Let’s kick off our “Life Here” series with something no mom can avoid….grocery shopping!
Basically we have a few options.
Option 1: Small neighborhood convenience store
These small stores carry just the basics. No fresh meat. Limited produce. We had one within walking distance from our old apartment that we used a lot. Its like the size of your living room . Now there is one near us that is also a liquor store, so we don’t go there much, but maybe if we run of out of Nacho doritos. There is another one close, but it is always smokey inside and doesn’t have much so we don’t really go there either.
Option 2: Medium size market
Lots of locals use these and make daily or maybe every other day trips for what they need from small neighborhood market. Good for getting your basics but not giant selection. We like a certain kind of milk. Most milk sold here is the ultra radiated kind that you don’t have to refrigerate until you open it. We think that tastes funny and like what they call “daily” milk that does actually last more than a day. So some of these small markets don’t carry that kind and right now we use a lot of milk. We have one of these within walking distance now that even carries our milk. Score! Ours has a meat counter and good produce out on the front porch. It only has one freezer container so I can’t get any frozen french fries here! I have enjoyed going here because you can get done quickly and get almost everything you want.
Option 3: Large chain supermarket
Often these large chain markets are in malls. This can be handy as you can get lots of things done at once. Also the malls almost all have parking garages so if it is raining or cold you don’t have to brave the weather. These have foreign foods aisles, so you can find M&M’s or taco shells sometimes. Or a $40 jar of Jamie Oliver pasta sauce or a $35 jar of maple syrup from “Vertmont”. The oreos have even made it onto the cookie aisle at one store so I think they are here to stay. Some of these are so big, they are like Super Walmarts, with electronics, home goods, and clothes. I like to go here and make a giant grocery run, but it does take longer especially with the kids.
Option 4: Weekly farmers markets, stand alone bakeries and butcher shops
If you want to make lots of stops, you can go to these. Every week on the same days, in the same spots, big tarps go up and farmers markets are set up. This is the place to find quality produce and good prices. I have unfortunately never lived in good walking distance of one of these, especially if you are taking kids along, so I have not made a habit of frequenting these, although I do like them.
You can also go to butcher shops and bakeries, but I don’t have any right around the corner so don’t usually shop at these.
I guess I should include in these, the guys who walk around with their carts or drive down the streets in their trucks, calling out what they are selling. Every morning a guy walks around with a basket selling hot pastries, kind of like a bagel but with sesame seeds on it. Every afternoon during nap time, a guy drives around with a loud speaker attached to his truck saying “Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes”. A guy also goes around selling fish. I don’t really think I want to buy fish from a guy pushing it around on a cart all day! But plenty of people do apparently!
That’s all I can think of as it relates to grocery shopping! Any questions?