I had an interesting experience today, a humbling experience, one full of growth and gratitude.
We eat a lot of fresh produce in our house, which is wonderful for our health, but it has had an impact on our wallet. With baby V eating more solids, and the girls getting bigger, I realized we’ve been spending two to three times what other families our size spend on groceries. I decided to look for a less expensive grocery store that did not compromise on quality.
Now, I’ve been a Trader Joe’s and Costco die hard for most of my life, but those stores haven’t been working for our growing family lately. So I called the Russians, who have always fed a large family, and asked where they do their shopping. They gave me the name of a store about 20-25 minutes away, in a slightly more urban area. I grew up a pretty closeted suburban girl, so I get nervous about driving in heavily populated areas. I don’t enjoy the parking lot competition or the stores’ impacted with bodies, but I decided to brave the journey.
The drive was fine, but I almost got hit twice in the parking lot. Not a great start to a new experience. I hop out of my car, grab a cart, and walk in. I notice stands of grains, dates, and nuts, and I immediately get really excited. The store reminded me of the Persian markets I used to frequent in college. My Persian Armenian roommate turned me on to them, but there are none close to where I live now. So I’ve just kind of gone without previous staples like hummus, dolmeh, and dates. You can find these items where I live, but they’re pretty much terrible. Well, guess what I found at my new favorite store? These beloved foods and more!
I scoured aisle after aisle stocking up on old and new staples, and everyone was super friendly when I couldn’t find specific items. There was one near brawl between customers over carrots (not even joking 😂), but other than that, the experience was amazing.
I am grateful I stepped outside of my comfort zone to try a new place. Yes, it’s far away. Yes, it’s inconvenient. But I spent half of what I normally spend for a week, and I became reunited with some old loves. I can’t wait for next week’s shop!