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Stores Like Grocery Outlet

The front of a Grocery Outlet store.

The discount supermarket Grocery Outlet has a unique business model. By operating like an outlet store, it can keep its in-store prices very low. This business model also gives it the “treasure hunt” appeal that some discount clothing stores have. Grocery Outlet can also operate in low-income neighborhoods that wouldn’t provide enough revenue for other supermarkets, including LA neighborhoods that would otherwise be considered food deserts. While its outlet store model is unique, here are some other grocery stores that are known for their low prices.

Big Lots

The off-price store Big Lots also buys excess inventory from other manufacturers so it can provide great deals to shoppers. It might be the store with the most similar business model to Grocery Outlet. Unlike most off-price stores, Big Lots sells groceries as well and you can buy cereal, canned food, candy, and other products there.

This warehouse-style big-box store isn’t as specialized as Grocery Outlet but it can serve as a low-cost grocery store. It’s also a good choice if you want to get all of your shopping done in one trip.


The German discount supermarket Aldi keeps prices low by primarily selling private-label groceries. If you’d rather pay lower prices for groceries than buy brand-name products, this store is a great option. Like Grocery Outlet, it’s often considered to be the supermarket with the lowest prices. If you don’t live near a Grocery Outlet store, you can still conserve your budget by visiting this store instead. There are both Grocery Outlet and Aldi stores in my area but elsewhere neither store may have a nearby location.

Both Aldi and Grocery Outlet are good choices if conserving your budget is your main goal, but they do have different business models and you might want to consider that as well.

Superior Grocers

If you live in the Los Angeles area, Superior Grocers has a lot of locations there and it’s also known for its very low prices. Its stores are independently operated and some of them are located in rural towns or low-income neighborhoods that wouldn’t otherwise have access to grocery stores. This store is also known for its prepared foods such as chips and salsa and fried chicken. While other supermarkets typically sell these prepared foods as well, they might not be available at dollar stores and convenience stores.

In my area, Grocery Outlet has locations in towns where Superior Grocers doesn’t have any stores and vice versa. The choice between these stores might depend on which one is nearby.

El Super

This Mexican grocery store sells fresh meat and produce and is also known for its low prices. Its sister company Smart & Final is also one of the most affordable grocery stores. El Super is likely to have lower prices than both other Mexican grocery stores and many discount supermarkets. Other than that, El Super is a standard discount supermarket so you don’t have to accept other trade-offs there like not being able to buy brand-name food products.

Grocery Outlet’s unique business model also means that its in-store inventory varies. If you’re looking for products from specific manufacturers, you might want to go to El Super.

Smart & Final

This supermarket was originally a supplier to institutional customers like small businesses and restaurants. Now it has Smart & Final Extra! stores that are open to the public as well. You can buy its private-label First Street products in bulk for very low per-unit prices. You will need a place to store your groceries, though, and you shouldn’t buy any product in bulk that you can’t use up before it expires. Smart & Final also sells brand-name groceries in lower quantities and some of these products might not be available at Grocery Outlet.

The main appeal of this grocery store is buying its private-label products in bulk. If you don’t plan to do that, it’s likely that Grocery Outlet will have lower prices.

Dollar General

The variety store Dollar General also sells groceries for low prices. Like Grocery Outlet, it’s also one of the few stores that’s willing to sell produce in small, rural towns. Again, many supermarket chains can’t expand into these towns because there aren’t enough customers to provide enough revenue for their stores to operate. But Dollar General and Grocery Outlet both have business models that make this possible.

The choice between these stores might depend on whether you need to buy other products besides food. Grocery Outlet will have a larger selection of food but doesn’t stock much else besides that.

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