Sticking to a grocery budget of $25 a week is not going to be an easy task over the next 12 months especially with places like Murray’s Cheese or the Grand Central Market on every corner. Fortunately I live with my sister and we split groceries so our budget gets bumped up to $50/week for the two of us. I used to succumb to these specialty shops in New York, and the organic top line ingredients at Whole Foods, but I’m teaching myself to prioritize what I really need vs. what I want.
When I first moved here, I realized I wasn’t in
Kansas Andover anymore and grocery prices were insanely expensive. I could never bring myself to pay $4.39 for a box of name brand crackers or $5 for a small container of hummus (my Armenian ancestors would roll over in their graves if they even found out I bought it in the store.) That said, over the past four years I’ve tried many grocery stores each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The hidden gem that will make you bypass the produce section…and bread and pasta, and eggs…in any grocery store is Stiles Farmers Market. I had known about Stiles for the past two years, but had only really gone in once or twice, mostly for convenience reasons since their hours don’t always coincide with my work schedule. But anyway, this past weekend my sister and I were in dire need of groceries and the local Food Emporium wasn’t going to allow us enough for our budget. I knew this place had great deals on fruits and vegetables so we went to check it out again for the first time. We were blown away but the amount of food we came away with. We set out to stock up on fruits and veggies, but they had a great deal on pita bread (2/$1.50) and imported whole wheat pasta from Italy ($1/bag), that we barely needed to supplement at the grocery store. We came away with kale, apples, oranges, mango, avocado, lemons, potato, cucumber, grapes and an additional loaf of bread for only $21!
Examples of some prices that we paid: Grapes were $1.50/lb, apples, $1/lb, lemons 4/$1
Aside from that, you can find fresh herbs for $1 each, eggs, imported olive oil, canned beans, canned tomato sauce, and dried fruits. If you live in New York, and are sick of the measly $5 bags of prepackaged lettuce, then this is your destination.
There are two locations in Hell’s Kitchen:
569 9th Ave (between 42nd St & 41st St) New York, NY 10036
352 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
What are your go-to places for inexpensive quality groceries in NYC?