How many places do you buy groceries at?
I currently shop at 2 different open air markets, 1 bakery and 2 small grocery stores near where I live weekly. Part of it I do for price/quality reasons, and part for preference (this bakery makes the best bread, etc.). I also live overseas where buying in bulk isn't something that provides the same kinds of discounts that it does in the US.
While I think this is a lot, even for where I'm based, I'm curious what other people's habits are for buying food.
My shopping is psychotic at best...in decreasing order:
Two major hypermarkets, with occasional purchases at a third (this is mostly geographically driven - if I'm going this direction, I shop at A, if I'm going that direction, I go to B, if I'm over there, it's C....sometimes it's driven by who's got what on sale this week.)
The overwhelming majority of my fruits and vegetables come from my local open air market.
Other items may come (price and/or availability) in any assortment at Lidl, a small ethnic grocery near me (which has great produce for fill-ins), or a smaller grocery chain. (these are usually driven by time/energy constraints)
There are 7 bakeries within walking distance, but we buy most of our bread from one of two favorites, depending on which one is open.
I, too, live abroad, and "one-stop shopping" means you sacrifice a lot of quality. When I was in the US, it was usually one major grocery chain, plus Costco, as the quality tends to be pretty much the same regardless of where you go (and there are no high-quality options for produce!)
When I lived in Ireland, I was the worst - I would shop in a loop that included 5/6 different groceries/stores as well as an open air market. The behavior followed me back to the US out of habit more so than whether or not it really achieved much. At least now that I'm back abroad, the habits seem a bit more normal - though I don't know too many people who go to both of the open air markets I do. Luckily I work near one and live near the other, so it's a bit more natural.
For me there also remains a fairly significant price difference based on some unique elements of being in Jerusalem. The Palestinian market in East Jerusalem has dramatically cheaper prices for produce - but I really only buy the sturdier produce and very in season items. The cheaper food are the very local/traditional items, and items such as packaged pasta are far more expensive. In the West Jerusalem open market, I get more delicate produce (herbs, greens) as well as things that aren't as much in season, along with packaged items. Finding the right quality/price system has taken a while - but at the moment I seem to have a system.
Here on the NJ Coast, there are four large supermarket chains within a couple of miles. In the course of a month, I probably go to at least two of them. The smallest is within walking distance and the one most commonly visited.
At one time or another, I have bought meats, fruits, vegetables, dry goods, etc., from such large markets, but I prefer not to. Instead I take advantage of two butcher shops, three fishmongers, a pair of Italian specialty shops, a health food store, a Mexican grocer, and several local farmers' markets. I go to the various places largely because of what each one carries even though it would be simpler to purchase everything from one place. Quality is the ultimate issue. Supporting small local businesses is similarly important.
All my meat comes from one CSA and most of my veggies come from another. Pick up for both is the same location. Meat monthly and veg weekly during the season. I shop at one major grocery store but will occassiobally hit others for sales,coupons, or convenience. I will go to other smaller ethnic markets or a specialty grocery for obscure/gourmet ingredients.
Most of our shopping expenditure is at one of two local supermarkets.
Other than that, we buy meat direct from the farm via the internet, use specialist local shops (like the fishmonger and cheesemonger), buy at the farmers market, occasionally use discount supermarkets (like Lidl) and buy "ethnic" products from "ethnic" shops.
2 supermarkets (1 company, 2 locations), Bi-weekly organic produce delivery, and occasionally Trader Joe's.
We have three main chain groceries in town. When the weekly adds change over on Tues. I check to see which one has the stuff on sale that we normally eat. And then I go there. Inevitably its at least two different stores combining the weekly specials. I rarely buy ANYTHING that is not on sale. Rarely can I just say "I feel like eating X" and go buy it. Everything has to be on sale or I can't afford it. But if you haunt the online adds, you can pretty much get what you want, just have to go to that store. I have no particular loyalty.
A butcher, three different markets (Kroger, Fresh Market and a local market, Ellwood Thompsons) and Costco.
• Western Supermarkets: 3 Marsh stores, 2 Kroger stores, 1 Safeway Foods store, 1 Fresh Market store, 1 Guanajuato Supermercado store.
• International supermarkets: Saraga International Market (pan-Asian/Hispanic largely, plus wet whole fish counter & live fish tanks &etc); International Bazaar (Indian subcontinent/Middle Eastern [Western Asian] largely).
