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ambra

Daily or Weekly Shopping?

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We live in a largely rural area of Pennsylvania and the nearest decent supermarket is 13 miles away, or about 17 miles by the scenic route which has only 1 stoplight vs. 14 of the things on the direct route. Because of its distance we try to go only once a week but if I happen to be going through town on other business I may well pick up some things that were forgotten or not thought of on the weekly trip. Milk and eggs are a separate story as we get them directly from nearby farmers whenever we run out. The same goes for whatever fruits and vegetables we have a hunger for during the growing season that we don't grow ourselves. The area has an abundance of large and small farm stands open from late Spring into Fall.

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I live in Madison, WI right down the street (~5 minute walk, maybe 1 minute bike ride if I hit the light) from the magnificent Willy St Coop. So while it's undoubtedly cheaper to shop at Asian markets and supermarkets, I often fail to plan far enough ahead to shop there. The coop is definitely more expensive than most places because almost everything is organic and as local as possible, but I end up going there any way. And it's too easy to fall into the impulse buy trap, especially the cheese aisle...


nunc est bibendum...

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I live in Las Vegas. We shop once or twice a week. And then I will often (at least three times a month) run to the market(s) to assemble ingredients for some dish I want to make. Or to hit a sale that is silly not to take advantage of. (Sometimes, produce is on such deep discount here, it is essentially free. I'm always up for a sack of free yellow onions.)

I have three markets within three miles of our front door. And another two I frequent regularly that are 10 miles away. (Asian groceries in Chinatown.)

My semi-weekly with occasional daily forays seems to work out for us. I don't worry about gasoline prices -- one electric car and one that runs on compressed natural gas. Transportation is cheap.


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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I think I’d love to shop daily but it simply isn’t practical where I live (Houston). A few years back there was a small grocery just 3 blocks from me, more the size of a 40s or 50s grocery store than today’s mega-markets. I went 2-3-4-maybe sometimes 5 times a week and loved it. I knew where everything was, the produce was dependable, they carried all the basics with an adequate selection. I made special trips elsewhere for special items but at my regular store I could get in and out quickly. That was important to me and still is - the length of the shopping trip. No matter how often I shop, I seldom purchase more than 20-25 items at a time and I don’t like to be wandering up and down the isles for 45 minutes, browsing, picking up this and that pushing a huge, full cart around. I always go with a list and don’t browse - really cuts down on impulse buys. Every once in a while I’ll plan on a browsing trip to check out all the aisles, look for new items or things I’ve never tried but mostly I do that at ethnic and specialty stores.

Today there is a grocery store even closer to me but the produce is iffy and the selection of basics is not that great; I seldom go there. I’d rather drive a couple of miles further and get dependable produce so I do tend to do larger shopping trips and try to plan well enough to go only twice a week at the most.

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I live in central London. We shop every 2 days or so, and I often pick up odds and ends for something I feel like making meanwhile, so overall I'd guess some shopping gets done most days. We have a good range of shops within easy reach of home and work, and the only problem is really when they are open. Local shops, except supermarkets, shut by the time I get home. And though I don't mind taking a couple of pork chops home on the tube, I can't really do much more.

Main factors behind frequency etc are: 1) I don't like planning, and tend to think only a day or two ahead; 2) I'm usually on foot, so smaller shops are easier; 3) we don't have much space to store stuff; 4) I can't bring myself to believe that fresh vegetables, meat and fish last more than a day or two without serious loss of flavour ... or, in the case of much supermarket stuff here, such as they ever had. I'm not very cost conscious; not that I buy tons of luxurious cuts of meat or fish or enjoy being ripped off; but I'm a poor seeker of bargains.

A subsidiary factor is I make a concerted effort not to buy meat, fish, fruit, veg, or bread from the supermarket. I hate British supermarkets with a sort of visceral passion, and will spend some extra time and money minimising (though not eliminating) my use of them. It is a losing battle, though. I do best at weekends, when I have the time to get to the local outdoor markets. So actually a bit more planning might help me do better with that goal, because it's weeknight suppers that are most likely to see me grabbing stuff from the supermarket.

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I live in Vancouver, Canada between the central business district and Stanley Park.

I walk to and from work and shop every day on the way home. I have numerous shopping options ranging from a small Whole Foods to ethnic groceries and produce shops. On Saturdays from June to October there is a Farmers' Market in my neighbourhood and I walk there as well. I can't imagine shopping any other way in my circumstances, especially since I only need to cook for myself. I doubt that I save any money, it is just what makes sense and also happens to be the most pleasant approach for me.


