Urban Grocery Shopping

5 Affordable Alternatives to Urban Grocery Shopping

In metropolitan areas across the United States, some residents go to grocery stores located more than miles from their homes. City dwellers need to carry their groceries on long public transit rides or rely on convenience stores for grocery shopping. Another option is visiting a local urban grocery store that is small, unlike supermarkets for shopping. The grocery stores provide city dwellers with fresh foods and groceries within a short distance. However, some alternatives to urban grocery shopping exist. Check out the list below.

Meal Delivery Services

Shopping for groceries when you live in a city can be a hassle. Whether it’s having to lug heavy bags across public transportation, lack of options for ingredients, or even little to no fresh options for fruits and veggies. It can be difficult for the average city dweller to make healthy meals, let alone buy the food they want at reasonable prices. An alternative if you live in an urban place like Chicago is a service for meal delivery in Chicago. It reduces the hassle of buying groceries. It will reduce your monthly shopping budget because you will only receive ready-made meals. No more food going bad in the fridge, because you wanted takeout instead. 


People who have been a little piece of land or patio in their homes can grow groceries such as herbs in pots. You will also be lucky if you live in a house with a massive balcony, as you can place your potted plants there. Putting them on the balcony will ensure they get enough sunlight during the day. You can check the internet for ideas on gardening in small spaces. You can do a lot with your small space, including growing potted fruit trees.

Buying from Local Farmers

If you have never considered buying from local farmers, you should. Buying your produce from the farmer’s markets or in Community Sponsored Agriculture will save you some money. This alternative is cheaper than buying from grocery stores. You will also get many other benefits from shopping from local farmers too. Some benefits include buying fresh produce straight from the farm. Sometimes the grocery stores don’t have fresh groceries. However, if you buy from the farmer’s market, you get different groceries and fresh produce varieties.

You can also negotiate the prices with the local farmer, which isn’t possible when buying from a grocery store. Community Sponsored Agriculture has been available throughout the years. You can also check local listings for communities offering winter shares.

Ethnic Food Stores

There are many ethnic food stores in different states. If you don’t know any, you can search the web to find one near you. An ethnic store carries specialty grocery items for a relatively lower price than usual grocery stores. If you want to buy curry, sauces, and vinegar, consider checking the Asian markets. The store will have every item that Asians cook, and you can find what you need there. For rice, lentils, and couscous groceries, visit the Middle Eastern stores which sell these items in bulk. Hispanic stores usually carry dried chilies and fresh tamales. Fortunately, you will buy these items at a lower price, therefore saving some money on your grocery shopping.


Foraging is another affordable alternative to urban grocery shopping. Some items you can forage include black walnuts, apples, berries. You can also find some wild fruits and vegetables to make specialty dishes, like crockpot applesauce. Remember that the success of foraging d varies, and sometimes it may not give you the desired results. Nonetheless, it is not as hard as many people think. The only way to do foraging is to get outdoors and look for your needs. Once you have gathered enough, you can use them or the recipes you want.

Foraging all depends on the season and your enthusiasm for everything foraged. If you don’t like one item, you can still find others that will interest you. You will love making recipes with ingredients plucked straight from the bush in their most natural form. The best time to take advantage of nature’s larder is during autumn.

Final Thoughts

Grocery stores are part of most people’s lives. They sell cheap items and are where most people do their weekly shopping. However, there are other ways to shop. The alternatives we have mentioned in this article are cheap and more sustainable.