Where do you buy your groceries?

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NorthReport
Where do you buy your groceries?

Has anyone ever shopped at Aldi as they seem to address at least some of the frustrations of grocery store shopping?

 

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/05/business/aldi-walmart-low-food-prices/index.html

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Unfortunately there don't appear to be any Aldi stores in Canada... yet.  A lot of what the article talks about -- a quarter for a cart, bag your own groceries, etc. -- sounds like a No Frills.

JKR

I shop regularly at No Frills.

NorthReport

My worst shopping experiences usually happen at a Loblaw connected store

A couple of days ago there was a sign over a product that said in smaller print 2.98 each and in larger print 3.00 for groups of 2 each

So I picked up a couple but when I got home I checked my bill and I was charged 5.96 

(A few weeks earlier I had seen the same product selling for 1.67 each)

Yesterday I returned the 2 items and the service attendant did not utter one word as he refunded me my 5.96

Then I went into the store to pick up something else and I walked by the product I had purchased previously The sign had been changed and in large print it now said “$3.00 each”  Obviously there had been a lot of complaints

I was once bagging my groceries and asked a retired guy who was bagging his groceries opposite me how he liked shopping and he said he hated it I asked him why and he responded “because you always get hosed”

I believe he is quite representative of Loblaw shoppers

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That reminds me of a good shopping tip:  watch your groceries as they're scanned, or check your bill immediately after paying.  If a product is advertised as (say) $1, or the price tag says $1, but it scans as more then stores that adhere to the Scanning Code of Practice will give it to you for free, with a maximum of two of the items (the rest you'll be charged as you should have been).  I've received a lot of free stuff this way.  Sometimes you have to ask whether they follow the SCoP, but most large chains do.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It depends on the time of year. In the summer we buy from the framer's market or farm gate. In the winter we go to either QF or Thrifty's but many things we get in bulk at Costco. We buy our meat all year round from a local farm gate butchers shop.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I shop at a number of places. Local butcher for meat, and another local place for fish, especially pickerel from northern Manitoba. Superstore because it's inexpensive for general groceries, Lucky Supermarket (Asian grocery) for special items and produce, the Co-op for certain items, like locally milled flour. Sometimes Sobey's, but not often. Farmer's market for most veg and eggs during the summer, and some meat products. We used to go to Costco when we were in SK, but the stores here are a trek and really hard to get in and out of. Occasional trips, though. We get bread from the bakery around the block from our office and often use the small, locally owned grocery across the street for smaller shops and occasional items.

NorthReport

I have discovered some very good 'Peasant' bread at a local grocer made by Oliviersbakery.ca in Coquitlam.

The label says

No: preservatives, gmo, sugar, oil or daily

and

Yes: artisan leavened bread, slow fermentation & low gluten flour

I like COSTCO as well but they are a bit of a distance.

lagatta4

In later spring (hey it is the 17th of May and very little local produce yet, dammit!) summer and autumn, I get a lot of produce and other items at Jean-Talon Market (duh). But one has to be careful as it isn't always the best bargain, and I've discovered some small "ethnic" groceries that also have fresh local produce cheaper in season. The small Greek supermarket chain PA has excellent deals (goat-milk cheddar around $6 lb $13 kg, a grain-fed Voltigeurs chicken for around $2.50 lb). Milano, the venerable Italian greengrocer and grocery has got more pricey after the last reno, but it still has better prices than IGA (Sobeys) and certainly Provigo (Loblaws) in the wintertime and their produce is very fresh and high quality. I am also lucky to have a Vietnamese superette close by.

Friends are opening a coop boulangerie (bread bakery) and yes, I will plug it: https://www.facebook.com/Anarchopetrin/ To be "dans le pétrin" is to be up shit's creek, in a fine kettle of fish etc. And anarchopétrin is a play on the famous Anarchopanda from the student movement in 2012. A pétrin means either a kneading trough or a kneading machine. There will also be book launchings and other events there. The bread is very good (mmm dark rye); I wouldn't recommend it otherwise.

I have also had many problems with Loblaws/Provigo/Maxi. I only buy loss leaders there, but it is essential to read your receipt right away - there are a lot of false promotions, and also promotions that sell out the first day of the sale, and a rain check is worthless as they never have exactly the same item with the same code.

In Europe, many if not most supermarkets require self-bagging and a coin in carts (normally retrievable).Not just the deep discounters like Aldi and Lidl. Costco is useless for me as one has to buy too much and it is difficult to access without a car. Now, what will I do with my chicken?

NorthReport

Thanks and good luck to the new coop boulangerie run by your friends lagatta4

Another frustration with Loblaws is they often do not replenish depleted stock even sometimes in the early parts of the day, and they appear to do this on purpose to try and get customers to purchase more expensive or larger quanties than one requires. Their carts are outside in the parking lots often with garbage in them, and on the surrounding ground, and I have never ever seen anyone clearing them up. COSTCO carts are always clean. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Hey, lagatta - had this in one of my favourite Toronto restaurants when I was out for Hot Docs:

https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/ping-gai-chicken/160159

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Another frustration with Loblaws is they often do not replenish depleted stock even sometimes in the early parts of the day, and they appear to do this on purpose to try and get customers to purchase more expensive or larger quanties than one requires.

