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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Supermarket Sweep

Let me preface this by saying I am a one supermarket kind of gal.

Stop and Shop is a bad habit I can't seem to break. It is down the street from my apartment, and open super late. These facts alone are the only reason I shop there. Well, the super late thing is more like an "Oh cool so if I needed veggie burgers at midnight I would be all set". But one never needs veggie burgers at midnight.

Well, hardly ever.

In any case even though the produce is weak, the meat selection fluctuates and if something is on sale it is gone way before I ever make it there, I love my down the street Stop and Shop. It is so close to my apartment! And on my way home from work? Did I mention that?

Sure, I have brief flings with Russo's and Shaw's. But in the end Stop and Shop is like that deadbeat boyfriend you can't seem to break up with because the relationship is just so convenient.

But I have a confession to make. There is another contender in the mix.

Sometimes....just SOMETIMES....I go to Hannaford.

Yeah their produce is better than Stop and Shop's, and this particular store is bigger, brighter and better stocked than the S&S I usually go to. But that is not why the affair continues. They sell BEER and WINE.

Do you know about MA? You can only buy booze at a tiny amount of supermarkets. And even then it's only beer and wine. Truth be told I voted against the measure that would have brought wine and beer to ALL supermarkets but that is neither here or there.

So yeah, Hannaford sells beer and wine and sometimes when I am SO tired and I have to go food shopping I figure, I may as well kill two birds with one stone and swing onto Hancock Street and into Hannaford. The thing is, that store scares the crap out of me. I don't know where anything is. The produce is arranged confusingly (Peppers in three different places? How can I cope?), and I don't get how the aisles are laid out. Why is the cereal aisle over near the paper goods? It should be next to the pasta aisle!!

Even when I go in with a list, more often than not I end up standing slack jawed in the meat section, squinting and scanning the aisles, unable to find what I need. And when I can't find what I need I get stressed and into "Oh, Fuck It!" mode.

"Oh Fuck It" mode makes me freak out if I can't find something right away and instead buy things that I CAN find, even if I don't need them. Like I might decide not to get Allspice, even though I need it, and instead buy the pretty new fall paper towels that Bounty has out.

What can I say, when I panic - I go for pretty things!

I think if I gave Hannaford some time, I could come to love it as I love all things that are familiar.

If not at least I can pick up a few bottles of wine to soothe my supermarket stresses.



And hey, those paper towels are pretty darn cute. Frig Allspice anyway.

20 comments:

Mandy said...

Why booze at only a handful of grocery stores? What was the law that would have brought beer and wine to all supermarkets?

I guess it's not really relevant, but I remember when the grocery store would have the liquor section roped off with blue tape on Sundays--no booze could be purchased that day.

Jenny said...

I shop almost exclusively at the Hannaford! Maybe I've been going there for so long that the peppers in three places not only seems normal, but convenient!

But, then again, I myself am just as weird and difficult to understand....

Sarah said...

jenny, you and hannaford are both enigmas.

rooroo said...

i go to a hannaford (not in quincy) and i love it, the fruits and veggies are always so awesome and their meats are yummy. the only thing i hate is that the freezer case is right in the middle of the store! i have to skip it and come back or else all my stuff melts. but their lean cuisines are alway 2 for $4 so i deal. :) no booze at mine though!

Nicky said...

I'm right with you, girl. There's a Hannaford about 10 minutes in the opposite direction from our house with a gorgeous produce selection. But we live 3 seconds from a Shaw's, so that's our grocery store. The produce "selection" is nonexistant at Shaw's and leaves me grumbling every week. (You don't stock chives??? I mean, how exotic are CHIVES?) I do find Hannaford difficult to navigate (A video section in the middle of the frozen food aisles...wha...???) so I stick store that sucks, but that I'm at least familiar with. Laziness wins again.

kate.d. said...

i had no idea that massachusetts had hannafords now. in all my years as a new englander, i only ever saw them in maine.

i learn something new every day.

Sarah said...

