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Where do you buy your food, and why?

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
33,353
Autumnovember's thread about Whole Foods got me curious.
I wonder if anyone still goes to one supermarket for everything.

I go to four places:

30% Trader Joes Growth-Hormone-free dairy, cheese, wine, hummus, dried fruits, nuts, munchies, occasional chocolate or ice cream
30% Costco Fresh bread, rotisserie chicken, meat, fish, fruit juice, cheese, some produce, cleaning supplies and paper products
30% Buy Low A small super inexpensive local chain catering to Mexicans immigrants for dirt-cheap fresh produce and meat
10% Smart and Final Iris Staples like 50 lb bag of popcorn, 25 lb bag of pinto beans or brown rice
0% Big chain Supermarkets - too expensive, too corporate, too big; besides, I'm suspicious of apples the size of grapefruits.

We buy nothing with a brand name from the big food companies like General Mills, Frito Lay, Nestle's, Pillsbury, Kellogg's etc.
It's not a boycott.
I just perceive I get better quality cheaper from smaller companies and I'm not paying extra for huge advertising campaigns, or being manipulated by the whole brand-recognition thing.

People vary.
My choices only apply to me.
There are no right or wrong answers here.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 21, 2010
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5,535
Re: Where do you buy your food?

30% - Trader Joe's
30% - Vitality (local natural/health food store)
30% - Bravo (local supermarket)
8% - various drugstores (mostly paper products)
2% - fresh produce street vendors
 

cookies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
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706
80% Whole Foods -- they have a large selection of organic food. We tend to get everything there.
10% Trader Joe's -- their frozen food section is excellent. Love their Mochi ice cream.The store in our area is relatively small, so we still need to go to Whole Foods to get the food we cannot find in Trader Joe's.
10% local Farmer's Market -- I love their organic and ripe watermelons in the summer. Their organic fresh vegetables, when available, are also great!

We also have Wegman's in the area, but it is huge (about 3-4 times the size of Whole Foods!) and really crowded on weekends. We went there only once, and got exhausted after going through about 1/3 of the store. :nono:
 

vc10um

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2009
Messages
6,006
Here's our breakdown:

40% Trader Joe's. I get a little bit of everything from there. Meat, bread, cheese, frozen items, wine...
20% Washington's Green Grocer. Produce delivery service. We get a 12-15 pound box of organic produce delivered once a week, most is local, or as local as they can get (except the bananas!)...
25% Whole Foods. Our fish, any additional produce, milk (they're best in town for my husband's Lacaid milk!), paper goods (DH likes the recycled papergoods and I don't mind them), cleaning products...
15% Target and/or Safeway. Things from brand name producers that we love: granola bars, cereal, particular Lean Cuisines for days when I'm in a pinch, Target has the best prices on Fage Greek Yogurt, and prezel M&Ms (which we really can't live without!)
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
40% trader joes. Milk, eggs, dairy, some fruit and veg, wine and some meat and fish. I haven't found any TJ bread I like.

40% supermarket - an independent grocer right near us. They have great deals on fruit. Also buy some meat and name brand products that I prefer (like Barilla pasta).

20% Costco - beer, wine, household items, bread and meat. We buy a lot and freeze it and don't have to go back for weeks. Costco meat is the best.
 

oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
2,264
75%- HEB... this is our Texas grocery chain and their selections/prices are much better than any other chain stores
15%- Target... its closer than HEB so I'll run in for a couple of items once in a while.
10%- Sprouts... these are in several states I think ,but for those who don't know, its like a Whole Foods mixed with a small town grocer. They always have great prices on staples like bulk cheese, produce, meat, and bulk bin items.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
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4,414
I live in the country so I go to more local stores, Krogers 70%, Meijer 29%, Carnival foods 1%
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
almost 100% Winco. The only exception to that is during the summer when all the fresh produce stands are in service :appl: I miss my hometown ;( There it would be local co-op, full of organic, exotic, healthy foods. There is nothing like that around here and so Winco comes the closest. Hopefully we'll have a whole foods directly next to Winco soon. Plans have been in the works for years now but nothing yet.
 

Autumnovember

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
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4,384
Kenny--

I used to go to only one supermarket for everything but now I go to a few.

I go to the big chain supermarket, the Russian food store, and to a local farmers market for my food.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
I buy pretty equally from my tiny neighborhood grocery store with the fresh produce (shout-out, Zingone Brothers!), and the Gristede's closest to me. I love going to Trader Joe's, because their quality is excellent, I think they provide value for my buck, and I like their politics. In that same spirit, I actually refuse to support Whole Foods: they might have a great selection, but I find CEO John Mackey's politics abhorrent. (Same reason I refuse to order pizza from Domino's, ever.) I periodically feel guilty about not buying more locally grown, organic, etc. ... but given how everything's a trade-off these days, it seems like the most practical balance for me with bulk necessities at the chain store and delicacies and perishables from the family-run business.
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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Jun 18, 2010
Messages
1,958
Food Co-op, local farm store, occasional use of local supermarket for dire emergencies. I'm willing to pay more for high quality food and other produce if it's ethically sourced and sold by a company or trader with sound business ethics.

