Inflation has been a killer to all of us, whether we're on a fixed income or we have unlimited financial resources. Does anyone like to pay more for basic necessities like food, gas, home, and so on? The Biden Administration says that inflation is going down. However, the price of food continues to go up. 

Last year, several Idaho-based grocery chains recorded record income but little to no profit due to the cost of goods. Restaurants in Idaho and across the country either go out of business or struggle due to excessive food costs. Regardless of political views, no one likes to pay more for food. 

Mr. Holmes Being Interviewed By Reporter in A Cart
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Idahoans looking to save money on food costs are in luck. Thankfully, we live in a state where consumers have plenty of choices. Shoppers can choose from Walmart, Costco, Winco, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, Ridley's, and other grocery stores that offer a wide selection of goods and prices.

However, is a grocery store in Idaho known to have the lowest prices on quality goods? Is there more than one store with a wide selection and lowest prices? Has someone objectively evaluated Idaho's grocery chains to report on the best value for cost-conscious consumers? 

Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash
Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

The answer to those questions is a resounding yes, as Idaho has not one, not two, but three of the cheapest or most affordable grocery chains in the country. 

A few months ago, US News and World Reports reported on the cheapest grocery stores in the country. Three of those stores are in Idaho. Can you guess which ones? 

The first one on the list is locally owned WinCo, which was number three on the list. The store does its very best to keep costs down. The atmosphere is very basic, with no frills. Consumers must pay cash or use a debit card. The company saves money by not paying a processing fee for credit cards and passing those savings on to the consumers. WinCo is employee-owned, which adds to every store's sense of community.

Shopping cart with foods at the grocery store

The next store is Grocery Outlet, which prides itself on providing name brands to consumers at a reasonable price. The company is privately owned, allowing them more flexibility to adjust consumer-friendly prices.

Right behind the Grocery Outlet is Costco. The company recently opened up a new location in Meridian, which the communities of Meridian, Star, and Eagle have embraced. Consumers save money by choosing from a limited selection and buying in bulk.

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