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Old 03-07-2014, 01:25 PM   #21
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Hy Vee is only in the mid-west, so haven't experienced that. I really don't like the huge grocery stores myself (but I don't do the shopping). For me, one name brand and one store brand of something is fine...I don't need 32 kinds of bleu cheese dressing.

As to what "we" do, it's Walmart for the DW, mostly; can't beat the prices unless you go to warehouse clubs. But we go to Trader Joes for some stuff, and Sam's for some stuff.

At Sam's you get more than you need and I find that since they don't have store brands, you can end up paying even a bit more than if you bought store brands at Walmart. We have a BJ's not too far, but the Costco is way too far.

We have an Aldi's, but we haven't had good luck with at least the produce. It was cheap, but a few of the lemons were black inside and the onions, same thing. Also, the selection was pretty weak (no worchestershire sauce, no frozen spinach, for instance).
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:35 PM   #22
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I try to buy mainly single ingredient whole foods without a lot of chemical preservatives. We buy meat and staples from Costco, natural foods like pickles without dye from Trader Joe's, and the rest usually comes from a regional pack it yourself warehouse store that has discount prices but more items and smaller packages than Costco. We get our produce from the pack it yourself store. The prices are often half or less per pound than Safeway prices.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:45 PM   #23
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When I was growing up, on those rare occasions when we had a real vacation instead of going to visit relatives, my parents would inevitably find an excuse to stop at a grocery store or two or three. We would travel up and down each aisle which was absolute torture for a child. I swore I would never do that............... Now I love going to fancy grocery stores like Whole Foods just to check everything out. We do eventually become our parents.
My tiny community got a Publix not too long ago, and I am in grocery-shopping heaven though I still buy staples from Wal-Mart.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #24
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I can walk to 2 supermarkets, walk/bike to a Trader Joe's, bike to a Whole Foods, walk to a fish market, and walk to several bakeries. Plus I have a vegetable garden in the summer. I think I spend a bit more on food at Trader Joe's than anywhere else. I spend a lot of money on excellent bread at the bakeries.

I visited my first Costco with a friend recently. It's miles from here. Since I like to cook, I rarely buy prepared foods. I was amazed at their selection of prepared foods but put off by the huge sizes of everything. For a lot of foodstuffs like rice or nuts, the prices were slightly lower than Trader Joe's, but the quantities at Costco were far bigger than I would buy and use in a reasonable period of time. Plus, TJ's has a somewhat better selection. I won't be joining anytime soon. It's so nice not having to drive anywhere to shop for food.
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:18 PM   #25
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A word about Aldi's for those who haven't experienced the store.

Started in 1958 in Germany with two brothersTheo and Karl Albrecht, who together are worth about $32B. Currently worldwide, 9300 stores. US has about 1300 stores and is based in Batavia IL... The Aldi corporation has two divisions... inthe US, Aldi's owned by Aldi Nord... 1200 stores and Trader Joe's owned by Aldi Sud... 400 stores.

Vast changes and updates in stores... appears to be doubling the number of SKU's. many more choices in just the past 6 months. https://www.aldi.us/ for the type of merchandising and pricing.

So, about some of the comments here... Yes, because of the efficiencies that provide the low costs, the checkout is not bagged, but the lines go twice as fast as other stores...The heavy duty bags cost $.10 and last for years. Checker takes groceries from one cart, scans and then into an empty cart. You bag, at a bagging counter or as we do, at our car.
Yes... the produce is not always pristine, and artistically displayed, but the avacado that I buy for $.59 to $.89 is the same as the one that Walmart charges $1.88 for. Complaints, keep the product, full money back.
And... it costs $.25 for the shopping cart, which you get back when you return it to the rack. Never loose carts in the parking lot...
Aldi's pay is higher than comparable stores, but the employees earn every penny.
Almost all product is private brand, and none of the instore stock is handled by vendors. Pre pack display mostly on wheels. Wine and beer.. Wines 7 flavors @ $2.89. Yeah... my kind of wine. Great Shiraz... judged by this commonsewer of fine wines.
We feel we save 30 to 35% over Kroger type stores, and about 20 to 25% over Walmart.

Not supposed to promote market interests here, but not to worry, Aldi's is privately owned, so no vested interests.

When Lidl's comes to the US we may see the food markets turned upside down... perhaps in as little as 5 years. MOO... (my opinion only)
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #26
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I really miss Central Market since moving from Tx to WA.
Trader Joes.... not so much, or the one store I found an hour away is extra small with very limited selection.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #27
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More than 30 years ago, I crossed from France to Germany on my bike and immediately encountered another American cyclist. We started chatting and soon learned we both needed to stop at a food store. He said to me, "Let's go to the funny market". I said, "What's the funny market?" "What", he said, "you've never been to an Aldi?" That was my introduction to Aldi.

