Prices are up, but you can keep grocery bills down. The trick? Learn which stores offer the best deals and when. Herein, a guide to merchandise, prices and more (like who keeps you jacked on coffee—beware the cup-holstered cart).
(page 1 of 5)
First, the Chains
Acme’s Dover, Fairfax, Smyrna and Trolley Square stores got facelifts in 2008, and all of them boast bigger and better-priced produce and organic food sections. But functionality trumped superficiality at the 60-year-old Trolley Square icon. Because its demographics are changing—a mix of professionals, first-time homeowners and longtime residents—the store had to handle lunch-hour crowds fast. Wider checkout aisles were built, eliminating the crush of salad grabbers, and a front-end manager was hired to keeps things moving. Neighbors are happy. Abandoned Acme carts no longer litter their streets. The new carts are equipped with built-in censors linked to a Gatekeeper security system, so they can’t leave the lot.
Food Lion offers good prices and gracious staffers, but more important, this is a business that knows its demographics. Hispanic brands such as La Costena, Jumex, Juanitas and La Banderita are stocked in all stores. Large assortments of Asian and Indian foods are offered in some beach-area stores. Rehoboth Beach and Lewes shops feature expanded Kosher foods. Coming soon: self-service produce scales that let you weigh and label produce yourself.
Giant is ahead of the technology curve. A program called Easy Shop allows customers to scan and bag as they shop. At the Deli Vision kiosk, you can place deli orders to be picked up after shopping. Giant remodeled the North Wilmington store in 2008. It recently completed work on the 56,000-square-foot Rehoboth Beach location. The store houses a larger pharmacy, great sitting area and an exceptional produce section.
Page 2: First, the Chains, continues...