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Shopping in USA for Indian Students: Navigate the Grocery Aisle With Us


Hey, there, foodies! Leaving home and settling in a new place can be challenging. Understanding and navigating the neighbourhood food store may be complex at times—from deciphering unfamiliar labels to discovering new and exciting ingredients. Shopping in USA is a journey that’s as tasty as educational. Don’t stress, though. We’ve got you covered! Let’s find out how to shop in USA and where to shop in USA?

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Hey, there, foodies! Leaving home and settling in a new place can be challenging. Understanding and navigating the neighbourhood food store may be complex at times—from deciphering unfamiliar labels to discovering new and exciting ingredients. Shopping in USA is a journey that’s as tasty as educational. Don’t stress, though. We’ve got you covered! Let’s find out how to shop in USA and where to shop in USA?

What Should You Know?

Being independent means not just moving out of the house. There’s a lot more to take care of, from managing your expenses to deciding on what to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Coming from an Indian background, all of us are used to eating mom-made food and would have barely visited the kitchen, which could make shopping in USA a little intimidating—new experiences and all that. So, how to shop in the USA? Below is a list of where to shop in USA if you’re looking to tick off your grocery list on a budget.
  • Walmart: Wondermart

  • Walmart is a colossal companion, offering everything from snacks to socks. They provide a wide range of goods, including cuisines from other countries. If you have ever wondered how to get cheap groceries, this is the best place, as the prices are often friendly and on a student’s budget. Walmart + Student offers various combo offers for students.
  • Trader Joe’s: Unconventional Savings

  • A great assortment of prepared dishes are available at Trader Joe’s and are excellent for a quick lunch. They offer a fantastic assortment of meats that have been marinated and are ready to be grilled, in addition to a wide range of dips and desserts. Guess what the best thing is? The free samples! At Trader Joe’s, a sample of some of their products is always being distributed to shoppers.
  • Aldi: Budget Brilliance

  • Have you ever wondered how to save money without compromising on quality? Aldi is your best option, regarding quality, without breaking the bank.Aldi has got your back. They have everything you need, from fresh food to pantry staples.
  • Whole Foods/Sprout: Quality with a Price Tag

  • For all the health enthusiasts who do not like supermarkets can shop at either Whole Foods or Sprouts. When shopping in USA, Whole Foods and Sprouts offer a wider selection of speciality items, and Sprouts has a bulk section for dry groceries so you can choose how much you would like to buy. These markets are known for having higher selections of organic foods, meats and cheeses.
  • Target: A Bullseye View

  • Expect more, pay less–it’s a target not to miss. Target offers a wide range of deals for college and school students like dorm essentials, groceries, and other essentials. The best part—they also have student discounts!

Home Away From Home

“A Taste of Home” to all fellow Indian cuisine enthusiasts! If you’re missing the flavours of home while in the USA, fear not. The land of opportunity offers a rich tapestry of Indian groceries to satisfy your culinary cravings. Let’s embark on shopping in USA as a journey to discover where to find authentic Indian products.

Indian Grocery Stores: Your Culinary Haven

Craving Indian food and wondering where to shop in USA? Patel Brothers, iShopIndian, Apna Bazaar, Spices of India are some of the famous Indian grocery store names to remember. These stores are a treasure trove of Indian culinary essentials. They have everything from fragrant spices to an assortment of lentils and flours. You’ll also find a diverse range of snacks, ready-made sauces, and even fresh produce.

Supermarkets with Indian Aisles: A Hidden Gem

Keep an eye out in larger supermarkets like Walmart, Kroger, and Whole Foods for their International/Indian sections. Explore these aisles for popular Indian products, including spices, rice varieties, lentils, and canned goods. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the offerings

Online Retailers: Your Indian Grocery Store at Your Fingertips

The convenience of shopping from home is unparalleled. Online platforms such as Amazon, Distacart, Desi Basket, and more are a blessing for those looking for Indian products. From an array of spices and condiments to ready-made meals and snacks, they have it all.

