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Whether your student lives on campus or off, they will need groceries. Orlando has plenty of places to shop right near UCF in this regard. For those new to Florida, let me first introduce you to Publix. Publix is a Florida-based supermarket with every department found in most grocery stores including produce, deli, meats, canned goods, seafood, frozen foods, flowers, bread, soda, and stationery, candy, dairy and so forth. There are two Publix supermarkets close to campus. If you can’t make it to Publix, Instacart does offer delivery.
The other major chain supermarkets you will find nearby include Walmart Neighborhood Grocery, and Aldi, which was new to me. Aldi is a retail chain selling a range of grocery items, including produce, meat & dairy, and some organic foods at discount prices. When shopping at Aldi, bring a quarter to use a shopping cart and your own grocery bags.
There is now a Lucky’s Market as well. Lucky’s is most comparable to a Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market or Whole Foods in that their philosophy is to use local, organic and sustainable foods to support the local farmers and a farm to table existence. Sadly, for me at least, the nearest Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to UCF are in Winter Park, about 30 minutes away.
Along the same lines, Sprouts recently opened in Winter Park on Aloma Avenue. The farmer’s market-style store is an excellent place for fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices.
Orlando is also home to Lucky’s Market, located on Alfaya. They have a good selection of produce, organic products, meat and fish and specialty products for great prices. A second location is located on South Orange Avenue.
If you are looking for an actual Farmer’s Market where you can get fresh fruit and veggies, as well as, salsa, guac, and spices, then check out the farmer’s markets on Saturdays: in Winter Park- off of Park Ave. and Sundays in downtown Lake Eola.
Of course, there is always Target too. They have a huge grocery section and if you use the Cartwheel, the Target app you will find many coupons.
For those who have Amazon prime accounts (remember your student discount for Amazon prime), you get discounts at Whole Foods including 10 percent off sale items and exclusive deals. To get these discounts, download the Whole Foods app and sign on with your Amazon prime log in info. You can show to register cashier or give the phone number associated with your prime membership. There is, however, a Fresh Market about 15 minutes away, but their prices are generally less in line with a student’s budget.
If it’s an ethnic flair you’re seeking, check out Eastside Asian Market which offers a wide variety of Asian-focused produce and groceries.
Get the App
Have your student download the apps for any of the grocery stores that offer them. Both Publix and Lucky’s apps have digital coupons. Taking a little time to check off the coupons they may use saves them, and possibly you, some money. Lucky’s also offers a rewards program which they can manage through the app. The rewards program offers another way to build up points and save money. Publix also sells a two-part gift card that you can load from your local Publix onto your student’s gift card. It is another option if your student buys most of their groceries at Publix.
Of course, for those students who just can’t get to the grocery store, Shipt will deliver their groceries (and alcohol) right to them (for a fee, of course).
WeGoShop will deliver groceries as well.
By the way, the UCF Shuttle to the grocery stores is on Tuesday.