ETA I try to use the local independent stores in the village where we live as much as possible too. There's a standard Scottish style baker which is ok for what it is, an excellent butcher and a fish seller who visits three times a week.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
at least 90% produce comes from farmers' market. we eat with the seasons and i've started freezing things like blue berries to have in the winter. eggs also purchased there.

meat comes directly from a very small family run place and is also local and sustainable.

costco: organic carrots and spinach [which is actually from a local farm], organic oatmeal when they have it. and a case of sierra nevada beer periodically.

wine comes directly from local wineries.

trader joes for cheese, toilet paper, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, and some organic canned goods.

keeping our $ local, supporting local farmers and sustainable ranching/farming are a priority for me. i don't like eating industrialized produce and/or meat due to quality, safety issues, taste, pesticides, etc.
 

stephbolt

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,072
50% BJs, 40% Giant, 5% Trader Joes, 5% Acme.

I do a big shopping trip usually every other week to BJs and stock up on meat, produce, cheese, yogurt, eggs, snack foods, pasta, and rice, along with household goods and OTC meds.

Between trips to BJs I go to Giant usually, I'll buy supplemental produce, canned goods (I stock up on canned beans and tomatoes whenever they are on sale), and anything else we need if we have a particular recipe in mind.

If we are in dire need for something (usually milk) we will go to the local Acme because it's only 1/4 mile from our home, but only when we are tight for time because in general we far prefer Giant as far as selection/prices go.

I also will pop into our local TJs from time to time, but since I have a hard time covering my entire shopping list there, I don't make it a regular stop. I love them for cheese though!
 

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
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3,417
1. From the UK

2. Because I live here



:sun: (yes, it's quite sunny here today so I got my shades out)
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
4,891
I am a foodie, and have an international family, so I go to a number of different stores:

35% Target: Milk, frozen foods, cereal, snacks for school lunches
20% Costco: High volume items we go through like beer, steaks, cheese, fish, bread, coffee
15% Zion (Korean Market): Very inexpensive, with tons of fresh produce, and ready-to-eat cooked foods
10% 99 Ranch (Chinese Market): Specialty items like chinese sauces, fresh seafood (from the tank), tofu, dumplings etc.
10% Pavillions/Vons: closest supermarket to home, very pricey, so I go for things that I forgot to pick up like sprigs of cilantro etc
10% Trader Joes: Specialty foods read-to-eat stuff like Indian masala, naan, thai sauces, meatballs, salads, organic meats and veggies
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 18, 2009
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2,216
100% from the big grocery chain nearest my house. Reason: I'm lazy.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 22, 2007
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6,746
100% from Walmart. They will price match any advertiser's ad within a 30 mile radius.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I would shop at Safeway all the time, but the closest one is all the way across time. It has the best deals and the best sales. If I'm lazy I shop at Walmart or Smith's.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
19,304
I do the bulk of our shopping at two locally owned grocers who are both heavy on organics and locally farmed food. The rest I do at Aldi (wine, hummus, party food) and Kroger (pasta, Bolthouse farms juices--way cheaper there than at the local grocers). We don't eat meat so I don't worry about that but there is an awesome butcher in this town. I am in a strange pocket of diversity here in IN and we have access to pretty much everything you'd find in a metropolitan area.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Local(ish) farms (for poultry)
Whole Foods--Fish and some produce
Local Israeli grocery--Produce, Middle Eastern products, the basics, milk, eggs, and cheese (I do most of our shopping here)
Trader Joe's--Dried fruit and bananas (the cheapest around!)
My mom--fresh herbs and other things from her backyard (summer and fall only, though)
 

mayachel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
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1,749
Mostly-A local grocery store. It's a foodie type place with some higher end natural brands. In part, those are the brands I like, in part I don't have a car and it's in easy walking distance. I would like to rework my route though, as I know I'm being racked over the coals price wise, and the food isn't always the freshest.

22 weeks (summer-fall) we buy 99% of our produce from a farm share we belong to. I like supporting local farms, and this is a good cost savings option for organic produce for us.

There is also a small bodega type place on my corner, (score one for closeness!) which we rely on for last minute packages of pasta, yogurt, milk etc... when we didn't pick it up at the regular grocery store.
 

PilsnPinkysMom

Brilliant_Rock
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Oct 11, 2008
Messages
1,878
I love grocery shopping :love: Something about seeing a cart full of produce makes me feel happy inside.

45%- Sunflower Market: Produce, vegetarian, and vegan items.
45%- King Soopers (Kroger): Produce, grains, beans, lentils, cheese, baking goods
5%- Whole Foods: Meat for meat-eating guests/company
5%- Target: Cleaning supplies, the occasional packaged food item

I shop at Sunflower and King Soopers because they're both walking distance and have substantial produce sections.

