7 Mistakes You're Making When You Grocery Shop
Whole Foods is for broccoli, not gummy worms
Here’s how suburbanites shop for groceries: Wheel a huge shopping cart through the equally huge aisles of Whole Foods, then load the goods into your gigantic trunk.
Here’s how New Yorkers shop: Stand in line outside Trader Joe’s for 20 minutes like it’s the most exclusive nightclub in town, squeeze in to grab as many items as you can cram into your backpack, then wait in a line that wraps around the store for 45 minutes.
Guys, we’re doing it wrong. Here’s how to make grocery shopping easier (and cheaper) in NYC.
HITTING THE GREENMARKET IN THE MORNING
You never wake up early...unless it involves going to the farmers’ market to nab those prized heirloom tomatoes for your famous caprese salad. Well, good news. You actually get the best deals in the last hour of the farmers’ market, when vendors are trying to get rid of their merch and go home. So yes, it’s totally OK to hit the snooze button.
GOING TO TRADER JOE'S AT RUSH HOUR
TJ’s has great deals on nuts, produce and pretty much everything else…but between the hours of 5 and 7 PM, avoid it like the plague. You’ll be in and out in 15 minutes (and practically have the whole store to yourself) if you go within an hour of when it opens or closes. Yep, even the Union Square location.
ACTUALLY VENTURING TO COSTCO
It’s tempting to make the trek to East Harlem or Rego Park and load up your cart with those mega-packs of paper towels, but unless you’re one of the lucky few New Yorkers with a car, how are you going to get it all back to your apartment? Sign up for Instacart and have your Costco goods delivered within an hour--you don’t even need a membership.
GETTING BASICS AT WHOLE FOODS
Whole Foods is an amazing place to buy organic produce, meat, cheese, fish, artisanal jam…the list goes on. But you know what Whole Foods isn’t so great for? Things you could buy absolutely anywhere, like tomato sauce, dry pasta and junk food. Step away from the Kettle Chips, Abbi.
BUYING PREPACKAGED PRODUCE
Those adorable baby carrots and convenient bags of lettuce might save you a few extra minutes of prep time, but their prices are always higher. Full-sized carrots sliced into sticks taste just as good. Trust us.
GETTING LITERALLY ANYTHING AT A BODEGA
OK, unless your blood sugar has tanked and you’re going to faint if you don’t have an energy bar rightthisssecond, steer clear of buying groceries at a bodega. The prices are often twice as high as you’ll find in regular stores. Instead, get an amazing cup of coffee and a bacon, egg and cheese.