Does anyone still shop at big box grocery stores?

I rarely go into my local Von’s/Stater Bros/Ralph’s in So.Cal anymore…
I find that I shop at several places like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Costco, .99 cent only stores…

How do you all shop?

I go to Safeway once or twice a year to buy unscented dryer sheets since for some incomprehensible reason Costco doesn’t carry them.

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Ralph’s / Whole Foods / TJs / Von’s, with occasional trips to specialty markets / delis (e.g. Balboa International), and a few things from Costco (berries, bagged salads, steaks, etc.).

Pretty much only TJs for “groceries”, Target for cleaning supplies & paper goods, specialty stores, ethnic markets and farmers markets for everything else.

Do places like Ranch 99, Mitsuwa, H Mart, and the like count as “big box”?

Even if not, I still like to hang out at Ralphs and Pavilions.

Keeps me grounded.

So when I sit down by the fireplace and tell my (future) grandkids, “Y’know, when I was young, we used to have to slum it at Ralphs, where they sold conventional, non-organic produce and mass produced, inhumanely raised chickens” I can sound halfway genuine.

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I get most perishables from farmers markets.

The bulk of staples I get from Trader Joe’s and Costco.

There are a bunch of other places where I regularly buy one or a few items because they have hard-to-find items (e.g. 00 pasta flour, as opposed to bread flour) or the best prices on the brands I prefer. That’s kind of annoying but I buy in bulk to avoid having to run around a lot.

I’m a one person household (living in a small house) so Costco doesn’t work for me. I go to Whole Foods 1-2 times a week for most of my grocery needs. Farmers market once a week for produce and eggs. Ralph’s every few weeks for cleaning products, personal care items and Diet Coke.

I shopped at Costco when I lived in an apartment. Finding storage space for Costco-sized packages saves time and money and you never run out of anything not perishable.

Whole Foods’ prices are shocking to me, except for their 365 house brand. I shop there occasionally for last-minute needs, since they’re the closest store that’s open late, but I’m often unhappy about the quality.

to each his or her own, I guess. II haven’t found anything at Costco that made sense for me to buy just for myself, as opposed to when I’m having a party or feeding a crowd. I just don’t consume that much of one kind of cereal or crackers or whatever, and I’m unreasonably picky about the particular kinds of paper towels, toilet paper, etc. I buy. Club prices at Ralph’s come pretty close without having to figure out where to store 10 gallons of detergent, and the Costco near me is stressful and not much of a time saver because the parking is such a nightmare. Whole Foods 365 line does indeed have some really good values, and while their produce, meats, cheese and such may not be a bargain, I’m generally happy with the quality.

Gelson’s every day pretty much, Von’s for wine.

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WholeFoods, Farmer Markets, H-Mart (Never understood why people like TJ which is mainly highly processed food and average at best produce, cheese etc)

Wow. You must be that yet-to-be identified CA Powerball winner.

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Rarely. Very rarely. Safeway y/o Lucky get no more than 2 or 3 visits a year. Lots or stuff from TJs, some from Costco, some from Tokyo Fish (a local fish market with a nice little produce selection), and now some from Whole Foods because of convenience - but I rarely buy any overpriced and not particularly appealing produce there (and there are far better produce options nearby).

Like every grocery store. They all have mostly stuff I’d never buy,

Trader Joe’s sells some top-quality products at unbeatable prices. For example, they used to sell Plugra butter at 40% less than other places. I currently buy Kalamata olive oil, peanut butter, nuts, some dairy products (locally they have Straus organic), Kosher beef, Ak-Mak and stoneground wheat crackers, pure Stevia powder, some booze, deodorant, toothpaste, dishwasher and laundry detergent, and dish soap.

@ipsedixit, alas, no. But we all have our priorities and I love to cook a nice dinner most nights. Shopping is part of the fun for me.

Gelson’s is 2 minutes from my house at the beach and I find pretty much everything excellent, especially the customer service.

I follow their flyer and try to utilize the specials, plus they offer $5 off $25 coupons, and half price salad bar on Tuesdays- so I double up for the next day. Every Christmas they send me a $150 gift card.

Yes, I spend more than the average when you factor in entertaining but my avatar is my view so I don’t feel the need to go out locally that much.

Most of our high-end dining is done in Las Vegas these days when I go every couple of months.

My LA days of chasing an hour across town for something like toast are long gone.

Edited to add, except Jewish-style delis. Will make the trek to Nate N Al for my fix, with a trunk cooler at the ready!


Combination of Ralph’s, TJ’s, Whole Foods, Costco, Mitsuwa, Nijiya, Ranch99, Fish Wholesalers, Persian Markets, Vallarta Market, Farmer’s Market… All depends on what I need, who carries and often who has cheapest and best stuff.

Ain’t paying $2 for dill @ WF, when the persian market sells it for 25cents…

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Which Persian market?

I’ve narrowed my shopping to two stores .One completely fits my needs from produce to protein to other .Est. 1938 , Exceptional service with a checker and a bagger at the four registers . The wait is always less than a couple minutes . Large parking lot . Open 6am -9pm daily . Box store for paper towels and toiletry .
I used to go to Traders . Small parking and long wait in line . They are still OK with me but I haven’t been there in while . I shop 5 times a week for myself .

Woodland Hills Market

Ha, from Mitsuwa, Nijiya, and 99 Ranch, I thought you were talking about the Silicon Valley area.