If there’s one thing that people living in Idaho, more specifically the Boise area, can agree on, it’s that life here has gotten considerably more expensive over the past decade. 

Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report still had Boise on their list of “Top Overvalued U.S. Housing Markets” based on mortgage to income ratios. According to Realtor.com, the median listing price for a home in the Boise area in July 2023 was $599,900. That’s up about 7.1% from the same time a year ago. While Boise rental prices have fallen about 6.9% in the past year, Apartment List still considers Boise #66 when it comes to the most expensive large city in the U.S. when it comes to rental payments. 

The price of getting around the Gem State is still high too. At press time, AAA says that Idaho had the ninth highest gas prices in the country with an average price per gallon of $4.051 and that it’s continuing to creep up.

According to Energy Bot, the price of electricity in Idaho has gone up, too. The good news? Even with the slight increase, Idahoans are saving on their energy bills by living in the state. Their table shows that Idaho has the lowest average kilowatt price in the country. 

How Idahoans Can Cut Back on Their Food Costs

Clipping coupons
Stephen Vanhorn

Food’s another necessity that’s gotten more expensive. While price increases on food have started to slow down, the USDA reveals that grocery store prices are still up about 4.7% from June 2022 to June 2023.  You may try to cut back on how much you’re spending by using coupons or looking for sales, but switching to a different grocery store entirely might be a good option too! 

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U.S. News & World Report just published their updated list of the 7 Cheapest Grocery Stores in the U.S. and the good news is that one of the Top 3 doesn’t just have stores in Idaho, it’s actually based in our backyard. 

WinCo is the Third Cheapest Grocery Store in the United States

According to the U.S. News & World Report, 87% of the people who answered their survey felt that WinCo provided value for your money landing it at the #3 spot on the list behind Illinois-based Aldi and Wisconsin-based Woodman’s Market. Neither of those brands have stores in Idaho, but Boise-based WinCo has 13 stores in Idaho. 

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

How does WinCo help save you money at check out? The article quotes Andrea Woroch, a consumer finance and budgeting expert who explains: 

They buy produce and other groceries directly from farmers and manufacturers in bulk so they get better prices per unit to pass on to shoppers.

The Rest of the Best

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

Two more retailers with locations in Idaho round themselves on the list. California-based Grocery Outlet came in at #6 with 78% of survey respondents saying they offer value for your money. They have 13 locations in Idaho, with plans to grow. 

Washington state-based Costco, ranked #7 with 75% of survey respondents saying they offer value for your money. They have 7 locations in Idaho. 

LOOK: These Are the 50 Biggest Retailers in America; 2 Are Based in Idaho

Stacker recently put together a list of the top 50 biggest retailers in America using retail sales data from Kantar, provided by the National Retail Federation. They were ranked by the dollar amount of retail sales they did in 2021. We took it a step further to see how many locations they have in Idaho and across the United States.

Total stores were based on figures from Scrapehero. The number of Idaho stores is based on information collected from a brand's website. It was easier to find that info for some and difficult for others. So cut us some slack if we're off by a store or two. It was hard to count all those little dots on the map. (We're looking at you Ace Hardware.)

KEEP READING: 25 Famous Stores That Don't Exist in Boise Anymore

Some brands themselves are totally defunct. Others have pulled out of the Boise market. No matter which side of the fence they fall on, these stores are nothing but a memory now!

Idaho Goodwill Stores Will Not Accept These 27 Items

According to the Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain website, Goodwill stores in Idaho, Utah, Montana and Wyoming will not accept these items as donations.

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