Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A Shawstastic Time!
Shaw's was nice enough to invite a bunch of local bloggers to their Dedham, MA store for a Media Summit of sorts. It was Shawstastic! We learned a whole bunch of valuable information about Shaw's and the Shaw's brand.
It was great to meet and see other bloggers too - like Wicked Cool Deals, Happily Average, Itty Bitty Bistro, Boston Family Life, A Yummy Mommy, Simple Thrift as well as a few others that I cannot remember off the top of my head.
I think part of the summit tried to sell us on Shaw's - they didn't need to sell me though - I worship that place. I already tell people who ask that I love Shaw's the best out of all area grocery stores. Why do I love Shaw's? Let's see...
Here in Eastern Massachusetts, I have a plethora of choices for grocery shopping - Roche Bros, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Shaw's, Trader Joe's, BJ's, Costco, Whole Foods, Wal-mart, Target, Market Basket. So what's the deal with each?
Roche Bros. - I actually like Roche Bros. My brother-in-law works there and they seem to treat him well. They have great quality food and their stores are clean and neat. The workers all seem to be very friendly. They have great meat sales. Why I don't like them? I find their ad is hard to read. It's hard to spot the good bargains. At least for me. They don't have pictures for about 2/3s of the stuff that's advertised and too many words confuse me.
Stop & Shop - I feel like S&S is too snooty. I don't know why. I just get this feeling of snoot when I go in there. I also feel gypped because I find that they advertise stuff in their flyers that aren't even on sale - they put their normal prices of stuff on things in their circular! I think that's odd. I find there aren't that many things on sale there. They seriously lack store coupons. I also think their produce is blah. But it's 1 mile from my house - so it's convenient to run there for things we might need unexpectedly.
Hannaford's - Closest one is about 5 miles from me. It just doesn't jive with me. I did shop here (and work here briefly...) in college, so it does hold a special spot in my heart. Word up for the Keene, NH Hannaford's!!!!
Market Basket - Closest one is about 20 miles away. I'm not driving 20 miles to go grocery shopping. I've never actually been in one either. I just hear they are cheap.
Trader Joe's & Whole Foods - Okay. This is easy. I'm not all gung ho, love the earth, leave the pesticides out of my fruit type of person. I mean come on, I find S&S too classy for my blood - TJ's and WF blows me out of the water. Just too fancy, too natural and too over-priced for me. Plus, I have zero idea what half the stuff in that store is used for. But I do know it's 100% natural...
Costco - I don't shop here because the closest one is 13 miles from my house. Too far.
BJ's - I do shop BJ's. I find I only buy milk, half & half, eggs, and a few other specials here. The milk savings alone more than pays for my annual membership. It's less than 3 miles from my house so making a quick trip is easy. Milk cost comparison as of May 20, 2009? $3.69 for a gallon of Shaw's 1% milk vs. $2.15 for a gallon of Garelick Farm's 1% at BJ's. That's $1.54 savings per gallon. If you drink 100 gallons a year - that's a savings of $154 (a BJ's membership is $45 and they give you a $10 gift card when you join).
Target & Walmart - I just can't grocery shop at discount chain stores. It feels weird.
Shaw's - I really like how they have a lot of store coupons. I like their flyers. I like the layout of their stores (at least mine). I like how most of the cashiers at my store are pretty with it and don't give me problems with my coupons. I like how most of the workers are nice to my kids. I personally like the other people who shop at my Shaw's. They typically aren't really gross and smelly, but they aren't all rich and snooty either. I personally like how my Shaw's is on the small side. I usually only shop sale stuff - so having a big variety isn't important to me - just keep the sale stuff in stock and I'm a happy camper.
Well back to my Shawstastic time....it was really great what they did - it was like we were super stars or something. They gave us a great lunch, provided babysitters for our little guys (my little one is still talking about how fun Shaw's is...), and gave us great goodie bags! I love goodie bags. Life is better with goodie bags. See the picture above. But honestly - I'm really impressed that they recognize that blogs are, in a way, taking grocery shopping to a whole new level. I've been shopping and using coupons for a couple years now - but it wasn't until I talked to Katy at Happily Average last summer that I realized there were blogs out there that promote grocery savings. I had zero idea that people actually promote grocery store sales out there - just for fun!
So here I am in the summer of 2009 - I still take my weekly flyer and make my list and pull out my coupons each week like I've done for years - but now, before I leave for the store - I usually always check Deal Finding Mom and Wicked Cool Deals to see if there's something I missed. And honestly - I do usually add something "free" or "wicked cheap" that I missed on my own combing through the flyer most weeks. Maybe these Shaw's people are actually on to something...