Cheers,

Anne

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By the way, I'm just going to say why I think my new shopping style is saving me money (even allowing for the fact that things are much cheaper here anyway and also I am cooking for less people).

In the UK, as a family we buy most of our shopping on a Friday in one big shop. This includes the majority of our fruit and veg for the week. The thing is, during the week, we inevitably go and buy more fruit and veg and also other items. There are a number of reasons for this: The first is that we don't buy enough of some stuff because it obviously wilts or spoils as the week goes by. The second is that sometimes we fancy something specific, so we go out and buy it. And the third is related to the first in that sometimes stuff spoils and we need to replace it. And you know what, at the end of the week there is nearly always wastage because we buy stuff and then don't always use it or at least don't use it in time.

However, as I said in my previous post, here in Allahabad I am buying vegetables and fruits daily. Usually I buy enough for meals from lunchtime onwards plus breakfast the next day. I also do sometimes buy larger amounts of items such as onions that keep ok for a few days, but I do try and keep this to a minimum as stuff does spoil quickly - especially if I don't something as frequently or as quickly as I think I will.

And this is the heart of the matter for me personally - I will often decide I really want to eat something specific for lunch or dinner on the day and so I save money if I buy what I need when I need it. If I buy stuff days in advance there is a chance it will be wasted because I won't feel like eating it or I'll suddenly get a craving for something else and by the time I'm over that, other vegetables have spoiled. In addition, I have discovered that I am much better at judging what I need for one meal than what I need for a weeks worth of meals that I haven't really planned yet.

Of course this is personal. I find it hard to eat things I don't really want (hard or even impossible - actually I think this is why I find it easy to stay slim despite enjoying food and cooking so much. It is not difficult for me to skip a meal if there is nothing I actually want to eat), so I do not plan meals a week in advance. Other people find it much better to have meals planned out for a whole week at a time. I do still think that daily shopping will prevent spoilage in this case, but it may not make as much difference as it does for someone with my style of eating.


Edited by Jenni (log)

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I know my profile says Austin, TX, but I recently moved to the sticks. (Not far from Austin, but definitely NOT Austin!)

The best grocery store here is a giant mega mart and it is such a pain in the you-know-what to get in and out of there that we can't bare the thought of shopping more than once a week. Grocery shopping is much more of a chore now that my only option is a mega mart. I can't stand the giant parking lot, the giant heavy carts, the crowds, and the long check out lines. It's a good store, the best for maybe sixty miles around, but I wish the bulk section and fish sections were better.

When I lived in the city, I shopped a lot more sporadically, picking up things at random from my neighborhood Safeway, picking up specialty things and bulk spices from time to time at Central Market or Whole Foods. I was also only cooking for myself, so it's difficult to guage the money difference. I think I probably spent more, on average. I really liked to avoid the mega marts, so I paid for that.

There is a tiny little old school grocery store about a block away from the house now, and it's good to stop in there for last minute items. They have a good meat market and sometimes they will have good produce. It's nice having something small to pop in and grab something, even if I can't afford and don't want to do the bulk of my shopping there.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Downtown Toronto here and we shop pretty much daily because a) we both work at home and b) the markets are all within 5-10 minute walk. Also, we enjoy it-- it's part of the day's constitutional to walk to the shops. We do make a trip every Sat. on foot to the big farmer's market about 1/2 mile away to get locally grown meat, cheeses, local veg, etc.

When we lived in the Joisey burbs, shopping meant a car trip and big lines, so I tried to do one big shop a week usually at the huge A&P, and then fill in at Trader Joe, Whole Food, etc., when we were close by.

I love not having to drive to the supermarket.

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Monaco, Cote d'Azur.

I shop almost every day, I'm trying to shop every other day. There is a daily street market in France, 10 minutes walk from my appartment, within distance, there is a decent butcher and a good enough supermarket (hearing complaining about british supermarkets, in this regard, I miss Waitrose in the UK, sooo much better than Marche U! and Borough market so much better than my local street market)

Prices are much higher and quality much lower than nearby Ventimiglia, Bordighera or Sanremo, Italy. I used to shop there one or twice a week but I have a 4 yrs old and a 6 months old now, so I cannot spend as much time for shopping as before. Fish is a problem, I need to go to Italy for decent. So, I have to go to Carrefour once a week for fish, I'd rather go to Italy for it but now I cannot make it.

I'd prefer to shop daily, but with young children is really impractical.

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