Finding a good, inexpensive grocery store in this city may seem like an impossible task. After searching the 30 or so organic, specialty and regular food stores in my area I came up with one economic choice: Jack’s 99 Cent World (located on 32nd Street between 7th and 6th avenues).
Upon first impression Jack’s may seem like a tacky, one stop shop, but inside its walls are sweet deals and an excellent selection if you know what to look for. Go in with an open mind and prepare to be patient when dealing with the crowds.
The first floor is almost exclusively 99 cents and features a wide array of nonperishable food selections. There is also a selection of frozen and refrigerated foods for $1.29. The trick is to look for further 2 for 99 cents or even 4 for 99 cents deals that are often offered. My typical food items include anything from pop tarts and pretzels to milk, cheese, salami and bread. I also typically grab a couple of canned goods and a few bags of frozen vegetables, which are quite tasty when cooked properly. You may need to take a risk and try out a few items to find what is acceptable (I had a bad popcorn chicken experience), but at 99 cents it’s not much of a risk.
The second floor is great if you have just moved in and are looking for some apartment essentials. The 99 cents rule is out on the upper floors, but everything is still really cheap and you can find some great cooking, cleaning and other household supplies for ridiculous prices.
The third floor has a lot of name brand toiletries and specialty foods. It’s the same stuff you’ll find at the local drugstore; however, at Jack’s it is often available at half the price.
I do all of my major grocery shopping here and can get a week+ worth of food, including snacks, lunches and dinners for less than $25. If that’s not a good deal, I don’t know what is.