Back when Metro was still Dominion, they used to have the bad habit of being totally out of one thing -- the thing I want.  I'd look at the shelf, and there would be a perfect hole where that thing had been, and beside it the other brand/type/size things would be well stocked.  Just this big gap.

And it wasn't necessarily a door-crasher sale thing.  Just the specific cleaner I'm out of or the coffee I buy or whatever.  Metro still does it, but they're not as bad.

No Frills has started being out of sale items sometimes, but their bad habit is putting flyer items in some wire basket in some obscure corner of the store where you'd never expect it to be.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

What is with these out of product experiences? Not to mention discontinued products. This seems very common these days whether shopping at a Safefway/Sobey, Coop or local organic foods chain. I never noticed it before but in the last 2-3 years it has become common place. There was one product that used to be at Shoppers that I loved that I contacted the company to see where I could purchase it. Their contract had not been renewed and the had no other Canadian suppliers so I started ordering online - I get bi-annualy orders from Australia. But seriously, for other short shelf-life stuff, ordering from other countries source sites is ridiculous.

LB Cultured Thought

NorthReport wrote:

I have discovered some very good 'Peasant' bread at a local grocer made by Oliviersbakery.ca in Coquitlam.

The label says

No: preservatives, gmo, sugar, oil or daily

and

Yes: artisan leavened bread, slow fermentation & low gluten flour

I like COSTCO as well but they are a bit of a distance.

I actually stopped buying any bread from a local supermarket because they only had silly non-gmo bread (what does that even mean, given that no wheat is currently gmo?). I have opted for the local gmo bread. Same taste, better price, ethics intact. Thanks metro.

lagatta4

That chicken dish sounds delicious, but for the moment I'm keeping the bones in, and will use the meat afterwards. Thanks for the aromatic suggestions! I'm thinking of putting some whole cardamom seeds into the stock. 

We ate at a local Thai-Lao restaurant; tiny hole-in-the wall near Fabre métro (one stop east of Jean-Talon). It was good, as usual.

Eater Mtl: Meanwhile at La Presse, Marie-Claude Lortie goes solidly under the radar to unearth Lao and Thai BYOB spot Thaï Sep on the border of St-Michel and Rosemont. Bypassing a few less-spectacular menu options such as General Tao chicken, Lortie inhales more specialty options such as sai kok esan, a Lao pork sausage cooked with kaffir lime leaves, ginger, green onion, cilantro and lemongrass, and the “totally charming” nême kao, a rice-ball salad with crispy pork and peanuts: an “explosion of flavours”, enhanced by the crunchy texture. Lortie writes that she’d definitely return. [La Presse]  Their speciality is food from the Issan region; the border area between northern Thailand and Laos.

Yes, it is a perk to have byow restaurants, but obviously many are meh. This little place is very good.

Pogo Pogo's picture

First I try (often unsuccessfully) to grow my own as much as possible - particularly herbs and lettuce. For produce I go to the local vegetable market, where my first stop is always the discount shelf  (buy and freeze). Next I usually go to Safeway, mostly because it is close and I try and go big on the Airmiles - which can easily save up to 20% of the bill.  They just changed one of the local Safeway stores to Freshco and I am exploring going there.

As important as where you buy is how you buy. The rule for large grocery stores is to focus your buying on the perimeter (this is where they keep bread, produce, meat and usually dairy).  I am not my mother, so I buy far more packaged food than I am willing to admit. Particularly in higher margin stores like Safeway it is important to know your deals.  Not just what is on sales, but to predict when things will go on sale. The "Tightwad Gazzette" recommends that you start by keeping a few months weekly flyers to find the sales patterns.  For example at Safeway ice cream on sale is often 25% or more off, and sales go in a cycle from gallon pail generic to 2 litre box generic to premium brands and such.  Flour, sugar, cereals and other staples also get deep discounts.  I buy almost all my meat discounted for quick sale and if I am not using it the same day I freeze.

It is good to go shopping with another family member - it tends to keep you from poor choice impulse buys.

NorthReport

Some good advice there Pogo.

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Here is an article about bread

  • GMOs – Most commercially available breads contain one or many genetically modified ingredients like soy lecithin, soybean oil, corn oil, corn starch or soy flour. GMOs have not been tested long term on humans, however we know that the pesticides sprayed on them are absolutely toxic and considered to be poisonous. Some GMOs are created by inserting a toxic pesticide into the seed itself to make an insect’s stomach explode when they try to eat it. 

https://foodbabe.com/healthiest-bread-on-the-market/

NorthReport

 

Which oils are healthiest for cooking and which are the best non-cooking oils to add to salads?

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/are-vegetable-and-seed-oils-bad#section7

 

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Lots of helpful tips here. Pogo, I don't track the trends on those sales flyers but I certainly stock up on long shelf life / dry goods when they are on sale like coffee and olive oil. I do like to buy organic but it is pricey. The rule of thumb I follow is that if it has a protective skin (avocados, bananas, onions, garlic), the less worried I am about contaminants. That said, the onions at Safeway suck. They are halfway to, if not, mouldy.