One thing we are certainly not short on in Queen Creek is places to shop for groceries. Just off the top of my head, we have Walmart, Target, Fry’s, Safeway, Sprouts, Aldi’s, Trader Joe’s, and a few non-chain grocers. In my opinion, each place has its own merits.
For example, you really can’t beat Walmart for the number of different items available. You can get eggs, milk, flatscreen, and a new lawnmower all in one shot. So what’s the downside? Sometimes you don’t need all that stuff and just want to get in and out quickly. In that case, Walmart probably isn’t your best bet.
I have found that if you are shopping for common items like eggs, milk, or bread. Aldi’s is fantastic. If there was a downside it’s the whole cart hassle. In order to get a cart you have to have a quarter on you and you get it back when you return your cart. Also, they do not provide bags at all. You can buy one at the checkout line. But if you just need a gallon of milk you don’t need a cart or a bag. So my best advice with Aldi’s is to keep a bag in your car. Then you will always be prepared in a pinch. I will say that once the Costco opens across the street getting in and out of there is gonna be a lot harder.
Sprout’s is kind of a one-off to me. I do like shopping there and it’s super convenient right off of Rittenhouse and Ellsworth. I mean who doesn’t like buying gummy bears in bulk? Plus the outstanding variety and quality of their produce. One of the hidden gems of Sprout’s is the deli. They have amazing made-to-order sandwiches and they are a great value for the money as well. So what’s wrong with Sprout’s? Well if I had to knock something it would be the selection. Most of their shelves are filled with off-brand healthier choices of common items. These tend to be a bit more expensive and are usually limited in choices. The other thing I don’t like is that they have a very limited selection of meats.
Then there is Trader Joe’s. I really don’t know how to describe Trader Joe’s. It is in a great location right in the middle of Queen Creek Marketplace. They have a ton of specialty items. Things you didn’t know you needed like dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They also often have seasonal items or limited-time items. That way they keep you coming into the store. In my opinion Trader Joe’s is a destination store. You would want to have a specific item in mind or maybe no item at all, but it’s not a place to go and do all your grocery shopping in one shot.
So this leaves me with Fry’s and Safeway. One would think that they are pretty similar but I would disagree. Since inflation has been on my mind lately I have started to pay a lot more attention to what everyday items cost. In my opinion, Safeway is considerably more expensive and has a much smaller selection. For example, my wife has recently taken a liking to Cherry Coke Zero. Safeway doesn’t even carry it. Fry’s to the rescue, not only did they have it but it was on sale. From time to time Safeway will have items on sale that make it worth the trip, but if you are buying for the week or month. I say Fry’s. Here is where things get complicated. Fry’s parent company Kroger is acquiring Safeway’s parent company Albertson’s. Nationwide this may not be that big of a deal. But here in AZ it may create somewhat of a monopoly.
So what are your thoughts? Any hidden gems I missed?