I'm working on an article about food deserts: areas where there's limited access to fresh food. It's making me think more about those trips to the grocery store that I take almost on autopilot. Did you know that just 10 years ago, more than 2 million Americans who didn't own cars also didn't have a grocery store closer than one mile away? I gripe about doing this weekly task, but when it comes down to it, it's not a strenuous one for me to complete.

I'm curious how far you go to do your typical grocery shopping. Do you have a store close by? Do you travel for miles to get to a traditional grocery store? Do you go out of your way to go to a particular store for its selection or prices?

(I'd like to note that while I'm writing on this topic, your responses on this thread will not be used in my work. I'm just hoping to get my brain wheels turning a bit better by learning about others' experiences in this area.)

Original Post

We live in a midtown area and have 6 stores w.in a 3 mile radius (3 Publix, Winn Dixie, Lucky's, and a Whole foods), plus Costco and Sam's on the other side of town. Numerous Asian and Latin stores I haven't even tried. I tend to drive to the Publix that's a little further away because the college kids make the parking lot a nightmare at the one closest to me lol. Lots of options but I usually go to "my" Publix weekly and Costco once a month, or Lucky's if they have good deals.

I'm from a smallish suburban town. When I was younger the closest grocery store was a 20 minute drive (about 9.5 miles) away. I don't think it was too much of a problem, except for when the gas prices spiked. It was almost like an exciting outing when we drove into town. We always had a big list of items to buy so we made the most of the trip. My mom might have gone to a few specialty grocery shops here and there, but the one-stop shop at Hannaford was where it was at! Now, there is one other grocery store that is about 10 minutes away, but people still tend to make the drive into town because the selection is better. 

I live in Fargo, ND in an area of about 200,000 people. There is a smaller grocery store (Family Fare) right down the road about 2 blocks from my house.

There is another store (Cash Wise) right behind the office building I work in which is about a 5 min drive from my apartment via the interstate.

All the other major stores, Walmart, Target, Costco, etc. are about a 10 min drive away.

It is crazy to think how convenient life has become.

If I wasn't adventurous, I could basically live and never really have to go further than 10 minutes for anything.

Within this distance from my apartment: My work, stores, hospitals, gyms, restaurants, churches, and banks to name a few.

There is a small mom & pop store about 2 miles down the road, a Family dollar now a mile away.  The mom & pop store has fruits & veggies but they are not as fresh as those at bigger grocery store and prices are higher.

However, my regular grocery shopping happens in town about 8 miles away.... Kroger, Food Fair, Aldi and occasionally Walmart.   It's about a 10-15 minute drive.   Usually, shop once a week but am hoping to make that twice a month with implementing dinner meal planning.

 

I live in E. Orlando,FL- I have quite a few local food, supermarkets,pharmacies within a 5-10 mile radius-Super Center Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood,Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Publix, Mcdonalds,Pizza Hut, CVS, Walgreens etc...but when you don't have transportation/vehicle 24/7 or issues with your car and you need to get to these places for nessecities it does create hardship in the household buses--barely see them lol & Uber can cost you, some supermarkets--ublix & Walmart charge an extra fee to have your groceries delivered too you but again these tjinth add up especially if you are on a budget.

I live in a suburban area.  My favourite grocery store is a Walmart Superstore that is 30mins away.  I got once a month for a big grocery shop.  I have closer stores within a few miles but they are expensive & I just don't love them.  There is a dirty little mom & pop grocery store 1.5blocks from me but its dirty, the staff are awful & the fresh food tends to be on its last legs.  There is a drug store that has a small grocery section with great prices on eggs & clearance items.  I walk there at least 3 times a week after I drop the kids at school to pick up milk, eggs & see what is on clearance.  We will be getting a new grocery store this summer about 3blocks from my house.  Not sure how the prices will be, so I will be checking it out.  I'm sure I will still do my big shop at Walmart & hopefully pick up produce & things at the closer store.  I have a good-sized backyard garden for fruits & veggies in the summer.  I live 2 blocks from the fish docks for salmon, crab, shrimp, cod, etc.  

I do a big grocery shop once a month & spend $200 for a family of 3.5 (one child has medical diet & I budget that separately) then spend $50 the remainder of the month on milk & produce.  I'm an avid couponer & freebie hunter.  I love the clearance sections at Walmart.

I stick with my favorite grocer which is about a 5 mile drive from my home.  Once in awhile I drive a bit further to a Wal-Mart which is about 15 miles but only if my shopping list grows to add non-grocery items that I really feel have significant  savings.  I've learned the repetitive sales patterns for my favorite grocer, use coupons, and plan shopping around those sales.  I've learned that getting to really "know" 1 or 2 particular grocers that are nearby end up saving me more money than dashing here and there to grab sales all over town, which frankly there was a time I did that.  The cost of gas and time is not worth it. We belong to 2 buying clubs, Sams and BJs but they are a 25 mile drive so really only go when I need both gas and food/tangibles and I have other business to attend to near those clubs.  I'm also getting "over" the need for bulk buying and one of the things I plan to do in 2019 is some serious breakdowns of how much that mega package of paper towels is really costing me in gas, time, the annual membership fee to the club vs using a coupon/sales at my favorite grocer.  I've been trying to convince my husband to drop at least one of the clubs, but each has its advantages according to him.  I am so disgusted at the rewards programs, digital coupons that require either printing out or saving at each retailer's website, but I feel trapped to use them because if I don't I'm losing money. Shopping like that has become a huge time sucker only to find out many times there are many hoops to jump through to utilize the rewards. I won't even consider shopping at Kohl's anymore because of the circus of restrictive rewards all designed to suck you into going thru their doors again.  CVS is another one that makes using coupons and rewards a nightmare to navigate.  Just lower prices and make it fair for all. Those who need the savings the most would benefit the most.

@mintjulep I also avoid hitting Walmart for regular grocery trips unless there are other items I need that are hard to find in other grocery stores. But that alone can be a time suck. Last time I went to Walmart I did so many laps around the store trying to find the non-grocery items (some in the hardware section, some in the laundry section? I'm not even sure, I left without getting everything I needed) that I could have just made two stops: grocery store and hardware store. 

For me i never drove but now my kids drive me around.
But we have a store that is about 10 to 15 min away from
us price are kinda high on meats but thats in all small towns
i've lived in. Than we have a dollar general thats a mile away.
Walmart I'm guessing is about a half hour away. Which I don't
go there much. 

@Former Member Where I use to live which was about half hour
from here they was good for cereal,canned food,house hold
items. I didn't buy much frozen food there and they didn't have
produce there either. It was a small store.

Now where I'm living i really like this dollar general it us to be
a walmart store which closed down and so the dollar general
brought the store because it was bigger than they had here.
This one has gas. It has fresh meat which isn't bad at all and
produce which i've brought allot of fro DG. Its just as good ad
any other store. It all so has a craft sections which is nice. This
one all so sells cloths and shoes to. 

I hope this helps you

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