The Daily Feed: How Do You Shop?

When I was a kid, my mom shopped at the local Gristedes.  She got everything there: deli meats, fish, produce, spices, and paper goods—even drugstore items. She worked full-time and didn’t have the luxury of bouncing around from store to store to pick up some items here, others there.

Oh, but how times have changed. I work, too, but I regularly shop at four or five different places just to procure food for my family.  The farmers’ market for produce, Trader Joe’s for milk, eggs, and cereal, the Middle Eastern market for dried beans, and Whole Foods for funky, organic grains. Lunardi’s, a local chain, has friendly salespeople who help me pick the best melons and talk with me about their shrimp and meat, so I can get exactly what I want.

If you live in a big city, you probably shop in even more spots.  One place has great bread, another the best sausage; a cheese store with free samples, a liquor store for booze. In Europe, this type of multistop shopping has always been the norm, not the exception.  

Is shopping this way a luxury? Sure, but I don’t wear expensive clothes or fancy jewels, and I don’t have a long commute, so I can justify the modest added expense of money and time.

I do wonder, though, if my habits are unusual, if most folks just pop into Walmart, or Sam’s Club, or Costco once a month, fill their carts to the ceiling, and call it a day. I’d sure have more time if I did that, but I doubt I’d eat nearly as well.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.


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