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Grocery Store Epiphany

February 4th, 2007 at 06:32 am

Iím home alone! Mr. Bean had to go to Washington DC, so Iíll be on my own until Thursday. Of course, Iíll miss him, but thereís something fun and novel about having the place to myself!

As Iíve mentioned, we live in a small college town that is home to a very large university. Getting in and out of this town is expensive. The airport is dinky (and expensive) and the nearest Amtrak station is 30 miles away. Mr. Bean decided to go to DC by train. Since we only have 1 car, if he drove to DC I would be without a car (not the end of the world), but parking is difficult and expensive in DC, not to mention the cost of gasoline and that he hates to driveÖ.

So, yesterday we drove to this other little dinky little town 30 miles away to catch his train. Unbeknownst to us, the train was running 2 hours late. It didnít seem wise to drive the 30 miles home just to turn around and come back so we ended up going grocery shopping in the interim. It was 20 degrees outside, so I knew that any refrigerator items would be OK in the car.

I have a whole new appreciation for our grocery store.

Our town may be small and lack public transportation, but the population of students has enticed the big clean grocery stores to come.

Even though the store in the train station town was a member of the same chain I shop in my own town, it was so tiny. The produce was horrible. You couldnít fit two carts down the same aisle going in opposite direction. I was constantly moving the cart and trying to get around people. This is how cramped and stressful the store was: I DIDNíT USE A SINGLE COUPON. Yep, me the lover of (most) all things purchased with coupons, couldnít use a coupon in this store (even though they doubled up to $1) because it was so crowded, cramped, and stressful, that my autonomic nervous system had the flight instinct operating at full force.

I typically like grocery shopping. I love using coupons. I never understood how people could think coupons are a hassle. I get it now. A lot of it depends on the store.

Since the grocery trip was quicker than expected, we still had another hour until the train arrived. The only other store in this town was an Aldi. I had shopped at Aldi in college and liked it, and I loved the Aldi when I was in Germany, so we decided to go take a look (again, no Aldi in the town I currently live in).

Aldi was pretty much as I remembered it. When I have the opportunity to shop in my local spacious grocery store and use coupons (which double to $1), I donít think the Aldi prices are much better. Also, Aldiís selection is limited. I bought canned kidney beans for $0.45 each (a good price), but they didnít carry black beans or chick peasóthe other 2 types of canned beans we eat frequently. I also thought the canned diced tomatoes ($0.45-$0.49, depending on if they had chilies) were well priced so I bought 6 cans. The 100% pure Maple Syrup was a steal, but I didnít buy any since we already had 1.5 bottles at home. The canned fruit was all canned in heavy or light syrup (none packed in juice), so I passed that up. Milk was $3.08 / galóI can buy delicious milk in glass bottles at a local dairy for $2.70 / gal. The baking supplies were similar in price to a grocery store on sale, but I did bring for a package of Toll House swirled chocolate Ė caramel chipsómostly because Mr. Bean threw them in the cart! Aldi was a fun trip, but I left not feeling remorseful that there isnít one closer to us.

1 Responses to “Grocery Store Epiphany”

  1. yummy64 Says:

    I like aldi for some staples. I wish they had them here but they haven't been in Canada for years (left in the late 80's or early 90's?)

    I shop at them when I'm in the states for a limited number of staples. I love that you can get in and out of them so fast Smile

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