My latest experience trying to find Zima at the Food Lion got me thinking about grocery stores. Here’s what we have in this area:
Trader Joe’s- Good prices on some things. Bad prices on other things. I like getting produce from Trader Joe’s; it’s a bit more expensive than other places, but I don’t mind, because the quality is a lot better. The wine selection is awesome and inexpensive. Of course, having worked at TJ’s for over three years, I’m biased (if you have any TJ’s questions, you know who to ask).
Costco- I get applesauce and go-gurts for the kids here. I also get meat from Costco… the foodservice package of chicken breasts, nuggets for the kids, and I like to buy an entire pork loin and slice it into chops myself (I like being able to control the thickness, and it’s waaaaay cheaper). Sometimes I’ll get milk here… cooking spray.... hell, anything I am going to use a LOT of, I’ll get at the Costco. Also, Costco is the best place to get gas. My car uses 93, and it’s a good 25 cents cheaper at the Costco than anywhere else…
Aldi- Crazy inexpensive. I’ll get chips, crackers, cheese, sometimes milk, sometimes condiments (but not ketchup, because I am a ketchup snob), some canned good, and some frozen foods here. Eggs can usually be found on the cheap here- 44 cents per dozen last time I was there. I stay away from the produce here, though. Not good. The staff there is always friendly and helpful, though- especially for the price point.
Target- Decent selection, decent prices. My favourite mainstream (if you will) grocery.
Whole Foods- I’ll go there every now and then, but I rarely buy anything there. There is nothing at Whole Foods that I can’t get somewhere else, and cheaper.
Kroger- We have one. It’s pretty far away, and I don’t go there
Harris Teeter- I go there for sushi sometimes. It’s inexpensive. There is only one in town, though… Prices aren’t great.
Fresh Market- I’ll go there to pick up sushi, but.... yeah. I’m a public school teacher. I don’t make enough money to shop there.
Farm Fresh- Good deli. Good beer/wine selection. A bit too rich for my blood. When I was in high school, this was the white trash grocery, but now, it appears they’ve classed things up.
Food Lion- They’ve renovated the store closest to my house, but if you put fresh paint on a pile of shit, it’s still a pile of shit. Staff is indifferent… at best. I’ll go there if it’s convenient to pick up a couple of things- otherwise I steer clear.
WAL*MART- Avoid at all costs. I just… I don’t go there.
Places in my area I can’t go to....
Commissary- I’m not in the Air Force anymore… so I can’t go anymore (though I kind of think that commissary privileges should be open to veterans, too, but that’s another talk show…) Yeah… some of the prices are good, but then you have to tip the baggers… and I would always end up with a Korean bagging lady who would shame me for being a bad Asian. I used to call it the “commis-scary.”
Places I wish we had in my area…
Giant/Eagle- Yeah, it’s not the greatest grocery store. But, it’s what I remember from my childhood. If I’m up that way, I’ll stock up on some chipped ham and some Islay’s BBQ sauce.
Publix- Never been to one. I’ve heard it’s great, though…
Wegmans- I fucking LOVE Wegmans. If we had one down here, I’d do 90% of my shopping at the Wegmans.
How about you? Where do you like to do your grocery shopping?