I would love to find out where in the five boroughs you can go to buy cheap groceries, especially staples like pasta and whole grains. Any suggestions for me?
In Northern Queens we go to Strawberry Farms for Pasta and Italian staple. They have unknown Italian brand pasta sometimes two for $1.00 but usually around $0.99 to $1.19 a box. Roast peppers, marinated Artichoke and canned tomatos are also cheaper then the wholesale club (we go to BJ and Costco). Asian Market (H-Mart, etc.) for rice, nuts, barley, dried beans, fruit and vegetable. We also like Trader Joe's Pasta. Most are $0.99.
Rossman farms for produce! under the BQE at 26th street or so, near sunset park. they have an amazing variety of produce that for one reason or another didnt get picked up by the Safeways of the world. Sometimes this means its just a little bit ugly, a little bit too small, a little asymetrical, or needs to be eaten in the next 3 days.
This is just speculation on my part.
If you are a good produce inspector, you will be amazed and delighted. Plus, they have some great Mexican and middle eastern items (cactus, peppers, persian cucumbers, eggplant varieties).
They also have a small dry goods section that is inexpensive - some fun finds there... including pasta and grains.
Silly as it is, could you please define "expensive"? There are, oh --so many great, inexpensive (IMHO) food sources throughout in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Flushing. etc. Also, do you have any food preferences?