Asian Markets: Beyond Borders

Asian markets like H Mart or 99 Ranch Market often feature dedicated sections for Indian groceries. These markets offer a fusion of Asian flavours, including Indian staples. Stock up on essentials and discover unique ingredients to elevate your culinary creations. They have Indian staples like Jasmine rice, Basmati rice, lentils, spices and herbs (curry leaves, mint), and fresh produce (ginger, green chillies), and much more.

Pay for your grubs and groceries using the Niyo Global card and save up to 5% on forex charges.

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Keep Calm And Fix Your Finances

To all the budget-savvy scholars looking for how to save money on groceries, college life can be a tad… financially challenging. But fear not. Here are some tips on how to stretch those precious dollars while still eating like a champ.

Create a Budget

Your purchasing habits will be in check if you have a general concept of how much money you can spend each week. A student often spends between $60 and $70 a week shopping in USA for groceries. If you frequently purchase frozen or organic foods, it can be different. It’s important to figure out how much you normally spend on groceries and then attempt to stick to that amount, so don’t worry too much if you go over your budget the first few times.

Avoid Overshopping

Food often expires before you can consume it. Living alone, you would often have food wastage and would have to toss it out. It’s just another incentive to schedule your meals for the week in advance.

Make A List

Plan your meals for the week and make a ‘student shopping list’. This helps you stick to what you need and avoid impulsive purchases.

Do Not Shop Hungry

If your stomach is growling, you really do spend more money at the grocery store, and you’ll end up forgetting to get the stuff you need because you’re eager to get out and eat.

Embrace Store Brands

How to get cheap groceries? Shopping in USA is easy if you purchase generic or store-brand products, as they often offer the same quality as popular brands but at a lower price.

Look for Student Discounts

Take your Student ID everywhere! Many supermarkets offer student discounts. So don’t forget to go grab it while it’s hot!  You’ll thank yourself later for those extra savings.

Register Your Student ID

Apps like ‘MyUnidays and ‘Studentbeans offer various discounts on all the products from Technology to Fashion. The best way to do student discount shopping is through these apps.

Coupon Clipping

Don’t blink! Keep an eye out for all the coupons and digital deals on store websites or apps.

Smart Shop

Niyo Global provides a travel card for international students to make transactions easier while they are studying abroad. Debit and credit cards from Niyo Global are ideal for students because they lower expenses and enable cost savings. 

Niyo Global offers savings of up to 3-5% on all international transactions. Spend money on food, grocery shopping, travel, and other necessities of daily living while earning rewards with each purchase.

Get your Membership Card

Apply for a Membership card at all the grocery stores. They are free of cost! Apart from student discount shopping, if you have the store clubcards, you’ll get various coupons and discounts on store products. Sign up for loyalty programs or rewards cards for additional discounts.

Channel Your Inner Squirrel

Remember those industrious squirrels hoarding acorns for the winter? Well, think of yourself as the human equivalent. Bulk buying is like building your own pantry stockpile for any season when it comes to shopping in the USA. Whether it’s rice, pasta, or toilet paper—getting more now means fewer trips later.

Make A List, But Stay Flexible

Stock the items in the student grocery list below. It’s the basics for all the recipes.

Student Shopping List: Must Have’s

  • Eggs
  • Fresh Produce (fruits and vegetables)
  • Bread and jam
  • Pasta and rice
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)
  • Meat or meat alternatives
  • Snacks (chips, cookies, etc)
  • Canned goods (beans, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Cooking oil and spices

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Shopping in USA is all about making sure you’re purchasing the necessary items in the right quantity, and at the right price. Don’t forget to shop around and take advantage of stores with student discounts or loyalty programs these retailers may offer. Don’t forget to compare your prices to save your budget.

 No matter where you are, You can always find a taste of India in the United States. So, make a student shopping list of what you need, look into these possibilities, and enjoy the rich and varied flavours of Indian food right here in the land of opportunity.

As Indian students, you have the luxury of discovering a wide variety of supermarket selections in the USA. Remember to look out for student discounts and take more affordable options into account, whether you’re enjoying Trader Joe’s or Walmart treats. Take your grocery list with you and start your culinary journey!

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