Know your prices- this is so important! Never go up to a coffee or fruit stand without asking how much something costs. If they think you're naïve or a tourist they will try to rip you off. Perfect example: yesterday I went up to a Mr. Softee ice cream truck. When I didn't ask how much the ice cream was (usually $2.50), he just handed me the delicious-looking ice cream and charged me $6! That's equivalent to an entire tub of ice cream. I learned my lesson.
It's the same with supermarkets. Although they have a set price, be wary of which places are marked up. As I mentioned in my last post, I really like FreshDirect because it is convenient, but in the summer I get my fruit from fruit stands, which saves me a ton of money.
A Fresh Direct delivery - and a few items I picked up on sale from looking at weekly circulars. This will last me a while!
I also check out weekly circulars online so I know where to get the cheapest cereal, drinks and snacks each time I go shopping. You would be surprised how far a little research can go. Supermarkets have different deals each week and pharmacies even have weekly circulars too. Why pay $5.99 for a box of Special K in Gristedes when I can get three boxes at CVS for $9?
If you're looking for international goods, then head to Fairway. They have a ton of international food at reasonable prices. For those international students who may miss certain items from home, there are also websites that sell food from all over the world.
If you're looking for some fancy food at an amazing price, then go to Trader Joe's. I never went into a Trader Joe's until this year and I found the most delicious truffle mushroom ravioli for just $3.99. I also picked up some salad, Moci ice cream and margarines for dessert, and two drinks. When my boyfriend came over it looked like I had cooked a five star $100+ meal – all for under $15!
Make your own food instead of eating out. You will save a fortune!