Ways to Save at Common Ground

by Mia Hanneken

Looking to shop local but working with a tight budget? No problem here! Common Ground seeks to make the highest quality foods available to everyone in our community, regardless of food budget. With a little strategy, you can shop for organic and locally sourced food here at Common Ground.


We understand that not everyone may be able to afford the $60 equity payment. That’s one reason we created our Food For All free membership option. Valid for one year, Food For All recipients receive a free membership where they can score all the Owner Deals, take advantage of Owner Appreciation Days discounts, have the option to save 10% on all Co+op Basics (see below) and fresh produce. The membership can be renewed hassle-free as many times as you want. Curious about Food For All? Read more here!


You don’t have to sacrifice quality for cost! Co+op Basics is our answer to providing the most affordable food while maintaining our highest standard of quality. Co+op Basics include pantry staples like canned and dried beans, pastas, dairy and non-dairy milks, plus tons more! We have over a hundred items on Co+op Basics that you can always find at a reasonable price. Look especially for the Field Day brand! Almost all Field Day products are on the Co+op Basics list. Field Day is Common Ground’s version of a store brand, but their food is just as delicious as name brand--and always organic! Check out all our Co+op Basics!


Did you know Common Ground is part of a network of other food co-ops? Hundreds of food co-ops around the country are members of a cooperatively-run organization called National Co-op Grocers, or NCG. NCG bands together all these co-ops to increase buying power, allowing us to keep prices reasonable for you! Additionally, NCG creates and sends their co-ops Co+op Deals, a booklet of NCG sales for owners to take advantage of at their local food co-op.


Common Ground has special discount days for our senior shoppers AND our student shoppers! If you’re 55 years or older, you qualify for a 5% discount every Tuesday. If you're a college student at University of Illinois or Parkland College, you can receive a 10% discount on your purchase--with a valid ID--on Sundays.


The bulk aisle is a haven for those with a tight budget. Not only are bulk items priced lower per unit than their packaged counterparts, but shoppers can get as much or as little as they need. This is especially appealing in the bulk herbs and spices. As a shopper, I love perusing the little jars of spices, herbs, and teas, and dividing up just a little of each. Packaged spices are so expensive, especially when you’re just testing a recipe and don’t need a whole jar of, say, herbs de provence. You can get the exact half teaspoon the recipe calls for, making it far more economical than buying a whole jar.


Owners can save 10% when they place a special order! What’s a special order? Common Ground can order a case of any product in the store just for you! If you love that Pacific Foods hemp milk or are stocking your pantry with bulk beans and rice, you can buy in bulk and save! Just call the store to place an order!


By shopping at the Co-op, you’re not just supporting this single small business. You’re stimulating the local economy, supporting your neighbors, and keeping CU’s only community-owned grocery store at the center of this vibrant and inclusive community.