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

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.

Spending too much at the grocery store? Check out these tips and tools to save money on groceries.

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.