By Amanda Hill
Trader Joe’s or Walmart—does it make a difference? I recently came across an article (via the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Facebook page) that said, although Americans say they prefer high-end grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Central Market, they are more likely to shop at Walmart, Aldi and other low-cost stores for their regular food purchases.
It’s an interesting observation of supermarket savvy shoppers. On one hand, Americans are lucky to have stores that boast such variety. I get lost in the produce section of a Central Market each time I visit, which is only occasionally since we don’t have one near where we live. The rows and rows of fruits and vegetables are almost overwhelming, as are the prices in many cases. These stores provide a high-end service to customers who are willing (and able) to pay a premium.
But what if your grocery budget doesn’t fit with this model? Or, what if you don’t live near a high-end grocery store? Does that mean you have to sacrifice the quality of your food?
Absolutely not. Supermarket savvy shoppers can find healthy options at their neighborhood grocery stores, no matter the name on the door. For many people, price is a major consideration when making our weekly grocery purchases. Stores like H-E-B and Aldi provide a large variety of options at low prices, meaning you can find fresh produce, lean meats and other healthy items for prices that fit your budget.
And you don’t have to feel bad about it.
It would be interesting indeed to conduct a survey and find out what percentage of folks who claim to be concerned about food issues that actually support their LOCAL economy and jobs by buying their food at Farmers Markets and/or Community Supported Agricultural Organizations.
I have to say I totally agree with this article. In my neck of the woods HEB is high-class. But the closest one is over 65 miles away. I make do with Wal-Mart and Lowes (formerly Super S). I do have to say, though, I prefer the produce at Lowes over Wal-Mart. It is displayed nicely and usually something I want is on sale. However, most of their other items are priced significanly higher than Wal-Mart, so Wal-Mart is where I shop.
Brady, the town closest to where I live and where our local Wal-mart resides, started a Farmer’s Market on the courthouse squre. I do purchase from these farmers during the season – items that we don’t grow ourselves. Too bad it is only during the summer.
High-end grocery stores are like high-end clothing stores – I love to browse and Oh and Ah over the items, but rarely purchase. I just can’t justify the cost.
Kendra, I think your analogy describes exactly how I feel. I love to go every once and a while to browse or maybe buy something special, but I don’t shop there regularly.
Farmers markets are nice options – as long as they are open and have what I need. When it comes to price and convenience, though, my neighborhood grocery store is best.