• Non-Western groceries: Asiamart (Chinese/Eastern Asian/SE Asian; it also has large tanks of live fish), Van Fish Market (Vietnamese, plus wet fish counter), Lee Supermarket (East/SE Asian, Filipino).
• Open air or Farmers' Markets: Broad Ripple (spring-fall), Carmel (spring-fall), City Market (winter), the Barn at Traders Point Creamery (winter).
• Dedicated butcher: Kincaid's Meat Market.
• Bakery: Rene's Bakery for special stuff. (I don't eat much baked goods at all and bread, for one, RARELY crosses my lips except in a Western restaurant scenario. I usually don't eat bread at home). Maybe a couple of times a year I buy a loaf from the specialty German baker at the Farmer's Market - then maybe eat a slice - or just throw out the whole loaf untouched 2 weeks later.
• Coffee beans (ground): 2 Starbucks stores, 1 Hubbard & Cravens store.
• Miscellaneous Internet stuff: e.g. Vanilla beans, Red Boat fish sauce, French/Spanish olive oils, certain balsamic vinegars, certain sea salts/flor de sal or fleur de sel, etc.
Fresh veggies can come from *all* of the places in the first four categories in varying amounts, with most coming from a smaller subset. The dedicated butcher is for specific things.
I'm sure I'm missing a few more places...
Seeing Jpan99's post below made me realize I left out Trader Joe's - which I rarely go to and which I don't normally think of when I go "shopping". Trader Joe's is NOT a place I "automatically think of". Not in the least. Nuh Uh.
ETA: Oh yes, fresh pasta & fresh mozzarella from Nicole-Taylor's, when I don't get them from the Farmer's Markets when they have a stall there.
ETA2: I assume wine/liquor stores are not included in this "survey". :-)
I have one supermarket that I do the majority of my shopping in, but I am guided buy what's on sale. However, I'm in a good location so within a three mile radius of home I have 5 major super markets, Whole Foods & Trader Joes. I shop at all of them. I also like another supermarket that's a 20 minute drive but their prices are amazing so I go once or twice a month and stock up on bargains like Thomas' English muffins for $1.50. Get most of my fruits and veggies at a local farm stand. Another farm stand that's more expensive but they grow a lot of their own so I buy those in the summer.
I walk to a small market for all my salad greens and vegetables @ least 3 times a week. I also purchase my meat, when we eat it, here. On Sundays we walk to our farmer's market for the same.
I walk to the cheese shop for all my cheese(s) and olive oil and a variety of other items they make and their fresh baguettes.
I drive to a shop for my roasted coffee beans, purchasing them in half #bags, once a week.
I drive to the fishmonger for my fresh fish.
For other staples I drive every other day to another market.
For bakery goods I try different places depending on how much I want to fight traffic.
For staples I have a couple grocery stores nearby and a fruit stand on my corner, though I tend to buy most of my produce from the farmer's market. For Asian groceries and fish, I go either to a local Japanese shop or travel to the Chinese supermarket weekly with sporadic trips to the Indo-Pak market or the Filipino store as needed. For bread and Arabic groceries, I go to Brooklyn once every couple weeks and do a major visit to Costco and the Spanish butcher once a quarter or so. In all, I'd say an average shopping month incorporates groceries from 6 different stores with the number increasing for special occasions or if I'm trying to be cost conscious.
Ok, here we go-- (I live in Brooklyn [Bensonhurst], for the record)
fruits, vegetables, most seafood and eggs at the Farmer's market--usually Union Square on my lunch break. There's an asian produce stand at the corner of my street at home where I'll grab stuff like garlic, onions, lemons, etc if I'm cooking and suddenly realize I need something.
Fresh mozzarella (a weekly purchase for me) from Lioni's on 15th avenue
Fresh pasta from Papa Pasquale, also on 15th avenue
Most of my meats from Faicco's, especially sauage.
Bari Pork store or Frank and Sal's on 18th ave are both on my way home, and I'll go there if I need something for that night; I don't get home till 5:30 so it's tricky for me to get to any Italian market on a weeknight that isn't a stone's throw away from my apartment; luckily these are right near me.
