The current state of the economy has most people scrambling to pinch pennies. Shopping for necessities at discount stores is an excellent way to keep more cash in your wallet. Read on to learn the best places to grab a bargain.
Best Discount Stores: Grocery Retailers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of food was the third-highest household expenditure in 2021. The grocery bill can quickly get out of hand if you aren't careful. Shopping at discount grocery stores can save money on monthly food costs. Here are the best cheap food stores to shop at to keep your grocery spending under budget.
Aldi is a discount grocery chain from Germany. It is known for its quality organic and private-label products. The chain focuses on the consumer and uses several strategies to help keep prices low for customers.
Aldi offers a smaller selection of products, which allows for smaller stores. They keep costs down by efficiently stocking their shelves and hiring fewer employees.
Many shoppers rave about the superior quality and great prices of Aldi products. If you have an Aldi near you, consider checking it out to see how much money you could save. You may be pleasantly surprised by how much you save on groceries.
Like Aldi, Lidl is also a German discount store that sells private-label products much cheaper than you would find in a regular grocery store. They use similar business strategies as Aldi to maintain low product prices for customers. You won't need a quarter to rent a cart, but don't forget your reusable shopping bags when you head to Lidl.
Trader Joe's is another grocery chain where you will find quality private-label products at prices that beat other large grocery chains. Trader Joe's bases its product lineup on foods from around the world. As a result, you'll find unique and tasty products at reasonable prices. In addition, you don't have to worry about sales expiring or forgetting your loyalty card. Trader Joe's believes everyone should have access to outstanding value for food without special promotions or membership cards.
Kroger is a massive supermarket chain founded in 1883 in Cincinnati. Through several mergers (and another merger with Albertsons in the works), the Kroger Company has grown to have almost 2,800 stores operating under more than two dozen brand names. Food4Less is one Kroger brand that is considered one of the cheapest grocery stores in the United States.
The Grocery Outlet is a discount chain with over 400 stores across the country. In the aisles of this supermarket, you'll find tons of brand-named products without the steep price tag. Instead, products are sourced from package changes, surplus stock, and overruns to bring you quality off-price products.
Best Discount Stores: General Retailers
Shopping at general retail stores is the norm for buying all of your life's necessities, including food and beyond. For example, things like clothing, toiletries, household items, and kitchen wares are all items you would find at a general retailer. Also, looking for the cheapest stores to buy discounted goods will free up money in your budget to allocate toward your financial goals. Here are some of the best discount stores to shop with a small budget.
Walmart is famous for having the lowest prices on almost anything you want. It stocks an enormous variety of products at rock-bottom prices. Their store-brand products are excellent cheaper alternatives to name brands. But even if you are brand-loyal, don't forget your coupons or use your favorite grocery savings app, such as Ibotta, to save money at this colossal retailer.
Besides being a great place to get cheap groceries, Walmart is also one of the best places to buy all your self-care necessities. This big-box store has an endless selection of makeup, soaps, hair products, lotions, and anything else you may need to look and feel your best. The best part is you will rarely find these products cheaper elsewhere.
Target is a discount department store well-known for its bullseye store logo. You'll find almost anything you need at this one-stop shop, including great deals on clothing. Target owns over 45 clothing brands for men, women, and children that you can find in-store or online. If you prefer to sport name-brand attire, look for discount clothing stores to save money. But consider shopping at Target for other essentials like pajamas, undergarments, socks, and accessories to save money on your wardrobe. Don't forget to check clearance racks for even more savings.
Walmart and Target have similarly priced toiletries and personal care products. You'll find all your favorite drugstore brands at target for less than you would pay at the drugstore. In addition, Target partnered with Ulta Beauty in 2021 to allow you to shop for prestige brands. You'll also have access to the expertise of Ulta Beauty-trained employees in an actual one-stop-shop environment.
While not technically a discount store, Amazon is an excellent place to shop if you are looking for deals. From personal care products to pet supplies, you'll quickly find what you are looking for at the lowest prices. In addition, if you are wondering where to buy cheap clothes online, Amazon is one of the first places to look to find clothes at a discount. You'll find name-brand apparel and footwear in any style or color you need. Also, many Amazon sellers offer free shipping, even if you aren't an Amazon Prime member. Just be sure to check product reviews to be sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller.
Mainly in the Midwest, Meijer is a supercenter retail chain focused on exceeding customer expectations. Meijer is a one-stop shop where you will find everything from groceries to electronics to shoes and wine. Some stores even house nail salons and barbershops! This company strives to ensure customers have fresh foods and are well taken care of by offering select prescription antibiotics and prenatal vitamins for free. In addition, Meijer is known for running weekly “10 for $10” sales (and they give you the 11th item for free).
Big Lots is a general retail discount store aiming to help people save money on all products. Big Lots offers a vast assortment of quality brand-name products at steep discounts for people on a small budget or those looking for a great deal. After all, their mission is to “Help people live big and save lots.”
Five Below is a specialty discount store that stocks its product line with tweens and teens in mind. Most of the products sold at Five Below are less than five dollars. However, the store does carry a small selection of products priced between $6 and $25 in their “Five Beyond” shop. They stock trendy, stylish goods that make great gifts for the young (and not-so-young) people in your life.
Tuesday Morning is a discount store where you will find home decor, bath, bedding, kitchen wares, rugs, pet products, and more. This store sells products that are name-brand closeouts and factory overruns to bring you great deals on quality products. If you are looking for cheap furniture stores, Tuesday Morning is where you'll want to shop for coffee tables, accent chairs, unique cabinets, and more. So whether you need an inexpensive gift or something for your home, browse the aisles in a Tuesday Morning store to find a fantastic deal.
Ollie's Bargain Outlet
Ollie's sources its inventory through overstock and closeout products. But inspect your items carefully because Ollie's also sells irregular and refurbished products. You'll find almost anything you need at Ollie's.
Dollar Tree Stores
Dollar Tree is a discount variety store that also owns Family dollar. Dollar Tree is known for pricing everything in the store at one dollar. However, over the past couple of years, they have introduced a “Dollar Tree Plus” section of the store where they house products that cost more than one dollar. As a result, you will find many of your everyday necessities at Dollar Tree at exceptional value, saving you money. Shop for personal care items, glassware, home decor, seasonal decor, toys, gift wraps and bags, greeting cards, and more.
Dollar General is another discount variety store to check out if your goal is to save money. Even though the word “dollar” is in the name, be aware you will find most products priced at more than one dollar. This dollar store aims to make shopping easy and affordable by selling products at everyday low prices. Dollar General sells food, personal care items, beauty products, cleaning supplies, clothing, and more. You'll find some of your favorite brand names on the shelves at Dollar General, along with private-label brands.
Locating the nearest outlet stores will lead you to the best discount shopping, especially if you love name brands. You'll head to the checkout counter with some of the lowest prices on your favorites. Whether you shop at factory stores or upscale premium outlets, you can save on just about any brand you love. From Kate Spade to Under Armour, outlet shopping is a gold mine for bargain hunters.
Finding the best ways to save money on your necessities is critical with the current state of the economy. And shopping at discount stores makes it easy to pinch pennies without much effort. So next time you shop on a tight budget, check out some of these stores to help stretch your dollars.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Lisa is a personal finance enthusiast and founder of Adapt Your Dollars, where she writes about her knowledge of frugal living and money management. Her goal is to help women gain control of their money to live their best lives possible. When she isn’t writing or at her day job helping people, she can be found cheering on her kids at their sporting events, baking bread, or running.