Discount Grocery Shopping

Tips to Shop

Take advantage of your meal plan. If you live in the dorms, make sure you’re making full use of your
meal plan! There’s no limit on what you can spend in a day, but you do only have a certain amount for
the semester, so plan accordingly. You can always add money out of pocket onto your card – this goes for
those of you who don’t live in the dorms as well!

Make a list. Figure out what you need (and want) before you head to the store. This will help to keep
you focused and you’ll be less likely to wander the store adding things into your cart that you don’t
really need. It can help if you also create a standard ‘staples’ checklist of things you always want to have
on hand.

Budget. Figure out how much you can spend on groceries and try to stick to it. Do you get paid once
a month? Are you living off of your savings? Figure out a plan that works best for you.

Sign up for EBT. Did you know that if you’re a student with work study, you can qualify for food
benefits? Head on over to the DSHS and apply for EBT, then stop by our office and we can provide
you with documents that prove you’re active in the program.

Shop with your roommate(s). Share the cost of a grocery run by splitting the cost in half or trade off
on grocery runs. Sit down with your roomie(s) and see what would work best for all!

Coupon. Some grocery stores have their own apps that have discounts and coupons that you
wouldn’t get otherwise. If you have store you go to frequently, see if they have one! There are tons
of other apps out there for grocery coupons and even ones that will give you money back after you
upload your receipts. Check the weekly flyers that stores have, look in newspapers for coupons.
(Checkout 51, Ibotta, more)

Buy in bulk & freeze. Dry and non-perishable foods are the best for this (beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, canned
goods, etc.) If you have some extra space in your living area and you see some sales – stock up! If you have
room in your freezer, you can always freeze items that will expire!

Pack a lunch the night before. Most cases, you probably run out of time in the mornings before you head
to class and don’t have time to figure out food to bring. If you do this the night or weekend before, you
won’t have to worry about it in the morning!

Shop seasonal. Buying fruits and veggies that are in season will save you some money. When
produce isn’t in season it tends to be more expensive because it has to travel farther to get to you!

Eat before you go! Shopping while hungry is never a good idea because you’ll want all of the things.
You’ll find yourself buying more than you might if you shop when you’re not hungry.

Grocery List Ideas






Bell peppers
Sweet potatoes

Deli meat
Peanut butter
Tuna fish (look for low sodium)
Yogurt (look for low sugar)

Bread and Grains
Cereal (look for low sugar; dry cereal also makes a quick snack)
Oatmeal (look for low sugar)
Rice (preferably brown or long-grain)
Whole grain bread
Whole wheat pasta

Quick Eats
Cheese sticks
Dried fruit
Frozen dinners
Protein/cereal bars
Trail mix

Butter (or substitute)
Coffee (making it yourself can save you tons of money—don’t worry, Starbucks will still be there)
Olive/coconut oil
Pasta sauce
Salt & pepper

Where to Shop

Cash & Carry
Best products: Groceries and produce at case prices (single packages also available on most
items), fresh meat, dairy products, and frozen foods.
Nearest locations: SoDo, Ballard, Mt. Baker

Fred Meyer
Best products: Save more by taking advantage of weekly ad specials and digital coupons on
their website.
Nearest locations: Ballard, Greenwood

Grocery Outlet
Best products: Brand-name groceries and fresh produce. Sign up for “WOW” email alerts to be
notified of unadvertised deals from your local store. They also have occasional $5 off coupons if
you use your phone number at the kiosk during checkout!
Nearest locations: SoDo, Central District, Crown Hill

Best products: Regular prices can be high on some product, so take advantage of weekly specials,
and get 10% off as a student every Friday after 6pm!
Nearest location: International District

Trader Joe’s

Best products: Check out their weekly flyer! A lot of things at Trader Joes have pretty good
prices. Keep an eye out for sales and Trader Joe’s brand products.

Nearest locations: Central District, Queen Anne

Big John’s PFI

Best products: Store carries mostly European and Mediterranean imported foods. ½-pound
minimum when buying deli meats (unsliced/no slicer), sausages, cheeses (domestic and
international), and olives. Large variety of bulk dried goods: rices, beans, spices, grains, flours.
Large selections of olive oils, specialty oils, and vinegars. Also chocolate and candy from around
the world.
Location: SoDo

Costco (membership required)
Best products: best value is found on dairy products, organic products, frozen foods, Kirkland
brand products, bulk foods, and perishable foods.

Nearest location: Industrial District