LaBella on 13th avenue--half the store is Italian half is regular American products. Good for bigger shopping trips, and they're open later in the evening. Good for pizza dough, cans of tomatoes, nice fish counter, too
hummus, labne, nuts, grains etc at Sahadi's
Trader Joe's for just about everything else (cereal, chocolate, sometimes I'll get eggs or salad greens there if I haven't had a chance to get to the farmer's market)
If I'm visiting family on Staten Island I'll stop at Gerardi's for produce; good quality and good prices.
Ditto the Pastosa in Staten Island on Richmond Avenue--GREAT store with lots of hard to find Italian products, and super nice people. I like it way better than the Brooklyn store.
Bread and baked goods I get from Villabate during the week, since it's around the corner from my house, and it's good and fresh, but often we'll got to il Fornaretto on the weekends, sometimes to Sal and Jerry's, too.
Various Jewish bakeries for rye, challah, etc
Really we just love to go to food markets.
Mostly from Trader Joe's and a Korean produce store down the block, plus a grocery store across the street carrying national brands to fill in TJ's gaps. (Corn meal, for example.) Sometimes, when I don't need much or am feeling lazy, the food store in the ground floor of my apartment building, which is mainly organic but pricey. I keep it simple.
Funny, my beautiful wife asked the same question this morning.
I do 90% of my shopping @ BJ's (the wharehouse store). I buy most of my bulk items, beverages, meats, cheeses, coffee and some produce in the Winter.
I buy local produce @ the farm stands during the season.
Otherwise, the small supermarket chain "Best Yet" which has great produce. I also buy meat there when there is a sale and milk, ice cream, bread etc. stuff we don't use in large quantities.
In a month:
Once a week, sometimes every other week – Alice Bakery breads and goodies (baguettes are terriffic and the gorgonzola rolls or gouda rolls, delicous! the sea salt rolls are wonderful and his sticky buns are out of this world good)
Once a week 1 or 2 Farmers Markets – in season, produce Skippack Farmers Market and Lansdale Farmers Market
Once a week (sometimes more) Chain Grocery Store – dry goods (Acme) (occasional meat purchases here)
Once a week (sometimes more) 2 farm stores – Merry Mead milk
Hendricks, chicken, pork/eggs (sometimes for cured meats and cheeses, because they have a delicious selection)
Quarterly - Tussock Sedge Farm for beef
One local independent supermarket 3x week for meat, deli, bread and 'sale' items.
One Major regional chain once per week for my mother's entire order
Same store every 10 days for our basic groceries and frozen foods
One off-price regional supermarket chain once each week for produce, milk, eggs and orange juice. (Their everyday price for XL grade a eggs and Tropicana OJ are 50% of the other area stores).
Once per month at a regional major supermarket chain to shop their advertised frozen and canned specials.
Once every 8-10 weeks I drive to Massachusetts for a major shopping at Market Basket, a chain with 40-50% savings over my area and great service and selectgion.
Once per week this time a year at our local farmer's market.
We belong to Costco, as well, but don't buy groceries there.
I really do admire the Southern European way of shopping for only one or two meals at a time. The idea of a huge side by side fridge and another freezer in the basement is total fantasy for most Europeans.
Unfortunately we don't have the type of public markets you will find in Spain, Portugal or Italy where you can get everything fresh under one roof.
One afternoon I went out on my moped to buy food for dinner. "Best Yet" supermarket for hangar steak which was on sale. Bakery (now out of business) for a nice baguette. Farm stand for corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers and spinach. Modern snack bar for some delicious pie. My basket was full and I rode home at a blazing 30 MPH. Life is good!!
Keep in mind, though, that shopping every day or two was borne of a time when Mom didn't work -- shopping every day or two is difficult when both partners work and the kids have a full schedule -- remember that the stores are only open until 9:30 in the major cities, and the sidewalks are rolled up by 7;30-8 in the smaller towns.
And the appliances are smaller not only because the houses are smaller, but because electricity is bluddy expensive -- so not having an enormous refrigerator in the house is more from external constraints and not because nobody wants one.
Remember that the shade of green observed from your side of the fence might not look the same once you step to the other side.
(ETA: Harters, the French still shop on Wednesdays...because lots of moms have Wednesday off because public schools don't have classes on Wednesdays. That changes this year, though, so it will be interesting to see what happens -- they'll have a half-day of school on Wednesday morning, and all day Saturday off.)
