June 17, 2024
Group of young people eating at barbecue party in a backyard.

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Sticking to a grocery budget isn’t easy, but you’ll have much better luck shopping for your summer food essentials at grocery outlets.

According to Mashed, grocery outlet prices are anywhere from 40% to 70% lower than other markets. To keep prices low, grocery outlets often sell surplus, overstock or closeout products from manufacturers and other retailers. They’re often smaller than traditional supermarkets, and you might even find foods and other items local to your area. Grocery outlets typically focus on good value at a lower cost, especially for budget-conscious shoppers looking for the best deals and savings.

Here’s what you should be buying at grocery outlets as you stock up on your summer food essentials.

Produce

Summer is the best season to find delicious fruits and veggies at a discount. Summer staples like watermelon, peaches, berries and corn on the cob will likely be in stock and on sale. For example, select produce items are currently 50% to 67% off at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. Some grocery outlets, such as United Grocery Outlet, also stock fresh, in-season produce by partnering with local farmers and growers.

Snacks

It’s almost a good idea to have snacks on hand when kids are out of school for the summer. But snack prices are often pricier than other grocery store items. In fact, snack inflation was about twice that of total food toward the end of 2023, according to a Snackonomics report from NielsenIQ.

You’ll find a variety of snack items at grocery outlets, typically at a more affordable price. “I love that I can get pre-packaged snacks at Grocery Outlet for a fraction of the price. I can find my family’s favorite brands and pick up new favorites.” wrote mom of three Rachel Teodoro in a blog post on her website.

Condiments

Grocery outlets usually have a wide selection of condiments, and you’ll be able to find everything from BBQ sauces, ketchup, mustards and more for your backyard summer barbeque. Grocery outlets also carry hard-to-find sauces, Sporked reported. However, the publication noted that these can be expensive, so be on the lookout for sales. 

Meat

You may not find the standard butcher counter, but you’ll still find all your favorite summer meats, including steaks, hot dogs, chicken, fresh ground beef and pork ribs. On The Grocery Outlet subreddit, shoppers usually wait until there’s a discount on fresh meat items, and either cook it that day or freeze it for later. One of the most popular is the one-pound square package of grass-fed ground beef, which usually sells for $4.99 – $5.99 each, one person commented.

Gourmet Cheese

Grocery outlets typically carry a wide variety of gourmet cheese at an affordable price. According to Grocery Outlet, the retailer has some of the best prices on specialty cheeses, and some favorites will often sell for just under half to one-third of the price of what you can find in regular supermarkets.

Organic Products

Grocery Outlet prices its organic and natural brands 40% to 70% lower than other stores. The retailer focuses on its NOSH (Natural, Organic. Specialty, Healthy foods) line, which sells everything from organic canned black beans to specialty items like chia seeds.

Beer and Wine

Beer, wine and spirits perfectly complement outdoor barbeques and summer festivities. Teodoro wrote that when she does buy wine, she can get it at grocery outlets for a fraction of the price. “The selection is huge and well organized. Like I said, I don’t buy wine and spirits often, but when I do, I only buy them at Grocery Outlet,” she explained.

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