Depending on location, possessing a garden or not, shopping preferences (purchasing organic only, buying in bulk, coupon clipping), prices will vary across the board. I post cost information for the recipes as a guide showing my average cost of the item I pay for at my location, Queens NYC. Most people think that food prices in NYC must be through the roof but groceries are usually very reasonably priced as there is so much competition. However, rent is really high…my 600 sqft 1 bedroom apartment costs $1900 a month.
I live in Queens, and within a fifteen minute walk of my apartment there is about twenty plus green grocers and supermarkets. However, I really only frequent four of them. Here, let me take you on a tour of a few of my favorite neighborhood markets!
First up, the mom & pop green grocer. I shop here because I know where everything is, and because of the owner. She may not be the nicest but she is quirky. I like quirky. I also like her prices and selection of fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes here are very fresh and are priced anywhere between $0.59-$1.49, but mostly around $0.99, so that is what I list as the price of tomatoes in my recipes.
This green grocer only stocks in season fruits and vegetables so their prices are low and turnover is high with most of their selections not refrigerated.
There are 5 traditional supermarkets all pretty much within a block of each other. I only shop at one of them because even though it is the smallest it is the best stocked. Despite it’s relative small size (less than 5000sqft), I have no problem finding ethnic ingredients like Masarepa, Shirataki Noodles, Kimchi, and Arborio Rice.
I also live within walking distance to a Costco. Yup, you read that right. I love Costco because they are home to two of my monthly staples. The rotisserie chicken. (Can you spot me taking a picture with my camera phone? A reader pmed me and asked if it was me and I was like why yes it is. FYI, I use my phone to take all my pictures on this website because I am focused on food first, photography second.)
And their bagged fresh spinach that has been pre-washed! Did I mention I hate washing spinach? So much sand. I still give their spinach a rinse before cooking though because I am a clean freak even when it comes to vegetables.
Other staples I buy at Costco: asparagus, salad mixes, teriyaki chicken meatballs, boneless skinless chicken thighs, steaks, frozen raw shrimp, frozen flounder, frozen scallops, Philip’s crab meat, watermelon, peaches, avocados, soft tortillas, naan, organic eggs, and other mostly food related items. Come to think of it, I buy a lot of stuff at Costco.
There is also an Aldi near me, but I don’t shop there much because the line moves very slow. I get checked out faster at Costco than at Aldi! However, this particular Aldi stocks very fresh pork chops and chicken breasts. So I will sometimes brave the lines. Additionally, Aldi does have the cheapest prices around for eggs, milk, bread, and cheese.
There is also a huge Chinese Supermarket that opened pretty close to me. Bigger than Whole Foods and comparable to Stop and Shop. The cleanest Chinese supermarket I have been too and the cashiers are nice AND speak English.
Lots of fresh vegetables for sale at probably the best prices I have seen.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!