Sunday, March 07, 2010

Price List Part 2: Our store options

In our area, we have Safeway, Walmart, a natural food and two local stores. And Grocery Outlet, but you never know what they will have.

Walmart carries very few organic items, and most organic produce is packaged in plastic. They have organic regular and soy milk, but no other organic dairy. They have one brand of organic peanut butter and it is spendy and little. I do get select-a-size paper towels, deoderant, and kitty litter there.

The natural food store sometimes has good produce prices, usually has local produce, and all their other items are very expensive. Sometimes you have no other choice though. They were the first place I found an organic soy butter... two days before finding it much cheaper elsewhere! Oh well! They have it in a pinch.

One local store is out of the question. We only go there when we can't go somewhere else. They do carry some organic dairy, but no organic produce. I do find that they often have mark down stickers on their dairy items, more then I've ever seen anywhere else. Could be because they are TOO EXPENSIVE and things don't move quickly.

The other local store is bilingual, catering to our Hispanic community, and has the most alternative, health foods in the area. They have very little organic produce, and it is expensive (bananas: $1.19/lb!). They have the widest selection of Bob's Red Mill products, even in bulk. They have soy cheeses (yuck), butter (not organic), kombucha, kiefer, many milk alternatives, and much more. They even have many foriegn foods, with many packages not being in English or Spanish. Basically, if it is a normal food, they have it (cheerios). If it is an alternative/organic/ natural food, they have it (tahini paste and organic kombucha). If you are Russian, well, they might have it, but I can't read the packages.

Safeway is where we currently do most of our regular shopping. Spinach, apples, bananas, tofu, orange juice whole wheat pasta, spaghetti sauce, milk/soy milk, crackers, pretzles, whole wheat bread, frozen berries, frozen veggies and yogurt.

We also can go 1/2 hour away and have a Costco, Fred Meyer (or Freda Meyer as some 3 year olds say), local co-op and Trader Joe's. Can you see why I get overwhelmed? We really do have a lot of options, which is a blessing and a confusion.

Costco has a ton of organic options now. We get our chicken and hamburger there, as well as frozen corn, peanut butter, chicken stock and (not organic) bagels. Oh, and disposable diapers. And too much else.

Fred Meyer has a lot of alternative/natural/organic items. We don't go there a lot, but I did find a good organic soy pudding for a treat now and then. This no dairy thing is tricky to figure out.

We have been members of the co-op in the past. It is awkward because you have to have your card, and we never seem to. And there is no family membership, so only my husband is a member. They have great bulk foods, and we've often purchased dried fruits, flours, cereals and nuts there. They typically have traditional festival foods or items like matzah and Shabbat candles, as the seasons go.

We went to Trader Joe's for the first time today. Wow. I'd heard they had good prices, but they really do. How they fit so much in such a small space, I don't know. And how can they offer such low prices when other places can't? Safeway is in trouble!

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