Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rich-People's Kroger

When we were at book club a couple weeks ago, a conversation that came up at one point was the recent buy-out of Schnucks (by Kroger).  And the other ladies mentioned "rich-people's Kroger" in reference to the Kroger at Sanderlin (right by the Racquet Club) on Mendenhall.  I had never been in the store before, but they assured me it's one of the nicest stores in town (ie, it attracts a clientele of "rich people," ha).

So after an errand I had out East this past Friday, I decided to do my quick, pre-weekend grocery run at the rich-people's Kroger ("RPK" from here on out).

Well, oh my goodness!  I don't know why I'd never been here before - this place is great!  It's spacious, clean, and well-stocked.  It also has a large selection of organics and a bulk dry foods isle (beans, rices, pastas, etc.).  There's a huge area with a hot bar of foods to eat, a large "fancy" cheese area, and two bars of prepared grain and pasta salads (one is self serve).  And one of the greatest things?  There were samples galore!  There must have been 10 fancy cheeses sitting out to try and I tried every one - some of them twice.  I also liked that the frozen food section had energy-efficient lights that were motion activated, so they only turned on when I walked past.

I was so impressed on Friday that I decided to try a new method of grocery shopping on Sunday: I would buy our meats and fish at Whole Foods (because I want the hormone-free), but then buy everything else at RPK.

I'll say that RPK had everything I wanted (which included organic produce and dairy).  And it had the benefit of carrying some items I can't get at Whole Foods (ie, Thomas English Muffins, Hershey's Kisses, name-brand stuff like that).  But in the end, I think I ended up spending $40-$50 more than I would have if I had exclusively shopped at WF.  I think the problem lies in the fact that WF caters to organic stuff.  So you can get a gallon of organic milk, for example, for $5 - but at RPK, they only had one brand of organic gallons to buy, and they cost $7.  Generally, I also like how vegetables at WF are sold by weight.  At RPK, I was buying broccoli and it was bunched together with rubberbands.  Well, I didn't need 2 bunches, but I needed more than one - but since they were only priced by bunch, I couldn't get the amount I wanted/needed.

I won't be doing the dual-store shop again, I don't think.  But I did make some mental notes (at RPK, Chobani yogurt only costs $1!), so when I do my weekly pre-weekend shop at the conventional store, I can stock up on some of that stuff.

(Can I also mention how I sort of had one of those "I'm really lucky to be an American" moments when I first walked through RPK on Friday?  I was walking down this huge isle, in this clean, comfortable store [while soft-rock played lightly in the background], and every food I could ever want was available to me in this one place.  Seasons don't matter in regards to produce.  The temperature of a food doesn't matter because there are refrigerated and cooled cases.  It seems incredibly wasteful towards the environment - but at the same time, I felt lucky that it was available to me.)

Anyway - whatev - if you're in Memphis, check out rich-people's Kroger, it's great!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

It will be interesting to see what brings you back to RPK in the future. What has happened to me after venturing out of my comfort zone is that I vary my shopping throughout the month based on things I prefer from certain stores. My every week shopping is done at my neighborhood Schnucks, which is probably comparable to RPK. However, I usually go to Trader Joes every 4-6 weeks for hummus, wine, laughing cow cheese, pizza dough, nuts, frozen edamame, or jarred items such as olives. They are so much cheaper and better than the selection at my Schnucks. Finally, I also make an every 6 weeks or so trip to Shop n Save on a $10 off Thursday for things like paper products, peanut butter, oatmeal and salad dressing because it's the cheapest. Once I started I couldn't stop even though I prefer an every week routine.