A tale of three grocery stores…
When saving money on groceries you have to find the store that best suites your needs. You are ideally looking for the store that sells what you like to eat, prices the type of food you eat as loss leaders regularly, has your staples competitively priced, short lines and is conveniently located.
Because I lived in Austin, Texas and near Lebanon-Hanover, New Hampshire I was used to shopping in Central Market, Whole Foods and the Co-op. I purchased excellent quality foods that were good value for the dollar for the most part. And I splurged as needed.
I started commuting to Shreveport, Louisiana and had to find a local grocery store to feed me. I began my reconnaissance of the local grocery stores.
Store A is a smallish grocery store conveniently located ¾ mile from my house and serves a mixed socio-economic neighborhood of historic homes. No matter what I would go in there for all I ever come out with was a can of Folger’s and a bag of dog food.
This store specializes in fat, starch, sugar, alcohol and over-priced fresh orange. I was going to starve to death shopping here.
Next I test drove Store B which is 4 miles from my house. This is a grocery store for what was the Shreveport everyman. I began my exploration of the store and was immediately disappointed. There was no variety, no organic foods, no bulk, no nothing. I was so damn depressed. I consulted some locals and they directed me to Store C.
Store C is located 3 miles from my house and serves a higher end socio-economic group. In this neighborhood the houses are beautifully massive and the squadrons of giant flying cockroaches are called water bugs.
I made my trek to Store C to see if this grocery store was going to meet my needs. It has fruits and vegetables, some imported items, organic meat and vegetables and my staples. There is produce that I would consider a staple in Austin that is 3 times the price in Store C so I do without. But still out of the three, Store C was the best suited to my needs.
So you would think the post would stop there:
- Explore your grocery store options
- Pick the grocery store best suited to you
- The End
I thought that was the end too. But a friend, who lives 4 blocks from Store C, told me she was shopping in Store B. I was floored as I had seen what was in her fridge and it looked nothing like what I had seen at Store B.
So BACK I went to Store B. It was fabulous. They had been undergoing renovations for months. I walked into a beautiful produce section immediately hitting a wall of organics that were only pennies more expensive than the regular produce.
Green peppers were $0.99 each at Stores A and C, ORGANIC green peppers were $0.99 each at Store B. I try to stay away from the bakery but they had fresh baked cheese biscuits 3 for $1.00.
The prices are cheaper than Store C, the quality and selection are better than Store A. I was so happy I damn near burst into tears.
I now firmly believe that the choice of grocery store should be revisited annually.
The grocery chain marketing departments are constantly reassessing: what should be sold at each store, improvements and renovations, the pricing strategies, specials, etc. You never know when something is turning to your advantage in a different store.
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