Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ask the Internet: Where Do You Food Shop?

To start, just a quick thing from yesterday: That quote I attributed to Mark Twain wasn't from him at all, but a paraphrased statement by Clarence Darrow. It's been amended.

With that aside, on to today's question!

Q: Over the last few weeks, we've discussed food shopping at Trader Joe's, CostCo, and multiple supermarkets. But I was curious: Where do you most frequently shop?

A: For me, in order of frequency, it's:
  • My local supermarket (once a week)
  • This family-owned produce tent around the block from where I work (once a week)
  • This family-owned bulk good store around the block from where I work (once every three weeks)
  • CostCo (once a month)
  • Trader Joe's (usually wine, occasionally party foods)
  • This butcher around the block (rare)
Also, I hit up farmer's markets on occasion, when the weather is warmer. This has changed pretty often over the years.

How about you, sweet readers? Your answers will help us determine where to focus our blogging efforts from here on out. Fire away!

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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Alli said...

I'm lucky to live near a well-stocked grocery store, definitely something I appreciate in NYC!

My local Key Foods -- once a week
My local liquor store (hey, I use wine to cook!) -- once a week
The farmer's market near my office -- I walk through it whenever I see it (so maybe 2 times a week?) and buy stuff 2-3 times a month as well
Whole Foods Union Square -- rarely, whenever I need super fresh meat: oysters, mussels, steak for tartare, etc.

Martha said...

Well, I am on the Northwest Coast, cook from scratch always, and feed 8 people (6teens)
We have a restaurant supply called 'Cash and Carry' where I bulk shop twice a month. I fill in with milk and veggies from COSTCO in between. I have been able to keep my food budget around $500. My bill would be twice that if I shopped at the local grocery store.

Jenn said...

Local supermarket once a week, local family-owned produce market once a week during the summer (they are open year-round but the selection is not as good in the winter), Trader Joe's twice a month, mostly when I'm in the mood for something more unusual.

Alicia said...

I do most of our shopping at Trader Joe's, plus we belong to a local CSA in the summer/fall months. We try to freeze at least enough CSA greens (kale, mostly) to get us through the winter. There are a small number of items we can't get at TJ's, so we head to Whole Foods or Stop and Shop on rare occasion. Love this blog, thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's (about 2-3 times a week), Wegman's occasionally (once every 1-2 months).

Life's Littlest Blessings said...

Meijer primarily

Michael said...

My list is similar, although we have two local supermarkets we like. One has better produce, the other has better prices generally and a huge selection of inexpensive bulk products like quinoa and bulgur and dried beans. Our farmer's market opens next weekend and we'll add it to our weekend routine.

I also visit a large Asian grocery periodically to stock up on spices at a small fraction of what I would pay in the mainstream supermarkets. It's not local so I combine that trip with some other errand in the general area.

Paycheck Princess said...

Local grocery store (Kroger) - once a week
Family-owned fine-foods store - once every other week
Local farmer's market - once a week while it is in season (May-October)

Kaci said...

Publix, Winn-Dixie,-just to pick up sale items.
Farmers Market for produce.
Meat market for meat.
Wholesale place for Bulk items, --beans, rice, flour, ect.

Adrienne said...

Local, locally owned grocery store; once a week.

Farmer's market: once a week (most weeks, anyway) from May to September.

Frou-frou organic store (kind of like a local whole foods) every two weeks (more or less)

Closest-to-my-house chain grocery where I go when I forgot or ran out of something I can't live without: every two weeks (more or less)

We don't have Trader Joe's yet, and when we do it will be nearly an hour's drive away, but I will probably go up there every couple of months.

Julie said...

I'm loving these discussions!

I shop about once a week at Trader Joes for most of my dairy and some dry goods. The rest is mostly at Jimbos, a local Whole Foodsish store for all my produce and meats and bulk bin stuff. And I just joined a CSA!

I hit up Costco about every 3-4 weeks, but don't buy much in the way of food. I also shop at Henry's, which I'd describe as somewhere between a whole foods and a grocery store. Not quite as high quality as Jimbos, but they have great prices on produce and some great dry goods and spices.