We've saved lots of $$$ since cutting out most animal products, so I'm thinking of transitioning to more organic and local produce (probably only 10% of what I currently buy fits that category). This might mean hitting up more farmers' markets or going to WF more often.

The problem is that Whole Foods is to me what Target is to most people I know: I go in for ONE item and ONE item only, and walk out with 10 things I don't really need. I can't stand to go into their healthy/beauty section. If I dare, I will truly kiss my paycheck goodbye.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Railey's for most things-- 85%. It's close. Has nice meat, decent produce (nothing fancy but it keeps) and the selection of brands is very good.

Trader Joes 5% for some canned goods (tuna and beans), drinks (water, carbonated water, juices and lemonade) chopped onions, argula and mushroom caps, some meat (pork tenderloin) and sausage, nuts and grains and dried fruit. It's enough to go here once a month. Some cheeses I buy here.

Whole foods 5% for pantry items, some meats and if I can get up there in a timely way produce. But I usually don't get up there more than once a month. If I have guests or a party I shop here. I prefer their cheese section, but it's not close, sadly.

Our Railey's is very good though. When I used to shop at Safeway instead I leaned MUCH more heavily on TJ's and WF's. But our Railey's carries a lot of stuff I would buy at those, and with great brands (organic stuff).

I do wish I had a farmer's market buddy, cause I used to use farmer's market's pretty heavily and prefer it. Although with DH now having weekends off maybe we can start this again.

We never get to Coscto... I ADORE their chickens but... just never make it out there. If we have guests or a party we might shop here. But mostly for parties we go to WF.

ETA: Since WF is far and TJ's produce rots and Railey's only carried basics I do hit the local Indian stores for veggies (great prices on onions, potatoes, some greens, orka, eggplant and some herbs).

I also go to Ranch 99 5%-- a huge Asian Grocery Store chain. The absolute BEST seafood, fabulous greens and herbs and their prepared food roast duck and roast pork is TDF. I go here about twice a month.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,461
I just go to the regular ol' grocery store. That suits me fine but it bugs me when the fruit at the produce dept. is in rough shape. That's when I wish there were more farmer's markets around.

We don't have Trader Joe's in my state, and the one closest to me in a nearby state is too far away for it to be convenient to go to often. I think I'm kind of a brand snob, which is why, when I HAVE gone to places like TJ's and Aldi, I can't get into it. I prefer to buy brands I *know,* and not some random one.

I'd love to check out Whole Foods but we don't have one of those either.
 

platinumrock

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
2,262
90% Sams Club
10% Whole Foods/local grocery store for certain items
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,300
Gypsy|1312411230|2983494 said:
Railey's for most things-- 85%. It's close. Has nice meat, decent produce (nothing fancy but it keeps) and the selection of brands is very good.

I LOVED Railey!!! They left NM so no more Railey's but I shopped there all the time when we did have one. :((

My list looks similar to TGals

40% Trader Joe's Yogurt, dry goods (flax cereal, steel cut oatmeal), some fruits and veggies, frozen veggies, pasta, cheeses
30-35% Albertson's bread, meats
20% Costco fruit, salad (spinach, mixed greens), eggs
5-10% Whole Foods meats, fish, lentils, spices, fresh baked breads, desserts and milk

sometimes the farmer market. Now that I have 2 babies it is usually just TJ's or Costco run!!!
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
DH and I are vegetarians, so...

1. Whole Foods - for Vital Farms eggs (only ethical eggs from pasture-raised hens) and meat substitutes
2. Local produce markets - for produce, as it is much cheaper than any grocery store
3. Major grocery store chain - for everything else
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
13,262
80% Meijer, 20% Trader Joes. Meijer just seems to have the best prices around.
 

kas baby

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 5, 2009
Messages
973
I live in the country, so it's Meijer's and Kroger for me, since they are the closest. Everything else is reeeeeally far away.

Usually we grow a lot of our own vegetables(peppers, tomatoes, corn, etc) we have egg layer hens, and we did raise our own friars for a few years, turkeys too. Sometimes we'll split a pig at one of the 4-H auctions at fair, lasts us quite a while. I like making my own bread when I have time too. :bigsmile:
 

ladypirate

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
4,553
We get about 50% of our food from our food buying club. It's a group of families that go in together to buy in bulk from local farms at wholesale prices. We pay $25 a year to be members and volunteer a few hours a month. We get almost all our produce from them (from local farms in the summer and through an organic local distribution company in the winter), our non-cheese dairy (from a local small-production grass fed dairy), meat, sandwich bread, flour, spices, and occasional bulk buys of random things like salmon.

We get maybe 5 - 10% from costco (mostly bulk things like beans or rice and occasionally cheese).

We get probably another 10% from Trader Joes (olive oil, pasta, cheese).

We get about 25% from a local high end supermarket (cured meats, wine, some produce).

The rest is from random places, either running to the closest supermarket to get stuff we've forgotten or from small specific places like our butcher or local wineries.
 
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