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Cheapest Supermarket in Back Bay / Columbus


I'm new to Boston and looking for a cheap grocery store in Back Bay or Columbus. I live in Columbus Ave between Massachusetts Turnpike and West Newton Street and unfortunately do not have a car. Any suggestions where I could go?

Thanks for your help!

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  1. The Back Bay or South End is hardly the place for bargain anything. The biggest market I know of is the Shaw's off Huntington close the malls that can serve your basic staple needs.

    The density of that area (and high-end rent) doesn't lend itself well to super-sized food markets, but lots of good, smaller markets are available for specific items throughout the hood. It's also a reasonable hike to Chinatown for produce and meat. There's a decent C-Mark right on the edge of South End on Herald St.

    1. Also investigate PeaPod from Stop & Shop - you can order online and have it delivered to your door. Prices are somewhat higher than in the store, but there are good deals to introduce the service and it can be a lifesaver as long as you plan a day or two ahead for what you need from them.

        1. I do my day to day shopping at Trader Joes on Boylston Street and then take a Zipcar about once a month to get staples at Market Basket in Somerville and Costco.

          In summer we have a great farmer's market at Copley Square that helps. That can be a good value because the food is so fresh and lasts so long.

          I cook so I don't use a lot of processed food but the Shaw's has improved since the lastest owner took over.


          1. There is no such think as "cheap" or convenient where you live, sorry to say.

            1. Buy a two-wheeled cart and do weekly trips to Ming's or C-Mart on the other side of the South End. That will save you a bundle over Whole Foods and will yield better quality than Shaw's or Foodies, especially for produce. Or pick up the #10 bus and hit Kam Man, another Asian supermarket, at South Bay, where you could also hit the Super Stop & Shop. The Trader Joe's on Boylston is worthwhile for staples like olive oil, canned goods, pasta, frozen meats, etc. You might want to investigate UberX and Zipcar, too.


              3 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                another vote for ming's and trader joe's and never setting foot in shaw's or whole paycheck.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Agreed - shaws at the pru was just about as pricey as wfm at symphony - but the produce was better at wfm than shaws. Since I lived right beside wfm, I did spend a shameful amount of $$ there, but to be honest, if you cooked from scratch and didn't buy pre-prepared stuff, it wasn't soooo $$$ in comparison to shaws, TJ, and the copley market.

                  1. re: alisonk

                    It's literally been a decade, but when they had their weekly sales specials, you can find decent enough prices at Shaw's for those items. But yeah, otherwise, they gouge the poor rich folk who live in that area (aside: yes, I know the college students are not all rich).

              2. Eventually, either join Zipcar or get a friend with wheels who takes you to Market Basket in Chelsea.