Grocery Stores

looked at her grocery experience after moving and wondered if she were lame. Either she’s not, or we both are.

After we moved two years ago, I rejoiced with trepidation that we were closer to the Big Store. This store has fresh sushi and a snack bar, and same chain so has the same brands. It’s the one I used to consider a treat. It has housewares and clothes and a pharmacy. Anything I can buy in the grocery store comes out of the grocery budget rather than my mad money, so it was great!

Since then, I’ve discovered other things about it. Twice as much walking. Higher shelves. The front row of jars is filled every morning, but the row behind is empty. They move stuff constantly. Their rice is all in small bags. Higher prices, too. All the moms say they avoid it like the plague.

The moms here like Cheap Store. Fewer impulse buys. Better ethnic food — large bags of different rices, more international labels, interesting veggies. Same store brands. Shorter lines. Shelves properly filled. I went religiously for two months, and then compared prices line by line. About even, except for fresh stuff. (Fresh stuff varies so much day to day that it’s hard to compare.) I buy in bulk, and it varies with season, so I can’t compare totals.

But… There’s no deli or bakery. You need a quarter for the cart. You have to guess the number of bags and pay for them. (I put bagless groceries in my trunk more often than I remember to put the reusable bags in the car.) So, I go when the list allows — i.e., they have everything on that week’s list. It happens maybe once a month.

About twice a year I’m in the neighbourhood of “Old Favourite”. Things are _still_ where I remember them, even the seasonal rotations — which are done for space reasons, not marketting. Hot dogs are more popular in summer, so they’re on the big shelf beside their winter home; even I can figure that one out. Even with the drive, it’s faster. It’s like using my Daytimer — my heart rate goes down as I go in the door.


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