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Where to shop

So I'm recently back from my weekly Sunday shopping and I'm a bit wiped. Not sure about you but in order to get good stuff at a good prices I typically go to three stores every week. I hit Costco for things like cheese, meat, cereal etc, then it is off to Kin's for produce, and finally a chain grocer like Safeway to get whatever I couldn't get at the other locations. Truth be told I'm getting a little tired of the time all this takes. What is your routine?
I have thought of going to Superstore but my xperiences with the produce and meat the hasn't always been great, plus I live downtown so it is a bit out of the way.

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  1. Independent green grocers on Broadway and No Frills fills the bill-maybe Sunrise Produce in the DES if I'm feeling up for it.

    Recently had the surreal experience of shopping @ Safeway for a sick friend after not being in one for years-the prices were stratospheric to say the least.

    1. I feel very lucky to live at the nexus of Commercial Dr and Hastings-Sunrise where we have an embarrassment of riches. Independent grocers are the norm here. I go to Donald's Market for many things (except meat - they have a terrible butcher), Bosa Foods, Freybe Outlet, Andy's Bakery, East Village Bakery, T&T, Columbus Meats. I do go to Costco when I need a lot of meat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fmed

        I forgot to add Beefway on Kingsway.

      2. I live pretty close to a Safeway store, but I don't like shopping there much, 'cause it's pricey. I end up going there for emergency items.....toilet paper, milk, etc. I like No-Frills 'cause the prices are way cheaper. I buy produce at Kin's or any of those markets on West Broadway - I favour the Apple Market, 'cause I've been going there for years and their prices are low. Like to buy sliced meats for sandwiches at Parthenon....maybe the occasional tub of pesto hummus and some feta-stuffed olives when we're feeling fancy.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chomp

          I'm a lazy ass - and I have two young kids so we just use Spud.ca and they deliver to us! It's fantastic.

          1. re: waylman

            I used Spud for a few months but I could never get my head around someone picking my produce for me. I.e. if I go to the store and the apples look great I'll buy some, if they don't I won't. With Spud I would have to order blind and I just couldn't get my head around it.

            1. re: delys77

              I've found the produce great so far so no complaints there. If it stops me from going to the grocery store I'm a happy man!

              1. re: delys77

                We subscribed to Organics @ Home many moons ago, and I found the same myself. I liked the convenience, but I missed the experience of hand-picking veggies, fruits and other produce myself. Also over time, we found their repertoire a bit boring and predictable, and I'd have to wait right up until delivery to know what I'll have available, which may be a nuisance if I were planning a dinner party and needed to prep/cook ahead of time.

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  Same here regarding the planning. With Spud I would have to put my order in by Tuesday but I would only know what was available on Friday morning, which seems like a plenty of time but some weekends it got away from me and I found myself rushing to sort out what I wanted and what they had.

          2. Sam - FYI, No Frills is part of the Loblaw Group. However I do find NF stores vary, the produce section @ their Broadway/Yukon store is a few steps behind their new Fraser St. store. But NF does fill the gap for me when I feel lazy and don't want to drive to the nearest Superstore (Marine/Main), which btw has recently been completely renovated like many of their other stores (Grandview Hwy/Renfrew), etc.

            For me, my regular routine is a mix of:

            - Famous Foods (Kingsway)
            - T&T (various locations)
            - Chinatown: various stores
            - IGA (Main/13 Ave)
            - Buy Low (Kingsway/Broadway)
            - KIn's Farm (City Square Mall)
            - Superstore (Marine/Main)
            - Windsor Meats (Main/King Edward)
            - No Frills (Fraser St)
            - Sunshine Market (Oak/16)

            I don't shop Whole Foods, Choices, Price Smart/Save-On, Safeway enough to have them on my list. Safeway I avoid wherever possible....... a relic of old-world thinking with quite possibly the poorest value-for-dollar quotient in Greater Vancouver. The only exception is say if I'm outta milk after 10pm.

            1. I do Safeway for their Lucerne products which are competitively priced and to me taste much better than other similar especially the milk. They also have fairly good sales on many items so I'll eyeball those.

              All veg purchased at New Apple and Tim's on West Broadway, except corn in the late summer which for some reason always seems to be good and (relatively) cheap at Safeway. Tinned items are very reasonable as well in these smaller stores, and I always buy my Que Pasa stuff at NA.

