January 11, 2024 | , ,

5 Budget-Friendly Spots to Grocery Shop in Philly


Grocery shopping can seem overwhelming—especially if you’re trying to navigate what to buy and where to shop, and you’re doing it all on a college-student budget!

That’s why Campus Philly compiled this essential back-to-school Guide, featuring five budget-friendly spots to shop in Philadelphia.

Whether you are looking for a new shopping experience or in need of a quick, in-and-out run, here are the five Philly-area grocery stores we recommend you visit to stay on budget while finding everything you need to stock your pantry!

1. Trader Joe’s

Photo Credit: Trader Joe’s Locations

Fun food options, low prices, and staff members dressed in Hawaiian shirts… what more could you want in a grocery store? 

Trader Joe’s has it all, from fresh produce to frozen delicacies. They stock the shelves with all Trader Joe’s branded items, too—no outside sourcing here! 

Their specialties include limited-time treats and fun holiday offerings, so be sure to stop in for seasonal goodies, like their butternut squash frozen mac-and-cheese during the fall, or their “jingle-jangle” mix during the winter. 

Trader Joe’s makes it possible for even the most inexperienced cooks to whip together something fresh (or frozen), flavorful, and most importantly: cost-friendly. 

Photo Credit: Katie’s Bliss

Find them near YOUR campus:

Arch Street: 1324 Arch St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
From Temple: 1.6 miles

Center City: 2121 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
From Drexel: .5 Miles
From UPenn: .6 miles

Ardmore: 112 Coulter Ave Ardmore, PA 19003
From SJU Hawk Hill: 3.1 miles (~9 min drive)
From Bryn Mawr: 2.3 miles (~6 min drive)
From Haverford: 1.7 miles (~7 min drive)

Campus Philly Tip: Sign up for Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer for all the latest recipes, new products, and deals!


2. GIANT Food Stores/GIANT Heirloom Markets

Photo Credit: Philly Voice

Founded right home in Pennsylvania, GIANT Foodstores have been operating since the 1930s and have expanded up and down the East Coast since. 

They offer large supermarket locations as well as smaller, more condensed city-style locations to cater to the needs of their shopper. 

Here, you’ll find everything you need to stock your pantry with name-brand items as well as quality GIANT brand products. 

If you’re looking for a new, elevated grocery experience, be sure to check out their Riverwalk location. They offer shoppers 21+ a beer garden featuring 30 beers and 10 wines on tap; plus, a spot to sit back, sip, and relax.

Photo Credit: Philly Magazine

Find them near YOUR campus:

Chestnut St: 3401 Chestnut St, Philadelphia PA 19104
From Drexel: accessible right on Drexel’s campus
From UPenn: .5 miles

Center City: 801 Market St, Philadelphia PA 19107
From CCP: 1.2 miles

N 23rd St: 60 N 23rd St, Philadelphia PA 19103
From Moore College of Art and Design: .4 miles (~9 min walk)

Wynnewood: 50 E Wynnewood Rd, Wynnewood PA 19096
From SJU Hawk Hill: 2 miles (~10 minute drive)

Springfield: 950 Baltimore Pike, Springfield PA 19064
From Swarthmore: 1 mile (~4 minute drive) 

Campus Philly Tip: The best part? They always offer great discounts on their circular—be sure to check it out before your weekly trip to see what’s on sale, and save a few bucks!

3. Riverwards Produce

Photo Credit: Riverwards Produce

What once started as a garage-based pop-up produce shop has now grown into one of Philadelphia’s best local markets! 

Riverwards offers an extensive variety of produce sourced directly from PA and NJ farmers in addition to bread, cheeses, flowers, and more from local vendors as well. 

Not only can you stock up on produce here, but they also offer a wide variety of household favorite snacks and beverages, too. Shopping here is shopping local, as they partner with local artisans and farmers to supply their products (including everything from Kismet Bagels to frozen desserts from Milk Jawn, a South Philly favorite). 

Quaint and homey, this shop is the perfect destination to stock the pantry with local goods. 

Photo Credit: Riverwards Produce

Find them near YOUR campus:

Old City: 146 Bread Street Philadelphia PA 19106
From Drexel/UPenn: 3.3 miles (accessible by car or public transit)

Fishtown: 2200 E. Norris Street Philadelphia PA 19125
From Temple: 1.6 miles (15 minute bus ride with interchanges)

Campus Philly Tip: For quality goods at a low price, check out the dollar bag section where you’ll score discounted produce that only has a few days of shelf life left! 

