Top 10 Cheapest Grocery Store Chain in the United States

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what is the cheapest grocery store
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With the rising cost of living, finding ways to save on essentials like groceries has become a top priority for many families. As per the 2024 Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau, the typical American household spends over $1,000 monthly on groceries. Whether you’re looking to stick to a tight grocery budget or simply get the most bang for your buck, knowing which grocery stores offer the best deals can make a significant difference.

This guide will explore the cheapest grocery store chains in the United States, detailing how they keep their prices low, what items are best to buy there, and which states offer the lowest prices.

1. Aldi


Aldi, originally from Germany, employs several cost-cutting strategies to keep prices low. For example, customers need to rent shopping carts with a quarter, and they get the quarter back upon returning the cart. This system reduces labor costs as no employees are needed to gather carts.

Additionally, Aldi takes a no-frills approach. They don’t provide free bags, so customers have to bring their own or buy them. This grocery store chain also primarily stocks private-label products, eliminating the middleman and further reducing costs.

What to Buy

This grocery store chain is well-known for its affordable and high-quality baking supplies, fresh produce, wine, chocolate, and cheese. Their canned goods are particularly cheap, often costing below a dollar per can. Aldi’s weekly specials, which vary by location, are also worth checking out.

2. Costco


Costco operates on a membership model, charging an annual fee that helps offset costs and allows the store to offer lower prices. The warehouse layout, minimal advertising, and bulk sales also contribute to cost savings. Additionally, Costco sells many items under its Kirkland Signature brand, which offers high quality at lower prices compared to name brands.

What to Buy

At Costco, buying in bulk is key to savings. Popular items include Kirkland Signature products like cranberry juice, coffee, and diapers. Other great buys are name-brand pasta sauces, olive oil, bulk canned goods, and large bags of chocolate chips. Costco’s food court, with its famously cheap $1.50 hot dog and $9.95 18-inch pizza, is also a hit.

Related article: What Credit Cards Does Costco Accept?

3. Food 4 Less

food 4 less

Food 4 Less is a warehouse-style supermarket where efficiency is paramount. Customers bag their own groceries, and the stores operate with a no-frills approach to keep overhead low. Being part of the Kroger family, Food 4 Less benefits from economies of scale, purchasing power, and access to private-label brands.

What to Buy

Shoppers at Food 4 Less can find great deals on produce, even organic varieties, meats, dry goods like oats and pasta, and canned goods. Health and beauty items are also offered at competitive prices.

4. Grocery Outlet

grocery outlet

Grocery Outlet is known as an “extreme-value” retailer. It specializes in offering overstock and closeout products from major brands at significant discounts. It purchases surplus inventory and seasonal items from other retailers, which allows it to sell products at up to 70% off regular retail prices. Grocery Outlet is one of the cheapest groceries in Southern California.

What to Buy

Best buys at Grocery Outlet include packaged foods, dairy products, frozen items, and snacks. Shoppers can also find excellent deals on gourmet and organic products that would typically cost much more at other stores.

5. Lidl


Lidl, another German-based chain, keeps prices low through efficient store operations and a focus on private-label products. They offer a curated selection of items rather than an extensive range, which reduces storage and handling costs. Lidl stores are designed for quick shopping trips, minimizing unnecessary expenses. Lidl is expanding rapidly along the East Coast, making it one of the cheapest grocery stores in areas like North Carolina and Virginia.

What to Buy

Lidl is known for its fresh produce, certified seafood, imported cheeses, and authentic Greek pastries. Their spices, fresh meats, and Spanish olives are also popular with budget-conscious shoppers.

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6. Market Basket

Market Basket is a New England favorite and it keeps costs low with a lean corporate structure and efficient purchasing strategies. By stocking all stores with similar products and reducing overhead, Market Basket passes significant savings on to customers.

market basket

What to Buy

Market Basket is renowned for its high-quality local goods, including Rhode Island clams, maple syrup, and regional produce like Maine apples and New Hampshire pears. Shoppers can also find great deals on everyday groceries and household items.

7. Sam’s Club

sams club

As Walmart’s membership warehouse club, Sam’s Club uses bulk buying and annual membership fees to keep its grocery costs low. They leverage their relationship with Walmart to secure competitive prices from suppliers and employ efficient store operations.

What to Buy

Sam’s Club is ideal for bulk purchases of vitamins, protein bars, toilet paper, and groceries. They also offer extreme-value gift cards, allowing members to purchase $100-value gift cards for just $75. Additionally, Sam’s Club provides services like booking travel, which can also be obtained at a discount.

8. Trader Joe’s

trader joes

Trader Joe’s maintains low prices by focusing on private-label products and avoiding middlemen. It also keeps operational costs down by forgoing traditional advertising and maintaining a simple store design, which includes leaving produce in its original packaging.