Kate I believe they just recently infiltrated. I know where the Hannaford is in my town used to be a Victory so maybe they took over those?

LooLoo said...

I was a Hannis Whore until they moved across the street to a Market Basket. I wanted to see what all the fuss and savings i kept hearing was about. Well, I save an average of $20 bucks a week, not bad. It took me three shopping trips to get over my brain washed Hannis routine!

Libby said...

I grew up going to Hannafords (in New Hampshire.) When I moved to the North Shore I became a Shaws girl. Four years later, I still don't have the layout of that place completely down.

Perfectly Plump Preppy said...

I love Hannaford. Here in Albany, NY you shop at dirty old Price Chopper or Hannaford. Hannaford has a great selection of organic foods. Otherwise I have to drive about 20-30 minutes to the Green Grocer.

If you are lucky enough to live west of Albany you get Wegman's. Wegman's rocks!

K said...

I have the same question as Mandy - how come only certain stores have booze? weird.

Convenience always wins though with me... I guess that's another great thing about San Francisco, a ton of small stores and supermarkets that carry great produce and booze too! Parking (or complete lack of..) is a whole different story though...

tulipmom said...

My parents are getting a Wegman's 10 minutes from their house in PA. I am so jealous.

Sarah said...

K + Mandy: It's just a MA Puritannical type law. Like how up until a few years ago we couldn't buy liquor on sundays and tattoo parlors were illegal in the state all together. We are old school up in here.

Kimba Rimba said...

YOU VOTED NO?????

Stacey said...

I've definitely been an S&S girl all my life. However, I've already looked and there are NO Stop & Shops near my new place in Portsmouth!

However, there is a Hannaford's right down the street . . . I think I have to make the switch to a new "grocery store love." ;)

J said...

I love love love Hannaford. There isn't one near me now but in college it was well worth bypassing the Market Basket near my house.

Nowhereman said...

Just like you're stuck in a semi-committed relationship with Stop-N-Shop, i'm stuck in a loveless marriage with Shaws, due only to convenience.

However, every now and then, I just can't resist the sexy call of Roche Bros, and am forced into illicit affairs. Sure, the Roche Bros cost me more money, and I have to go out of the way, but the "deli" and produce sections trounce Shaws so hard I sometimes wonder what i'm doing with Shaws at all. Then I remember that stuff like cereal and frozen food is frequently about *half* as expensive at Shaws, and thus continue the loveless marriage.

Offy said...

The Stop & Shop on Newport Ave sells beer and wine doesn't it? If you're going to head to the Hannaford's on Hancock you may as well head one more street over and continue your affair with Stop & Shop. That one is open 24 hours, has a Redbox machine and some other third thing.

Rebecca said...

That's so funny!!! I'm a total Market Basket girl, for traditional food shopping; Shaws can lure me in occasionally. Stop and Shop I have issues with, mainly because I think they're so very overpriced! I spend double the money and come home with half of the items. I wish that Hannaford would come around because their marketing commercials really suck me in! It just looks like it would be very fun to shop there. But, I have a growing family to shop for, so I have to think as far as getting the most bang for my buck, you know?

Aside from traditional shopping, I'm a total Whole Foods girl. I get happy just walking in there....but when you've got a family to feed, unless you're a total endless supply of money, there's no way you can afford to do a full shopping order there. I can't anyway...

Lady S said...

We live practically next door to a "dirty Price Chopper" and so that is our store of convenience. When we are out and about and need to shop we go to Hannafords. Ours is clean, well-stocked, and cheaper. However, I can't figure out the layout either. Ours is capped by produce and frozen, so no confusion there. But the paper towels are in one aisle and napkins are in another and tissues in a third. Isn't that like putting milk, butter, and cheese in different aisles?

We also love to go to our local Co-op, although it is more expensive and has less selection. I would love for someone to come to Brattleboro and take over the Price Chopper. Hell, I would love Price Chopper to take it over, there is a really nice one across the river in Keene, NH. It is like night and day.