I actually talked about all of this yesterday, ironically. I have concluded that where I live, there is no real way to eat cheaply by any means. Bergen Co. NJ is well known for bieng pricey, but all the “good” food is exactly that, and even cheap is relative.
Whole Foods would be shopping place of choice, if I was rich. Next would be Wegmans. I would really love to see one of those where I live, they have more then wal-mart and better deals then Path-Mark (if you are familiar with that chain). Albertsons would outsell any minor chain supermarket, and when I lived in Florida, Publix was the go-to place. I have a feeling Amazon.com will soon be the cheapest bulk-rate grocery store for non-perishable and dry foods.
Of course, frozen chicken, fish and fresh foods cannot be replaced by online industry, as for us they tend to be the most and bulk of our spending and diet anyway. If anyone knows a way to cut down on any of these expenses (without sacaraficing quantity), I would greatly appreciate the advice.
I live in Fairfield County, CT, and it is just as expensive as Bergen County. You just have to find where the deals are.
A couple of towns away from me there are 3 Butcher shops within a 3 mile radius, they constantly compete with each other on prices. Occasionally, I will get Chicken Breast for $.99/lb (and I will buy a shitload then), but more often its $1.99/lb, still not bad.
For everything that doesn’t spoil go to Costco.
For vegetables and fruit, find a Farmer’s market (I also travel to Brooklyn often and stock up when I am there because it is so damn cheap).