Weekend Question Thread

A couple of years back Mr. A and I noticed we’d make a big trip to the grocery store on payday, stock up, and then throughout the next two weeks … not eat the food we’d bought but eat other food instead. So we decided to try shopping every couple of days, thinking we’d be able to buy more fresh fruits and veggies then and generally behave better about actually eating what we brought home.

You know why that didn’t work? Because I fucking HATE grocery shopping. I hate lines, crowds, stupid people, and hassles. If I wasn’t such a control freak who had to look at every apple or what have you, I’d order online from one of those delivery service things so I never had to see another human. Yes, I’m aware this isn’t the healthiest way to look at the world, and is also a First World Problem. The farmer’s market in the summer makes this better but I still have to get coffee and toilet paper from someplace.

So how do you shop? And if you use a CSA or delivery service like Peapod, is there a big price differential that would prevent me from just biting the bullet and doing it? Because every time I get to the line in the store I’m behind somebody who hasn’t been out of his house in 20 years and has NO IDEA what this scorcery wtih the debit card thing is, and it makes me stabby, and perversely, hungry, which is why all these Snickers bars come home with me.

A.

19 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. merciless says:

    I hate crowded grocery stores, too. I solved the problem by going very early in the morning. Even Saturday morning, if you go before 8 or so, is much better than your average Saturday afternoon.
    Being nearly alone in a grocery store is an eerie and wonderful feeling. Also, list.

  2. Dr A says:

    I agree with merciless-early morning is best; also I have found the stores pretty empty during sporting events. I also tend to go the check out counter that is farthest away from the door or where you are funneled to check out.
    And of course, I park as far away as possible to avoid that mess too!

  3. iceblue2 says:

    My local grocery store stays open until 1AM and being a night person, I’m perfectly fine going after 11. I never do a walk around the whole store and browse kind of shopping because I really hate it. I know what I am going in for, know where it’s located, and I get in, go to the self-checkout, and get out. We don’t have a delivery service that I know of, but that would be nice, especially if you are sick.

  4. MichaelF says:

    Over the last year I’ve done the farmer’s market, but that can get frustrating (mall walkers). I like the wine store, and not just for the wine — the people there are nice and pleasantly unpretentious for wine store people.
    Also go to Whole Foods — yeah, yeah, designer food, but that’s for beer and produce mostly. And the store I hit for the rest of the stuff I consume (meat, fish, catfood, cleaning supplies, etc.) is relatively uncrowded. There’s a Wal-Mart across the street, and I guess most folks shop there.
    I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, but I do a lot of my own cooking, and as far as shopping goes, I prefer shopping for wine, beer, and food — and in that order, it seems — than, say, clothes or other commodities.

  5. Athenae says:

    One of the only good things about where we used to live was this 24-hour Dominick’s that was near this executive mansion subdivision, so the place was like a fucking palace and we’d go at 2 a.m. I mean there was CARPET in there was how nice it was.
    A.

  6. thebewilderness says:

    I go to Costco once a month, mainly for the dog and cat food, dried fruit, Biscotti, and Kalamata olives.
    For everything else I go once a week to the local grocery.
    Early on weekdays, Tuesday is best, so the working people can have the coming home from work and weekend time to shop.
    I used to shop when I got off, working swing shift. There were only a couple stores open that late but they were nearly empty, and they very much liked having me there in uniform.

  7. merciless says:

    That’s a good idea, A.–spend the extra buck on gas and go to the store in the nicest neighborhood in town.
    Also, if you want to know what the zombie apocalypse would feel like, go to any Walmart on the Friday after Thanksgiving, at about 9 pm. The place is deserted, flotsam and jetsam everywhere, and the employees are so exhausted that they really do look like they might eat you.

  8. adrastos says:

    Our local chain, Rouse’s, makes making groceries a snap. They almost always have enough checkers working so that pile ups are rare. I like grocery shopping, actually.

  9. Jude says:

    I live across the street from a grocery store. I fucking rule. That is all.
    Also Hobbes.

