Grocery Shopping in Columbus

Every Sunday, which is supposed to be the day of rest, I run errands to prepare for the school week. I think I speak for many of us when I say that grocery shopping is one of my least favorite errands to do. It takes time to get there, it is usually crowded when I go, and then there is the time it takes to get the groceries up to my third level apartment (this step takes about 3-4 trips), and then actually putting the darn things away. Just typing all of that makes me stressed….All of this has changed in the past few weeks, because I’ve decided to get into a new routine to make the grocery shopping experience a little bit more palatable.

It all started over Christmas when my mom got me a gift card to Trader Joe’s. Now, Trader Joe’s is a place I could go on a regular basis. They have great stuff and, if you read Wes’s blog, they are owned by Aldi, so the prices are quite reasonable. Anyway, a few weeks ago I had some extra time so I went to the Dublin location and that was when it hit me. I could make grocery shopping a little more exciting by trying new places every week. I have most of the essentials, so when I go now I just go to get things strictly for the week. So far, it has been much better going to the grocery. I get to check out what other places have to offer and take in some new scenery instead of the same old store at the same time every week (I was getting scared when the people at the checkout at Giant Eagle started to recognize me). Also, when it comes to price, some places are more expensive and others are cheaper, so it seems like I end up spending the same amount in the long run.

Here are some of the places I’ve been so far and one good and bad thing about each:

1. Trader Joe’sLOVE the selection that you can’t really find at a regular grocery store, especially at their fairly low prices. My new favorite item from there is frozen tuna in a pesto-lemon marinade. Dislike that it is a little bit of a hike. They only have two locations in Columbus, one is Dublin and one at Easton. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to either location.

2. Giant Eagle (Clintonville)- This is the usual. LOVE that it is so close to home and that I know exactly where everything is. Also, the fuelperks are becoming an added bonus to shopping here on a regular basis. Dislike that it is ALWAYS crowded. It seems that whenever I go (yes, even late at night) it is ALWAYS busy. There is usually a fairly long wait at the registers.

3. Kroger (North High Street, Clintonville, I believe)- LOVE that they also have fuel rewards and that it is smaller, so it is easier to find things. This is where I used to go in my hometown, so I feel like I’m home walking through the aisles of Kroger. Dislike that they don’t have a great selection because it is pretty small.

4. Whole Foods (West Lane, Upper Arlington) – LOVE that it is close to campus and they have an excellent organic and produce selection. Dislike that it is a little pricey here, so I usually get specialty items and save the basics for Giant Eagle.

5. Walmart (near Polaris)- LOVE the prices. When I go here, I usually end up saving about $20 on my entire bill, compared to Giant Eagle or Kroger. Dislike that it is a good 20-25 minutes away and they don’t have the best produce selection.

If you dislike grocery shopping as much as I used to, try to vary it up a little bit. I’ve been told by classmates there is a Giant Eagle Market District that is “like heaven for foodies.” This is probably next on my list as well as Fresh Market. Stay tuned…..

P.S. I’m always open to new places for groceries, please comment with any suggestions :)

7 Responses to “Grocery Shopping in Columbus”

  1. 1 Rob January 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    The GE Market District in Upper Arlington is pretty intense. When it’s busy there (e.g. weekends tend to be “fun”), it’s like Las Vegas and Disneyland in the form of a grocery store. Check out the crowds at the deli meat counter and the cheese counter and the place where they make pizza and … but it’s definitely a “trip” and definitely worth going to once in a while.

  2. 2 mystery shopping February 1, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Yes, I agree with Rob that sometimes shopping center in Arlington is bit crowded. But it doesn’t disappointed me because I can find a lot of funny goods in there especially the Wallmart in Polaris.

  3. 3 Eric Dosch February 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Tarder Joe’s is a great place. it sure does make groery shopping fun going to different places! Nice blog!

  4. 4 Kathleen Newell February 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Don’t forget about the Clintonville Community Market! A great co-op with foods from local sources. I am one of those snobs that likes to buy local :) The sales are excellent and I feel good about supporting local farmers and businesses.

  5. 5 Rebecca Stephens February 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

    Rob – I will definitely try to go to GE Market District during the week and over the weekend to compare.

    Eric- Do you have a preference between Trader Joe’s at Easton or Trader Joe’s in Dublin?

    Kathleen- I’ve not heard of the Clintonville Community Market, sounds great! I will have to try that one!

  6. 6 Raphael April 20, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Thanks Rebecca for the advices. I shall come near Clintonville for my next vacations. Do you have any tip about fashion shopping store I should check ?

  7. 7 Wesley Lin April 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for the shout out, Rebecca!

    However, after talking to Aldi briefly at a diversity fair, it turns out that Aldi is actually two companies, Aldi North and Aldi South, which were owned and operated separately by two brothers.

    Turns out Aldi South is the one that owns Trader Joe, where as Aldi North, which has a presence here and operates under the Aldi banner, is wholly separate… Still, I stand by Aldi as a great deal and a wonderful place to shop. :)

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