Big chain grocery stores might all seem similar at first. Yet, I have found that each grocery store has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to products, prices, and quality. This guide will advise what to buy and what not to buy at the top 5 grocery stores FSU students shop at.


Publix is widely known throughout Florida for their PubSubs and great deals. $5 Sushi on Wednesday’s and endless BOGO deals entice students to grocery shop there. Although, foods like produce, meats, and seafood are pricey compared to other stores. Yet, don’t be discouraged, as Publix does have an advantage to other stores: the international section. Their international foods includes British, Indian, South American, Mexican, and Asian foods, with a diverse array of traditional products that aren't available in other grocery stores.


Walmart’s produce and proteins like meats and seafood are on the cheaper side. Yet, with lower costs comes lower quality. Therefore, skip the fresh foods to avoid spoilage and stick with non-perishable items. Walmart is great for buying big name snacks, condiments, and pastas. In addition to food, Walmart has low prices in cleaning products, medicine, makeup, and more.


Greenwise is comparable to Whole Foods in terms of quality and price. It is important to note that because they are affiliated with Publix, they too offer deals based on the day of the week, and many products are Buy One Get One Free. In addition, Greenwise is the perfect place for convenient, healthy meals. They offer a self-serve hot and cold bar, as well as fresh pastries, bagels, pizza, a sushi bar, a pasta bar, and a Mexican food bar similar to Chipotle. Those who are 21 and over can enjoy drinks at the Pours bar. My favorite aspect of Greenwise is their low priced iced coffee, smoothies, and acai bowls. I would also advise buying produce here. Greenwise is my go-to place to buy fruits and veggies, as it tends to stay fresh all week. Whereas the produce at Aldi and Walmart only last about two to three days.


Aldi is the newest big chain grocery store in town. It's a German based company that has opened their doors to cities across the U.S., and is increasing in popularity due to it's low prices. Thanks to their unique shopping cart system, shelf stocking system, priced grocery bags, lack of name-brand products, and overall fewer workers, their prices are extremely affordable. This grocery store markets several products as high in protein or keto diet friendly. It’s the perfect place to shop for specific dietary needs. In addition, their frozen fruits and seafood are at very low prices and are of great quality. They also have low prices for meats as it is sourced from regional farms, rather than local ones. Remember to bring a grocery bag and a quarter with you to unlock a shopping cart on your next trip!

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is very similar to Aldi when it comes to lack of name-brand products and meeting specific dietary needs. Many of their dips, snacks, grains, and frozen foods are labeled as vegan or gluten-free. This grocery store is infamous for frozen meals, which tend to come in handy for college students with minimal kitchen appliances. Their frozen section ranges from appetizers such as soup dumplings and pastry pups, meals like stuffed gnocchi and chicken tikka masala, to desserts such as green tea mochi. You can even elevate your breakfast with their frozen hashbrowns and chocolate croissants. The store also offers pre-seasoned and marinated meats that save a great deal of time in cooking. The best part about Trader Joe's are their seasonal items. The store constantly rotates new products in accordance to the season, so there's always something new to try. Lastly, Trader Joe's has low cost flowers, herbs, and baking ingredients. Check out more Spoon articles about Trader Joe's here

Going to five different grocery stores may not seem ideal for a weekly shop. That's why I usually shop at Greenwise and Aldi for my weekly grocery trips, as they are near campus and can check everything off my shopping list. Trader Joe's and Walmart are a good weekend trip ever so often, as they are a bit further out and cater to specific products. While Publix is the perfect store for international ingredients to spice up a recipe.