I love getting great deals; I totally get a high off of it. But that feeling just doesn't come very often when spending money in NYC. I got around that by doing 80% of my shopping online.
There is one place, though, where great deals abound. And that is...Rite Aid. Although I do use Rite Aid for regular drug store stuff, I also use it for the vast majority of my pantry staples. That is, cereal, chips and other dry salty snacks, and Diet Coke. On my most recent trip, I bought:
(1) box of Honey Nut Cheerios
(1) box of Multigrain Cheerioes
(1) box of FiberOne cereal
(1) box of Golden Grahams
(1) box of FiberOne toaster pastries
(2) boxes of Velveeta mac n cheese
(1) bag of snickers minis
(1) bag of 3 musketeers mint minis
(1) 3-pack of Trident sugar free gum
all for...$16 (with 3 coupons)! I was sooo happy afterward. I wait every Sunday for Rite Aid's new weekly deals and view their circular online, and go there on Sunday early afternoons to buy. Rite Aid also *always* has at least a $5 off $25 coupon somewhere online (more recently, you can get a $5 off $20 coupon)...so no matter what, everything you get there should be 20% off. They also take all kinds of manufacturer's coupons (unlike most places in NYC) and their weekly deals are fantastic. And their Single Check Rebate program is really great. I've gotten many useful items like toothpaste for free using it.
There are a few Rite Aids in LA, but I doubt I'm going to end up living with two locations within 2 blocks of me as I am now. And since I'm in Bay Ridge, I can take advantage of almost all the deals (the locations in Manhattan get instantly ravaged when sales come up, making it almost impossible to take advantage of them). I'll miss you, Rite Aids in Bay Ridge.