Sunday, January 3, 2010

adventures in grocery shopping

I was brave (only cause I was a little scared) and went to the new Winco Foods today. With Albertsons gone, and my refusal to shop at Maceys or Reams for low prices, I decided to drive all the way out there (it really wasn't that far) to check it out. And I have to say that I was impressed.

Impressed by the prices, not the store itself.

If you ever went to Food 4 Less back in the day, then you will have deja vu when you walk into Winco. I found most of what I usually buy on my 2 week food trip, so that was nice. I always have to go to multiple stores though. But that is mostly because I am picky, and not because the store's selection sucks. (example: I only like King's Basmati Rice. And the only place to get it is at Smith's Marketplace. Silly, silly me.)

A few things to take note of if you choose to try them out- They take debit cards and cash only. (I think I heard the guy behind me being mad when the cashier told him no checks. But I may of heard wrong.) You have to bag your own stuff, which is fine, but next time I will organize my cart better so that I can bag quicker. I love my reuseable bags even more now that I have to do it myself! And if you are looking for a very lame and kinda ugly pinata, they are in the soda aisle.

Here are a few things that I always buy every time I go grocery shopping, and the price differences between stores.

  • Coconut Milk: Dans $2.49, Harmons $3.19, Winco $1.98

  • Eggs: Target $2.89/dz large Eggland's Best, Winco $1.89/dz large Oakdell's organic vegetarian fed (when I used to only buy this kind before I was trying to save money, they were usually over $3! This one really surprised me. Yea! We get organic eggs again!

  • Philly Cream Cheese: Albertsons $2.49, Winco $1.48

They did not have: Horizon brand organic milk, Land o' Lakes butter, One A Day Prenatal's (yes I am taking them, no luck yet)

Their bulk section is amazing. I haven't seen a bulk section like that since Wild Oats first opened. (in Utah) I used to buy a lot in bulk when I was vegan, and only cooked for myself. So if you are baking something wholesome, no need to buy a huge bag of whole wheat flour, you can just buy it buy the cup. But they also had pastry and cake flour too. Oh, and fructose. So if you want to use something better for you than sugar, try that. (I think it's better for you, anyway.)

They have a huge spice bulk section- I am so refilling my bottles from now on! Of course they didn't have everything (like smoked paprika) but they have all the basics.

And, they have a TON of candy in bulk! Remember the Candy Barrell? Not as nice, but they had quite a few things that I haven't seen in bulk since forever. They even have cheetos rip offs in bulk. Gross.

I usually go to Dans & Target for most of my list, and I go to Costco once every 2 months or so.

I like buying ground beef at Target because they come in completely sealed, 1lb packages. So easy to freeze and defrost with no bloody gross juice to deal with. I also like to buy my shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap etc, and prenatal vitamins at Target. At Albertsons, Dans, and Smith's Marketplace, One A Day Prenatals are around $19.99. At Target, they are $14.99, and thier Up & up brand that has exactly the same ingredients is $10.99.

I like Dan's produce the best. And the sheer convenience of working right next to it. And they have Horizon organic half & half and heavy whipping cream. Organic dairy products taste better to me and they have a longer shelf life.

So I will still be shopping at 3 different grocery stores for my bi weekly list, but I really do think we will save some cash shopping for most of it at Winco. Now I totally understand why Albertson's fled the state, and why Associated Food Stores are shaking in thier boots. I am a little sad to not be supporting a local business, but for those prices? Even if I have to drive kinda far, saving that much cash is worth it.

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