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Old 02-05-2017, 08:36 AM   #41
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[SIZE=1](Addie....just FYI....her name is Mad Cook, not Mad Cow...lol)
I thought that's what I had read, but I figured I must have misread it. But I never went back to check lol.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:39 AM   #42
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Just out of curiosity, what do you guys find to be the major differences when comparing the lower end, bargain stores to the higher end, stores?

Is it quality, freshness, Brand availability, variety, price ??
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:10 PM   #43
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Mad Cook: I have been away from Uk for 7 years now, so yeah it should have changed but my favourite cereal is still tesco honey nut crunch.

We used Co-op alot too, the meat was amazing and the breakfast kit lovely, even if Mark& Spencer's is better, yes I adore a good Scottish breakfast one of the things I looking forward too when we get back this summer.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:53 PM   #44
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Just out of curiosity, what do you guys find to be the major differences when comparing the lower end, bargain stores to the higher end, stores?

Is it quality, freshness, Brand availability, variety, price ??
Price is what I notice most, but size of store and food selection often determine price. Aldi stores are small, with limited selections, but it's hard to beat their price. Most items are Private Label, but over the decades since I first shopped them (1987?) The quality has skyrocketed to be at least as good as most major brands. Most times produce is good, but it can be a dice roll.

Location plays big into price, too. We stop at a Wegmans in Wilkes-Barre PA when we travel between MA and OH. Prices there in the hills of PA are decent. We also have a Wegmans about 25 miles from where we live. It's located in an upscale town with upscale career people and the prices definitely reflect that market base. 😮
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:59 PM   #45
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(Addie....just FYI....her name is Mad Cook, not Mad Cow...lol)

I'm in a small town - 3 miles from one end of town to the other - and only 2 major grocery stores. I usually shop at Albertsons, because it's closer and not on the main boulevard but every now and then I'll go to Staters. It depends on what I need and what's on sale. If I want to go to Costco, Trader Joes, or any other major grocery chain, it's over 200 miles round trip so I don't get there often.

We do have a WalMart out near the county line, but I rarely go there.
I see her name, read it as Mad Cook and then type Mad Cow. Every single time!! I don't know why. I will blame it on old age. Next month I will be 78. That is old enough to be considered eccentric. So now I am practicing for it.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:24 PM   #46
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I used to have it good when I lived in the Twin Cities. We had 6 grocery stores within three miles of our house, and that's not counting Sam's Club and Costco.

Now I live in a small town of 3,500 and there is one store. Okay, two if you count the local meat market (which actually has a pretty decent selection, and much that's sourced locally). If I choose not to shop at those places, it's 20 miles to the next nearest store.

So now I have to plan a little better. When I drive into the office 2 days a week, I head for the grocery stores before making the trip back home. But I miss the days of being able to run out and get things like Ahi tuna on a whim. The only fish they carry at the local mom & pop store is salmon, and it usually doesn't smell very fresh.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:31 AM   #47
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I used to have it good when I lived in the Twin Cities. We had 6 grocery stores within three miles of our house, and that's not counting Sam's Club and Costco.

Now I live in a small town of 3,500 and there is one store. Okay, two if you count the local meat market (which actually has a pretty decent selection, and much that's sourced locally). If I choose not to shop at those places, it's 20 miles to the next nearest store.

So now I have to plan a little better. When I drive into the office 2 days a week, I head for the grocery stores before making the trip back home. But I miss the days of being able to run out and get things like Ahi tuna on a whim. The only fish they carry at the local mom & pop store is salmon, and it usually doesn't smell very fresh.
I know the feeling. I am able to shop only once a month to get all my food needs. So I start two/three weeks ahead making up my grocery list and looking for coupons. Otherwise I have only two stores I can pick up something I may need. 7-11 and the little corner store. There groceries are priced way too high for me. So I had better get my grocery list right. I don't drive and my supermarket that I go to is in the next town. About a five minute drive. And since Spike is also disabled due to heart attacks, he tries to plan his major trips to the same supermarket. He too is on food stamps. So the both of us have to plan very carefully. He takes me there once a month. And if I should mention to him that I forgot some item or need something, he doesn't make a special trip, but plans it so that he goes when he needs something also.

