Sunday, October 14, 2007

When Smaller is Better

I'm sure I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I hate grocery shopping. I've come to despise it more and more over the years, but until recently I couldn't pinpoint why. It's because the stores have been getting so dang HUGE. When Meijer first opened their store here a few years ago, I was excited to shop there. For me, it's usually about price and well, they had me there. That is, until they rearranged their store. Now, instead of all the items I need in a grocery trip (foodstuffs, cleaning products and toiletries) being on ONE side of the store, they've got them spread to opposite ends. Once I have all the food, I have to trek ten miles across a wasteland of car parts, live animals, plastic containers, shoes, clothes and the like to get to the toothepaste and body soap. Forget good prices, time is money, honey. And that store takes up too much of mine.

So I quit going to Meijer. Now I just shop at the smaller grocers. I'm still learning the layouts of the local ones, but even if I miss something it's no big deal to backtrack a little.

The other thing I couldn't stand about Meijer? The tons and tons of plastic bags I'd take home with each trip. No paper available there. Just plastic. It helps that I now have a beautiful big canvas shopper and a nice Trader Joe's handled plastic-coated grocery sack. Today I made a quick and breezy trip to the Polish grocer and came home in less than an hour with a week's plus worth of groceries and only one plastic bag. No big long hikes, no plastic bags into the landfill. Oh, and I didn't have to fight with the produce bags either.

5 musings:

Anonymous said...

I grew up next door to the neighborhood grocery and took great delight in going to the store for my mom. Things were easy to find and the owner, Mrs. Malinowski, had a philosophy that “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” When my oldest daughter was little, she could hardly wait until she was old enough to go to the corner grocery store for her mother. It was a block from our house. It closed before her siblings were old enough to experience that thrill, however. When they were older, mom would let them go to Jimmie’s, a few blocks away, to pick up last minute items for supper. Now the youngest of the group has to hop in the car to go for the bread or milk that mom forgot when she was at the mega-mart.

Llama Momma said...

I know exactly the store you're talking about. I love it there! And often, if I can't find what I'm looking for I wonder if I really need it. Usually the answer is no.

Mary said...

Hi there, I found your link on my dad's blog (Craver VII) so I thought I'd check you out. :)

I know what you mean about Meijer. It was such a pain in the rear when they moved all the body care products to the other side of the store! And yes, we get the sea of plastic bags as well. I wouldn't mind grocery shopping if no other shoppers were there. I hate having to maneuver around people and other carts.

I do wish we had a Trader Joe's here. We do like to shop at Whole Foods and Wild Oats, though.

L.L. Barkat said...

I love small shops or outdoor venues. The noise and bright lights and high ceilings and cold floors of those megastores just about put me into shock. Give me the farmer's market or the little health food store down the street and I'm more serene.

A Musing Mom said...

Anonymous-I still remember those days of going to the corner grocer.

LM-I used to get unnerved by all the imported products there, but now that's part of what makes it enjoyable (one of these days I might even try something new from the imports).

Mary-welcome. Maybe you could petition Trader Joe's to open a place near you. : )

LL-atmosphere does make it difference, doesn't it? And that's something you'll never get at a megastore.