Yesterday, I promised to write about my trip to Safeway, and I’m sure that most of you have been anxiously awaiting it. Fear not, as the wait is over.
One of the things I was nervous about with the move was finding a new grocery store. After shopping at a store for a few years, you reach a certain comfort level. You know where everything is located, and you know the best times to go to avoid the crowds.
I’ll be honest with you: While it may have been our best available option, I was never all that crazy about the Safeway we had been patronizing. I thought it was a little cramped, it would get too busy on Sunday afternoons, and the one time that we left our coupon box there, instead of saving it, they threw it out. So I wasn’t necessarily heartbroken to find a new store.
Then again, I had some good times there as well. I’m sure you all remember the time I managed 41% savings on my grocery trip. That remains one of my proudest accomplishments in life. I did manage to surpass that number a couple of times this past summer, but that was only due to a special promotional deal where the store had given out $25 coupons.
I kind of felt like those trips were the equivalent of using PEDs. So unless you think Barry Bonds really deserves to be baseball’s home run king, you should hold 41% as my top performance.
When choosing a new store, I had a few options, with a Safeway, Harris Teeter, and Shoppers Food Warehouse all nearby. I went with Safeway, mostly because Safeway stores frequently have items on sale. And yes, I realize that probably means that their base prices are higher, but still. Sales = winning! They also have a mobile application where you can send special bonus coupons directly to your Safeway card. Double winning!
Anyway, I had made a visit to the store last Sunday, but I was in a rush to just get some necessities, so I wasn’t able to get a true handle on the store. This trip, on a Saturday afternoon, with the Cutlet along for the ride would be a more telling test.
One positive: They have carts with kiddie cars attached to the front. I like these carts since I can stash the Cutlet in there, and she seems to stay suitably entertained. At the very least, it makes it easier to ignore her when she asks me for things.
At my previous Safeway, they had special TV carts in which there were TV sets that played cartoons in the front cab.where the front cab had television sets in them. In theory, these would be great to use. Except that all of the carts were broken. Either the TVs didn’t work, or there was something wrong with the wheels making them near impossible to maneuver around the store.
The doors were all also broken. This either upset the Cutlet because she wanted the doors to stay closed, or it delighted her because she was able to get out. I wasn’t a fan of either outcome.
The Safeway’s layout was acceptable enough, although for some reason, both times I’ve been there, I’ve skipped over the section where they have granola bars and Special K cereal bars. Both items are a key staple of my diet, so I’d better figure out where they are soon.
The store also gets points for not being overly crowded. That might not be good for their bottom line, but it’s a lot nicer when the checkout lines don’t extend five people deep so that we’re waiting in line halfway up the aisle.
So I liked the store well enough, but would I have good shopping karma there? Would I be able to reach the same savings levels that I had achieved at the old store? I knew I was doing well with both sales and coupons, but imagine my surprise when I checked out and looked at my receipt to find that I had saved 42%!
That’s right, 42%! A new high water mark has been reached.
With that kind of first impression, I think it’s safe to say that I have found my new regular grocery store.