Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grocery Update

Ya gotta eat.

So far, although we've been out a few times, we're watching money closely during the transition.

We know there are plenty of Whole Foods in the area, but we haven't been there yet, and they have a rep as being pricy. There's a Star Market very close by, but as noted earlier, it is expensive.

So we've been interested in checking out Market Basket, renowned as the go-to grocer for cost-conscious buyers.

Shopping at different grocers is OK; back in the 'Ville we would usually go to Walmart, but had at times hit Harp's and frequented the nearby Marvin's. The latter two places were more expensive, and ultimately we excised Harp's from the mix. Marvin's was a great fall-back if we needed a quick run, although their selection was smaller than that at Wally. However, they did have some unique offerings that we'd try.

After doing some research and hearing that the Market Basket in Chelsea was the crown jewel, yesterday I ventured over there to see for myself. Advisors warned to stay away on weekends, the store would be packed.

Well, it was packed on a Tuesday afternoon, too. Granted, it's just two days before Thanksgiving, but it was insane. The store is mammoth and has 34 checkout aisles. Every one of them had a line at least one cart deep. Being a first-timer, and an ambler, I had to visit almost every section of the store. Throughout, it was like being at a tailgate party. People everywhere. Crazy.

Market Basket, Chelsea MA.
This was my pic upon entry:

Even though I spent more than an hour wandering the store, I still have some questions. Is there ever a time when it's not a madhouse? It didn't appear the selections were as varied as a store that size would have. I will say that the produce section was massive and appeared to be a strong suit. They also had an impressive bakery.

But these are just first-run observations; I think it will take further visits to be sure.

There's a smaller MB in Somerville, which is closer, so I'll probably hit that up at some point.

Even parking at the Chelsea store was a bit of a cluster. I figured out early that finding a place close by was a pipe dream, and headed for the outer reaches of the lot. Maybe that's part of the plan: get customers to work up an appetite before coming in.

What's funny is that the WM's in AR are about similar size, but almost never as crowded. Obviously there is a huge population difference but I don't recall grocery shopping being as much of a challenge in Dallas or LA.

We'll probably find and check out a WM here, although the word is that the experience is vastly difference and the WMs here are grimy. Definitely the perception is different. In Arkansas, WM is a source of pride. Elsewhere, there's a lot of derision.

I don't give a shit, I just want to not spend money I don't have to spend.

On the way to Chelsea there was a place called Stop & Shop. I'll look into that, too.

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