budget: comparing prices is complex. One store has the best price on produce; another gives deep discounts on meat. So when you see a sale at one location, you have to stand there, mentally comparing it with the other deals in town–not to mention online. You wonder: is $1 savings on chicken worth the extra gas of driving 15 additional miles to a store that’s farther away? Is a trip to one more store worth saving $0.50 on tomatoes? Is this worth ordering on Amazon?
Finding answers to these questions is part of the reasoning behind the Grocery Sources category on this site. You may never be able to get every best rate on every product every time you shop–but cost comparisons reveal there’s value in trying. If you can save a little here and there, especially without much trouble, why not?
Kroger, a Local Grocery Chain in Nashville
In the American South, Kroger is one of the most common grocery stores, with some 50 locations in the general Nashville area alone. Over seven years in this city, I’ve lived at four different addresses, in four different neighborhoods, and they’ve all been within 10 minutes of a Kroger store. This supermarket chain–America’s biggest!–is undeniably accessible, offers convenient online ordering through its ClickList program and, if you’ve ever shopped there before you already know, understands marketing. From personalized coupons regularly showing up in your mail to interesting corporate magazines that inspire with recipe ideas and articles, its strategies work.
4 Reasons I Shop My Local Kroger Grocery Store
Personally, I rarely miss a week at Kroger, a store that first wooed me with targeted coupons, and then turned me into a regular with its expanding product selection and cheap rates. Often in my cart are items such as Mission organic tortillas, these favorite corn tortillas, Handsome Brook Farm eggs, whatever quality produce is on sale and household staples like paper towels and toilet paper. Here are four examples of products that might make it worth a visit for you, too:
1. Organic All-Purpose Flour
Priced at $4.99 for a five-pound bag, Kroger’s organic all-purpose flour makes bread baking or recipe testing as cheap as $1 a pound–cheaper when you add a coupon. So how does the price compare? This is $1 lower than Thrive Market’s store brand, for example, and $0.56 lower than the bulk rate of buying 30 pounds at a time on Amazon. The only place I could find a lower rate was in some parts of the country at Whole Foods, where it may sometimes be $0.05 cheaper per pound.
2. Organic Tortilla Chips
Paying $2 for a nine-ounce bag of organic tortilla chips is not the lowest price available (you can score a same-sized bag of tortilla chips from Brandless for $1.50), but it is a good rate, available in the time it takes you to drive to the store and checkout. Bonus: The Kroger app regularly offers coupons for its chips, and its custom-coupon system sends us a coupon for a free bag every few months.
Produce prices are regionally and seasonally dependent, but whenever good avocados are under $1 apiece, you can’t hate it. Here in Nashville in July, they’re running around $0.77, which may be slightly higher (or lower, depending on the week) than ALDI’s or, according to one friendly shopper, the area’s mercados, but it’s not bad. Along the same lines: mangoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and clementines, which rotate sale rates.
4. Organic Spices
Paying $2 for a jar of dried organic oregano leaves is the kind of deal that keeps our weekly tomato sauce in business. Whether you’re looking for cinnamon, Italian seasoning or salt, the Simple Truth brand may be your cheapest bet. Also, again, the Kroger app regularly offers additional savings on this item through coupons.
Poll Results: Why You Shop Kroger, Too
In a recent informal Instagram survey, I asked you if and why you shop at Kroger. The responses were polarizing! While some cited a dislike for their local branch’s aesthetic or upkeep, others raved about prices and convenience. Here are a few favorites you recommended:
- “Meat on manager’s special! We get great deals on good-quality meat because our store discounts heavily a day or two before the ‘use by’ date.” Emily O’Neal
- “Organic eggs, organic lettuce and so much more! I do most of my grocery shopping there.” Kaitlyn Luce
- “Mostly produce … Also, I do buy a lot of the Simple Truth brand items (meat, pasta, chips, etc.) because they are better quality, and there are often coupons in the Kroger app.” Emily Wilson
- “I love it for the Kroger pickup! Such a great option with two little kids.” Elissa Carper
Other items mentioned: Larabars, international food that budget-friendly Aldi doesn’t carry, almond milk, favorite brand-name items, gluten-free products and smaller-size items than Costco.
Bonus: A Few Reader Tips
What was also interesting on Instagram was learning about your inside tips for saving more money. Here are a few suggestions mentioned:
- FUEL POINTS! Buying the bulk of your groceries at Kroger helps you rack up gas savings. Did you know every 100 points is $0.10 off a gallon of gas at a Kroger gas station? In fact, with certain coupons, you’ll get double or triple that. One pro tip from my friend Deb: buy gift cards (say for restaurants or stores you’re already going to go to) at Kroger to rack up fuel points, especially if you buy them on 4X Fuel Points days.
- SUPPLEMENTING. Three quarters of you who leave near a Kroger store said you shopped it regularly. But of those who do, a whopping 88% supplement with other stores. Even if Kroger is your main grocery, it’s usually not your only one. Other grocery sources people needed to visit additionally included Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods and farmers markets.