The Price Rite Marketplace displays discounted prices in its windows on Friday, March 1st, 2019, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. College students looking to save money can shop for discounted groceries and living supplies at the Price Rite Marketplace. (Patrick Ellison/B&W Staff)

Lehigh students share their favorite grocery stores to shop as a student on a budget

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College students are constantly on the hunt for the best grocery options available, taking price, quality and accessibility into consideration.

Eliza Brush, ’19, said she values a low budget, along with high-quality produce when it comes to grocery shopping. She normally shops at Wegmans because it is 15 minutes from Lehigh and has a variety of food options.

“They are also open 24 hours which is nice and really helpful,” Brush said.

She said she chooses to shop at Wegmans because of the pre-made food and salads, frozen vegetable packs and microwavable meals.

Michael Stragapede, ’20, agrees that Wegmans is the best grocery store option for Lehigh students.

While there are options available in closer proximity to Lehigh, there are barriers restricting students from obtaining fresh, nutritious food.

“Lehigh is considered to be a food desert,” Stragapede said. “It’s very difficult to find viable food options, especially ones with a lot of nutrition in it. If you have specific dietary habits it’s going to be super difficult. Also, carrying groceries on your own is a very difficult thing.”

Rachael Grobman, ’19, said she thinks Lehigh students typically shop at C-Town, Wegmans, Giant, Target or Shoprite.

“I think if you don’t have a car, it can be a major issue,” Grobman said. “There’s really no other way to do it other than Uber.”

Stragapede said if you don’t have a car the only options are C-Town and Ahart’s, and believes they have less healthy options than Wegmans.

Brush said she wishes there was a store in close proximity that has more sales and discounts than she gets at Wegmans.

Price Rite Marketplace recently rebranded its store to offer more local and fresh food. Its rebranded stores in Bethlehem, Allentown and Secane, Pennsylvania, hope to redefine the college experience. Price Rite Marketplace in Bethlehem is located on 1001 8th Ave., and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price Rite Marketplace features deals that specifically cater to those watching their spending.

According to the site, Price Rite Marketplace can save shoppers on average up to 20 to 50 percent versus their “regular grocery store,” taking individual family’s well-being and budget to heart.

The new Drop Zone is an exclusive in-store section, where customers will find deals, and must-have products that are typically priced $3 or less.

Grobman said she believes most Lehigh students don’t know about Price Rite Marketplace, as it isn’t heavily advertised in the area, and she isn’t sure if students would change their shopping habits to go there.

“It’s a good move if they can get people to go,” Grobman said.

She said Price Rite Marketplace should be kept on students’ radars in the future.

Brush and Stragapede agreed.

“The hardest thing for Price Rite would be to overcome Wegmans and get people over to them,” Grobman said.  

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