Well, I do. Did you ever stop to think about all our grocery shopping needs and where we do them?
Well, yesterday I had some grocery shopping to do and had to just figure out where I was going. Now, I know some people are very dedicated to one particular grocery store and shop nowhere else -- but that's not me. I have my favorites, but I am fairly flexible.
So, here is my dilemma. I live in this small town that is flanked by 2 larger towns. In my small town we have a small convenience store inside a gas station that is about a half mile away. This is the place you go when you need cool whip and forgot to buy it on your real shopping trip and don't have time to run somewhere else and get it. So, my next closest option again is a gas station with convenience store, but it doesn't have as big of selection. It's more a gas station than a mini mart (which the former is). But they do have great prices on bananas, apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, bread, buns, and milk in a bag. I'm talking 29 cents a pound for bananas all the time.
Now, I don't do much grocery shopping at gas stations, so I got to be going somewhere else. In the town south of us there is 3 grocery stores and a Co-Op. The one grocery store has an excellent natural foods section, gives you something free every week with a $25 purchase, and decent prices on everything. The 2nd one is a Super Wal-Mart where you get good prices, but have the hassle of long lines at Wal-Mart and a congested parking lot (those 2 things put together make it not really worth it, but if I have to go to Wal-Mart anyways I will do some grocery shopping). And the 3rd option is on the opposite side of town, has decent sale prices but the regular prices tend to be a bit higher, and there is one in the town to the north of us. And then you have the Co-Op, which you get the best price for natural eggs and can buy more natural foods in bulk, but the prepackage stuff tends to cost more.
Now, the town to the North has 2 grocery stores and a natural foods store. The 1st store is the same as my 3rd store in the southern town. The 2nd store usually offers 2 things with an additional $10 purchase, as well as a couple of deeper discounts if you spend $10 (but not free), there prices are decent on regular price, and their natural foods section is pretty much non-existent. And the natural foods store there is a lot higher priced and doesn't have a good selection, so it's better to shop the natural foods section at the 1st southern store.
Now - if I wanted to shop bigger chain store I would have to travel 20-45 minutes to get to one and they really don't have any better prices or much more a selection (they generally just have more of the same products).
So - where did I shop yesterday and where do I normally shop?
Yesterday, I chose the 2nd northern store. I did this because I was going shopping with Ana @ the little mall there anyways. Normally, I shop the 1st southern store, the gas station with good prices on bananas, and the Co-Op for eggs. And why southern rather than northern, well, I work southern and am in that town more and it is the most convenient. Really, that is what it comes down to -- convenience. I want a place that has good prices on the things I want that is convenient to whatever else it is that I am doing.
When we lived in the big city there wasn't as much difference because the stores were all these big chains (Cub, Byerly's & Rainbow) and they were all over the place and generally had the same price and selection. And so there I would clip coupons to help out, but in my small area here, I don't really need to clip coupons because their brand of stuff is usually the same in quality but cheaper in price and I don't to fuss with a coupon. Although I miss the convenience of the big natural foods stores the city had to offer.
So, where do you grocery shop?