I wonder how much the price of food has to do in Jeruslaem, but I primarily shop throughout the week for meals. Over the weekends I'll make a few slow cook items that I can use in a variety of ways throughout the week - but I do buy groceries throughout the week to compliment meals. There aren't really sales for items like yogurt/cottage cheese - so there's no motivation to buy that in bulk.
Also while Jerusalem has two primary large open air markets (for produce, but also dairy, meats, staples, everything) - just about every neighborhood has its own local green grocer. So even if the produce is a bit more expensive than the large markets, it's really easy to pick up a few fresh items for a specific meal.
In the Los Angeles area 3, mainly Costco, Smart and final(not for meat), and ocassionally Sams. Almost never at Vons, Ralphs, and Albertsons as their prices are ridiculous.
Hmm... Now that I think about it, I go to more places than I thought!
My regular stops (at least 1x every 2 weeks):
TJ for cereals, granola, snacks, cheese, and some of their frozen meals
A&P for sodas, some grocery items not at TJs
Target for cleaning products, some groceries
Stew Leonard (local chain specializing in dairy, produce and meats)
My occasional stops (once every 2-3 months):
local farmer's markets
bakeries, pork stores, and cheese shops on Arthur Ave
Penzey's (for spices)
Rare, "if I'm in the area" places:
You live near me. I am in TJ's at least once a week plus one of the other places mentioned. It just depends which direction I am going in.
TJ's for snacks, OJ with calcium (my son is very particular about his oj!), sometimes milk (when I can't get to Stew Leonards), other various items.
Stop & Shop -- various grocery items...they usually have good sales.
Target -- also for cleaning supplies, some groceries, frozen foods
Stew Leonard's for milk, produce, and whatever else I happen to see there on a given day
Costco -- maybe twice a month for paper towels, tissues, cereal, grapes, and a few other items that get there regularly. I happen to think their meat is good.
Sometimes other chains (Shop-Rite, A&P if they have Diet Coke on sale)
We dropped our Costco membership a few years back... It never worked out for us. Cleaning supplies and paper goods are almost always cheaper at Target.
Stop and Shop does have good sales, but the one closest to me is small, and I always feel like I'm overspending on non-sale items there. And the Super Stop and Shops in WP or Cross County are always so crowded.
TJs also always has Fage yogurt at $1.49... I've seen it for as much as $2.09 at other places!
We shop weekly at 1 supermarket (local chain), Trader Joe's, and a local Italian salumeria. Occasionally we buy meat and seafood from a farm where we get our weekly vegetable CSA, but most of our meat comes from a farm several miles away to which we go about once a month. Rarely do we need to shop more than these weekly outings.
I love grocery shopping and grocery stores so while I shop at my local markets weekly. I also shop at Phoenicia (a mediterranean halah market), Whole Foods, Central Market, Spec's Downtown, Revival Market, Mi Tienda (a hispanic market) and Sam's where I stock up on items that are either a lot less money or I can't find at my local markets.
Farmers' market (year-round) for vegetables, fruit, eggs. Nearby large, independent market with large and good produce and bulk food section for supermarket items, supplemental produce, fish and poultry, etc. Trader Joe's every so often, ditto a shop where I buy fresh pasta (large selection of ravioli), and various markets for particular kinds of ingredients (Indian, Chinese, etc.).
and when I am out in the boondocks
nearest Whole Foods is a pretty long drive.
On a regular weekly basis, one. We only have one near our house, King Soopers. The next closest store is another King Soopers. If they have good sales, I will go to Sunflower since there's one near my work. Also there's a few things I buy at Target if I'm there, like my Fiber Bars and Lactaid milk since they're cheaper there than at King Soopers. We go to Costco every 4-6 weeks, but it's about a 30-45 minute drive to get there.
They're opening a Trader Joe's over in Boulder, so I'm sure I'll make monthly trips there, but that's almost an hour away. There's also a mexican supermarket about 20 minutes away that I might try out, to see what their meat prices look like.
I shop at different places depending on what I need, but absolutely do NOT go from market to market on the same day. I base where I'm going to shop on what I need at the moment. Am not into wasting time on shopping marathons.