4. Various Philadelphia Farmers Markets

Photo Credit: Axios Philly

If you are looking for a fun way to get outside, support local farmers, or just simply put your reusable tote bag to use, be sure to visit one of the many farmers’ markets throughout the city! 

These markets are filled with vendors of all sorts ranging from produce and canned goods to apparel and candles, and vendors adorn the streets selling their crops and crafts to the community. 

Photo Credit: The Food Trust

With locations scattered across the city and into the suburbs, there is sure to be a recurring market near you—check out some of our favorites below!

  • Clark Park Farmers Market: 43rd St. & Baltimore Ave; Saturday 10am-2pm (year-round)
    CP Tip: in addition to fresh produce, they also offer jewelry, apparel, and books from local vendors.
  • Rittenhouse Farmers Market: 18th & Walnut Streets; Saturday 10am-2pm
    CP Tip: looking for something sweet? Check out A-Frame Apiary’s stand for locally sourced, delicious honey.
  • Jefferson Farmers Market: 925 Chestnut Street; Thursday 11-3pm (returning in spring 2024)
    CP Tip: in the summertime, the Jefferson Farmers Market is THE place to pick up peaches directly sourced from McCann Farms.
  • Northern Liberties Farmers Market: 2nd & Germantown Streets; Saturdays 10am-2pm
    CP Tip: all pickle-lovers should visit the Fishtown Pickle Project stand at this farmers market for quality, small-batch pickles.
  • Headhouse Farmers Market: 2nd & Lombard Streets; Sundays 10am-2pm (year-round)
    CP Tip: vendors at the Headhouse Farmers Market rotate weekly, so be sure to stop by each week to try out something new!
  • Fairmount Farmers Market: 22nd & Fairmount; Thursdays 2-5pm (year-round)
    CP Tip: looking for vegan baked goods? Amira’s Delights has some of the best—find them at the Fairmount Farmers Market!
  • University Square Farmers Market: 36th & Walnut Streets; Wednesdays 10am-5pm (Seasonal April-October) CP Tip: Penn students, use your Penn Cash and Dining Dollars at select vendors including Beechwood Orchards & Big Sky Bakery.
  • Pretzel Park Farmers Market: 4300 Silverwood St, Philadelphia, PA 19127; Saturdays 10am-2pm
    CP Tip: stay up to date with Friends of Pretzel Park, as they post special events happening at the weekly markets, like Music at the Market!

5. ACME Markets

Photo Credit: Penn Today

ACME Markets are an East Coast specialty as “your favorite local supermarket!” They focus on creating a stress-free, cost-effective shopping experience with quality products from name brands.

The best part about ACME is the competitive pricing, as they prioritize offering goods at an affordable price—perfect for the college budget.

They have specialty store sections like prepared foods, a deli counter, a sushi counter, and more to create a holistic shopping experience.

Be sure to join their loyalty program, Acme4u, to gain access to insider rewards and savings before shopping!

Photo Credit: Penn Today

Find them near YOUR campus:

Bala Cynwyd: 121 E City Ave Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
From SJU Hawk Hill Campus: 1 mile (~5 minute drive) 

University City: 4001 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104
From Drexel: .8 miles
From UPenn: right next to campus!
From SJU UCity Campus: .7 miles

Jenkintown: 323 Old York Road Jenkintown PA 19046
From Arcadia: 2.6 miles (~9 minute drive) 

Folsom: 124 Morton Avenue, Folsom PA 19033
From Widener: 3.1 miles (~8 minute drive) 

Campus Philly Tip: At select stores, they even offer a student discount (for example, SJU Students receive 10% off their groceries when they show their Hawk Student ID).


Cooking a homemade meal is one of the most rewarding, comforting activities you can do. It’s so important to step away from the textbooks and do something good for YOU. Next time you are bored with the on-campus dining options (because let’s face it: as good as they can be, a little variety is good sometimes) be sure to visit one of these grocery options for a tasty, cost-friendly meal that you’ll be proud and excited to eat!

BTW: Make sure to stay up to date with Campus Philly: Follow us on IG for even MORE content, and sign up for our newsletter to get the insider’s look at all things Philly!


10 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Visit Philly February is Black History Month, and whether you’re a college student looking for things to do in Philadelphia, or a young professional ready to explore new…

5 Budget-Friendly Spots to Grocery Shop in Philly

Grocery shopping can seem overwhelming—especially if you’re trying to navigate what to buy and where to shop, and you’re doing it all on a college-student budget! That’s why Campus Philly…

Stay up-to-date on the latest student events, deals, and ideas this semester.