Do You Have a Favorite Grocery Store?

Does your favorite supermarket or farmer’s market meet all your needs?  Mine doesn’t, but I love it nonetheless!

Trader Joe’s always delights me as a mother, an eater, a frugalista, and a tree hugger. The concept of a shop stocked with almost completely generic, high quality products is revolutionary!  Prices are usually reasonable, products are creative, but the abundance of packaging and the small serving sizes aren’t ideal.  Still, I do visit once a month or so to stock up on cereal, granola bars, and other prepared foods.  They aren’t always organic, but they aren’t packed with corn syrup and preservatives like other mainstream brands.

Although it isn’t ecologically perfect, I drive across town once a month to shop at Trader Joe’s.  I have to hit other grocery stores in the interim to pick up produce and household items, but it’s worth the extra trip for me travel to TJ’s. As we mention in our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, green living is all about progress, not perfection!



  1. I love TJ’s. I was so thrilled when we moved and it was a 10 minute walk instead of a 40 minute one. I really appreciate the smaller footprint of the store since they only sell one kind of ketchup, not 12 that you have to choose from.
    My son loves their tiny shopping carts, the samples and the stickers. I love their customer service, particularly their broad return policy that gets me trying new things.

  2. I love TJs too, but it is too far away for me to go more than once or twice per month.
    We recently moved to NC where there are no Publix grocery stores so I’m making do with Harris Teeter (so expensive!) and Target/Walmart supercenters. Publix was and still is my favorite grocery store ever! It has great prices, a good selection of green/natural products, including many store brands, and fabulous customer service.

  3. I don’t think I could handle going to TJ’s just once a month! I go there every day some weeks . . . but I do live just .4 miles from one. I also live within walking distance of not one but TWO Whole Foods, so I go there often for selected things, like my kamut puffs.

  4. I love, love, love Trader Joes. Unfortunately it’s an hour away, so I only get there about once a month. We usually make a family day out of it and stop at Costco on the way. My son loves going to Trader Joes because they have small shopping carts for kids and he likes to do his own shopping…lol Costco has some great organic choices as well and they are available in bulk which really helps esp. when it comes to snacks like granola bars. I do my regular food shopping at the local Top foods and look for healthy, organic choices. I shop our local farmer’s market as well, for fresh produce.

  5. Bummer, our Trader Joe’s doesn’t have small shopping carts for kids–though the co-op one block down the street does, and we’ve started hitting both stores in one trip every weekend since they are 5 blocks from our house. I rely on frozen meals and side dishes probably more than I should, but the ones at TJ’s are so tasty! I do wish they would switch to compostable packaging for their frozen bags of stuff though. My local co-op wins on that one.

    What’s the green ruling on having groceries delivered vs. driving to the store for a stock-up trip (more than you can carry while walking)? In Seattle, we have Amazon Fresh, which lets you schedule delivery at the same time a truck is already going to be in your neighborhood. As a working mom, I really appreciate the convenience of having my groceries on the doorstep when I get up in the morning.

  6. I love TJ’s too! I shop there about twice a month, b/c it’s a ways from my house. My favorite is my CSA and Farmer’s Market. Whole Foods is a million miles away and expensive, but I sometimes get bulk foods there, or random things I can’t find elsewhere. I shop at a regular grocery store like Lucky’s once in a blue moon.

  7. I love my local Thriftway. I find their prices are very competitive and I love that they are locally owned. Their produce is amazing and includes lots of local stuff when it’s in season as well as a good selection of reasonably priced organics. They are also really great about carrying stuff that their customers ask for. You can even buy milk in glass bottles! I think the fact that it’s locally owned allows them to be more flexible in what they carry. The number one reason to shop there though is that it’s on my way and I don’t have to make an extra trip – it’s right next to my daycare and walking distance from where we live.

    I also live very close to a Costco and about once a month I make a trip there. For certain things it can’t be beat – bread, olive oil, canned food, cheese, maple syrup, etc. I really like the organic choices they offer, really good produce and the fact that when you are buying in bulk it usually means less packaging (although I hate the packaging on the produce). They are also very up to date in terms of healthy options. If you buy your baking soda and vinegar there, you have bought your cleaning supplies for the year for under $10. I don’t buy everything there, but for certain staples, it saves me a ton of money.

  8. My favorite stores are locally owned (for any Okies that may read this- Native Roots and Dodson’s, both in Norman). I like knowing I’m supporting real people and the community. Also the service you get is amazing.

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