Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saving on Groceries: The Inner Struggle

In an effort to find cheaper prices and something more convenient to the new house that I'll soon be moving to, I'm auditioning new grocery stores. Now for someone that's rather compulsive when it comes to certain things, namely an attachment to frivolous routines and chores, I'm not sure I'm adjusting well to the upheaval this has caused: Privately I'm battling between frugality and comfort.

For one the new place I tried on Sunday doesn't have my coffee, Eight O'clock Bokar Blend. So I decided to save $1.00 a pound by trying Market Basket's generic Colombian blend. I'm sipping it now; I'm not happy.

Another thing, because Market Basket is widely accepted as one of the cheaper grocery stores around, they're extremely busy. The aisles were packed with screaming kids, elderly folks hovering in the middle of the aisles debating sugar sweeteners and cereal contents, cheapskates, like me, fidgeting through their coupons and, not to be "un-PC", but a high preponderance of non-English speaking clientèle not quite willing to hear me out when I asked them to remove their children from traversing the Charmin end cap.

What normally takes me an hour took two.

On the plus side their produce was pretty good. I got some excellent Gala apples for ninety-nine cents a pound, delicious broccoli that I had with dinner last night and some decent lettuce for twenty cents less than I normally pay. All and all, I'd say I saved a good 15-20% off my entire order.

Now here's the decision...

For an extra fifteen or twenty bucks in my pocket each week, can I forgo the pleasant experience of picking out the perfect bag of Bokar Blend whilst enjoying the ample space around me as I promenade my carriage down Hannaford's aisle 12?


Donnie said...

I've always loved Hannaford's. They bought out the Wilson's grocery chain down here before closing all the local stores.

I'm a shopping snob (despite me being quite frugal).

Will said...

I enjoy shopping at Hannaford's a lot. The fish section (an important part of any store for me) is excellent and the produce is outstanding with lots of variety. I can even get some of the ethnic spices I use, which I hadn't expected.

My Market Basket experience was limited to one try--just not my kind of store. When Star became Shaw's, decline set in fast. Some things are important in life and occasionally you have to be willing to fork out a bit more to get what you really like and need.

dit said...

Completely understand the coffee thing. I love my coffee and it needs to be good. lol

I save quite a bit on groceries by shopping at Trader Joes. Not sure they have them on the East coast. But a great product and muss less.

Congratulations on your new home.

Faux Pas blog said...

I'm sure that your happiness is worth more than the price difference in the coffee.

And I am for sure certain that your time is worth more than $20/hr.

Maybe shop at Market Basket for the lesser expensive produce specials. Grocery shopping should be fun!

Glenn said...

Grocery shopping should be fun and for me, I need a nice environment in my stores. After being gone from MA for five years, I still miss Sudbury Farms/Roche Brothers. That's the best store for my money!

Sh@ney said...

Hehe...Your new dwelling, can it accomodate a vege garden? There is nothing quite like growing your own! And you will save a pocket full of change and be able to buy that tasty coffee....*winks* Just a thought! Of course it depends on the climate you live in, I am not sure what grows over there in the cold...xoxo

Great Post!

Charles said...

Gala apples are great. Would love to find them for that price out here.

Maddog said...

I would shop at the place I know best. Somethings are just not worth the money. And you didn't mention which place is farther away? How much did it cost to drive there. And if you think about what your time is worth, I'd be willing to bet you make more than 20 bucks an hour.

Anonymous said...

Hello, sorry for my engl.!! I like your blog!
Greetings from Hamburg Germany!

Jos76 said...

I used to shop at Roche Brothers when I lived in Boston. That store is the best, but you pay for it..literally. In recent years I've come to appreciate Costco. I actually find the customers a bit more upscale than in some other grocery stores, like Shaw's. I think it comes down to living in a home that has enough space to accomodate the 3 gallons of mayonnaise and 150 rolls of paper towels.

Anonymous said...

You've described my grocery shopping routine to a "T." However, I will usually go first thing in the morning to blaze down the aisles and get out in just over 35 minutes. Get the coffee at the store during your morning break at work. ;-) Or before your Saturday night dinner out.