One of the things I most love about living in Lower Lonsdale is the abundance of local stores to purchase every kind of food imaginable. From organic and discount chain stores that span city blocks or more, to corner ethnic grocery stores, Lower Lonsdale has many options for getting the best grocery deals. The way to stretch your budget in the kitchen may be unexpected. For instance, I’ve found organic packaged food to be least expensive at corner grocery stores, ethnic and otherwise.
Sometimes being disloyal can be a good thing
By checking weekly flyers and using websites for coupon print-outs and match-ups, I make a list of stores to stop in to purchase my groceries. Shopping around, and not just buying everything you need from one store can definitely save you a lot of money. Luckily, there are dozens of small produce markets, corner stores and larger grocery stores in Lower Lonsdale, so you don’t need to commute very far.
I have always shopped in ethnic grocery stores to get specialty items that are often far cheaper than they would be at big grocery stores. These corner stores are often family-owned. I love being able to support local businesses, and get “authentic” ingredients to supplement food that I have purchased elsewhere.
During late spring and throughout summer, I add up to three farmer’s markets to my list of places to check for produce specials. The farmer’s market at the Lonsdale Quay Market during the warmer months is a great place to find in-season produce.
“Secret” shopping locations:
Where do you go to buy your kitchenware? A little-known secret is that you can purchase things like pots, pans, knives and more from restaurant supply shops. These shops, often located in light industrial areas, are often open to the public. You can score industrial fridges, ovens, and other appliances, too. I have seen specialty coffee supply shops that sell commercial-grade espresso machines for far less than what retailers charge.
A quick Internet search reveals that there are wholesale stores that sell food to restaurants and small grocery stores which are also open to the public. These types of stores are great for stocking up on non-perishable food.
Join loyalty programs:
If there’s a loyalty program, I sign up for it. Most stores and gas stations have some sort of loyalty program, whether it involves earning points, having an extended return policy or getting a discount at the time of purchase, I always feel like I’m missing out when I don’t use a loyalty card when making purchases. I know what you’re probably thinking — I don’t want to carry around another card in my over-stuffed wallet! Well, most stores store your information in their computer systems, so you only need to give them your phone number to get the same benefits as if you had brought in a card.
Get on their mailing list:
I know about warehouse and sample sales before they’re announced publicly, because I’m on a mailing list. You can do this online or in person at stores of all kinds. Often, stores will have special sales or events just for people who are on their mailing lists. A few of the small grocery stores that I frequent have mailing lists to keep customers apprise of sales. Since they don’t have flyers, this is a great way to keep loyal customers coming back.