              Deli/cheese/Mediterranean ingredients/dried herbs and spices: Parthenon

              Used to buy all my chicken at GIsle but there is a Benton's where my fave stall used to be. Have ended up cutting back drastically on it since I haven't found a good substitute locally.

              Considering checking out the soon-to-open No Frills coming in at 4th and Pine as that isn't too far out of the way for me. I'm not a fan of driving across town for staples/everyday stuff to save a few pennies as the gas and enviro impact seem to cancel out the benefits. I will drive a fair bit for baked goods as there is a dearth of solid bakeries near me.

              3 Replies
              1. re: grayelf

                I can only guess that new No Frills will be on the SE corner of 4 Ave/Pine, on the ground floor of the new condo bdlg ? It'll be a boon to local young 'uns & students !

                1. re: LotusRapper

                  The 4th & Pine NF is Now Open-a tad smaller than the Broadway store but same deals.

                  1. re: Sam Salmon

                    Thanks for confirming it is open in the bottom of the new condos, Sam. We drove by on the weekend and it still looked unready but that was at night.

              2. It sounds like many of us are doing the same thing, hitting up several stores on a weekly basis. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do everything in one stop!. I would even pay a bit more just for the knowledge that I will be able to get all my shopping done in one go.
                Isn't that what a Supermarket is supposed to be, a market with most everything. The reality is that while IGA, Safeway, Save On, and Superstore do have relatively good stock of the basics they are either pricier than their competitors or have crappy produce.
                Is it really too much to ask for a moderately priced store with good selection and quality.

                6 Replies
                1. re: delys77

                  "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do everything in one stop!."

                  Man, is it really that big of a deal to shop in a few places? I mean isn't that the mentality that created big box stores that put so many of the smaller specialty shops out of business?

                  I get it if you have to go all over town for what you want but most areas East or West have a nice selection of shops that will give you what you need and I for one enjoy walking a couple of blocks to get my veg and then meat etc.
                  Let's face it; the savvy shopper will look for the loss leaders at places like Safeway, stock up and go elsewhere for better values. The same applies to all the other chains.

                  1. re: eatrustic

                    It is more a question of time. Love to cook, and don't mind shopping but would rather spend less time running errands and more in the kitchen is all.

                    1. re: eatrustic

                      i like one-stop shopping

                      i found i spent WAY more money when multi-shopping

                      i agree it is fun to attend farmer market or go to Gran Island etc - but i see that more as "recreational / entertainment" money (eg - would i normally buy fancy baked goods for budget and dietary reasons? - no, but we do as a "treat" at the farmer market or the Baguette bakery on Gr Island)

                      overall - i go to two diff supermarkets (incl one IGA marketplace which are individually owned -- also i do buy some Pres Choice products for convenience and those are at Super Valu / Superstore

                      we don't use a lot of meat but i do go to a butcher for meat of all types sometimes.

                      we buy our eggs from a farmer and our BC fruit (cherries, apricots, apples, tomatoes) from the farmer we've known for 20 plus years.

                      we consciously do NOT buy BC berries at the supermarket because of the propane cannons out in the valley. We get ours from a small farm that does not use cannons/bird scare devices.

                      sometimes, for fun, i've darkened the doorway of Costco. Go with friend. Retail therapy (and then remorse later) Usually the products - tho good - end up going to waste because large amounts. I usually have buyer remorse knowing i bought far too much but impulse is tempting

                      i spend a lot of money on food - i like interesting food and have GREAT intentions (the cookbook shelf is calling me) then i clean out my fridge and realize i have not used the goods. I think there is a thread elsewhere on CH about wasting food. I'm guilty - tho the seagulls are fat and happy.

                      interesting topic, thanks to OP for asking

                      1. re: Georgia Strait


                        We too often find a good portion of our produce spending several quiet unperturbed days in our fridge crisper before moving on to the compost .....

                        1. re: LotusRapper

                          Ain't it the truth. Time to get a rabbit (for eating eventually of course).

                  2. I also live downtown. As a time-saving measure, I use Choices for day-to-day groceries, with a twice-monthly trip to each of Whole Foods and Costco. There are two of us, so we alternate the shopping duties. We might shop up to three trips in a week between the two of us, with each trip 15 minutes or less.
                    Are you able to do your Costco run once a month, or on a non-weekend day? I find that an hour before closing, mid-week is pretty quiet (but 15 min before closing is busy...) Cheese and cereal seem like "good keepers" to me, so able to purchase less frequently than, say, fresh fish or milk.