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Old 03-03-2010, 08:11 PM
48,516 posts, read 85,110,846 times
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I use to have a place about 30 miles from any large store. It took awhile to get sue to it. But like everyhting in the country after awhiole you learn to paln it. But it always took about htree days to get use to the peace and not ahving that city feelign of missing something everytime I was there. Its very relaxing once to get to that point.All I can say is you don't feel antsy and notice it;guess is stress going away.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:37 AM
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We are 27 miles from the nearest grocery in a small town..we like it that way and go about once a week mostly for the nice drive. We use a cooler and make a day of it with lunch, maybe look around some antique stores etc.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:59 AM
Location: Interior AK
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Another handy resource for people who don't/can't go shopping every week is to join a shoppers warehouse (like Pace, Sam's or Costco). You can in bulk and large containers, often at significant discount, and then break it down into smaller packages once you get home. If you save jars and food-safe buckets & tubs, repackaging and storing is really easy for non-perishable/dry goods. I don't think we've thrown out a still usable jar, can or tub in forever LOL.

All you really need worry about is stuff that you must refrigerate after opening or keep frozen etc. We get those big jugs of pasta sauce and salsa and them simply re-can them in our own smaller jars... the only price being a fresh lid each time (we get those in bulk at a discount as well) and the time spent at the canner. For bulk meats and dairy items, we do need a freezer unless we plan to cook it all and then can the meals.

But buying in bulk, especially during season, and then processing, canning & packaging it ourselves saves us a LOT of money on our food bill. Plus, you're not tempted to splurge on unnecessary stuff when you're anticipating a $2k bill at the register when you stock up for several months at a time. If you run out of chips, or ice cream, or candy bars you're also not that likely to just run to store for junk food when it's miles/hours away... you end up eating healthier

Another handy thing is shopping at stores that allow you to pre-order online or by phone/fax and they'll pull the order for you so you just have to pick it up... saves a LOT of time when you do run into town, the only things you might have to really "shop" for is stuff that you want to pick out yourself (like me & produce, just don't trust someone else's judgment on that!). Almost every major grocery store and supply warehouse offers some sort of this ordering service, and some even offer reasonable delivery charges if you're in their delivery area (sometimes free delivery with a minimum order) so you don't have to make the trip at all. If you have a big enough vehicle, or a trailer, you can even instruct some of the places to palletize your order, so that it can be quickly loaded with a forklift when you pick it up (even if you still have to unload it by hand at home).
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:46 AM
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,774,141 times
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Good post missing! While I'm only 15 miles from the grocery store I seldom go there. I can't see paying exorbitant prices for food packaged in one or two meal quantities when buying in bulk is so easy and so much cheaper it almost feels free. Also, I can't remember the last time I ran out of necessary staple, I nearly always have on hand supplies to make anything I want. If I can't make it, I don't need it. And I know exactly what's in the food I serve my family!
I buy my groceries from a place in Oregon (Azure Standard) that delivers free for a minimum to the barge in Seattle (or anywhere else west of the Mississippi). All I have to pay is the $47 pallet fee to get it up here whether it's 100 pounds or a thousand, as long as it fits on the pallet. They sell everything from powdered eggs to free-range chickens, spices by the pound and cleaning products. You name it, they have it and it's all organic and chemical-free.
Grocery stores are a total rip-off.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:55 PM
Location: Interior AK
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Wow Gramma - I'm going to have to check out Azure Standard! Their deal sounds even better than the other bush grocers shipping out of Seattle. Since we're so close to the river, it's just as easy (sometimes easier) for us to have goods barged in rather than delivered by air or land, or having to go get it ourselves at Fairbanks FOB. I tend to buy a lot of dry good staples in 6 gallon buckets or 50 lb "feed sacks", so it's easy to palletize my orders! I literally buy a ton of long-term staples like powdered milk, whole grains, and canned meat, veg and butter for the entire year all at once. "Going to the store" is the euphemism we use for heading out back to the storage cache to get another package of something LOL!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:45 PM
Location: Liberty, KY
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My home is currently located about 10 miles from a grocery, where I do not shop. The selection is limited and higher priced. I know many don't and won't shop at Walmart, but I do. Not only because the prices are better than this local store, but because I can do a one stop shop. Also, the Walmarts are located near other stores that I need to shop at like Lowe's and Tractor Supply. I am currently about 25 miles in any direction from 3 Walmart Supercenters, each one has a tractor supply nearby and 2 of them have a Lowes.

I shop about once a week, sometimes I go two or more, just depends on what we need. If we are going in that direction anyway, I stop in and get a few things. It's just the way it is when you live "out here".
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:09 PM
Location: Interior AK
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While I don't always agree with the Wal-Mart philosophy and buying practices, it is the biggest store in our area with the most selection, and it is right in the middle of the only major strip mall that has hardware, pet, etc in it as well. There are some other grocery stores (like Fred Meyer) that are more "one-stop-shops" than normal grocers, but they don't have quite the selection as Wally-world.

So, I will buy stuff at Wal-Mart if freshness and quality is not super important... but I almost never buy produce or perishables there unless I know that they are locally sourced (a big problem in AK). For fresh produce, I try to hit the Farmer's Market (not a grocery store at all); and high quality goods of any sort I'll normally go to a specialty store or order it in even if it costs an arm & leg. Some things just aren't worth buying cheap. I'd rather spend $200 once on something that I know will work and last, than having to keep buying $25 cheap crap that breaks or won't do the job (which is unfortunately a lot of what Wally-World sells).
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:09 PM
Location: Liberty, KY
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Oh yeah, right, I rarely buy meat or produce at walmart. WE have kind of gotten away from red meat and eat mostly chicken and fish. I buy a lot of stuff, including my ice cream, from Schwans' He brings it right to the freezer, I order online, he's always prompt and courteous and the food is good. Most of the stuff I buy at walmart is either frozen food, paper products, canned, or boxed goods. In the summer I grow my own veggies and they are the best.

If I want to go to any other store, it's at least 1.5 hours away. I find shopping online fits me best as I work full time and also have the farm. I don't have 4 or 5 hours to go off to the store ( 3 hours to drive there and back and shopping time ). You get used to it. I'm saving money too !!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:59 AM
Location: CA
830 posts, read 2,400,620 times
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It's kind of fun. Closest supermarkets here are an hour (in one direction) or an hour and a half (in the other direction) away, through the desert. So yes, an ice chest in the summer. I usually end up going once a week, maybe once every two. Almost everyone in town seems to do the once-weekly trip. For more unusual stuff, people generally take the 2.5 hour trip to an actual city every month or two.

I'll admit it's a pain when I didn't plan something well, forgot something, had a spur of the moment "I want rhubarb strawberry pie and there's no way to get rhubarb right now", or when the feed store happens to be out of my dog food the one time I go.

Best advice I can give is to keep a running list. I run into the most trouble when I try to get by without one.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:47 PM
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,536,781 times
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Where I live, we have several convenience stores and one locally owned (not quite "super") market. Because the market's prices are a bit higher than a regular supermarket, I don't shop there often, but will if I need something quickly, especially on weekends. I'll also stop there if I realize I forgot to pick something up that I need for dinner that night (or something like that).

Since I work about an hour from home, and pass by several supermarkets on my way home, I usually just stop while headed home. The same goes for Walmart or Home Depot. I rarely make a "special" trip to any of these places, unless I need to pick up a load of lumber or something that won't fit in my commuter car. Even then, I usually just end up driving my truck to work and picking the stuff up on the way home.
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