When we moved to Saratoga Springs I knew that I would have to get used to many new things. I just didn’t realize grocery shopping would be one of them!
Where I come from, Wegmans is the main grocery store, the main place to go to get your shopping done for the week. There is no Wegmans in the Saratoga Springs area so I had to try out new places to buy groceries. Hannaford and Price Chopper are new to me, and I have been a customer of Aldi for many years. I have never even heard of The Fresh Market.
Hannaford is close to home on the west side of Saratoga. Hannaford is on Treible Ave, right off of Rowland Drive, technically in Ballston Spa. I walked in and the store seemed big, with Produce, Deli, Meats, Bakery, all the normal stuff.
I went to the service desk and asked for a rewards card.
Oh, I’m sorry. A loyalty card.
We don’t have those.
Sorry, I must be using the wrong word. A membership card?
We don’t use them here.
I must be saying it wrong. You know the card that you use to get the sale prices?
We don’t use those cards, the prices are the same for everyone.
Oh. Thank you.”
That’s really weird. Why are all the prices the same for everyone? Why don’t I get special discounts because I’m a special member card? The prices marked on the shelf is it. Am I supposed to negotiate at the register?
Ok, so, I shopped, checked out, paid, no loyalty/membership card needed. It felt strange.
I looked for other grocery stores in the Saratoga Area and found there is a Price Chopper on Ballston Avenue.
This time I did NOT walk in and ask for a member card. I shopped, through departments like Fresh Veggies, Bakery, Deli, Meats. I also noticed a whole section in the front for prepared things likes soups, subs, and pizza. Also, there is a Starbucks when you first walk in the door. As I walked around, I noticed these little signs on the shelves with sale prices listed, and it said member price!
That’s ok, I know how to do this. I walked up to the customer service desk and asked for a member card. She said OK! It was that easy. I filled out a paper and Voila! I was handed the magical member card that lowers (some) of the prices.
By Googling grocery stores in the Saratoga Springs area, I noticed that there is an Aldi in Ballston Spa – there we go, we had those in Rochester. Aldi works the same way here as it did there. No learning curve to shopping there.
Aldi can be somewhat overwhelming if you have never been there before. You have to rent a cart, by putting a quarter in the cart if you want to use it, then return the cart and get your quarter back. You have to bring your own bags, plastic or eco-friendly, or buy bags for a few cents. You bag your own groceries (which is kinda fun, especially if you have never had a job bagging groceries).
I find that there are some products that are just better at Aldi, especially eggs, milk and all the different cheeses they offer. Not everything in an Aldi store is Aldi brand. They have some name brand items as well, like Coke and Boca Burgers. You will certainly save money on your groceries, but not everything can be replaced by generic. I have to say that the prices on meat at Aldi are much lower than even sale prices at other stores. Be sure to give Aldi a look.
So there you go. 2 weeks in Saratoga and 3 places to buy groceries. Here’s what you need to know:
- No card needed for Hannaford
- Yes card needed for Price Chopper
- Aldi: bring a quarter, bring bags, bag your groceries, save money
By travelling around town, I can report that there is also a Hannaford and Price Chopper in Wilton (near the mall) as well as Target and Walmart there. There are lots of options for grocery shopping in the Saratoga Springs area.
Where do you do your grocery shopping? Who has the highest quality and who has the best prices? Do you know of any other places in town to shop? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading! I hope it helps! :o)