August 5th, 2009, 10:03 PM #1
Which grocery chain do you prefer? Why?
I thought this might be an interesting thread, especially when people are trying to save what money they can. I know people that are willing to go out of the way to shop at a particular market.
The closest store to where I live is Vons yet we do most of our shopping at Stater Bros. To me it seems that Stater Bros is less expensive than Vons, the meat department seems better at Stater Bros, especially with the butcher counter. We've purchased some delicious steaks, huge bone-in rib eyes or t-bones that are cut so big they're practically porterhouses still marked at the t-bone price. So we do the majority of our shopping at Stater Bros and then the "oh I forgot to buy bread" kind of shopping at Vons, just because it's the closest.
The last few times I've been in Vons, it seems like they're going downhill. Things that are advertised in the weekly flyer they've been out of or they just don't have a ton of things in stock. Like it was about 7 pm and we decided we were going to bbq hamburgers for dinner. I went to Vons, they had the 80/20 ground beef in the ad (since you need some fat in the meat for bbqing anyways) and they had no ground beef out at all. They had a few of the like 5 lb chubs, or like 2 packages each 93/7 or 96/4 out. No 80/20 or 85/15 and no meat department employees around to even ask if they had any in the back. I could see if I went in at like midnight, having trouble finding things in stock and finding employees to help me find them. But I don't think around 7 pm is a horrible time to shop, I'd imagine a lot of people might be shopping at that time on their way home from work between 5-7:30 pm.
We do not have an Albertsons super close, or a Ralphs so we never really go to those stores. We've been doing a lot more shopping at Trader Joe's as well. The Target by us really expanded their grocery section, they now have some produce and meat, it's like a quarter of the store now. I know they have whole chickens and bagged lettuce, and some fresh fruits as well as a ton of dry/pantry items. A lot of the dried pantry type items like cereal are less expensive at Target or Walmart. My friends moved and will drive a couple of miles further to go to Vons, when they live closer to a Stater Bros, for the reasons of the Vons has been remodeled more recently, and it was the store they got used to going to before they moved. To me that seems silly. Price and quality should be a lot more important than appearance of the store.
August 5th, 2009, 10:21 PM #2
When I lived in Costa Mesa, it was a toss up between Ralphs (NOT the Fresh Fare, that place sucked ass) and Trader Joes, depending on what I needed. Sometimes the Irvine Ranch Market for wine and Grower's Direct for produce. Oh and Costco. I never did make it to Mother's.
Now, it's anywhere between Costco, 99 Ranch Market, Northgate Market, Trader Joes and whatever's down on the corner of Imperial and Harbor...I think it's an Albertsons...not sure, but it sucks. A Sprouts just opened in Brea, I'm curious, but I've heard the produce is overpriced?
August 5th, 2009, 10:26 PM #3
albertson's, cause it's my store!
plus i worked there for a year. also stater bros is good imo
August 5th, 2009, 10:40 PM #4
I use the local Ralphs for most of the stuff. We will also go for the deals in the ads if its a good deal. trader Joes is also a fave for particular items the markets don't carry
August 5th, 2009, 10:47 PM #5
ralph's. it's close by and i use coupons and shop the sales. i end up saving anywhere between $30-60.
other times, i buy meat and produce at whole foods, but that's probably just once every three weeks because the closest one is more than a 20 min drive away in long beach.
i get nitrate free bacon, chocolate croissants and a couple of other things unique to trader joe's every few weeks as well.
for the quick "oh i forgot milk" or something, albertson's is closest. i don't shop there regularly though because i find their prices to be higher than ralph's for not as good a selection/quality, at least not in the stuff i'm interested in...
August 5th, 2009, 11:11 PM #6
It's not nitrate free I'm sure, but the bacon from the butcher counter at Stater Bros always cooks up really nicely, doesn't shrink too much, and with good flavor. It's usually less expensive than any of the prepackaged stuff too, sometimes it's on sale for $1.99/lb.
Originally Posted by lunchbox
August 5th, 2009, 11:38 PM #7
There are four stores (Vons, Alberson's, Trader Joes, Bristol Farms) within three blocks of me and I do the bulk of my shopping at Albertsons and TJs.
Albersons is my go to place for produce and general items. TJ's is for the random good stuff (marinated meats, nuts, wine, etc.). I can throw a rock at the Vons, but I only go there for last minute stuff like toilet paper or ice. Bristol Farms is a bit too expensive for me, but I will go there for gourmet stuff.
Whole Foods is further off, but I'll go there for produce and lunch items when my budget allows. There is a Ralphs close by but rarrely go.
Price is important to me, but being able to walk to my stores saves me gas, so whatever savings driving somewhere are saved by walking.
August 5th, 2009, 11:56 PM #8
We used to go to Albertsons at our last house. Now we go to a Wal Mart megastore suspercenter type place. There is an Albertsons and a Smiths about the same distance away but on certain items I buy a lot of their prices are a lot higher. I just wish Wal Mart had a better selection of meat. I have to go elsewhere to get a flank steak or skirt steak.
August 6th, 2009, 12:06 AM #9
They just upgrade the Ralph's and Von's that are closest to me (within walking distance). The Ralph's is perfect but the Von's has a Starbucks inside and is more like a 7/11 than a grocery store so I mainly go to Ralph's.
August 6th, 2009, 12:30 AM #10
I like Winco foods for low prices on the basics. Kinda out of the way, but if you're near one, it's usually full of good deals.