One of the downsides to living in a city — even a small one like New Haven — is that everything costs more. There’s no Costco or Shop Rite town, and you know that that means: no cheap bulk hummus. You can’t just be paying top hummus dollar all willy nilly. That’s rent money!
Which means you need a strategy. Where do you buy leeks? (Nobody buys leeks.) Where do you buy other produce that people actually eat? What about meat? What about canned goods? What about pants? (I know, I know, nobody likes pants, but they’re a necessary evil.)
Luckily, you know me. Professional money spender in New Haven due to my own refusal to get in my car and leave the city.
Today, I share that wisdom with you.
Produce: Farmer’s Markets, Edge of the Woods, C-Town, Stop and Shop
New Haven has a thriving Farmer’s Market scene, and it’s not just a place to show off your dope new overalls (though you should definitely do that).
CitySeed organizes a bunch of Farmer’s Markets all across New Haven:
- Saturdays at Wooster Square
- Sundays at Edgewood Park
- Wednesdays Downtown
- Thursdays in Fair Haven
Finally, you can choose between chard, kale, and other inedible leafy greens.
If, however, you’re looking for more options, Edge of the Woods on Whalley Ave in the Edgewood neighborhood has you covered. It’s a vegetarian-only grocer, but the produce is actually pretty reasonably priced.
If all else fails, there’s always… the Stop and Shop.. on Whalley Avenue. Drastic issues call for drastic measures.
Also, from a reader who (fairly) chastised me:
What, no love for C-Town? Excellent veggies AND good meat AND canned goods AND things like Jamaican burnt sugar and cotija that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg the way it does everywhere else? Come on, man. C-Town!
Canned Goods/Basic Groceries: Dollar Tree/Dollar General/Stop & Shop (and C-Town Apparently)
Oh, I know. You’re from Westville. You’re too good for Dollar Stores.
Fine. Go spend $7.00 on canned beans at Elm City Market. I’m not gonna stop you.
You can go to the Whalley Avenue Stop and Shop. You really, really can. Sure, there will be an incident. And they will have exactly four cashiers for 73 customers. And is that lady paying with a check?!
Otherwise, your only option is Dollar Tree, which has whatever insane brand they carry for exactly $1, or Dollar General (formerly Family Dollar), where they carry fancy brands with words like “Delmonte” in the title.
Another option is your local convenience store. I’m pretty sure the Whalley Ave Food Mart near me has pinto beans from the 70’s. Vintage is still in, right?
But you won’t end up spending Elm City market money, so that’s good.
Also, C-Town, I guess?
Seafood: State Fish Farm Market or Ferraro’s
While everyone else is charging like $15.99/lb for salmon, State Fish Farm Market (let’s throw a few more random words in there, no?) on State Street is pretty much the best. They charge like $9.99 for salmon and even less for tilapia or cod.
Admittedly, I’ve had issues communicating with them (I’ve yelled “TILAPIA!” really loudly more times than I care to admit), but you get pretty awesome prices and they’re super nice.
Plus, they’ve told me that the salmon is sushi-grade. I’m not sure I’d eat it raw to test it. But, why don’t you try it, and let me know.
As a backup, there’s also Ferraro’s and their seafood market. They tend to have some stuff on sale, and some random stuff in the freezers.
Though that’s not exactly their expertise…
Meat: Ferraro’s Market, Fair Haven
There really is only the one option. You want Ferraro’s. There really is no competition.
Sure, you might be put off by a place that feels compelled to build pillars so it’s physically impossible to bring your shopping carts into the market, or is kind of weirdly into Jesus.
Don’t be. They have cheap meat. They have cheap, high quality meat, too.
They have meat specials. They have crazy stuffed meats. They have specialty sausages and huge pork roasts and breaded lamb and everything in between.
They also have cheap cookies. You like cheap cookies, right? Of course you do.
Here’s your Ferraro’s Plan:
- Check the Weekly Flyer
- Buy a ton of meat
- Eating meat strictly profitable but it’s a great way to make new friends probably
Pants: Ugh, Just Don’t. Or Rendezvous, Urban Outfitters
The nice thing about shops like Rendezvous, or Jimmy’s Urban Clothing store, is that clothes sold to urban-inclined customers tend to be significantly cheaper than what you’d get at J. Crew, which is the most Connecticut Clothing Store Ever.
Jeans for $20? Oh hell yeah yeah. Sure, the zipper doesn’t work and there’s a Mercedes logo on it for some reason, but you can’t beat the price! Sweatpants for $10, t-shirts for $5. It’s not so bad.
The style isn’t for everyone, but everyone likes plain colored tees, right?
Just don’t stand too close to any open flames, cause the clothing material is… yeah.
I also love checking the sale rack at Urban Outfitters on Broadway. Sure, it’s definitely pure hipster fashion, but you can sometimes get some awesome deals on random shit. I have a jacket I purchased there for $30 which I regularly get complimented on.
(“That jacket looks great, such a waste on you, though!”)
Common Household Items: Home City No. 1, Dollar Haven, Dollar General
I know it’s tempting to buy your hanging hooks at Rite Aid for $12.99, but just.. don’t.
Instead, go to one of those random discount stores like Home City No. 1 on Chapel Street, which will probably be out of business by the time I print this. (Seriously, they seem to be both restocking and also selling everything 30% off).
But seriously. They got vinyl window blinds. They got dish soap. They got paint brushes. They got cool weed-themed flat-brimmed caps. They got little fuzzy dog houses.
And it’s all super cheap.
Even if they close, there’s other options, like Dollar Haven in Edgewood (a personal fave). Where else can I buy a bureau, Christmas ornaments, and blueberry-flavored blunt wraps in the same store? Nowhere, that’s where.
Did I miss anything?
Yeah, probably. Sorry. But not like… super sorry.
New podcast next Monday! Including awesome new podcast intro music thanks to the awesome Jessy Griz!
Thanks for reading, as always. 🙂
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