I’m out of phase this week, so can’t prep you for the Wednesday ads. The plan, as much as there is of one, is to make Tuesdays ‘Tuesday Ad Days’ so that you know what the big bargains will be that week. Then you can assess your needs and decide what sort of shopping trips you’ll be making, with those deals in mind.
However, in this CheepieAustin Inaugural Week, that is not happening. Partly because I don’t get my mail until 7pm (wth, Post Office?) and don’t have the ads, partly because the web scraper that will help me collect all the information in a more 2000s kind of way isn’t written yet, and partly because I didn’t plan ahead much, but just decided to start this thing and hope for the best. So here we are, with Grocery Theory.
Here are the grocery stores in Austin, ranked:
Sprouts>HEB>Fiesta>Trader Joe’s>Central Market>Whole Foods>Randalls
Remain calm. I’m not saying you have to rank them this way, just that over years of shopping, this is my list.
I’m leaving off some other places that also have groceries (Target, Costco,etc.), that we’ll integrate as we go. If you do all your grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, don’t run away though–maybe I can steer you toward a simpler way to save and still cut down on trips to the store. I’ve left Wheatsville off, as well, because I’ve only been in there once.
We all have a million things to think about when we shop, not just the grocery list. There’s traffic to consider, the grocery-to-household problem (I want to go to Central Market to get that shrimp on sale, but I need dish soap too!), the cost, and whether or not you can leave the parking lot in the direction you want to go when you leave. I’m looking at you, HEB on Brodie.
My ranking is based on those things, and more. There’s the quality of the produce, how far I’m likely to have to walk to get what I need, whether they’ve got the meat cuts I want, how much they charge for milk, and will my kids behave or start asking for Cocoa Puffs even though I never, ever buy them? It’s an ongoing evaluation.
I hit all of the ones I’ve listed pretty regularly. Most of them I’ve got in categories–TJs and Sprouts are produce and yogurt, while HEB is all-purpose. As part of the ongoing grocery discussion here, one of the things I’ll discuss is what each store does well and not-so-well.
Let me know what your rankings are. Do you only go to one store? Do you avoid Randalls like the plague? Put your list up in the comments! Cheep Cheep!