Insider Tips for Grocery Shopping

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It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. As you begin to plan your Thanksgiving menu or imagine your Christmas tablescape, we’re here to make your life a bit easier. Once you prepare your grocery list, it’s time to decide where to go. Do you head to the small market filled with local and seasonal items? Or use the chain grocery store as a one-stop-shop? Wherever you choose for your grocery shopping, Edible Orlando can help! 

Five Grocery Stores in Central Florida

Below, we offer insider tips for five grocery stores in Central Florida. Let’s dive in!

Publix Supermarket

This Florida-based, employee-owned grocery chain is known throughout the South for their noteworthy customer service. With a well-rounded produce section and an impressive deli with made-to-order sandwiches (known to locals as “Pub subs”), you’ll find everything you expect at a large grocer. Check out their line of Greenwise products for many organic items at reasonable prices. Remember that most stores place their healthier products on the outer walls, so head to these areas first. For coupons, join Club Publix, a free loyalty program with savings, convenience, and personalization.

Aldi

With 90 percent of their items being Aldi-exclusive brands, the discount supermarket can offer high-quality products at a lower cost. In particular, they have excellent prices for organic produce as well as alcohol (perfect for holiday party planning!). Note that you must bring your own reusable bags, as they do not offer disposable bags. A common complaint about Aldi is the disparities from location to location, so check out a few different stores before picking your favorite. Luckily, there are nearly 20 options in the Orlando area! Be sure to check out their “Simply Nature” products for items that are either organic or Non-GMO Project verified. Their liveGfree line includes a wide selection of gluten-free products as well. 

Make Grocery Shopping An Adventure

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s strives to make grocery shopping an adventure. They aim to offer customers good values on a daily basis and are particularly loved for their seasonal items. Like Aldi (the two franchises are distantly related), Trader Joe’s keeps costs down by selling private label brands. They frequently discontinue products that aren’t performing well, allowing space for new offerings to pop up on their shelves — something they call their “gangway factor.” With a lot of pre-prepared options, it’s a great place to head when you’re pressed for time or in a cooking rut. Or you can use these offerings as quick and easy appetizers to offer your guests while you prepare a festive meal!

Whole Foods

Known for their commitment to healthy and organic products, Whole Foods takes a lot of the guesswork out of grocery shopping. When you shop here, you know every item you buy meets their high standards. Chances are, your local store will have that hard-to-find produce needed for your holiday spread. Whole Foods was recently purchased by Amazon, and Amazon is working to make their prices more affordable.

Healthy and Affordable Food Choices

Sprouts Farmers Market

Inspired by your local farmers market, Sprouts hopes to educate consumers to make healthy food choices in an affordable way. Here, you can enjoy both monthly and weekly deals as well as “Double Ad Wednesdays” (twice the savings!). As you shop, feel motivated by mottos like “Every Meal Is a Choice” and “Healthy Living for Less.” If you’re looking for less common meat options, check out their cuts of elk, venison, and beef liver. Their private label brand offers cost-effective and healthy choices that include organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and plant-based options. Plus, the extensive bulk items aisle is perfect for feeding large crowds.

As we continue to navigate through a pandemic, we encourage you to order groceries from the safety of your own home when possible. At Publix, Aldi, and Sprouts, Central Florida residents can take advantage of delivery through Instacart. Additionally, online ordering at Whole Foods for both pickup and delivery is available for Amazon Prime members at no extra cost.

 

Tell us: What recipes are you dreaming about for upcoming holiday meals? 

A version of this article originally appeared in our Fall 2019 issue.

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