Thursday, January 4, 2018

Grocery Stores SE Tennessee

Have you ever thought about where you grocery shop? 

Do you consider how many miles away your favorite store is and if it's worth it to make the drive there for groceries? 

We live in a rural area so, I am used to driving long distances to get most anywhere. 

We are fortunate that we have over a dozen grocery stores to choose from. I've listed these in order from the closest store to my house to the store that is the farthest away. 

Shopping at the store closest to me will save me money on gas and wear and tear on my car. Saving money in as many areas as possible will get me and you the most mileage on our frugal journeys. 

While some of these grocery stores are farther away, if we are in that town, we usually always stop by to check out any good deals.  It's in our best interest to stop in and check out their deals. I do not shop at all these stores regularly. Some of them I shop regularly in and others less often. 

My grocery budget is $300 a month, which allows me to spend $10 a day on food. Planning our menus around what is one sale saves me money each month, so I make sure to peruse the grocery sale ads every week.

Having said that, here are the stores we are able to shop at...

Fresh & Low (5.8 miles away)
This is the closest grocery store to my house and they have some very good deals such as 5 items from the produce section for $9.99. But, they do add 10% at the register, so that has to be factored into the prices. 

IGA (9.9 miles away) CLOSED
This is the ONLY grocery store in the town where I work. As a result of that, prices are high and food quality can be low, especially on frozen vegetables. I practically refuse to buy them as I've had freezer burn from them before.  

Food City (15.1 miles away)
We actually have two Food City locations in town and one just over the state line in Georgia. Food City has become my favorite grocery store. They have good sales and I can also get some of my prescriptions for $4.00 there. 

Save A Lot (15.4 miles away)
Honestly, we have so many grocery stores to choose from that I rarely shop at Save A Lot. I'm sorry to say this, but this store is on hill and I've watched as more than one person has let their shopping cart go careening down the hill, once they are done unloading the groceries, and let it smash into another car. I don't want my car hit this way, so I steer clear. 

United Grocery Outlet (15.5 miles away)
UGO has some of the best prices on canned goods, which I've blogged about before. Their prices have risen since the Great Recession, so they don't have as good of prices as they used to, but they can still be a good source of inexpensive groceries. 

Cooke's Hometown Grocer (16.7 miles away)
I love Cooke's and they also own the local Fresh and Low grocery stores. They used to have the best crash and burn items, but lately the items have been overpriced, so it's been a while since I've bought any there. They carry some of my favorite dried beans, so I always look at those when I'm there. 
Food Lion (16.7 miles away)
There used to be two Food Lions in town, but they closed one of the stores. I used to shop there more often than I do now. The produce can be iffy, so I try to be careful. Lately they seem to be doing more of the "you can get this sale price, but only for 1 or 2 days" and I don't care for that. I like to combine errands to save money, so this type of sale does not always work for me. 

Aldi  (17.3 miles away)
Aldi has some of the best prices on produce and non-sale frozen vegetables. 

Publix (18.2 miles away)
Publix no longer had any competition once Bi-Lo left town, and it really showed. Their sales and coupons are not nearly as good as they once were and they even stopped doubling coupons.  As a result, I shop there less and less often than I once did. 

Piggly Wiggly (20.8 miles or away)
I've noticed that Piggly Wiggly and Cooke's offer the same sale items each week, so I have to wonder if they are somehow related . I like Piggly Wiggly for their sale on Oscar Mayer hot dogs and bologna, which they have every three months. They also double coupons, a win-win in my book. 

Ingles Markets (23.3 miles)
Located in Georgia. Honestly, their prices tend to be higher and they don't stock a lot of product, so I am not much of a fan of Ingles. They do honor double coupons, however. 

Kroger (28.7 miles away)
Located in Georgia. This is the grocery store that is farthest away from me, but if I will be in that area I am sure to stop in as they have some of the best yellow sticker deals we can find. We live in a rural area so, I am used to driving long distances to get most anywhere. Kroger also offers double coupons. 

