Where to Shop?

I’m lucky enough to live fairly close to a variety of grocery stores. Sometimes I find myself going to too many stores, which can be time-consuming (and expensive!). In fact, I was hesitant to start shopping at Aldi because that is adding one more errand to my list.

So here’s where I buy food:



Lots of staples for less money

Inexpensive produce that so far has been good quality

Parking is great at my store

Store isn’t crowded on weekday mornings


They don’t have specific items like xanthan gum or rice flour

Limited selection of items and brands

You have to remember the quarter and your bags

Bagging your own groceries in a separate area but I barely count this as a con because I end up bagging groceries pretty much everywhere

Learning curve on how things work there

Earth Fare


If you are looking for obscure ingredients, this is the place to go

They have decent sales

Large selection for vegan and gluten-free items


Can be expensive



Impressive offerings for gluten-free and vegans

Good produce selection

Good selection of non-food and beauty products


I feel like prices have gone up over the past year since they opened

I’ve seen a lot of expired items on the shelves, especially yogurts

Trader Joe’s


TJ’s has the best employees and when it’s not packed, I love shopping here

Lots of “treat” foods, but a pretty good selection and prices for basics

Good return policy – I’ve only used it a couple of times when I bought something someone had tampered with


Some items are seasonal, like their mango tea. Some items get retired from the shelves.

My TJ’s is often crowded and parking is a nightmare

They are often out of items, especially on Sunday night

Not a one-stop shop because of limited selection

For me there was a learning curve on what to buy here and how the store was organized

Limited brand selection

I don’t think they accept coupons

I’ve accidentally bought several things that someone had opened

Harris Teeter


There are a lot of Teeters around me and the closest is 4 minutes away

Do they still offer Super Double coupons? I saved a ton of money when I was into coupons.


Prices are high

Produce quality has taken a nosedive since HT was bought by Kroger. I can smell rotten food as soon as I walk in and it’s actually so bad that my partner notices it. We’ve gotten sick twice from bad produce.

Often doesn’t have what I’m looking for

Limited gluten-free selection

Also a lot of expired stuff on the shelves – I now check the dates and tamper seals on everything

I avoid Harris Teeter if I can



I enjoy shopping here

Produce quality is A+

Fairly good selection for gluten-free


I don’t think their coupon program is as good as Harris Teeter

That awkward moment when the bagger insists on helping you to your car and you feel guilty

Whole Foods


Good place to find specific ingredients

Can be affordable if you stick to sale items


It’s not called “Whole Paycheck” for nothing

This store is 30 minutes away from me so I rarely shop here

Fresh Market


They’ve renovated their stores in the past few years to make them easier to navigate. I used to avoid it when I had both kids in a stroller because of the way the store was set up.

Lots of specialty items


Definitely not a one-stop shop




Convenience. I can buy food and my kids socks at the same time!

Prices are pretty good

Can get basic stuff here, usually. They have frozen fruit, almond milk, and snacks


Definitely not buying everything we need here

What’s your favorite place to shop for food?