This is the Cheapest Grocery Store You’ve Never Been To (It Saved Me 44%!)

Cheapest grocery store
Heather Comparetto

I feel lucky to have grown up in a household where exotic meals were the norm. Since my mom is Japanese, her cooking often featured flavors from a variety of Asian cuisines.

Now that I’m on my own, I try to be adventurous with my meals, too.

But the thing is: The ingredients can quickly add up.

So I started thinking about how my mom had done it. And I realized she never bought Asian products at our town’s grocery store. Instead, she made a monthly run to the Asian grocery store in a nearby city.

[Insert lightbulb moment!? ]

Would shopping at the Asian grocery store help me save money on specialty ingredients, and maybe even produce, too?

I decided to see for myself…

Is the Asian Grocery Store the Cheapest Grocery Store?  

To test my theory, I used a simple standby meal: stir fry.

I made a shopping list and headed out to compare prices.

Here’s what I found:


How have I not been shopping at the Asian grocery store for ALL of my produce?

Everyday veggies like mushrooms and red peppers were 50% cheaper than at my regular grocery store — and specialty produce items like bean sprouts and ginger yielded an even greater discount.

Of course, the Asian grocery store probably won’t carry your favorite brand of cereal or pasture-raised eggs — but for produce or Asian ingredients, it seems like a no-brainer.

Cooking stir fry AND saving money?

What a way to make both my Japanese mom and my Jewish dad proud.

Your Turn: Have you ever shopped at the Asian grocery store?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.