Seek Out Your Local Ethnic Markets for Cheaper Food

Did you grow up eating Cheerios, Oscar Meyer hotdogs, Tombstone pizzas, and other mainstream American food? If so, it's likely that your family has been living in this country for a long time, and shops at a large chain grocery store. If you or your parents are recent immigrants, you already know what I'm about to say.

If there is a particular non-American cuisine you are fond of, you might really benefit from seeking out stores in your area that primarily or exclusively sell that country's products. In my experience, mainstream, big box grocery stores tend to sell international products at a ridiculous markup. They also tend to sell overpriced, inferior, and inauthentic brands (Old El Paso or La Choy, anyone?) over brands that are true to the cuisine, and they don't sell a lot of the spices and condiments you need to make things like Indian or Vietnamese food in your own kitchen.

In addition to getting your favorite spices, condiments, exotic ice cream flavors, and baked goods at much lower prices, you'll also often find that staples like meat, fish, and produce are significantly cheaper at these stores. Depending on where you live, you may have to drive across town (which costs money), but the savings on food, the superior products and selection, and the added excitement of going to a new store full of products you haven't been eating since you were two can really be worth it.

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