Grocery Stores

I highly recommend you take advantage of ecoupons, discount cards, and reward programs to help stretch your food dollar. Also, some stores have excellent sales racks. At up to 75% off, that can make a big difference in the food budget.

Plus, the deli at a grocery store can be one of the cheaper sources of hot (cooked) foods. I have gotten a burrito for a dollar (plus tax) and splitting a whole rotisserie chicken with two other people is a routine part of my diet on the street. A whole chicken is $7 plus tax. That's about $2.5 per person for good quality meat. (I have a medical condition and I do not eat things like hamburgers or hot dogs. I would rather eat vegetarian than low quality meat.). Add potato wedges or something from the salad bar (the cold salad bar items are covered by food stamps) and you have a real meal for not that much money.

I generally shop at middle class grocery stores. I rarely shop at upscale places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I also tend to not shop much at discount grocers. They often sell in bulk, which does not work for me. On the street, I need to travel light.

Below are some of the major chains in San Diego County. I have redacted most of the info about discount programs. Things change rapidly and I left San Diego County a long time ago, so most of it is likely out of date anyway. Wherever you live, you should look for loyalty cards, discount programs, sales racks and check out the deli of your local grocers, including places like Walmart.
  • Albertson's
  • Ralph's When I was in downtown San Diego, Ralph's had a discount card with a really good ecoupon program. Their sales rack was something I shopped often. The Ralph's in La Jolla is the only one in their chain with a kosher deli and I ate there often, though I am not Jewish.
  • Stater Bros: When I was in the North County, website, they offered "digital deals" without a card. You didn't even need a phone number. You could use a ten digit code of your choice.
  • Vons