As you know from previous posts, I didn't have a car during my college program which limited my grocery store options to Walmart or Publix. At the beginning of my program I usually went to Walmart, but later I learned to shop at Publix. I recommend only going to Walmart for your initial trip and about once a month after that. Walmart has a few good deals and most of their prices are lower but Publix has weekly deals and specials that will save you more money if you shop correctly! Here are my tips for grocery shopping.
First Trip to Walmart
Walmart is helpful for buying non-grocery items as well as stocking up on things you'll use the entire time like spices (Walmart has 99 cent spices). Mostly use this trip to get things like a coffee pot, brownie pan, and things like that.
Weekly Publix Trips
One of the best parts of shopping at Publix is how close it is, it's about a 10-15 minute walk from most of the apartments (excluding vista way), and then the bus picks up there and it's a 4 minute ride back! The first step to shopping at Publix is to read the weekly Ad for sales. Publix has awesome sales! Every week I would sit down and read the weekly ad and then rip out the things I wanted to get. They have sales on a little bit of everything every week! They have sales on everything from fresh to frozen and from Heath foods to packaged goods. My favorite deals were buy one get one deals and 10 for $10 deals. You can also sign up to have the weekly ad sent to you!
Other Places to Shop
Grocery stores aren't the only places to shop for groceries!
Cast Connections: Cast Connnections is a special store behind Animal Kingdom for cast members only. You probably already know about all the great deals they offer on Disney Merchandise, but you probably didn't know they have a small grocery selection too. You can buy pasta, fruites and vegetables, dairy, and more for wholesale prices!
Walgreens: There is a Walgreens across from Vista Way, which is a great place to grab a few necessities but remember groceries at Walgreens are often marked up a lot.
The Grid: The Grid is a convenience store at The Commons. It features a lot of the same ready to eat foods you'll find in your break rooms as well as foods you can prepare at home such as boxed mac and cheese or ramen noodles. This is a very convenient place to shop but because of that it is very marked up.
Amazon: Amazon Prime offers a service called Amazon Pantry where you can fill a box with groceries from their special prime store and shipping for it is only $5. The only drawback to this is that you can't order any perishables and sometimes the prices are more than what you would pay for at the store. Also sometimes they will deliver via odd carriers that the housing complexes often won't let in. You can also always buy some groceries from the general amazon site.
Target: Target is my absolute favorite place to shop, for groceries and everything else, however there aren't any Targets close to Disney housing. There are a few ways to get to Target from housing. You can drive yourself or hitch a ride with a friend. You can take an Uber, I did this once and it was about $6-8 each way. Another way to get to target is via the M bus which runs to the Florida Mall two days a week and it's a pretty close walk to them.
If you have any other questions about how or where to grocery shop during your college program comment below!