Now that you’re off the jumbo frosh meal plan and have your own kitchen, or have returned to campus from a land of cheaper food, you may be struggling to justify paying obscene prices for staples like Cheerios ($6 for a box?!) or favorites like avocados ($2.99 at Westside and MoWill). We’re in the same boat. And you know what? There are more than two grocery stores nearby. Sophomore Bwoggers Sarah Dahl and Betsy Ladyzhets went on a mission to find the best food deals and compare items and prices. (Extra thanks to Facebook friends and suitemates who contributed).
Rite Aid and Duane Reade offer some unexpected deals. At Rite Aid, we found $1.69 eggs, $2.69 milk, and 99 cent croissants and 3-muffin packs (a little gross-looking, but who cares if it’s that cheap). Duane Reade has some good deals on chocolate and candy. Be sure to get a (free) loyalty card for both so you can rack up points and earn coupons!
Though many prices at Westside and MoWill’s are highway robbery, we still found some reasonable items. Look for deals on produce. Westside recently offered 3 small containers of blueberries for $5. At MoWill, we got a large green pepper for 69 cents, a small onion for 24 cents, a medium bag of washed baby carrots for 99 cents, and a carton of oat milk for $2.99 in the kosher section.
Appletree, familiar to Plimpton and EC residents, offers good deals on coffee ($1 small, $1.50 large), and also had pretty orchids for the slightly cringe-worthy price of $16. Plus, similarly to MoWill, it’s open 24/7 – but not so similarly to MoWill, its prepared foods aren’t entirely questionable.
Far But Not Too Far
C-town (560 W 125th, 3320 Broadway, 238 W 116th, and other locations) offers bags of cereal for $2.29 or $3.50 depending on size. Definitely better than the $6 you’d pay at MoWill.
Fairway Market (Broadway and W 74th, or 12th Ave and W 133rd) offers excellent prices on everything, and the one at 74th also has a café! They have great deals on produce ($1.99 for a pack of kale, $0.75 for a lemon, $2.00 for a cantaloupe melon), non-perishables ($2.67 for quality organic pasta), and fresh bread ($5 for a pre-sliced loaf of sourdough.) The 133rd location is within walking distance, but you might want to Uber back – trekking uphill with grocery bags on both arms is more of a work-out than a couple of hours in Dodge. Or, if you want to save yourself the walk entirely, Fairway delivers for free if you order more than $30!
Trekking to Trader Joe’s and More
It’s a train trip, and the line is hellish, but stocking up at TJ’s is sooo worth it. We found avocados for $1.49 each, a carton of soy milk for $1.79, bags of penne for 99 cents, 6 oz of spinach for $1.99, 16.9 oz of olive oil for $3.99, organic multi-grain bread for $3.29, and 32 oz tubs of Greek yogurt for $4.99. We also got some cute tropical plants for $7.99 each.To avoid paying metro fare twice, take the m104 bus back uptown – there’s a free transfer if you used the subway on the way down!
Costco (517 E 117th St) is an even farther-off but worth-the-trip gem. Buying in bulk may be tricky if you have little storage space, but the prices are incredibly tempting. A recent visit discovered a huge container of olive oil for $13.99, a massive bag of tortilla chips for $4.99, enough dark roast coffee for a month at $9.79, 4 POUNDS of chocolate chips for $8.99, a 48-pack of ramen for $7.99, a pack of 28 small bags of skinny pop for $12.99, and a spice rack with all the spices you could ever need for $24.99.
Also on the East Side, in the same shopping plaza, Aldi (517 E 117th St) has cereal for $2-3. And you can stop at Target to get dorm supplies for much lower prices than what you’d find at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
Yes, these prices may still fail to rival your hometown deals, but we hope they’re enlightening enough to make grocery shopping slightly easier.
A full Plimpton pantry via Bwog Staff