Opinion

October 24, 2012

Rachel Brown: Shop smart

Every time you turn around, it seems, someone is talking about how bad the economy is or how little money they have to spend. We hear about tax increases, job losses and diminished wages.

Provided we have at least some income, however, we have a choice. We can whine about what we don’t have, or we can ... go shopping! … and do it a little bit smarter.

Below, you’ll get a look at where to find some of the least expensive — yet high quality — goods in the Dalton area and still feel like you’re having a fun, regular shopping trip and not so much a “thrifting” experience. These aren’t the only places to find a good deal around here, but as a bona fide shopaholic who prefers looking in every nook and cranny in town to driving up to Chattanooga, I can tell you these places have a lot to offer. Here are my picks for best places to shop for some common items on your list:

• Bread: Colonial Bakery Store on Cleveland Highway. It’s hard to beat bread for less than $2 a loaf there, and often you’ll find it closer to $1 a loaf. It tastes the same as if you paid $3 for it at Kroger or Bi-Lo. Downside: The selection is often limited.

• Cheese, milk and eggs: Mega stores like Walmart and Kroger usually have some cheaper versions of these goods in store brands, but one of my favorite places to shop is at Aldi where I can always depend on getting a buggy full of goods without feeling too much of a pinch. Milk is typically right around $3 a gallon, with Aldi often running a few cents cheaper than the bigger stores. The selection of typically-expensive block cheese is excellent at Aldi, and you won’t have to pay more than $3 per 8-ounce block. Eggs are usually at least comparable to what you’ll find in other stores. Downside: Go to Aldi, and you have to either pay for grocery bags there or bring your own.

• Fresh produce: No offense to Kroger and its bountifully stocked shelves, specialty items and health food section, but this is not the place to shop for run-of-the-mill produce if your piggy bank is running low. Try Aldi or Delray Farms instead. Delray typically offers limes at 10 for $10, and you can often find pricey berries at Aldi for nearly half what you’d pay at a larger grocery store. The same goes for tomatoes, peppers, onions and potatoes at both of these stores. Delray has authentic Mexican ingredients and some produce (cactus, anyone?) you won’t find in most other stores. One significant downside: The selection, especially at Aldi, is limited.

• Gasoline: This is where Kroger gets my unreserved vote. Not only are fuel prices typically some of the least expensive — if not the cheapest outright — in Dalton, you can get an additional discount on top of the stated price just by using your Kroger card. Shop at the store more often, and you can earn significant fuel perks. I’ve never had a time where my Kroger card didn’t get me at least a 3-cent discount per gallon. Downside: Everyone else loves Kroger gas, too. Try to go at an off time to avoid long lines at the pump.

• Meat: This is a difficult one because it’s so expensive. I love when the Green Spot runs specials on boneless, skinless chicken breast and other cuts that aren’t chock full of hormones to make them bigger, but in between those sales, Delray is one of my top picks. The folks at the meat counter will dish out the exact amount of whatever you want, and the selection is good. I routinely find boneless, skinless chicken breast there for $1.99 a pound. One downside: Sometimes the fat and skin isn’t trimmed as well as if you’d bought from somewhere else.

Rachel Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen and an avid bargain hunter. She can be reached at rachelbrown@daltoncitizen.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014