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College Guide: Healthy & cheap grocery shopping 

click to enlarge Two words: FREE SAMPLES
  • Two words: FREE SAMPLES

WHEN IT comes to organic and natural food shopping in Savannah, it’s a good news/meh news situation.

The “meh” news is that there’s no single, centralized place, like Trader Joe’s, where you can stock up on healthy, affordable food all in one stop. The good news is that there are still plenty of great finds at low prices... it just might take a little more planning in advance.

In other good news, we’ve created a Grocery Go-To List comparing the competition in order to help you save time and get the most for your money.

Kroger

Overview: The Downtown location is the closest, most convenient store for SCAD students and has the best hours (7am to midnight). The quality and availability of its stock can sometimes be inconsistent. When favorites sell out, it can take weeks for inventory to be replaced.

Competitive Edge: Kroger’s Simple Organic brand has the widest variety of organic food at the lowest prices of any other store in town.

Low-Price Favorites:

Simple Truth Organic Baby Spinach

Simple Truth Organic Baby Carrots

Simple Organic Chicken and Vegetable Stock

Simple Truth Natural Cage Free Grain Fed Eggs

Simple Truth Organic Potatoes (3 lb bag)

Simple Truth Organic Grape Tomatoes

Simple Truth In Advertising (Not!): At just $3.79 per gallon, the Simple Truth Organic Whole Milk is priced significantly lower than any of its competitors. Take a look at the label and you’ll discover the reason why—both whole milk and skim milk are listed as ingredients.

Publix

Overview: A larger, happier version of Kroger, offering competitive prices on popular brands that appeal to the mainstream. Employee morale and customer service are higher than average.

Competitive Edge: A superior shopping experience to Kroger, in terms of quality and consistency of its stock.

Low-Price Favorites:

Greenwise Hormone and Antibiotic Free Beef

Greenwise Hormone and Antibiotic Free Chicken

Greenwise Hormone and Antibiotic Free Pork

Greenwise Hormone and Antibiotic Free Turkey

Greenwise Veggie Breakfast Patties

Honorable Mentions: Publix Brand sliced cheese comes in a wide variety of flavors, in 8 packages, compared to the 6 oz. Kroger brand. Also, you can find the lowest priced smoked salmon in town and Temptee New York Style whipped cream cheese.

Word to the (Green)wise: Prices on their Greenwise brand of salads, fruits and vegetables tend to run higher than Kroger and can sometimes be more expensive than Whole Food’s 365 line.

Brighter Day Natural Foods

Overview: Creating Healthy Business Since 1978, Brighter Day Natural Foods is the godmother of Savannah’s healthy food movement and a cornerstone of our community. Be sure to keep an eye out for their sales circular in Connect Savannah and check out www.brighterdayfoods.com for additional Health-E-Coupons

Competitive Edge: A deli and juice bar that specializes in raw food delicacies.

Low-Price Favorites:

Tree of Life Organic Quinoa, Flax and Chia Seed Salsa

Organic Valley Rich and Creamy Sour Cream

Tasty Bite Kasmir Spinach

Tasty Bite Punjab Eggplant

Tasty Bite Vegetable Tika Masala

A Worthwhile Investment: Brighter Day’s collection of vitamins and herbs are of the highest quality and integrity. Their Kid’s Calm Fruity Splash Multi-Vitamin is a great secret weapon to help grown-ups ease anxiety. Just mix one ounce with 6-8 ounces of Poland Springs Orange carbonated water and you’ve got a yummy drink that tastes like orange soda to boot! And it sells for $7 less than Whole Food’s asking price.

Whole Foods

Competitive Edge: Community educational outreach programs that include cooking and yoga classes, gratis, plus amphlets on Healthy Eating, Bulk Basics and recipes.

Low-Price Favorites:

365 Tropical Greens Fruit and Veggie Bars

Okay, so there’s only one item on the list, but it’s the best kept secret in Savannah. Go to the popsicle section of the frozen food aisle, kneel down to the second shelf from the bottom and grab yourself a box of these. The main ingredients are banana, pear, kale, kiwi and spinach...but you only taste the fruity stuff. The best freakin’ way to eat your vegetables EVER.

When looking for the lowest prices, be sure to cross-check the in store sales with the coupon books. A lot of times, prices that are already marked down also have current coupons, giving you a double discount. Saving money here involves a bit more homework, but the dividends can be handsome. Especially if bargain hunting is one of your sport hobbies.

Fresh Market

Overview: Store managers Bryan and Rob go out of their way to make Fresh Market a happy experience, for customers and employees alike. The money that you spend here is for a good cause, in the form of management that goes above and beyond to earn your business and retain its employees.

Competitive Edge: The most consistently fresh selection of fruits and vegetables; by far the widest variety.

Low-Price Favorites:

Chia Pod Pudding

Synergy Cherry Chia Kombucha

Synergy Grape Chia Kombucha

Synergy Raspberry Chia Kombucha

Honorable Mention: Dogfish Hard Tack Clam Chowder, with bacon. Make it even better by adding a bottle of your favorite Dogfish brew.

No Soup For You! (Not!): If you’re missing New York, you can find a wide variety of Soup Man favorites available for about $4.50.

Target

Competitive Edge: Udi’s gluten-free bread products priced one to several dollars lower than anywhere else its products are sold in the city.

Low-Prices Favorites: Amy’s Kitchen Country Cheddar Bowls, along with all other things Amy’s. Unlike Kroger, Target always has them in stock. And at low, low prices.

And While You’re In The Neighborhood...why not hop on over to Big Lots and see what organic products they’re selling? There’s no rhyme or reason to what they’re selling, but when it’s in stock, it’s always $3.50 or less, so come on down!

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Erin Ferdinand

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