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Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

Last post 10-31-2011 11:39 AM by Brandy. 13 replies.
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  • 10-12-2011 4:08 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    It's easy to price match and get the best deals in the area when the stores are nearby. What happens when stores are farther out or limited?

    If you live in a rural area, how do you save on groceries?

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 10-12-2011 6:18 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 04-04-2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,928

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

     We shop the loss leaders, we don't buy a lot packaged convenience type foods, scratch cooking, grow plenty of vegetables.  The local Spartan store in my small town is VERY competivie with the big box stores that are 20+ miles away.  The customer service can't be beat.  Also, carryouts are standing at the end of the checkout lane; even if you have just a gallon of milk they insist on carrying it to the car for you.  

    We probably don't save much money as we buy beef, pork, chicken, eggs, cheese, butter, cream locally from farmers in the area.  

    We would rather support our local economy as much as possible and buy quality food products with a known origin than shop a big box store.  

    The savings just aren't htere for us after you factor in cost of gasoline and our time to go to the big box stores.  Coupons are hard to find for basic pantry staples and whole foods. 

     

    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • 10-13-2011 5:55 AM In reply to

    • Karen K
    • Top 75 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 02-24-2009
    • New York Mills, MN
    • Posts 1,327

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    I could just copy and paste what rolo said.   I'm in rural nw MN.  The closest grocery store is about 20mi away and when I go into town, I generally shop there because they have the best instore coupons and are the only store that accepts internet coupons. 

    I grow our own veges and can and save the food.  We grow our own poultry, and I buy other meat and dairy from our local farmers and bulk foods from the local co-op.  

    Karen K

    http://www.sugarcreekwoodworking.com
    http://www.asimplepinebox.com
  • 10-13-2011 8:50 AM In reply to

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    There is a Mennonite scratch n dent store near me that is hard to beat. I shop the local store that tends to put alot of things on clearance or greatly reduced, the things I do pay a little more for it is still cheaper than driving 30 - 40 minutes to town.

    We grow and raise a large part of our diet.

    There are no local farmers for meat or dairy products in my area.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

  • 10-13-2011 9:44 AM In reply to

    • hjdeth
    • Top 500 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 08-22-2011
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Posts 72

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    Brandy,

    I grew up and lived for many years in Spirit Lake, ID...in the northern panhandle...26 miles to the nearest anything.  1 store...also the 1 gas station...and the 1 laundry mat...AND the 1 video store...can you guess what the prices were like???  There were also 2 small restaurants, 5 bars and 11 churches...

    I had 2 upright freezers and would make the 45mi each way trek to Spokane, WA once a month to hit Sonnenburg's for meats (if you live in that area, they are to die for, but you must be patient or call your order in ahead of time), Rainbow Outlet for dry/canned goods, Cash & Carry for produce & dairy and the Wonder Bread outlet for bread and sweets.  I typically froze 16 1/2 gallons of milk and all the bread/sweets.

    When prepping for winter (never knew when we would be snowed in), I would keep 1 freezer filled with milk and veggies and our spare bedroom looked like a small store with canned and dry goods.

    Now they have a couple of big box stores about 16 miles away, but during the harsh winters that drive feels like 160 miles and the prices are not great!  My family that is still in that area (Spirit Lake/Post Falls/Coeur d'Alene) still head to Spokane, WA at least once a month to stock up.

    I am now in the Atlanta metro and have a number of choices within 10 minutes...find that I still only shop 1-2 times a month and stock up like I am expecting to be snowed in at any time.  Ok, laugh, my Mom certainly does.  However, we were quite grateful (an so were our close neighbors) during last January's ice storms and the Sept 2009 historic floods!

     

  • 10-13-2011 11:19 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    When I first married, I did not live in the typical rural area. It was a bayou community where the only local food to get was seafood. There were not many stores on the bayou, we drove up into the city that acted as a center and hub for several bayous for food and other things. The nearest reasonable sized grocery store was a south Louisiana chain that was about 15 or 20 minutes away. Walmart and Kmart were farther.

    What I did to spend less then was shop twice a month in the city. I checked sales and stocked up for two weeks or more when I bought.

    When we moved to more of a country type of town in Mississippi, there were two small grocery stores in the town and major shopping about 45 minutes away. I kept the habit of making the longer trip twice a month to stock on certain goods. I watched the sales at the smaller stores for produce, meat and anything else that beat the prices of Walmart and Sam's so I spend less.

