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 🙂

Market District by Giant Eagle in Kingsdale (Upper Arlington OH)

Do you know the first Market District by Giant Eagle opened in Columbus this month? You can see the news about Market District in the OSU newspaper, the Lantern. You can also receive the local newspapers which have Market District coupons inside.

Attracted by the colorful coupons, I went to Market District with my boyfriend this week. It is located in Kingsdale Center, Upper Arlington, which is really near my house. When I entered into the store, I was slightly shocked by its design. The new store looks like the flagship of Giant Eagle. It is very big, clean, tidy. Is it a competitor of Whole Foods? The stuff were displayed like those in Whole Foods. It is promoting its own products (like Giant Eagle Tea, Giant Eagle water), which is similar to what Whole Foods does. It sells Natural Basket Milk, just like Whole Foods sells 365 Milk. I can’t stop in comparing Market District with Whole Foods.

Also I find some things to be different between Market District and Whole Foods.

1. There are some shopping baskets near the shelves in the center of Market District. I think it is a wise decision, some customers may grab a basket and buy more stuff.

2. Market District sells Asian food in one of its restaurants.

3. Some employees speak Chinese in the Sushi Bar.

4. It sells duck!!! Duck is very popular in Chinese grocery stores. Rarely can I see duck in American store.

5. It sells frog legs. I have never thought that Americans consider frog legs as food.

6. Its cakes look better than those in Whole Foods. Very pretty!

7. I personally think that Whole Foods has more decent and organic food.

I think I will visit Market District more in the future, searching for my favorite Asian products. I will also visit Whole Foods, getting organic food.

Friends, please tell me your feelings about Market District!