Where dollar stores kick the can for canned and packaged goods, you should check out any local ethnic grocery stores for some killer deals on fresh food. We have both an Hispanic market and a middle-eastern market within a few miles of our home, and I frequent them at least once a week. You should always comparison shop, but when it comes to things like onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and most “in season” fruits and vegetables, I OFTEN find their prices significantly lower than any of my local national supermarkets. Brown onions FIVE POUNDS FOR A DOLLAR!!! Individual russet potatoes 2 lbs. for a dollar. Large sandwich tomatoes 99 cents a pound. Sure, sometimes you have to do a little digging to find enough “great” ones for your planned meal, but the savings are huge.
I’ve also found it worthwhile to check out their weekly direct mail ads for meat. These stores tend to trim their meat very closely, and I often get raves on the results from my barbecues. Some recent OMG prices: boneless ribeye $3.99; trimmed tri-tip $2.99; fillet mignon $5.99. These kinds of deals are usually only for one or two days, but it can be worth a special trip if you stock-up. I always take a look when I’m there too… sometimes the meat manager runs unadvertised specials (this is actually true at any store with a meat department… meat expires!).