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How to Save on Staples in the City

I was in New York a few weeks ago, and on Friday afternoon, I took a trip to the supermarket to stock up on food for the weekend. What I found was unlike any other supermarket in any other city I’ve been in. Cereal was almost $6 for a box. A bag of chips that’s typically $3.50 was no less than $5.50, and a bottle of soda, often 99 cents, turned into a $1.50 2-liter.

My eyes bugged out. I wanted to believe that I was in a bad dream. I wanted to run out of the store crying and sit in a corner for two days until it was time to leave. $6 for a box of cereal? Ridiculous.

As my friends making low wages continue to struggle to make it in the Big Apple, I couldn’t imagine that they were being forced to pay such ridiculous prices. And worse, they go along with it as if there are no other alternatives.

However, there are some easy ways to cut costs. Let’s go through some alternatives to paying big bucks for basic groceries.

I’ve discussed Amazon’s subscribe and save options before, but here it has a very real world application.

That almost $6 box of cereal? A quick look at a non-special shows 3 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios for just $8.45. Already that’s a fantastic deal, and with subscribe and save, the price drops to just $7.18 for three boxes, which is less than $2.40 a box! That’s more than 50% off, and you can cancel whenever you want (I suggest immediately after the order goes through so you don’t get charged if the price rises later after you forget about it!)

Feel free to check out the other breakfast foods, I’m positive that these prices beat your supermarket prices.

Breakfast not your thing? Let’s look at pasta sauce: A 4 pack of 45 ounce bottle of Ragu on Amazon is just $9.08 with subscribe an save. For reference, I’m used to paying $2.50 for ONE 24-ounce bottle on pasta sauce! It’s not even close.

We could do this all day. I have no idea what the specials look like, but I’m sure if you check out Amazon once in a while, you’ll find some great deals.

Disclaimer: I don’t get paid for anything you buy. I just know that this information can help lower the costs of living in expensive cities.



  1. I’ve found that there tends to be a big range in prices from store to store in big cities I’ve lived in. Hopefully you just got unlucky and picked an expensive one! If not, I never want to live in NYC if I’m on a budget!

  2. We’ve never bought any of the food staples (like cereal) from Amazon, but I’ve seen more and more ‘deal alerts’ that we’re going to be keeping our eyes open. Just yesterday, I asked Mrs. Beagle what a good price on some of the cereal is that we typically buy, because I know I’ve seen it on Amazon, so we might as well make sure we get it for the best price.

    • @Money Beagle, I’ve bought cereal before (for a special, it was something like $1.50 a box) and was so impressed. 2 days later I got my cereal and it lasted a few weeks. Just perfect.

  3. Sometimes I look at the prices people in large cities pay and my eyes bug out. I cant imagine spending that much for cereal! I’d go crazy. And I cant believe that evan spends that much for BL – I can get a 30 pack for about that price here.

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