For most non-seafood purchases, I shop at Walmart. They have the best prices for paper goods like aluminum foil, trash bags, etc. Also Purdue chicken products, Shady Brook Farms turkey products, fresh goat cheese (& other cheeses), dairy products, Alpo & dog Milkbone dog biscuits, etc., etc.
For seafood & produce, I hit our local Martins (a subsidiary of Giant). They always have something good in the seafood department, & their produce is varied & stellar in quality.
On Saturdays, I always stop by a local little artisinal/gourmet butcher shop that carries the most wonderful homemade baguettes on the planet. HAVE to buy at least one, as their freshness attests to the fact that they last & don't turn into rocks within 24 hours. I also buy their store-made chicken sausages (Honey Chipotle, Red Wine & Garlic, etc. - always a new &/or interesting selection).
Saturday & Wednesday mornings in season (approx. April thru Oct.) we have two farmers markets, so that's where I buy most of my spring/summer/fall produce.
About once a month I hit Costco for toilet paper, paper towels, & other bulk items we really enjoy from there that we use regularly (their own brand of marinara sauce, wines, cat litter, extra-virgin olive oil, marinated olives, cheeses, etc., etc.).
Just an aside...a baguette lasting a long time isn't necessarily a good thing -- in France, you can buy a baguette for lunch so hot from the oven that you're almost juggling it...but by dinner, it will have started to go stale. Edible, but not really fresh. (dinner baguettes are usually split and toasted for breakfast the next morning)
Now I am too. Normally when I buy a supermarket baguette (or even - sakes preserve us - make them myself), it's a trial to use them for anything other than French Onion Soup "croutons", salad croutons, or crisp crostini after Day 1.
I didn't stop by there today as I normally do, but next time I'll definitely try to wheedle some info out of them. As for pics, they really don't look any different than a normal baguette
<in France, you can buy a baguette for lunch so hot from the oven that you're almost juggling it...but by dinner, it will have started to go stale>
Exactly. In this country, unless you're there to purchase it right out of the oven, we buy it 3-5 hours old and by dinner it's stale. The bakeries bake it one time/day and forget using it the next day unless it's toasted, like you say. Then...there is such a wide variety of baguettes it takes some time finding the good baker who's taken years to learn how to make fabulous bread. It's a great talent and there is nothing quite like a hot baguette, a piece of great cheese and a bottle of wine.
Odd, that - unless the stores were far apart and you really do not want several different things best bought from different places when shopping.
I myself sometimes do a "shopping run" where I might hit the International Market (Saraga) [for various stuff], then a Vietnamese market (Van's) [for other stuff, including Tau Fu Far when they have it], then the Indian/Pakistani market [e.g. for basmati rice and fresh samosas and sundries], then the Spanish megamarket (Guanajuato Supermercado) [e.g. for limes@8-20/$1, or chicken legs/short ribs/etc at very good prices, or freshly made tamales etc] - all together within a mile.
Everywhere but Walmart. One highway alone allows for me to stop at 8 markets. I also shop for many special items online or when special items are seasonal. I shop in 5 states besides the two I live in. Countless.
Two supermarkets weekly. We have NO bakeries and NO specialty food stores at all. So, when we drive to the city each month we go to the following:
- Italian store
- Latino store
- Lebanese store
- Gluten-free stores (for me)
- Asian store
- huge farmer's markets
I must add that I grow as much produce as possible.
1) the supermarket 3 blocks away is where i buy most of my daily items, but some things they don't seem to have - their largest jar of peanut butter is the medium size jar, sometimes they only have small jars and the mini's.
2) the supermarket 6 blocks away has a larger selection of many items, but for the most part not worth the slightly higher prices and i'd rather support the local business market.
3) the big box store of preference once a month or so. the vast majority of my canned goods as well as some freezer items invariably come from here.
4) there is a very good farmer's market only a couple of miles away open only on saturday mornings, but the prices are so much higher (2 - 3 times the supermarket prices) that while i love to wander and browse, i rarely buy.
I used to only go to one in Massachusetts--good ol' Market Basket and shop at various bakeries for baked treats. However, I'm in the military now, far from an area that has great little mom and pop bakeries so I buy most of my meat and toiletries at the military commissary, then buy fruits and veggies and the rest at Kroger. I do miss the fishmongers and quality butchers up north. :(
Default grocery shopping is done at the local traditional market (if we wake up early enough on the weekend), with a stop by a bakery for bread, and the 7-11 for milk, neither of which the traditional market carries. Generally once a week.