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. Before we moved to our current location we had a small Red and White in our county. About an hour away was a Foodlion. An hour and a half away, we had Food Lion, Walmart, and Piggly Wiggly. It was 2 hours to a ton with anything beyond those. We would combine trips whenever possible so I totally understand what you mean. Nearly everyone I knew kept some sort of pantry and/or freezer.

    Now that we are living in that town that used to be 2 hours away, I have right many options. I still keep my pantry, shop sales, and try to combine trips. I think it is kind of ingrained in me now.

    1. That's great, Shara. We need to keep our pantry stocked due to the distance to many of the stores listed above. I would rather shop from my pantry than need to go to town to pick up something.

  2. DH has done our grocery shopping for the last 3 or 4 years because I am unable. Never in any way a shopper, his cell phone is invaluable. We talk as he shops. We shop as we must, as he understands. Wherever he is comfortable and feels at ease, he shops. I do not complain but encourage. Newspaper ads do not help him. Not going to look at them or frustrate him. Life happens and we adapt. DH does not shop as I would, but he is my
    right hand.

    Today, he stopped at Market Place, where he buys meat because he receives the service/assistance he needs. When he returned, he cleaned and placed 3 chickens in an electric roaster (about 14 pounds). Chicks are in fridge and will be sliced and chopped tomorrow. Bone broth will be made to freeze.

    Were I shopping, I would be comparing stores as you do, but I am not shopping and help via DH's cell phone. We are a 3-ring circus comparing ingredients and brands and prices as I work a calculator and he talks to me on his cell.

    I am pro your comparing stores shopping, but life happens.

    Within the past 10+ years, after a virus, DH lost his sense of smell. I shopped produce by smelling. He can't smell cabbage. I told him to ask other shoppers to smell for him, which has never helped. We have some headbangers with no apparent answer.

    1. You've made a tough situation work for both of you, Anna. That's commendable. You have a great working relationship with each other and that is such a blessing for you both. He could ask the produce manager to smell the cabbage for him.

    2. Concluded that produce manager could not distinguish between fresh/old cabbage. Head of cabbage brought home was not fresh. I do not like shredded bagged cabbage. When I was the grocery shopper, other shoppers would ask why I smelled produce.

    3. Oh, I'm sorry, Anna. Is DH going to return it? One of the grocery stores has it on sale here this week, it's one of the items I am going to pick up on my list. I love cabbage. :)

  3. I am very lucky in that regard. There is a Dollar General at the end of my street, kind of. Hard to explain. There is a Dollar Tree in the shopping center across the street from the Dollar General. There is a Kroger and a Meijer across the street from each other about 1/2 a mile from my home. Another 1/2+ mile up the road is another Kroger. Weird, I know. About a mile up the road from there is an independent grocery store. There is an Aldi 3-4 miles from my house located closely to a Target. And lastly there is another independent grocery store roughly 3 miles from the house.

    1. I would love to have a Kroger that close to me and Meijer too. You are so lucky, Kelly. Very nice to have all those stores so close to where you live. :)

  4. I love the Kroger discount items. Our Kroger and ALL kroge in our state no longer double coupons. We don't have a single store in the area that does any more.
    I have 4 Kroger within 2 miles in every direction. Sometimes it is good to check out a different one - as they all mark down different items.

    I do love Aldi - but honestly haven't been a while. Also Sav-A-Lot is good for decent prices.

    I am fortunate that we have many 'grocery' stores within 5 miles in all directions.
    Meijer, WM, Kroger, Aldi, Sav-A-Lot, Target (I don't go there) several dollar stores, Safeway, and many ethnic stores.
    We are lucky to have so many choices.

    1. Oh, that is so nice that you have not one but 4 Krogers so close to you, Cheryl. I didn't realize that some of them no longer double coupons. One of the stores that doubles here, Piggly Wiggly, has rather high prices so it does not always pay to shop there. We are definitely both lucky to have so many choices to choose from.


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