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We get it: Grocery shopping isn’t exactly the most thrilling thing in the world. But there are certain tricks of the trade that will have you sitting pretty while someone else fights off the hordes for the last jar of Speculoos butter at 6 p.m. on a Sunday.

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grill counter
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The Grill Counter at Mariano’s

There’s so much more to Mariano’s perks than the tuxedo-clad men that soundtrack your trip down Aisle 5 (though, hey, it’s a nice touch). Mariano’s has everything from the Trail Mix bar of our dreams to a dietitian on staff at some locations to walk you through healthy choices. But by far our most favorite secret is that they will grill the meats you buy at the butcher’s counter immediately after purchase. That’s right, that’s the sound of your dishwasher not filling up halfway through prep work.

Locations here

whole foods
Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Lincoln Park Personal Shoppers

The Lincoln Park location of Whole Foods is the platonic ideal of the store, a place so expansive and beautiful, we almost never want to leave. The flagship store has everything from cooking classes to a global roster of restaurant kiosks, but our favorite feature is the personal shopper service. For just $10, you can get someone to do all the dirty work for you. All you have to do is send them your list. They’ll even deliver if you ask nicely (for an additional cost).

1550 N. Kingsbury St.; 312-587-0648 or wholefoodsmarket.com

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@lacroixwater/Instagram

30-Packs of La Croix at Costco

No modern woman’s lifestyle would be complete without a constant stock of La Croix within her reach at all times. Problem? They’re way too heavy to lug around, especially if you don’t have a car in the city. Enter this beautiful, beautiful solution: 30-packs of La Croix delivered right to your doorstep via Instacart. You barely have to lift a finger, except to crack open your endless supply of canned bubbly.

Costco locations

wine
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Super Fancy, Super Affordable Wine Events at Plum Market

We love Plum Market. Our wallets, not so much. If we could, we’d set up camp in the back of Plum Market and gobble up its delicious prepared food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but alas, life is unfair. How do we get our fill? By attending the informative and fun weekly wine tastings at the Old Town location. At $20 a pop, you get more than your money’s worth and walk away feeling like you really could taste the smoky black cherry notes in that Italian Syrah. 

1233 N. Wells St.; 312-229-1400 or plummarket.com

stanleys
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Crazy-Cheap Produce at Stanley’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

The first time you check out at Stanley’s, you might think the cashier made a mistake because the price is so low. But no, this is real life and you can experience it any time you want. While the store is not a one-stop shop for all your grocery needs, Stanley’s does one thing and does it extremely well: produce. Stock up when you can and use all that money you saved on wine tastings at Plum Market (duh).

1558 N. Elston Ave.; 773-276-8050 or stanleysfruitmarket.com

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vpointnews.com

Apple Pie Cheddar Cheese at Trader Joe’s (And So Much More)

The mad scientists behind Trader Joe’s sinfully good snacks have a special place in our heart. Did you know you can constantly keep tabs on what they’re up to through the “What’s New” page on the website? Be the first to know about treats like coffee mocha and three-cheese wafers. We’re especially loving the perfect autumnal flavors of the brand-new Apple Pie Cheddar Cheese right now. Just take a moment to imagine those grilled cheeses.

Locations here

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