Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wha'Cha Say?

What price are you willing to pay for your sanity?

We clearly see that I will go to some lengths for mine... Pouring the intimate details of my life out onto a platter for anyone who wants to pick them apart; taking anti-depressants and, again, pouring that juicy detail out like some rich morsel I feel compelled to share with friends and strangers alike.

Am I willing, however, to continue spending more money at the grocery store? Sadly, I think I might be.

I am addicted to Publix. I love shopping there. I love the crisp clean, moderny goodness of their package design; the brightly lit and clean expanse of store with wide aisles that all go in the same direction with the center aisles flanked by the produce section in one rear corner and meats in the other. I love how the same employees have worked in the store for years and years and know my name and ask how my boys are doing if they're not with me. I love that Publix employees are always smiling and friendly and helpful...to a one, from the store manager to the stock clerks. I love that they double coupons and always offer to have someone help you to your car with your groceries. It is hands down my favorite grocery store for everyday, run of the mill shopping.

Several of my friends have encouraged me to shop at Kroger, telling me how much cheaper it is.

I just have one tiny problem. Kroger makes me crazy.

Every single time I shop in a Kroger store, I am enraged to the point of muttering and tears by the time I leave. No joke.

The stores are dirty, dark, and always crowded. They never have enough check out lanes open. The produce is by the door as soon as you walk in and isn't laid out in any sensible way. Produce is often not labeled with a price and they never have the little plastic bags for produce out near the produce. They have the bags in one central location so you have to either remember to go get your bags (and know how many you need) or walk across the department when you need a bag.

There is never anyone at the deli counter when you need help and if you ask anyone where something is, they point. I guess that's really all under the umbrella of employees who don't give a damn whether you shop in their store or not. And that's really my biggest problem. Poor staffing with employees who seem like they all hate their jobs.

Then there's the issue of bad design which is reflected in numerous ways throughout the store. The store does not flow well and always seems crowded. The aisles are not wide enough or long enough and they have foods and other products grouped in weird ways. Diapers and Candy. Cokes and Pet Supplies. I just hate it. And don't get me started on their package design which looks like something from 1985. Yuck. Purple and blue and red? Really? Blech!

I almost forgot! Kroger is also the only store I've ever seen with aisles running in two different directions. Vertically and horizontally! I hate that. It's not only illogical, it's inconvenient to the shoppers using giant shopping carts with wheels that don't easily turn.

I understand that for most people shopping isn't about an aesthetic experience. I know there must be something wrong with me that it matters so much to me. This is also why I prefer Target to Wal-Mart. I have so much garbage in my head that I don't need it when I'm trying to get things done.

I need a clean and easy experience with few distractions when I'm shopping. Also, since going to the grocery might be my big outing for the week, I'd like to keep it a pleasant experience.

Sadly, though, I'd really like to spend less money on groceries. I have a conundrum.

For the moment though, I think my sanity might win. I'll just have to do my best to reduce my grocery expenditures in the clean happy land of Publix.

What say you? What lengths will you go to in order to promote calm and peace in your life?

5 comments:

Kel said...

Trust me - calm and light are a must in my life - 'if momma ain't happy - nobody is happy!'

DCup said...

Dawn, you made me laugh because MathMan and I have this conversation nearly every shopping trip.

Should we go to Publix or save money and go to WalMart? (Our Krogers is really old and gross.)

We always end up at Publix.

We're using coupons more and buying more store brand things and cutting back on packaged, process foods to cut our bill.

And we always figure that eating at home is a savings over takeout, so there's that.

We love our Publix in Cartersville and will keep shopping there.

Suz said...

I haven't stepped foot inside a Wal-Mart in about 2 years--and not willingly in at least 5. Not only does the entire experience offend my sensibilities, their illustrious history of labor law violations keeps me away. Also, they've shut down every other decent grocery store where my mom lives (which is why I've had to go there "unwillingly" in the past 5 years)

Funny, though, I abhor Publix! I couldn't shop there in Charleston, I can't shop there in Columbia. I can't tell you why. It's just never jibed with me.

Guess it's just a personal choice..

Just Me said...

I have to agree on the grocery store. I shop at Shoppers and there are two in my area. I go to the smaller one because I know where everything is and the aisles have some sense of order. Even though the other one may be closer, it is ALWAYS crowded and they have some kind of stupid aisle system. It makes me mad as soon as I go in there, if I happen too.

Jeremy said...

We're not especially loyal to one store or the other, but I agree that the only thing more harrowing than shopping at Kroger is shopping at Wal-Mart.

Excluding the stores they bought from A&P, all the Publix stores in the Atlanta area are less than 20 years old, which probably plays a role in the shopping experience.

In your case, I'd go with sanity over savings-especially if you're shopping with kids.