    This plan worked for me for years. Now I live in an area where I am closer to other stores and shop the sales weekly.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 10-13-2011 11:17 PM In reply to

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

     I'm in Idaho (just drove through Spirit Lake a few weeks ago actually) and live in a small town.  There is a grocery store but based on the prices it seems they drive each egg in individually.  There isn't much in the way of fresh quality fruit and veg, but we have a great meat counter with real live butchers working so sometimes I do buy meat there.   Mostly, I wait until I'm in Moscow Idaho or some other larger town and stock up.  Usually get a big shop in once every 2 weeks as I have a standing commitment in Moscow.  Since I'm spending anyway, I mostly shop at the food co-op, local butcher (the bacon is amazing and probably what keeps me from going vegetarian), and the farmer's market.  I also had a CSA this year so all summer my vegetables were very local (and very delicious).  Just got my last delivery today...potatoes and onions.  

     And like others, the spare bedroom is where I stockpile for the winter.  The state has improved the highway, but it can still be pretty grueling to get into a bigger town in the winter, and veg. is cheaper in the summer so if I can store it, avoid the bad roads and save gas $ and grocery bills in the winter, all the better.  

  • 10-14-2011 10:17 AM In reply to

    • hjdeth
    • Top 500 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 08-22-2011
    • Atlanta, GA
    • Posts 72

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    Maggie Trudeau:

     I'm in Idaho (just drove through Spirit Lake a few weeks ago actually) ... but we have a great meat counter with real live butchers working...

    Maggie,

    Summer is definitely the time to drive through Spirit Lake...during the winter driving through could lead to an extended stay!  When I was growing up there, Spirit Lake had an elementary of about 70 kids and the middle & high school students were bussed to Rathdrum, 13 miles away.  Now they have grown enough to have all 3 schools.

    If you get a chance to hit Sonnenburg's in Spokane, WA they are a family owned and operated deli and meat market with an old-fashioned meat counter and real live butchers...thus the wait!  Their website is http://www.sonnenbergsmarket.com/.  They have a breakfast sausage that is the best I have every eaten.  About once a year I order (from Atlanta) a custom meat order for my 96yo great aunt.  They cut & freezer wrap the whole meat order (usually about 50#) in 1/2 lb packages just for Aunt Hazel.

    Hannah

     

  • 10-18-2011 5:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    We moved to a rural area in 2007 and I had to definitely change how I shopped. The nearest stores before this year were 18 and 19 miles away, Aldi and Walmart. There is a small grocery about 6 miles away but it isn't kept up very well. The dairy is more expensive than Albertson's (most expensive in this area), and the produce is usually half bad, soft radishes, etc.. while the meat is more misses than hits, meat that is gray.. frozen food with a lot of ice on the packages. ugh... so I have only gone there once a year or so to see if things have changed, and usually leave empty handed as I can't find anything I want to buy.

    Now this past year we have a new Kroger store about 13 miles away. Their loss leaders are cheaper than walmart and with the Kroger points card, I can get gas cheaper there than anywhere else, so I hit Kroger every week for loss leaders at least, and usually get other things that are the same or about the same as Walmart. I still look at the Aldi ads online to see if there is anything on sale that I use, before I make that drive. But when I do, I hit Walmart too for things we buy there like cat food, etc, as it is on the way to Aldi.

    The Kroger store is huge, they say it is one of only five or so of that type store in this state, it has a marketplace which is a furniture store of sorts, and a jewelry store. Both have prices comparable to Sam's. The store is the size of a warehouse. On the produce side they have a section that reminds me of Whole Foods.. same brands, etc but much cheaper prices. Very nice store.

     

  • 10-19-2011 12:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Grocery Shopping in Rural Areas

    Cheryl:

    We moved to a rural area in 2007 and I had to definitely change how I shopped. The nearest stores before this year were 18 and 19 miles away, Aldi and Walmart. There is a small grocery about 6 miles away but it isn't kept up very well. The dairy is more expensive than Albertson's (most expensive in this area), and the produce is usually half bad, soft radishes, etc.. while the meat is more misses than hits, meat that is gray.. frozen food with a lot of ice on the packages. ugh... so I have only gone there once a year or so to see if things have changed, and usually leave empty handed as I can't find anything I want to buy.

    Now this past year we have a new Kroger store about 13 miles away. Their loss leaders are cheaper than walmart and with the Kroger points card, I can get gas cheaper there than anywhere else, so I hit Kroger every week for loss leaders at least, and usually get other things that are the same or about the same as Walmart. I still look at the Aldi ads online to see if there is anything on sale that I use, before I make that drive. But when I do, I hit Walmart too for things we buy there like cat food, etc, as it is on the way to Aldi.

    The Kroger store is huge, they say it is one of only five or so of that type store in this state, it has a marketplace which is a furniture store of sorts, and a jewelry store. Both have prices comparable to Sam's. The store is the size of a warehouse. On the produce side they have a section that reminds me of Whole Foods.. same brands, etc but much cheaper prices. Very nice store.

    cherly guess you live in the boon docks cindy and parebts live rural where dad can race around in a cadteliac of cheap foreign trackers with the nieghbor and cindy ignore the laws if physics and does oppisite and mom can run around all she wants on her litte car.

    chrissanne
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