Friday, February 17, 2012

Supermarket trekking again

So, as I'd noted in a previous blog, I spend half my week trolling different supermarkets because I can't get everything I need in one place. I do like to buy a lot of organic or at least healthier choices so that also makes my supermarket shopping even more of a pain in the ass. Even Shop Rite which has always been my supermarket of choice isn't uniform in what they carry. Every. Single. One. carries different stuff. Now that I'm working, I even PASS a Shop Rite (Emerson) on my way home. I was so excited about this thinking I could stop on my way home and it would be convenient.

No, no. NO. I stop in Emerson. While it's one of those re-done, giant ones, the first thing I was looking for was not there. I asked where their cut fruit & veggies are located. They show me a tiny refrigerator that was practically empty. For convenience, I buy Organic Valley or some other brand of sliced apples in snack size bags. I also buy those Mickey Mouse heads (Foodles) that I put in E's school lunch. Neither were there.

My friends Marissa and Nicole swear by Fairway. It's just so...FAR. I live on the 208 side of Glen Rock. Most of my business (errands) are on Rt 4. But, E's pediatrician and work are on the Rt 17 side of Bergen and I could pass Fairway on the way home from work too. I'd been there before, but it was before Jenny Craig and it seemed like it was just really expensive. But I figured it couldn't hurt to try it again. I needed a few things and the thought of taking E to Shop Rite some other time just didn't thrill me. I'd have to go on Saturday and Shop Rite in Paramus might as well be giving Justin Bieber clones away on the weekend. No way.

I have a few thoughts on Fairway. If you keep kosher, it's like you've walked into heaven. In Shop Rite, they do a decent job on having kosher items but in comparison to Fairway, I probably wouldn't even bother with Shop Rite. Anything brought into E's school for birthdays or celebrations has to be store-bought kosher and I was able to get cute mini cupcakes at Fairway that I've never seen in Shop Rite.

Also if you're into gourmet stuff- vinegars, cheese, olives, fresh nut butters, exotic frozen raviolis and other pastas, Fairway has everyone beat. Same with organic dairy. Tons of stuff. Their prepared food and soups look and sound diverse and amazing. Just so many choices.

For me though, some of my staples were so much higher. B eats Activia yogurt. I buy a 12 pack for him and he goes through them pretty fast.. It was like $1 more for the dozen. May seem like a small amount but if I bought there all the time it would add up. Some of the cereals I buy were more, organic fat-free milk was more in the gallon, and I think E's frozen waffles were more too. All stuff I use daily.

I also use Applegate Farms Organic hot dogs weekly. They only had the beef in organic. The turkey and chicken were just the "uncured". WHY? If you already committed to carrying all this other organic stuff and have a whole shelf dedicated to Applegate Farms products (cold cuts, cheeses, etc), WHY wouldn't you also have the organic chicken and turkey dogs???

With the fruit and vegetables, they don't carry Mann's sugar snap peas in the bag. I eat a bag of those a day. They had a bin of loose sugar snap peas but I don't want to pick through a bin and make a bag. I want separate bags for taking on the go. CONVENIENCE. I'm spoiled by convenience. My hands were freezing as I'm picking through a peck of beans and I was totally all WTF about it. I wanted to grab my nice, easy Mann's bags and get a move on. Oh, and no Foodles in here either. I NEED THE FOODLES.

Another issue, which is not really a huge problem but it is if you're pressed for time- the store is confusing as hell. Nothing is where it says it is. I was looking for PAM in the aisle that's LABELED "Cooking Sprays", yet no cooking spray to be found. I asked someone and it was the second half of that aisle. But that part of the aisle had other labels, that were not cooking spray. I think it's set up very oddly. I'm sure I'd get the hang of it once I'd been there numerous times but just going there on the fly here and there had me walking around in circles.

Now, I'm not sure, but I don't think they have a loyalty card either. I didn't want to buy any puree pouches for E because they count toward Baby Bucks at Shop Rite. It's more worth it for me to buy them there to eventually hit the amount to get $10 off $50. The loyalty cards don't save me a ton or help me that much but it annoys me when a store doesn't have any loyalty programs.

So, like I said, it's great for kosher and for organic, but for me, it's expensive for my weekly staples and I still have to make a trip to Shop Rite or Target. Target is the only place I can E's "Groovy Smoothies" (Fresh Beat Band moms know what I'm talking about)- Bolthouse Farms Protein drink in Mango. NO ONE seems to carry this but Target. I didn't dislike Fairway- I bought a chocolate babka that was to die for (you should be hearing that last line in a Brooklynese-Jewish accent). I could've eaten the whole thing myself. My husband loved their New England Clam Chowder in their prepared soups section. Last Mothers Day I got a chocolate mousse cake from their bakery that was awesome and I don't even like chocolate cake. They have a ginormous variety of foods, I just find the set-up confusing, it's a huge store, and it's a bit intimidating if you're in a time crunch like I always am.

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