Finding good deals on grocery items isn't an easy task in Boston. I have definitely learned a lot about how to be a smart shopper in just a few weeks. Here's how the process went.
-First stop: Stop & Shop -- this is owned by Giant, so I thought the prices would be pretty decent. Attempting to stock up my fridge since I had nothing, I went to one close by. I came home with juice, 3 bananas, and a loaf of bread... not exactly "stocking up". Everything was way more expensive than back home! Even ramen noodles were more expensive! I did find out that you can use a Giant card at the Stop & Shop, and it works just fine.
-Attempt #2: Shaw's -- this must be a northern thing. Their prices were better... if things were on sale, then they were prices that I would be willing to pay when I was living in D.C., but they weren't sales that rivaled the "good" sales in D.C. They do double coupons up to 99 cents, though!
-Third try: Target -- their food prices seem pretty stable to what you'd see in other areas. Their sales on food are nationwide, so that is another advantage. I found a few great buys on clearance items, but not everything at Target is always a great deal.
-Numero Quatro: Market Basket -- finally!! I was talking with my landlord and his wife about the best place to buy groceries. They highly recommended Market Basket as having the most reasonable prices in town, and although I have to drive a bit of a ways to get there (meaning it is a weekend-only kind of place), I was actually able to stock up on food! Some of their prices are even lower than what I have seen in D.C. (although some are still higher). At least I will now be able to eat more than just PB&J all the time!
-#5: Trader Joe's -- I can walk there, and there are always a few staples that I like to get: 100% durum semolina pasta for 99 cents a package, their tasty minestrone soup, frozen naan, and jarred masala simmer sauce.
So, it took a while, but I finally found some places in Boston that will be able to serve my needs as a poor graduate student while still eating semi-healthily. Now the challenge is to see whether I will have the time to actually eat once I am loaded down with law school classes!