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Anyone know how to shop frugally in New York City?

Franci, a reader who recently moved to NYC from New Zealand, sent me this question and since I’ve never grocery shopped in NYC, I thought I’d throw the question out to you, my readers!

A view of a city at night from a plane window.

Does anyone have any tips on shopping in NYC? Food here in NYC is excessively expensive. I’m freshly out of New Zealand and finding shopping frugally here a real challenge. Not to mention the fact that we have to go to the supermarket a few times a week as we walk everywhere (unlike at home where we had a car). If we want to do a big shop we have to take a taxi home or hire a zipcar, otherwise we just use our wire cart and walk, so buying in bulk is rarely an option.

I’ve only ever been to NYC a handful of times, and I’ve certainly never been grocery shopping in the Big Apple! But, I’m sure some of you have, and maybe those of you who live in other urban areas will some ideas for Franci.

Fire away!

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Benjamin Bankruptcy

Wednesday 6th of October 2010

My parents just came back from NY they said they ate like they do in Europe, shop everyday for bread, everycouple of days for freshfruit and veg. Personally i like shopping so sounds divine


Saturday 24th of July 2010

There are great perks to living in a wealthy city. My DH, baby, and I go to free live music shows all summer. We pack a picnic from home and often sit on the grass outside of Summer Stage in CP for a wonderful (and free) weekend day or weekday evening. There are tons of free movies for kids and adults, free bikes at Governor's Island on Fridays (and a free boat ride to bring you there), free kayaks in Riverside Park, story times all over the city, free museum days, I could go on and on! Check out Time Out Kids online for a great database of events and articles on how to navigate school shopping, birthdays, etc. without spending a ton. With little kids, make the most of your neighborhood, check out events at your public library, and use Fresh Direct. Good luck, Franci!

Mama Monique

Friday 23rd of July 2010

I do not know if someone already has this tip , but I recently read a book by Colin Beavan : No impact man.

If I an right, he lives, works and relax himself in NYC . Together with his wife and child , he tries to make no impact on our world , so he gives less and less money.

I hope she can go forward with this tip. In any case: I wish her every success!


Thursday 22nd of July 2010

Wow, thanks again for all the advice, everyone! Yeah, Momseye, I have a 3-year old and a baby, and usually if I go shopping with the wire cart I put the baby in the front pack and the 3-year old walk, which means we can't go too far! Thankfully there's a supermarket nearby, but I don't find them cheap.

I definitely want to try out a few of the suggestions mentioned above, and freshdirect for sure!


Tuesday 20th of July 2010

I sort of skimmed through the other suggestions, but I see that a lot of them involve traveling to other parts of the city for shopping. That can be really hard because you have to take the bus or subway and you can't take much with you. Plus I have a 2-yr-old so traveling for groceries is pretty much out of the question. My savior in NYC for groceries has been Freshdirect and I'm shocked no one else mentioned it (did they? like I said, I skimmed). It's MUCH cheaper than the local supermarkets and they have lots of great stuff. Awesome! Also fruit stands and farmers markets both of which can be found all over the city. For clothes H&M is the best. It's cheap and they're all over too. Plus sales and all the regular stuff.

Hope that helps!

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