Grocery Store Guerra

So I hit up the grocery store last for the first time night after a week of being out of the country (Copenhagen/Barcelona), and half a week of being back. The pantry and the fridge were as empty as my stomach, and after avoiding stocking up prior to making use of my passport, the trip to the grocer was way overdue. I live spitting distance from a Kowalski’s, so I hopped down the sidewalk with a friend (we actually drove, frostbite didn’t sound too appetizing) and picked up just enough to throw together a chicken-mandarin orange salad.

My friend–with a knack for abbreviating everything (she was caught saying “o. m. geez louise” (short for ‘oh my god’) and “totes innapropes” (for ‘tottaly innapropriate’) last night…I covet her abilities, really)–thought that we were heading to Cub–she passes one on her way to my house. She also pointed out that her fave grocery store in the metro is Whole Foods and although it’s based out of Austin, TX, where she’s from, she mos def prefers an even more amaz local grocer in her area–Austin’s MB grocery post.

This got me thinking about what makes a grocery store better than another in the mind’s eye? Do the price differences really make an impact on the bottom line? Is it all about the image? You may think you’re saving money at Cub cause they have a scaled back appearance and big yellow signs all over that tout the sales, but perhaps you’re bill is only going to be about 20 cents cheaper. Or maybe you buy even more items (o.m.g! I thought I’d have 10 or less…), and your bill actually comes up higher…

When you start running out of goods, of course proximity helps manage your decision process, but is there ever something that clicks as you step out the front door that directs you slightly out of your way to pick up groceries? Go ahead, comment. It’s totes appropes. (I promise I won’t abbrev any more…after that one…)

8 Comments so far

  1. Justin (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 11:48 am

    And just to commit a major faux pas, I will comment first on my own post. I’m eating the salad leftovers right now for lunch. Utterly delish..ah..delicious.

  2. Hannah V. (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

    I am so going to Matt’s for lunch today (mmm jucy lucy…), but that sounds damned tasty. And considerably more healthy.

  3. justin (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Matts and the Juicy Lucy… I hear the 5-8 club has one too, but which is the original? And more importatntly…which is better? Maybe time to go do some research, can you write that off on your taxes??

  4. wildfan (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

    proximity matters big time…after work I go for convenience over price… Kowalski’s in Woodbury rocks my world…but I’m looking forward to the Woodbury Trader Joe’s opening.

    Matt’s Jucy Lucy is the original (no matter what other people might claim). And it is dang tasty. But I think the best one in town is at the The Nook in St. Paul (much better ingredients…but also a higher tab).

  5. Erica M (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 12:51 pm

    Proximity is the main factor for me. I hate to grocery shop/cook, so finding premium food items doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. I like the idea of shopping at Lunds over Rainbow, but my standards just aren’t that high, and Rainbow is closer. Although Lunds has a much better Haagen Dazs selection.

  6. James Norton (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

    I’ve already written up a post about Lunds for this blog, so you guys know where my heart is. Kowalski’s store-brand bakery still has crazy trans-fats (at least as of February) and shopping at Whole Foods is like being mugged by a hedge fund manager. Rainbow is my other nearby option, and ugh. I just find it kind of warehouse-y and depressing.

    My sleeper pick? Patel’s on Central in NorthEast. So much good Indian food, for not much money. I’ll have a post on spice-shopping locally in the next day or two, along these lines.

  7. Erica M (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    I just find it kind of warehouse-y and depressing.

    But that’s part of its charm! I swear there’s always an incident at Uptown Rainbow. Especially when you go at night. I think I go more for entertainment value than for grocery shopping.

  8. justin (unregistered) on April 5th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

    So true, James did post recently (very recently) and I failed to mention it. My bad! Check out the lowdown here:

    LOVE the sleeper pics. Too bad we can’t all be closer to the little guys. They need our help! On the same block as my Kowalski’s is a little corner store. Maybe I should stop in there for the easy stuff…they’re lookin’ kinda shabby.

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