About once a month, on average, at a Western style grocery store, for things that you can't get at the traditional market - canned goods, cheese, cream, ice cream, alcohol, imported condiments, pickles and olives, flour, sugar, butter, spices. Plus stuff like shampoo, toothpaste, tissues, etc.
Every couple of months to Costco, for coffee, canned tomatoes, Western style sausages and bacon, breakfast cereal, dried pasta, olive oil, parmesan, feta, mouthwash, and a few other things like that.
At random intervals to the baking supply shop (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, yeast), the high end specialty stores (imported stuff and luxury stuff) , and the Indian food shop (dried chick-peas and lentils, spices).
in the suburbs not a whole lot of bakery optons so in the summer I go to a local farmers market for most items including the best ice cream I have ever had.
yearly supermarkets - wegmans most weeks when very good sales or desparte (locaton) giant/safeway. Occasionally - Harris Teeter in off farmer market also go to whole foods for flavored oil - get at the farmers market until October this year she will have a place in a local store yeah! Also go to a local asian grocery and an Indian spice store oh and we have a penzies store in the area hit that two or three times a year - just found a farmers market in the area open year round will try that - lastly for seafood alternate between Wegmans and going down to the waterfront but that is a 45 minute to hour drive so not as often
I would say we spend 75% of our grocery budget at Costco, which is my main supplier for meat, cheese, milk, eggs, nuts and standard vegetables (peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, etc.). I have four local chain grocery stores and a nice produce market within walking distance of my apartment, so I check their circulars for deals and buy the things that I can't get at Costco or only need in small quantities at any one of those stores. Generally the produce market has the best and cheapest produce (and the most interesting selection), and I buy anything else I need at the store that has the best price on it at the time. I also go to a large Asian market for Asian pantry staples, and hit either a dedicated cheese shop or Fairway/Zabars in Manhattan for olives, special cheeses and other "gourmet" ingredients, every couple of months or so. We are a low-carb household so I have no regular need of baked goods. When we want bread or any other baked good, I make it myself 99% of the time.
- Wegmans for most "regular" things (including fresh fish/meats/cheese/veggies, etc.)
- the various local farmer's markets in the area for seasonal veggies, local meat, fresh trout
- a local bakery for the occasional loaf of boule or ciabatta
- a local dairy for their milk (the skim is a-mazing!)
- an Asian store for ... Asian stuff. duh.
- a supermarket nearby for staples -- milk, eggs, cheese, cold cuts, trout caviar :-)
- various weekly markets for local cheeses, meats, veggies, smoked fish
- specialty stores (Italian, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, French) for special things
We shop for dinner pretty much every single day, tho, regardless of whether we are in the US or in Germany. I don't plan ahead very far, and like to make whatever strikes my fancy that day.
Usually about three, with a few items coming from Costco, but not that often.
We are very eclectic with our grocery shopping, so end up mainly at a local "boutique grocery," and then spreading the balance between two chains, for other items.
Farmers Market, Costco, occasionally a super market (first page sales item only). Fish Monger, Meat Purveyor.
I use four local supermarkets depending upon what I need: A&P, Pathmark Stop n Shop and small local supermarket. Also a huge Korean H Mart for inexpensive and high quality produce and fish, and sometimes steaks and hard to find meat like goat and rabbit. A Japanese market and two Chinese markets. Rarely Trader Joes, Stew Leonards, and Whole Foods. For the best steaks, cheese, and deli stuff I go to Fairway. (Earlier this week they had prime rib steals at $9.99 lb. and it was one of the top five steaks I have had in my life.) If the were both close by I would do all my shopping split between Fairway and H Mart.
For us, it's mostly a split between Publix and Fresh Market, with a few things picked up at World Market. (I like World Market's simmer sauces for when no one really feels like cooking.)
I get groceries in a lot of different places...
I buy most staples from Walmart. We don't have Trader Joe's or Costco's or anything, just Walmart and Kroger. Kroger is often way too expensive on many things and their selection isn't very good. They can't seem to label their produce correctly, their ethnic food is practically non-existent, half the time they magically manage to be out of whatever I went there for, and prices are all over the map. $150 of groceries at Walmart would be about $225 at Kroger, and times are hard on the boulevard, so I buy most of the not so perishable staples at Walmart or Sam's Club once every few weeks (canned food, boxed food, oatmeal, almond milk, rice, beans, stock, cheese, butter, olive oil, trash bags, foil, etc.)