When I was a teenager, husbands did all the driving. There was no need for a girl to learn to drive. If only I had known I would be widowed twice.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:16 AM   #48
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I thought that's what I had read, but I figured I must have misread it. But I never went back to check lol.
I don't mind. Sometimes I am a mad cow!
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:36 AM   #49
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I don't mind. Sometimes I am a mad cow!
Aint nothing wrong with that
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:26 PM   #50
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Ive found that Spices in my local Indian store are significantly less expensive then when bought in the regular grocery store ( along with almonds, cashews..). The quality has been good, I just think they have such high demand and buy it in crazy bulk, ( usually sell it in bulk too). Also, the canned stuff ( like beans, tomatoes) are unrecognizable brands ( maybe popular in their country), and are also usually less expensive. That being said, I'd try a can first before loading up, just to make sure the quality is satisfactory.
We have an Indian store down the street and their spices are dirt cheap, but they don't sell a "small" amount of anything. I was driving home and forgot to buy ground ginger and stopped there to get some, I ended up buying a pound of it! But it was only $2.99 and I didn't want to make another stop. I will say it was really good quality and fragrant!
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:32 PM   #51
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Just out of curiosity, what do you guys find to be the major differences when comparing the lower end, bargain stores to the higher end, stores?

Is it quality, freshness, Brand availability, variety, price ??
I will definitely say it's mostly price. With stores like Aldi, they carry about 90% store brand items, and if that's the bulk of your merchandise you have to make sure that it's good. I will say that their store brands are just as good (probably the same suppliers) as the higher end grocer's store brands. There is very few things that I have bought there that I didn't care for. I actually like some things better, like their chocolate chips, I like them better than Nestle.

Aldi can be hit or miss with produce. Their produce is usually a bargain, think 99 cent strawberries, blueberries etc.. They don't have the climate control cases in my Aldi like a regular grocery store, so stuff doesn't last as long. They also don't have everything all the time. With that said, they give even parents on a tight budget an opportunity to afford fresh produce.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:32 PM   #52
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Penn Dutch has everything that Publix does, which is a multi-state chain, except occassiobally swiss chard, much, much cheaper and fresher. Restaurant Depot has everything cheaper, but you have to buy in quantity. I'd rather buy in bulk and refrigerate than pay thru nose in small amounts.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:48 PM   #53
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I will definitely say it's mostly price. With stores like Aldi, they carry about 90% store brand items, and if that's the bulk of your merchandise you have to make sure that it's good. I will say that their store brands are just as good (probably the same suppliers) as the higher end grocer's store brands. There is very few things that I have bought there that I didn't care for. I actually like some things better, like their chocolate chips, I like them better than Nestle.

Aldi can be hit or miss with produce. Their produce is usually a bargain, think 99 cent strawberries, blueberries etc.. They don't have the climate control cases in my Aldi like a regular grocery store, so stuff doesn't last as long. They also don't have everything all the time. With that said, they give even parents on a tight budget an opportunity to afford fresh produce.
Yep. Also, the coffee selection at Aldi is great -- low cost and nice quality.

If I were single, I could probably live off $30 a week in groceries at Aldi. The wife, though, is kinda picky though. But buying at 2-3 stores is saving a ton of money. We're down to like $80-$90/week when before it was $130-$140/week.

And when things are super cheap, I stock up for the future. That does wonders for the food budget.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:56 PM   #54
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We have an Indian store down the street and their spices are dirt cheap, but they don't sell a "small" amount of anything. I was driving home and forgot to buy ground ginger and stopped there to get some, I ended up buying a pound of it! But it was only $2.99 and I didn't want to make another stop. I will say it was really good quality and fragrant!
Wow, that's a great price. Also, a nice curry seasoning is great to have on hand for making some Indian dishes like chicken, veggies, etc..

Yeah those small middle eastern/Indian stores are great for spices, seasonings. Also they carry the Goya brands of pre-packages spices, usually. They are usually 1/3 the price of McCormick and just as good as far as I can tell.

