I usually shop at Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway for groceries. Over the past few months I have been keeping a list comparing the prices of our staples (milk, eggs, chicken, etc.) from each store. After deciding to make Thai sticky rice and mango for dessert, I went to the Asian grocery store about 4 miles away to look for the sticky rice. The store had comparable prices for many items, but was much cheaper in terms of produce (Rainier cherries for 2.99/lb, bean sprouts for .49/lb) and things like eggs, which were cheaper than the Western grocery store prices except for steep occasional sales (Fred Meyer: $.99 per dozen eggs). In addition, we were able to buy shelled peanuts for 2.12/lb, so that we can make peanut butter in our blender for cheaper than it would cost to buy a pound of peanut butter.
While I don’t plan on going to 4 grocery stores every week, I think an occasional run to the Asian market will yield interesting fruits and vegetables that might not normally be sold in the Western stores, and cheaper staples whenever we may need them. It’s helpful to keep a list on my phone of all the things that we usually purchase so that I can do some comparison shopping on the spot.