A few weeks ago a fellow blog reader, Zerin, suggested that I start posting about my shopping hauls. I googled “shopping haul” and discovered that it’s a popular social media trend for people to show off the goods they purchase, whether clothing, food…whatever. I loved the idea.
Before Scarlet was born grocery shopping was a half-day expedition I relished. I’d go to Sprouts, a natural foods market located 15-20 minutes away. Then I’d head to Fry’s for the big name staples. If I was in the neighborhood, I’d swing into AJ’s Fine Foods. I might even take a gander in the Asian market. Then, I’d drift through Costco in search of organic or healthy foods offered at a discount.
Fast forward to today. I have a 2 year old, my business is thriving and I blog daily. Now I have to streamline my shopping time as much as possible. I try to avoid taking Scarlet with me because I like to read labels, compare prices, and sing along to the music playing overhead. Scarlet’s a distraction and a ticking time bomb in the store.
When I’m testing recipes or prepping for a television segment, I email my assistant a detailed grocery list so she can fetch the needed ingredients. I can’t remember the last time I shopped at Costco. I leave that to Steve now, writing a list and praying he sticks to it and doesn’t come home with a case of popsicles (still sitting unopened in the freezer 3 months later).
Here is where I shop these days.
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market
This store is 5 minutes from my house and carries unique private label foods you won’t find anywhere else, like cilantro lemon hummus, wild rocket greens mix, inexpensive healthy frozen kids meals, and umami paste. Their Fresh & Easy products contain no artificial preservatives or sweeteners. It’s easier to navigate since it’s a smaller store, their produce is really fresh, and it’s a relief to arrive at the check out counter without having to wait in line.
This megastore is located 10 minutes from my house and next to the UPS store that I visit weekly. I like that they recycle used grocery and dry cleaning bags that I bring in. They also offer a good-sized natural foods section where I buy a lot of items and a vast selection of toiletries.
Where do farmers’ markets and Whole Foods stores fit into my routine?
I love a good farmers’ market, however, the reality is that on Saturday I like to hang out for a bit in my jammies with my family, and then head to the gym. Plus there aren’t any of these markets near my house. A few times a year when I happen to be driving by one, I like to stock up on things. I really do love Whole Foods, but it’s a 30-minute drive on the highway for me. My grocery bill tends to be more when I shop there, too. Occasionally when I’m nearby I pop in and pick up some special items and lunch.
Where I shop depends mostly on convenience, drive time, and a good selection of produce and natural foods.
Where do you grocery shop and why?
Disclosure: Recently I did a paid speaking engagement at Fresh & Easy, however they did not compensate me to include them in this post. I’ve been shopping there since they opened a store in my neighborhood.
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