If we don’t eat, we die. Thus we are stuck going to the supermarket.

Ryn Gargulinski

Ryn Gargulinski

This mundane chore is a bore for several reasons: the crowds, the crying children and the cost.

I frequent supermarkets as infrequently as possible – like only when I’ve finally wrenched the last bag of frozen peas from the back of my freezer or broke down and broke open the backup box of 99-cent corn flakes.

But sometimes the task is inevitable. Some Tucson supermarkets rate better than others for different reasons.

My supermarket of choice because it’s close and has fair prices. They are also always stocked up on the latest cheesy tabloids.
Highlight: The workers. The greeters make me smile and the produce people seem to actually care if I’m having a good day.
Lowlight: The produce itself could often use an upgrade. But they have been stocking Ambrosia apples lately. Yum.
Rating (1 to 10): 8

Trader Joe’s
Best cereal selection in town and some very hip workers. But it still has some drawbacks.
Highlight: Awesome prices and, in addition to the cereal selection, some very cool items, like curry naan.
Lowlight: Cramped aisles and, worse yet, shoppers that feel entitled to block the cramped aisles with no regard for others. Some have even “tsked” when I’ve politely said “Excuse me” as I tried to get around their cart to get to the curry naan.
Rating (1 to 10): 6.92

Sunflower Farmers Market
This place is very cool but seems to be set up strangely. I found it hard to figure out where the items I wanted would be. It’s also usually crowded and not very convenient to get to, so I usually steer clear.
Highlight: Unexpected items, like a full selection of Crocs clogs.
Lowlight: Unexpected costs, like when you end up buying three pairs of Crocs clogs.
Rating (1 to 10): 6.91

Ryn Gargulinski

Ryn Gargulinski

Something always seems a bit skeevy about buying food at Wal-Mart. Sure, they have dirt cheap prices, but they also have a warehouse aura and pushy crowds.
Highlight: Best prices on cleaning supplies and body lotion.
Lowlight: Rumors they abuse their workers.
Rating (1 to 10): 4.1

Sleek, clean, bright – and wholly overpriced.
Highlight: Less than a mile from my house.
Lowlight: High prices are the top lowlight, but some of the customers are also way too nosy. I dashed into Bashas’ after a romp at the dog park once and at least two people found it necessary to loudly proclaim I had dog hair all over my jacket.
Rating (1 to 10): 4

One of my friends falls over sideways complimenting this place. I’ve only one experience with Safeway, at its Grant Road location, when I desperately needed bubble bath and it was the only store open. They had one type of bubble bath – a Sesame Street brand in melon.
Highlight: Found a lavender bubble bath crammed deep in the back in one of those clearance kiosks.
Lowlight: Never trust a store that only features one type of bubble bath.
Rating (1 to 10): 2

I’ve left out places I’ve never shopped, such as Whole Foods, Food City and Albertson’s. The latter was my store of choice in New Mexico but I have yet to visit one in Tucson.

Readers, please feel free to chime in on those.


Desperation cereal/Ryn Gargulinski

Desperation cereal/Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

What’s your favorite/least favorite supermarket in town?

What’s the most important aspect of a supermarket?

What’s the most annoying?