I really only hit up the megamart stores every 2-3 weeks maybe? And I don't buy much. Maybe some OJ and if I'm running low on sweetened condensed milk or brown sugar. Their prices on produce is usually pretty terrible and the quality of their meat is...lacking.

Lorena said...

Since I live in So Cal, there's a lot of variety, but we have a pretty established pattern. And I'd probably hit up the local farmer's market more often if it wasn't for the fact that my grandmother gives us a great deal of veggies and fruit from her garden.

Local Vons (Safeway) - once a week
Local Ralphs (Kroger) - once every two/three weeks
Family-owned health food store - once every couple of weeks/once a month
Target - once a month
Farmer's market, Asian market (99 Ranch and Seafood City), Trader Joe's and Costco - once every couple of months

Autumn said...

I live in MN, so. . .
Once a week cub/rainbow/byerlys depending on sales
Once a month or so Costco
Once a month or so TJs
We belong to a CSA or that's where most of the veggies come from in the summer
When I'm not pregnant, liquor store every other week or so (wow, this kid is saving me cash right now!)
The odd stop off at a store/Kwik Trip for milk or oj if we are low during the week

Jenna said...

Weekly - 3 main shops. A local discount grocery (Marcs), a chain discount (Aldi's) and a local farmer's market/health food store called Kriegers. In the summer, add a weekly stop to at least one farmer's market.

Twice a month - Asian market and local butcher shop.

Once a month - local bulk food store.

Every 3 months, BIG shop at a Amish bulk food store/cheese factory.

In between, various U-pick places and the occasional trip to Sam's Club, Whole Foods, and the Middle Eastern store for spices.

alexis said...

in md suburbs of dc - pretty much always two stops - Korean store (lotte mart) for varied, cheap, abundant produce, slightly cheaper dried beans ($1.09 per lb vs $1.59 at supermarket), rice ($15 for 20lb of jasmine, $13 for 10lb of brown korean rice) - then next block over to GIANT for milk, yogurt, eggs, meats, and "products" (like dish detergent, toilet paper, etc), and the occasional sale package of DOUBLE STUFF OREOS (aka the food of the gods)

Anonymous said...

-Local (unionized) supermarket once a week.
-Wine store once every month or two.
-Specialty butcher once every three months, although I feel like I ought to go more often. But it's just easier to get most of my meat in one stop at the supermarket, so I only end up going for special occasions or unusual meats.
-Organic "whole foods"-type specialty store once every three months or so (especially in winter); again, I feel like I should go more often, they have the broadest produce section in the area, but my local supermarket carries such good organics now and a pretty broad selection. It's hard to justify an extra trip (it's on the other side of town).
-Ethnic foods market downtown, once every six months or so, for staple foods like rice in bulk

In the summer, I go to the farmer's market every week or every two weeks, usually with friends as a social as well as food outing. And I "shop" my backyard garden a lot in the summer as well.

Another determining factor in grocery shopping for me is how child-friendly the shopping destination is; my local supermarket makes it easy to cart a kid around with nice wide aisles and big carts with seats and wide checkout lanes where he can't yank all the candy off the displays. The farmer's market is a similarly child-friendly, stroller-accessible outing. The organic foods mart is very difficult; the aisles are narrow, the stacks are precarious, and the carts are almost too small for a toddler to sit in the seat. (It's supposed to have a "seaside warehouse" vibe or something.) Also, their checkout lanes are so narrow that I can't turn my pregnant belly around in them ... I have to back out, turn, and back in if I want to face the other way!

Jaime said...

-Whole Foods once a week for staples (surprisingly cheap!)

-Farmers market once a week in summer, once every other week otherwise just for eggs and onions

-Local supermarket(s) once a week or so, for things that aren't so cheap at Whole Foods/last-minute things

-Local butcher once every few weeks, if I want chicken pieces or livers

That's about it. Though I used to work near the produce & bulk stores Kris mentioned, and I miss them! (Assuming I'm thinking of the same place. Kris, does the bulk store still have that adorable fat cat?)

Jane said...

Since I live in a small town with just one mediocre supermarket, that's where I shop most often.

