Grocery shopping can be a real chore, and it’s especially frustrating when you can’t find all of the items on your list. Although most items stocked in a grocery store have signs hanging above the aisles that make them easy to find, some things may not be located where you’d think they would.
In this article, we’ll look at the hard-to-find items in grocery stores and tell you where you can find them in a store near you!
List of Hard to Find Groceries by Aisle
Trying to figure out how to find molasses at Walmart or where Target has hidden the bread crumbs? We checked out major grocery store chains including Target, Walmart, and Kroger to locate hard-to-find grocery items like quinoa, Velveeta, and coconut oil. For this list, we visited stores or verified item locations with customer service representatives.
For most of these items, there are a few different areas they may be located in. We’ve listed the possibilities and indicated store-specific locations where applicable.
1. Baking Soda
Most major stores will stock baking soda in two different places:
- Baking aisle — Look near the flour.
- Household cleaning products aisle — Look near cleaning solutions such as Lysol.
There are two places you’ll usually find breadcrumbs in major stores:
- Pasta aisle — Look near the sauces.
- Baking aisle — Look near the flour, sugar, and cornmeal.
3. Coconut Oil
Typical grocery store locations for coconut oil include:
- Baking oil — Check near the other types of cooking oil, such as vegetable and canola. Most stores, including Walmart, stock coconut oil on the top shelf of this section, so it’s easy to miss.
- Natural foods aisle — The larger Kroger stores stock coconut oil in the natural foods section.
4. Corn Syrup
This can be tricky to find, as there are three possible aisles where corn syrup is stocked:
- Baking aisle — Many stores stock corn syrup in the baking aisle near the cake mixes and frostings.
- Spices and seasonings aisle — Some major stores place corn syrup in this aisle.
- Cereal aisle –You may find corn syrup in the cereal aisle near the hot cereal (oatmeal, grits) and syrups.
5. Corn Starch
Look for this item in two different locations, as it’s often stocked in both places:
- Baking aisle — Find corn starch near the flour, with baking soda and baking powder.
- Spices and seasonings aisle — Corn starch is also typically stocked near the seasoning packets and gravy mixes.
6. Epsom Salt
- First aid aisle — Both Walmart and Kroger stock Epsom salts in this aisle in the Health and Beauty section, near the sports wraps.
- Shampoo and body wash aisle — Most Target stores place Epsom salts in the shampoo aisle instead of with first aid supplies.
7. Essential Oils
Looking for lavender, eucalyptus, or other types of essential oils at your preferred grocery store? Check these aisles, both in the Health and Beauty section:
- First aid aisle — Look near the bandages and sports wraps.
- Vitamin aisle — Some stores place essential oils here along with other types of supplements.
Look for ghee, or clarified butter, in these three places at your grocery store:
- Dairy aisle — Walmart carries some brands of ghee near the rest of the butter.
- Natural foods aisle — If your grocery store has a natural foods section, such as Kroger, you’ll likely find ghee here.
- International foods aisle — Check this aisle in Walmart and Target for ghee.
If you’re looking for this chickpea-based spread, here’s where it’s hiding:
- Deli section — Many major stores, including Walmart, stock hummus in the deli section, usually in the cheese island.
- Dairy aisle — Hummus can also be found in the dairy aisle near the sour cream and dips.
10. Lemon Juice
You wouldn’t think lemon juice would be hard to find, but it’s not usually stocked where you might expect:
- Beverage aisle — Look for lemon juice in the aisle with bottled juices like Hawaiian Punch.
- Produce section — In addition to the beverage aisle, most major stores stock ReaLemon and ReaLime juice in the section with the fresh produce.
There are three different areas where you may find molasses, depending on the store:
- Baking aisle — This is the most common-sense location for molasses, but it’s not always stocked here.
- Cereal aisle — You may find molasses in the cereal aisle by the pancake syrups.
- Spices and seasonings aisle — Molasses is sometimes stocked in this aisle near the boxed puddings.
12. Sun Dried Tomatoes
Generally, you’ll find this item in one of two places in grocery stores:
- Canned fruits and vegetables aisle — At Target and Walmart, this is where you’ll find sun dried tomatoes.
- Pasta and rice aisle — Look for sun dried tomatoes near the spaghetti sauces and tomato-based products.
Here’s where you can find this specialty grain:
- Pasta and rice aisle — Most grocery stores such as Walmart stock quinoa near the specialty rice, such as wild rice and couscous, or by the bags of dried beans.
- Natural foods/gluten-free aisle — If the store has a natural foods section, such as Kroger, you’ll likely find quinoa there. It’s also nearly always stocked in any gluten-free section.
There are a few possible locations for tahini paste in grocery stores:
- International foods aisle — This is the most likely area where you’ll find tahini. Look for it with the international foods in both Walmart and Target.
- Natural foods aisle — Find tahini in the natural foods section at Kroger
- Coffee / bread aisle — For stores with no international or natural foods aisle, you’ll usually find tahini in the section with the peanut butter, which is typically found in the same aisle as either coffee or bread.
15. Tea Tree Oil
We found for most stores that carry tea tree oil, it’s stocked in the same place:
- Vitamins and supplements aisle — You can find tea tree oil in this aisle in the Health and Beauty department, sometimes alongside other essential oils
Look for this vegetarian option in the following aisles:
- Produce section — At Walmart, you’ll find tofu stocked in the cold cases of the produce section
- Dairy aisle — Target and Kroger typically stock tofu here, near the lunch meat
There are a few strange places where you can find Velveeta at grocery stores:
- Dairy aisle — In some stores, Velveeta is stocked in the expected aisle but not in the expected place. When Velveeta is located in the dairy aisle, it’s not with the cheese — you’ll find it across from the refrigerated section near the bagels and English muffins.
- Pasta and rice aisle — Some stores stock Velveeta in the pasta section — easy access if you’re looking to make mac and cheese.
- Chips aisle — Finally, you may find Velveeta in the chips aisle near the salsas and jars of cheese spreads.
This versatile item can be found in a few different aisles, depending on what type of vinegar you’re looking for:
- Baking aisle — You can usually find white vinegar and a few other specialty types if the store carries them, such as rice vinegar, near the end of the baking aisle.
- Condiments and dressing aisle — The best place to find most types of vinegar, including white, balsamic, red wine, and apple cider, is in the condiments aisle near the pickles and olives.
- Household cleaning supplies aisle — If you’re looking for plain white vinegar, you’ll probably find some stocked here.
Sometimes hard-to-find grocery items may be located in logical places, such as coconut oil in the baking aisle with other types of cooking oils. Other times they might not be so obvious, such as Velveeta located in the chips aisle. Most major grocery stores tend to stock items in the same general areas, so it’s a good idea to know where hard-to-find items are usually located before you head to your nearest grocery store. This will help you significantly reduce the amount of time you spend walking around the store!