I had no idea they have opened stores in the US until I saw one in Wisconsin over 5 years ago.

BTW, Aldi bought Trader Joe's; they were not the founders of the chain. They seem to have left the outstanding California-based management in place.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:24 PM   #28
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I was stunned that my WF has some loaves of bread running for nearly $10. Although this is a fancier sprout less, flour less, tasteless, variety. I think the regular loaves are maybe $4?
I was stunned to see frozen turkeys at Whole Foods that were over $100 each. Musta loved them birds.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:44 PM   #29
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I was stunned to see frozen turkeys at Whole Foods that were over $100 each. Musta loved them birds.
They don't call it "Whole Paycheck" for nuthun!
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:57 PM   #30
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They don't call it "Whole Paycheck" for nuthun!
Now I don't have a paycheck, have to call it Whole Pension. Come to think if it, I don't have a pension, either. Whole Portfolio?
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:11 PM   #31
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We purchase a cow each year from a local farmer and then split it with three other neighbors. Cheaper and tastes better in my opinion, although trying to figure out what to do with some of the cuts can be adventurous. I am going to check in and see if I can get pork and chicken from some local farmers as well.

Other groceries are split between Costco and our local grocery store about 50/50. What really helps us is that we plan our meals for the week on Sunday, make a list and then go shopping for what we need. I am guessing that many on this forum also utilize a similar approach to grocery shopping?
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:24 PM   #32
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Local farm for meats, milk, eggs and poultry year round and veggies start in the Spring until October/November. Yes, it's more expensive but I know where the foods coming from.
One of the warehouse clubs (Costco, Sam's or BJ's) for bulk items like paper towels, soaps and fruit. I've also started buying my husband's OTC allergy medicine (although you need to hand over your drivers license) Claritin D at Costco. I was buying it at Walmart for $18.99 but Costco has it for $14.49. Giant or Acme food stores a few items. All of these places are pretty close to my house.
We also have a group of farmers, bakers and crafty people that gather at the borough hall once a week April to October/November. They sell handmade soap, lotions, fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, breads, cookies, greeting cards. There are different types of musicians playing and a book swop too. LOVE the gluten free cookies and scones from the one baker. This is probably where I spend the money I saved at Costco on the Claritin D. LOL
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:29 PM   #33
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Primarily H.E.B. Sometimes Kroger which is a little closer to us, but more expensive and for a couple of items HEB doesn't carry. We buy one item at Walmart (which I otherwise avoid but can't find this item anywhere else).

An Aldi's and Trader Joe's was recently put in about 20 minutes each away from us. We looked at both of them and haven't been back. I liked Aldi's better. It does have good prices, but not really better than HEB and HEB has far more selection.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:36 PM   #34
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H.E.B. or Walmart.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #35
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Usually Martins/Giant but occasionally Safeway and Food Lion if we're going past there anyway. When in season, local farmer's markets for fresher locally-grown veggies.

There is a Walmart nearby, but it's a pain to get to, the parking is a hike, the clientele a bit strange, and the lines are long so very rarely go there.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:07 PM   #36
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We purchase a cow each year from a local farmer and then split it with three other neighbors.
That is wonderful! I wish I could do that.


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What really helps us is that we plan our meals for the week on Sunday, make a list and then go shopping for what we need. I am guessing that many on this forum also utilize a similar approach to grocery shopping?
Just the opposite, actually. I visit the stores and look to see what looks good and is priced right, then decide what to cook based on what I bought.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:12 PM   #37
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Caputo's Market. A small chain only in the Chicago area as far as I know. Excellent for produce and deli. Acceptable for everything else.

I'll also go to a major chain store if they advertise a really good special on something I want to stock up on.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #38
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I visit the stores and look to see what looks good and is priced right, then decide what to cook based on what I bought.
I do this quite a bit too. I'll have a short list of "must haves" we're running low on. After that, meals are built around what looks good that week.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #39
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What W2R said goes for me as well.

I've been in the local WF exactly once but was creeped out by the regulars.
Some of the regulars at WalMart creep me out. I go there because the next closest place is another 5 miles away. When I'm in the big city I stop by Costco and buy paper goods and the few items that I can use as a single person. I prefer Kroger. It is called King Soopers or City Market in Colorado. Kroger also owns Harris Teeter.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #40
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We visit Costco roughly monthly. We buy meat and fish and produce there. Not so much packaged foods since we don't buy that much any more.

DW prefers Meijers for weekly visit. Milk, eggs, more produce and sundries.

When I shop, I favor Kroger. It has a few items that Meijers doesn't have that I like. Their "fuel rewards" program is better than Meijers' too.

We have a new Aldi which we haven't tried yet. Also WalMart and Giant Eagle which we almost never visit. Whole Food would get some of our business, but it's a half hour away, so we only visit there a couple of times a year - though I do like their cheese selection.
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