Oatmeal! the 42 ounce, 30 serving container of store-brand oatmeal is around 2.00 - 2.50 at most of the grocery stores in my area, and I live in the pricey Northeast.
Bulk oatmeal, even at Whole Foods, is pretty cheap, probably one of the most economical things you can find at WF. That, and the popcorn kernels.
And a half cup, 150 calorie serving of oatmeal with a splash of milk is sooooo much healthier and so much more filling than a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal or (god forbid) Special K which is like air to me.
I put a sweet and low in mine or throw in a few raisins or dried cranberries from Trader Joes for sweetness. Also a dash of cinammon is great or even sugar free maple syrup which I found really cheap at a Food Basics store.
This is wonderful! I'm going to try some of these suggestions next month. I keep seeing all these different store names. I guess my town must just be "hick" or something, because the only places we have to shop for groceries are: Walmart, Kroger, Food lion, Save-a-lot, and Aldies (sp?).
Aldi is a great place for discounted groceries...it is brought up a LOT in this forum. We don't have one here, but if you do have one, it can be a good place to find bargains.
For me it's less about going to a particular store and more about finding the cheapest sources for the things you buy in your area. For example, the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings in the central park of the suburban, college town near me is really, REALLY expensive. The one on SUNDAY mornings, in the inner city (underneath a freeway overpass, actually), costs about 1/3 as much (and it has some of the same vendors, just selling their stuff a LOT cheaper). We also have a produce market about 30 min away that sells bulk fruits and tomatoes (great for canning projects), veggies, dried beans and grains, and dried fruit at amazing prices (because their business model allows them to get away with almost no waste...anything they don't sell that's getting close to the end of shelf-life gets dehydrated and sold as dried fruit, plus they use almost all local vendors with no middlemen). There's a great meat market an hour and a half away that sells really high quality meats at lower prices than my grocery store, and they can add oil-free marinades to the packages for you, saving on spices, herbs, and oils...they sell frozen, so we go once a month, fill up a cooler, and stock the freezer. And we have learned which grocery stores are more likely to have sales on the grocery staples (peanut butter, no sugar added ice cream, cheeses, etc) and which are more expensive.
Now that we have our "spots", we save a ton of money. And as a bonus, the food is often better quality, local/more environmentally friendly, and tastes better.
I know that Whole Foods can be expensive, but not everything is, I've said it many times in different threads, but I love their bulk bins. I am on Food Stamps, I receive a little over two hundred dollars a month. I went today and spent thirty-six dollars on about two weeks worth of bulk items such as granola, lentils, nuts, seeds and soup mix, part of that also bought me several containers of yogurt and energy bars. I eat very little meat, but then I went to Kroger's and got some deli meat and cheese on sale and some frozen veggies and eggs for about fifteen more dollars. I understand that not everyone is like me, I use the money solely for me while others have to spend their budgets on family as well, I guess the best way that I save is to go to different stores for different items.