  10. pansypoo says:

    yes. later, w/ a list. w/ purpose. get specials. get what i need. FAST FAST FAST. how i do estate sales too,

  11. MichaelF says:

    Rouse’s announced they’re opening a store up here, Adrastos…and yeah, I’m looking forward to it. Same with Costco.
    Even though they’ll be a little out of the way, I should be able to make the time on Saturdays. BR traffic goes from appalling to merely terrible on the weekend.

  12. FeralLiberal says:

    As the primary cook at Chez Feral, I do the grocery shopping. And cheap as I am (I prefer Frugal) I shop on Weds which is double coupon day and get something free almost every week. I stock up on what’s on sale and plan my menus around that. I’ve cut our grocery bill by about 30% that way.
    Tip – buy shampoo, detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. when on sale and with coupon if you need it or not. Stock up when it’s cheap, and you don’t get ripped off when you pay whatever because you’re out.

  13. I shop every day or every other day, mostly because I hate to waste food and I never know what I or the husband will be in the mood for that day, dinner-wise. Too often I’ve tried to plan ahead and invariably something comes up or someone had a big lunch or I don’t feel like cooking and then I never get around to cooking that dish.
    Whole Foods is just down the street so it’s not a big deal.
    I don’t belong to a CSA because there are only like 3 kinds of vegetables the husband will eat. We do have a local/organic co-op, you shop their market on-line and they deliver twice a week to a church nearby and you pick it up. It’s great, the produce is awesome, but it’s incredibly expensive. On the plus side, they have local/organic cheese, meats, poultry, artisan breads, etc. I still have a balance on my account there but haven’t ordered yet this year.

  14. Ditto merciless and the rest who say early morning shopping is best: I’m usually there around 8:30 am. Afternoons are impossible. Ditto FeralLiberal on buying beaucoups of stuff when it’s on sale. And ditto wilderness on CostCo for cat food and dog food.
    I used to buy meats at CostCo and freeze them, but lately the beef has been kinda dry. So I just get the organic chicken breast packets, those are great. Toss ’em in the freezer and when you need one, you tear it off and defrost.

  15. Sandia Blanca says:

    Forgot to answer your price question. Yes, there’s a mark-up, but one of the nice things about shopping online is you can see what your total will be as you go. That makes it easier to stick to a budget (I add or delete to keep my total where I want it).

  16. thebewilderness says:

    I buy shampoo, vitamins, and that sort of thing from Iherb on line. They are very good and excellent.

  17. Kaleberg says:

    We actually like grocery shopping, so we do a lot of it. We shop at the farmers’ market weekly, but our mainstay is the local Safeway. The former gets rather spare during the winter, but you can always find root vegetables, local cheese and local meat. The latter, the Safeway is pretty efficiently run, so we do a lot of our shopping there. We also shop at a number of local “organic” food stores. One started as a farm stand and turned into a full service grocery with excellent meat, chicken and fish, as well as produce. They even have frozen rabbits. Another is an actual farm stand run by a local farmer, but turning into an actual store. The third started as a health food store, but is now stocking meat, fish, produce and the like. There’s also another local supermarket which is not as nice as the Safeway, but they sell much better fish. They just had a great Alaskan halibut sale, so we stocked up and filled the freezer.
    We also shop online now and then, particularly at Amazon (bulk spices and olives) and Kalustyan’s which has the really exotic stuff like black quinoa, dried limes, candlenuts and the like. There’s also Heritage Foods which has great pork, lamb and fantastic heritage breed turkeys. Catalina OP for amazing sushi grade seafood.
    Given our tastes, we probably do a lot more shopping than we need to. It’s the old thrill of the chase.

  18. gpb says:

    I love to cook, but I’m not fond of grocery stories, either. For us it’s Peapod, every week or so for the past 7 years. I have a few local ethnic grocers I go to for fresh veggies at a good price, but for the most part, it’s Peapod all the way. If you shop the sale pages you won’t spend any more $$ than you would at a grocery store. And the quality is better than the average grocery stores around here. Plus as a steady long-term customer, I get the occasional free delivery and special discounts.

  19. gpb says:

    Also, I forgot to add: We live on a third floor walk-up. It’s worth every penny of the delivery fee to have someone else lug a week’s worth of groceries up the stairs for you.

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