There are a lot of new service providers to choose once you move to a new town, a new area. You have to find a new doctor, a new auto mechanic, a new dentist and optometrist. Most of it is pretty tedious. But I always enjoy trying out all my available options in my quest for a new...
Grocery Store! Yes, the most important shopping experience of my daily life. I spend more time there than any other shopping location, at least once a week, and what I get impacts every day of cooking and eating. Back in my previous town, I had settled on Winco. Winco was great for low prices and good selection. Sometimes the produce seemed, well, one-day-oldish, and the meat selection, while extremely affordable, was not that great. There was a lack of anything organic, and I didn't buy ice cream there. It seemed a little re-frozen sometimes. So I made up for the lack by shopping for other things at Raley's, BelAir, New Earth Market, filling in the gaps. Sometimes that made for a tiring shopping experience!
Now that I was only going to be cooking for two, I could afford to not pick a store based primarily on price, though that would be a consideration. Freshness, good price, an expanded meat market, cleanness, convenient location, some organics, variety in produce-- those were on my list.
All roads lead to Walmart. It seems to be the first place you visit when you are setting up house. Our Walmart is a humungous, brand new facility. I was more than a little annoyed though that the floor plan was not the same as all the rest. It was different, and I wandered around for a long time, getting my bearings. Walmart is not bad to pick up a few things, but I couldn't make it MY grocery store. It is crowded, both the parking lot and the store, at all hours, and the checkers are few. The groceries are ok, but when you carry everything, you can't carry a lot of it, even if the store is the size of all of Lemoncove.
I did try the local Raley's. It is obviously a smaller, older store. It is not bad, but seems more like a neighborhood market, not one to drive across town for.
I also went to the local Winco. It is across the boulevard from Walmart. It is also humungous, and it is also very crowded. I did not feel the magic.
Then I visited the newer, close-to-me Safeway store. What a nice place! The butcher was very helpful, and they carry all sorts of meats. The produce aisle is an exciting place to mill around in. There is a Starbucks inside, and also a Starbucks at the other end of the parking lot. A CVS is right next door, and on the other side is a Lowes. So I'm done looking, and that's a good feeling!
Still to ponder is the Costco option, now that I live in a town that actually has one close by.
Life is an adventure, and face it, food is a big part of life. Very good food, very bad food, and even mundane, boring food has something interesting embedded in it that can be pried out with a good opener.