When it comes to groceries these days, I tend not to think twice. If there is a recipe I want to cook I walk out the front door and buy whatever ingredients I need. But wait, aren’t we budget conscious? Hubby has indeed been trying to encourage me to ponder the price tag a bit more carefully and as a result I’ve discovered that my carefree shopping habits are a result of the confidence I have in the stores I choose to shop at. For my food needs, I have two options when I walk out the front door. I can turn right and walk the half block over to Safeway and buy my broccoli at $2.50 a pound…$2.00 when it’s on sale! Or, I can turn left and trek the two blocks over to our local Asian market, where broccoli costs 59¢ a pound…all year long.
I know quite a few people who feel Safeway is the cheapest store they shop at. For Hubby and me, Safeway is a last resort as it’s the most expensive in comparison to most of the stores we frequent. My personal grocery stores of choice are mainly the local Vietnamese grocery store, on the way home from the gym; the Indian market for all things spicy; and Costco, for eggs and milk.
I love to shop at Asian markets like our downtown Vietnamese store and the Indian store. They may not have customer service like you can find at Safeway or Whole Foods, but the great prices are unbeatable and the high turnover guarantees that the produce and products are always fresh. Sure, the pears might be a bit more bruised than the gleaming pears found at Safeway. Yet we know the taste is just the same.
Hubby and I don’t shop organic and I personally haven’t seen organic produce in the Asian stores I shop at, although some have organic milk and eggs. So if you do shop organic, the Asian market might not be your best option.
For us, we enjoy the simple pleasures of of tasty food at a great price. Shopping at the Asian grocery store, whether it be Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese or Japanese; provides a wonderful array of great produce at fantastic prices. For the non-vegetarians, many Asian markets also specialize in fish and fresh cut of meats and poultry, if that’s your thing.