Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grocery Stores

Living in a medium-sized town makes for store envy on some fronts. We do not have Whole Foods or Trader Joe's here in Knoxville.

A couple of weeks ago when in Nashville, my husband and I munched our way through Whole Foods and bought some salad items for a very indulgent supper when we got home to Knoxville that evening (for you food safety freaks, it was still cold and we put the food in the trunk). We then popped over to Trader Joe's.

I, the cheapy of us two, had been mesmerized by Trader Joe's on a November trip to Chicago organized through the Knoxville Museum of Art. While the trip included dining with other members of our group at very nice restaurants, we could balance our spending with bringing in some wine and munchies to our hotel room from the Trader Joe's that was located just a couple of blocks away.

Unfortunately the shine was off my February Trader Joe's experience since I have been impacted by serious couponing habits that I have been in the process of developing since January. The Trader Joe's brands are competitive, but I can do so much better on brand names combining specials and couponing at conventional grocery stores. And interestingly, the produce at Trader Joe's was not that much lower than Whole Foods.

What I am excited about is ALDI'S!!!! It has come to Knoxville. It didn't make sense to maintain our Sam's membership after we moved downtown, so I am really looking forward to some major savings on meat and produce. Aldi's is not exactly in my neighborhood, but Mapquest tells me that it will cost me $.88 in fuel costs to get there and back. That's a number that I can live with.

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