Shopping Trippy

I actually really enjoy grocery shopping. 

I shop different stores for different reasons.

Aldi, for example is best for meats, produce and these huge bins of nuts:

Just like these, only unsalted, and not sideways

They're also great because you can bag your own groceries just exactly like you want them.  They also occasionally have weird, wonderful German foods because they are a German company.  My mother would point out that they have cheap pumpkins in October.

Walmart is best if you need cleaning supplies, kitchen gadgets or assorted hardware - light bulbs, etc.  This is also a good choice if you need shampoo, aspirin, underwear.  Not foodstuffs, per se, but it's handy.  Pet stuff here is cheap.

Costco is great if you want to eat samples or get a huge slab of pizza on the way out.  Or, if, like us, you want to buy a container of soy sauce the week after you get married, and now you've been married almost eleven years and you're still working off the original container.  Fact - soy sauce apparently never goes bad.

Trader Joe's is the best for flowers, greeting cards, smoked gouda, and the foods you can only get there - their specific marinara, chile lime chicken burgers, etc.  Also, they have the best customer service, and basically, anything they're sampling that day, I buy.  Damn you Trader Joe and your bright, shiny store!!!  Interesting side note - here in Tennessee they've just allowed wine in grocery stores, which means that now, our TJ has a wine section.  Which means less space for groceries.  So far, I haven't noticed anything gone missing, but they better watch their back.  Christmas at TJ's is the best.  Chocolate covered peppermint Joe Joes (like Oreos) have an addictive quality.

Plus, I get my Dr. Bronner's soap here, and lavender dryer sachets.  Can you tell I love Trader Joe's?

Whole Foods is good if you want a cookie or their hot food bar, or their olive oil.  My husband did some research and found that much of the stuff in the US being sold as olive oil isn't 100% from olives.  But the stuff from Whole Foods is apparently, so there we go.  I don't shop much at Whole Foods because it's expensive and inconvenient, but I cannot tell a lie, their hot food bar is off the hook, and every now and then I'll buy a ready-made lasagna. 

Publix has the best bakery.  And the best deli.  Their fried chicken never fails to please.  And I know a lot of people who agree.  Even the best southern cooks among my friends default to Publix's fried chicken.  Their meat and produce are pricey, but excellent.  Typically, though - if I'm at Publix it's for cake, subs or chicken.  Although, not all three at the same time.  Usually.  I was doing some light grieving once and needed sustenance - I got a cake and some fried chicken and it was fabulous.

And finally...

Kroger.  I have been shopping at Kroger since I can remember.  As a kid, there was also Food Giant and Big Star, but from about age six, on, Kroger was the mainstay.   The thing they do better than every other store on this list is their store brand.  Generic pantry items - soup, crackers, whatever - it's solid.  Their produce is fine, same with their meat.  Their bakery is weak, their deli is weak.  But I still do 80% of my shopping here because it's close, and it has enough of the basics to work for me.

I'm sorry you had to read that.

Be glad I didn't start extolling the virtues of Hyper-U and Monoprix in France.