Then in between those trips I'll shop at Kroger, the Asian, Mexican, and Indian stores, farmers' markets, and even Big Lots. I buy nearly all my spices at the Mexican and Indian stores because they have much better selection, they sell unground spices, and the prices are often several times cheaper. The Mexican store (Guanajuato) is pretty large, and they have a nice butcher shop and produce section so I buy a lot of that stuff there as well. I'm about 2 miles from Kroger so I stop there frequently to get things for a particular meal or highly perishable things like bananas. I don't buy a lot of perishable stuff at Walmart because I'll end up throwing a lot of it away. If they have good manager specials on produce or meat I'll hit those up as well. Big Lots has a lot of brand name stuff for really cheap, usually stuff where the packaging has changed, a limited time flavor is being phased out, etc. They also sell a lot of good ethnic stuff that you might not find in regular grocery stores.
I also grow a lot of food that gets frozen, pickled, canned, or dehydrated for the winter. I pick some wild stuff too (berries, mushrooms, purslane, paw paws, wild leeks, etc.) In the winter I bring herbs inside and keep them next to a large south-facing window with supplemental light from a 400 watt light so I don't have to buy many fresh herbs in the winter either. I mostly just buy parsley and cilantro since they're dirt cheap anyway, it's not worth the space for those in the winter.
We live in the mountains of Western North Carolina so don't have the city options readily available to others. There are two chains represented here, and I use both, although one has an extra 5% off for geezers on Wednesday so they get the lion's share of my business, on Wednesday. We have a decent farmer's market on Saturday but I seldom drag myself out there early Saturday morning. We have a good bakery and I sometimes get bread from him. Coffee and nuts and similar come from a local health food store. We are just now finally getting a super Wal mart, so we'll see how that affects our shopping when it opens. Our area also has lots of farm stands so they provide an option during the growing season.
My main shopping of interest is occasional trips to Atlanta where there are tons of great, huge, Asian and other stores. I stock up on what I can during those trips. I also have a Restaurant Depot card so hit that sometimes when in Atlanta, as well as Costco.
Supermarket (Market Basket) ,weekly
Trader Joe's, weekly
CSA share w a pal, every other week
My garden, daily
Whole foods, monthly
I shop at many places. I don't own a car and bike everywhere so parking is never an issue. I shop anywhere from 3-5 times a week. Closest grocery store is pretty decent, it has most things at a reasonable price, but in particular it often has meet 20-50% off, so I buy when cheap and freeze. They also have boxes of just slightly overripe produce for $1-2. We also know the best prices of things, so when tofu or green onions are $0.68 we will buy there, and but if they are $0.98 or more then they can be bought anywhere.
We go to an open air market once a month, and an indoor permanent farmers market once a week for specific vegetables. They have the best onion and western vegetable prices. When i pass the デパ-ト downtown I will stop in to buy lettuce as they often have 2 heads for $1.00, but everything else is expensive. We go to another store once a week or so to stock up on dry goods as its by far the cheapest for that. Then there are any other store we are passing or near, we know all prices so if something is good value when we stop in we will pick it up.
Basically 1 main store, 1 main farmers market, and 4-5 other stores we stop in at once a week. That does not include bakeries, and soaps/detergents we buy at the pharmacy as its much cheaper.
nice, i wish the cilantro here was cheaper but it isn't, and no Chinese grocery stores unfortunately. Basil is expensive here as well, but i just bought a few plants and stuck them on my balcony so I am fine there, should do the same with cilantro really.
I use a lot of green onions so that cheap is nice. I use at least 3 onions a day just for tofu and then if my fiancee also has tofu or if we use them for anything else then its more.
Let's see -
I have nowadays enough time to shop at different places. I cook whatever strikes my fancy that day (or husband asks for). That would be at
a local year around Farmer's Market, includes fish monger and Sushi place
my German butcher
Samaha farm once a week during the Summer for the very best local Peaches and Tomatoes (also Squash blossoms), really cheap, fresh local veggies, Mozzarella, etc.
once in a blue moon King's Super market.