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Best Place to Grocery Shop?

I will be moving back to college in less than two weeks. Last year I had a meal plan but this year I am going to have to buy and make food for myself. I want to buy food that is, first of all, affordable and secondly healthy. Also, I want to shop somewhere with plenty of variety. I won't really have to the time to try out every grocery in the area, so I was hoping some of you kind people could suggest which would be my best options, particularly with affordablity. These are places I know about or was able to find online:

- Shnucks: This place is like an Albertsons or Publix. On the expensive side but huge with a lot to choose from.
- Aldi: The website says it has "high end products at very low prices". I don't know anything about this place... are the prices good? Do you have to buy a membership? Do they have a variety of groceries, not in bulk?
- Hyvee: Never been here, I think its a run of the mill grocery.
- Farmers' Market: There is a pretty big farmers' market in town that has a variety of fruits and vegetables. Would they be much cheaper from a farmers' market? I know they might be healthier and taste better.

Thank you!

Tue. Aug 7, 5:16pm

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the aldi around my house is very cheap, but the name brands are brands like "college inn" and other typical cheap fare. you can definitely find basic staples, but check out the sodium content on these brands!! the stores called "farmer's market" around here are stocked with "seconds" quality fruit and veggies. if you have the time to carefully check out each item you buy, there are def. deals to be had. but if you shop quickly you might get home and discover that what you just spent was essentially wasted.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 5:24 PM

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Here's a trick that might help- find the one that's most convenient, and shop more frequently. Rather than buying a week's worth of food, buy a couple day's worth- less chance of your vegetables going bad that way...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 5:42 PM

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If you have a Trader Joe's near you then check them out. They sell mostly pre-packaged organic foods.

Aldi sucks! The one my mother goes to carries all the foods that you are not supposed to eat.

I know you said you don't have time to shop aroung, but I suggest that you do. Some places may be good for buying veggies, but not so much for pre-packaged goods.

Myself, I go to 2-3 supermarkets, but not every week. For my frozen organic veggies at great prices, I go to Trader Joe's. For small packs of meat and staples and organic dairy I go to Whole Foods. Although Trader's has a good selection of that also. For my low-carb fare I go to Gristedes. I don't go to each one each week so it is not overwhelming or expensive.

If you are not concerned about your food being organic, I would suggest looking in sales flyers and plan your meals according to what is cheapest that week.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 9:25 PM

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Are you in STL? You mentioned Schnucks and a big farmer's market and I instantly thought of the Soulard Farmer's Market. I think Schnucks will get it all done for you. They've got everything, lots of variety, an organic/health food section, generic, name brand,weekly sales, etc. and it's where I went when I was in college - it was affordable (and a decent place to shop - I hate bad shopping environments!) I love Trader Joe's now, but everything was so foreign to me at first, it took awhile to get assimilated to their stuff.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 10:42 PM

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Personally, I shop at 7 different stores (and I'm in Cda, so all but Safeway would mean nothing to you...)

Sometimes, you just have to shop around to get the best prices and the best food. Or you learn when it's more important to save time, save money, or save your health...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 10:54 PM

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I shop at Sprouts (a "farmer's market"...really it is more of an organic grocery store, that has a ton of fresh fruit and veggies at the best prices). I also shop at TJ's once in a while and at the regular grocery store. I usually check the ads and go the best grocery store that week, but Sprouts is my regular place for fruits and veggies and bulk foods. Most stores have ads online so you can look first and then go when you have time. I remember that it was a big deal to get to the store during make the most of the time you have and frozen veggies and fruits aren't too bad to have around for when you can't get to the store.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007, 8:43 AM

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