What to Buy

Trader Joe’s is a go-to for unique and affordable items like honey-roasted pumpkin ravioli, sweet cinnamon-filled Korean pancakes, and vegan chickpea masala salad. Other must-buys include their seasoning blends, dried fruit, and dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

9. Wegmans


Wegmans, a family-owned supermarket chain, prioritizes efficiency and quality control to keep prices low. It streamlines operations and maintains a strong focus on customer service and employee satisfaction, which reduces turnover and improves store efficiency.

What to Buy

Wegmans offers excellent deals on fresh produce, bakery items, and prepared foods. Their store brands, especially in dairy and frozen foods, are also popular for their high quality and affordability.

10. WinCo Foods

winco foods

WinCo Foods, an employee-owned chain, saves on costs by not accepting credit cards, thereby avoiding transaction fees. They purchase directly from manufacturers and farmers, which helps them offer bulk foods at lower prices. They also save on advertising costs.

What to Buy

WinCo is known for its extensive bulk sections, where shoppers can find great deals on spices, baking supplies, cereal, pasta, rice, and beans. Their bulk food bins offer significant savings compared to pre-packaged goods.

Cheapest Grocery Store by Location

Finding what is the cheapest grocery store in your area can make a big difference in your monthly budget, especially with rising food costs. To help you save money without sacrificing quality, we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest grocery stores by location. We used Yelp to identify stores for each area with good ratings and only one dollar sign, ensuring these options are both budget-friendly and well-reviewed by local shoppers.

Here’s what we found to be the cheapest place to grocery shop near you:

Location Cheapest Grocery Store
Arizona American Discount Foods
Chicago Aldi
Colorado Pete’s Fruits & Vegetables
Florida Aldi
Georgia Mother Hubbard’s
Houston La Familia Meat Market
Las Vegas Stewart Market
Los Angeles Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
Maryland Aldi
Massachusetts Roxie’s Market of Quincy
Michigan Aldi
North Carolina Aldi
New York City (NYC) Aldi
Ottawa Aldi
Portland Grocery Outlet Bargain Market
Texas Joe V’s
Utah Aldi

Grocery Stores Less Expensive Than Walmart

While Walmart is renowned for its low prices, several grocery stores often offer better deals:

  • Aldi: Known for its cost-cutting measures and private-label products.
  • Lidl: Similar to Aldi, it focuses on efficiency and private labels.
  • WinCo Foods: Bulk buying and employee ownership keep prices low.
  • Food 4 Less: Warehouse-style with customer bagging and strong private labels.

These stores often beat Walmart on price, especially for groceries and everyday items.

Recommended Guide: Aldi vs. Walmart: Which Retailer Offers Cheaper Groceries?

cheapest grocery store

Tips to Grocery Shop on a Budget

Shopping for groceries on a budget can be challenging, but with a few smart strategies, you can save money without sacrificing quality or variety. Here are some practical tips to help you maximize your savings and spend less on your next grocery trip:

  • Plan your meals: Create a detailed meal plan for the week and make a shopping list based on what you already have at home. This helps you avoid buying unnecessary items.
  • Shop at discount stores: Opt for budget-friendly grocery stores like Aldi, Lidl, and Grocery Outlet. These stores keep prices low by stocking private-label brands and minimizing store overheads.
  • Use store apps and loyalty programs: Take advantage of store apps and loyalty programs to access exclusive discounts and digital coupons. Apps like the Aldi app or Lidl Plus can help you find the best deals.
  • Buy in bulk: Purchase non-perishable items and household staples in bulk at stores like Costco or WinCo Foods. Bulk buying often results in lower costs per unit.
  • Look for sales and specials: Check for weekly sales, manager’s specials, and clearance items, especially on perishable goods nearing their expiration date. These are often marked down significantly.
  • Avoid impulse purchases: Stick to your shopping list to avoid impulse buys. Ordering online for pickup or delivery can also help you avoid unnecessary purchases. According to CNET, Walmart is known to be the cheapest online grocery store where you can shop.
  • Bring your own bags: Many stores offer discounts for bringing your own reusable bags, reducing waste and saving you a bit more money.

Another tip for grocery shopping on a budget is to use Cushion. This handy app syncs your bills and due dates with your Google Calendar so you can manage your monthly expenses and time your bulk grocery purchases effectively. It also automatically updates your calendar with any changes to bill amounts or due dates, ensuring you never miss a bill due date. Keep track of your budget and streamline your financial planning with Cushion.


Knowing the cheapest grocery store chain in your area can significantly stretch your budget and lower your monthly expenses. Stores like Aldi, Costco, and WinCo Foods utilize strategies such as bulk buying and private labels to keep prices low. By shopping smartly at these stores, you can enjoy quality products without overspending. Prioritize your budget needs and explore these top affordable options for the best savings.

Last Updated on June 06, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.
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