For more food variety, my sister and I carpool to the closest bigger town once a month. There we hit up Costco, a Mennonite-owned bulk foods store, and occasionally the farmer's market or a grocery store that's having a great sale.

I rather envy those of you who have so many options within blocks of your homes. Ah, well, that's the price I pay for a yard big enough to plant a huge garden. Hopefully, I'll be "shopping" my backyard soon!

Jennifer said...

Regular supermarket (weekly)
Target (weekly-ish)
Costco (biweekly)
Whole Foods (monthly)
Trader Joes (monthly or less)
Farmers markets (biweekly June-October)
U-pick farms (biweekly June-October)

LLK said...

Trader Joe's, Costco, CSA, Farmer's Market. Occasional Safeway/Lucky.
We live in suburbia in the East Bay/No. CA.

Emily @ Relishments said...

Local supermarket-once a week
CSA-once a week/every other week
Farmer's Market-every other week, when the weather is good
Local co-op-every other week
Trader Joes/Whole Foods-every few months

Anonymous said...

Whole foods - once a week
conventional grocery - about every other week
CSA box - every other week
Trader Joe's, Asian grocery - maybe every other month?

Steph said...

Our main grocery store is Fred Meyer (Kroger). It has a good selection of organic and natural foods and is just about a mile from our house. We shop there once or twice a week.

I will go to Albertsons about once a month, only when they're doubling coupons. If they didn't double coupons I wouldn't shop there ever. We also go to Costco about once a month, whenever we run out of the items we go there for.

There's a Grocery Outlet and Trader Joes in the next town over. I go to Grocery Outlet about once every two weeks (I'd probably go there more frequently if it was closer) and Trader Joes about once a month, for "fun" food.

Marcia said...

Trader Joe's
Local produce store
Farmer's market
Grocery store

in that order.

Sally said...

Wal Mart once a month
Trader Joe's once a month
Local grocery weekly
High end grocery or Whole Foods 1-2x/month for meat

Farmer's market weekly during the season
Family owned produce stand 1-2x/weekly during the season

Emily said...

As NJ/NY residents, we get a FreshDirect order approximately every two weeks (deli stuff, produce - it really is the freshest, bulk meat like pork and chicken) and head down to the local supermarket in between for great sales ($10/10 marinades, rice snacks, etc. - can't be beat!) and to tide us over till the next FD order. However, we're excited to shop the farmer's market in the park across the street when it opens.

Anonymous said...

* local, organic produce/meat/egg delivery
* Whole Foods
* Harris Teeter (grocery chain here in the Southeast)

It's a 45-minute drive to the farmers' market, so we only go a few times a year.

beth said...

* We get produce & bread every or every other week from a regional co-op (bountifulbaskets.org, if you happen to live in the Southwest. Highly recommended!!)
* Von's (aka Safeway) or Albertson's about once every two weeks, primarily for my Dr Pepper fix and cat food (finicky elderly kitty won't eat the gourmet food from anywhere else)
* Trader Joe's about once a month
* The Evil Empire (Wal-Mart) about once a month for toiletries, kitty litter, and whatever I'm out of at that time.

I haven't bought meat at a store in almost a year, as we had a delivery service up until a few months ago. Between getting busy and one kid going vegetarian, it has taken longer than expected to clean out the freezer. I'm going to have figure out the best source around for that soon enough though.

beth said...

Oh, and in addition to my (currently held for moderation) last post, I can't forget Sunflower Market, where I have been getting a little meat, some dairy, and between co-op trips produce. (Another highly recommended stop if you live near one)

Katie said...

I go to Trader Joe's about once a week, and if there's something they don't have I'll grab it at Shaw's. But mostly I stick to TJ's, partly because it's helped me lower my grocery bill, but mostly because I HATE getting overwhelmed by choice in grocery stores, so I like the minimalism of TJ's.

Karen said...

I've finally seen the light an have begun to eat more natural and generally "better for you" foods!

Commissary- Once every 2 weeks
Farmer's Mkt- Once a week
Trader Joe's/Whole Foods- Once a month
Sam's Club- Whenever the mood strikes

I've also found free range/grass fed farms in the area and will start buying my meat and eggs from them. If you're interested, check out www.eatwild.com for local farms!