Life on the Cheap: Dining On a Dime
Finding fair-priced food.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Gas, beer, bread. It seems the price of everything is skyrocketing these days. While we can trim our budgets (and our waistlines) by laying off pricey foods like chocolate and gourmet cheese, we all gotta eat. Here’s a sampling of deals on staple foods at supermarkets across Monterey County.
• If the lowest prices are a 15-mile drive from your home, with gas at $4 per gallon, it might make more sense to pay a few extra pennies at your local market.
• Trader Joe’s, Grocery Outlet and Mi Pueblo are big chain stores, while Nielsen Bros. and Grove Market are locally owned. Mi Tierra is one of two stores; the other is in San Jose.
• We scouted for the best bargains we could find, but we can’t guarantee we didn’t miss a deal. Savvy shoppers know that prices fluctuate.
• Inventory plays into the price differences. The cheapest loaf of wheat bread at Mi Pueblo is of a lower quality than that at Nielsen Bros. The least pricey eggs at Grove Market are cage-free, compared with the factory-farmed varieties offered elsewhere.
• Local farmers markets are not on the list, but some of the best deals on fresh-picked produce and other foods can be found there if you are lucky enough to have one nearby.