I can't think of the brand name, but there's also another popular brand of spices that are usually available at those little Middle Eastern/Indian places. They're very reasonably priced.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:06 PM   #55
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When I was a teenager, husbands did all the driving. There was no need for a girl to learn to drive. If only I had known I would be widowed twice.
My grandmother was born in 1909, and she never learned how to drive. She was a housewife. Her husbands (widowed twice) would do all the driving. She did buy a fairly new Plymouth Duster in the early 1970's and was going to learn how to drive, but my grandpa lost his patience trying to teach her. lol.

So she sold the car to my parents. My other grandmother didn't learn how to drive until she was in her early 40's. Her husband died, so she had to get a job to support her kids.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:41 PM   #56
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There is a spice store in Cambridge on the other side of the Charles River. All their spices are sold in bulk. They don't specialize in just one specific nationality. It is a large store and have spices and seasoning from all over the world. It is quite large. I bought some Hungarian paprika many, many moons ago. That paprika went into a lot of dishes. It was a great introduction to my kids regarding seasonings other than Italian. I have never been able to get back there. To go by car is a 26 minute trip. By public transportation, a good 45 minutes. That's not counting waiting time.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:17 PM   #57
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Since I only shop for the two of us (don't tell our dog and kitties), I don't have to visit many stores. However, another factor here is that we live in a very, very rural area with a limited shopping base.

For the most part I shop at our nearby (17 miles) Kroger. I occasionally shop at Wal-Mart in the same city, but since have discovered sites such as Jet and Chewy and, now, online Wal-Mart, Kroger is just about it. There is a bargain store similar to Aldi called Save-A-Lot that I shop at every once in a while because they carry local thick-cut bacon. They don't always have it and when they do, I buy a bunch.

Many of the herbs and spices I use in cooking are purchased at an Amish market (same city as Kroger), which sells in bulk so I can buy as much or as little as I need.

I've now fine tuned my weekly shopping to only Kroger and because of my recent discovery of Wal-Mart free 2-day delivery online shopping, I no longer have to go there. As it was, I'd organized my list to make it to Wal-Mart once a month, if that.

When I go to the big city (over an hour's drive), I can make a visit to Sam's Club which, again, is about once, or less, a month. More thanks to Jet, Chewy and Wal-Mart online shopping for reducing my purchases there.

When it's all said and done, our $100 weekly budget easily handles ALL or shopping needs...all consumables, pet foods/supplies, paper goods, laundry needs (although I do make our liquid laundry detergent), along with a large part of health/beauty/pharmacy purchases.

Sometimes, often actually, I come in under budget and put the surplus into my stash for special purchases like fish from the new fish market. Doesn't "bite" the wallet nearly as firmly when there's extra set aside to splurge with.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:30 PM   #58
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Katie, I don't know if you know it, but Walmart purchased Jet. I love Jet! I placed an order somewhere around2:30-3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. I had the first of six expected deliveries by 4 p.m. Saturday. (Which contained most of my order) Not counting the free shipping, I saved at least $15.00 on sales tax.
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:56 AM   #59
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My grandmother was born in 1909, and she never learned how to drive...
My Mom (born in 1918) learned in a hurry - literally one "class" from my Dad, and that was that. Dad was being shipped out because of WWII and Mom needed to know how to drive. She was 23? 24? They lived with my maternal Grandma when they were married in 1941, along with my unmarried aunt, and had just the one car. Mom must have learned right - she never had an accident.

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...I will say that their (Aldi) store brands are just as good (probably the same suppliers) as the higher end grocer's store brands. There is very few things that I have bought there that I didn't care for...
They do have a double-your-money-back guarantee, if anything is ever that bad. We've had a clunker or two, but they were edible clunkers.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:30 AM   #60
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My mom never learned to drive. The first 45 years of her life was in Brooklyn, so she could walk to the stores.

When we moved to Jersey, either my dad drove her or she rode her bicycle a few miles to the nearest store. Actually, my dad still drove to church and the stores right up until a few months before he died.
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