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Meijer – Westnedge, Portage

October 13, 2009

  • 5121 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 381-3465
  • Website

The hyper-market.  Almost a necessary evil anymore.  While J and I like farmer’s markets and doing our part to help the local economy, you just can’t beat the prices at a major grocery chain and right now, food is more of a necessity than a luxury.

The closest mega-mart to our south Kalamazoo home is the Meijer on South Westnedge.  When looking for a new place to live, finding a place close to a grocery store is mandatory.  I don’t plan meals out very well.  About 5:00, I decided what I get hungry for then look to see if I have what I need to make it.  Most nights, I don’t.  My credit card is littered with $5.00 grocery trips for one or two items. 

I have a love-hate relationship with Meijer.  I love the selection, the fresh produce, and the prices.  I hate the size.  When we lived in Lansing, our place was equal distance from a Meijer and a Kroger.  When I went shopping alone, I went to Kroger.  J always preferred Meijer and, quite honestly, there were some things we could get several dollars cheaper at Meijer, but I HATED the layout of the store.  It made no sense and the aisles weren’t even straight.  You ran in to so many dead ends.  They were also way understaffed.  I never saw more than three cash registers open and they always had lines five or six people deep.  You couldn’t even walk down the aisle in front of the cash registers because the lines were so long they went all the way back into the clothing department behind it.  It literally took twenty minutes to check out every time we went there. 

Our first night in Kalamazoo, we ventured out to restock our fridge and pantry.  Since we know Meijer and like Meijer, we went to Meijer first. 

Let me start by saying, the layout of this store is much better.  It’s so much easier to find the department you’re looking for even though it’s much larger than the store we used to go too.  It’s still a little frustrating to have to walk a mile down each grocery aisle, but we’ll live with it.

The produce section at this store rocks.  J’s really big on taking an apple to work with her everyday and they had a huge selection of Michigan grown apples in stock…including the honeycrisp 🙂  The prices are a little higher than we’re used to paying at Horrocks, but the stuff from Meijer does seem to last a little longer. 

The one thing I always preferred at Kroger over Meijer was the meat department.  While Meijer does have butchers, their prices on prepackaged stuff is a little more.  If I’m buying prepackaged meat, I’m not looking for quality anyway.  It’s probably ground meat that’s going to be used mixed in with something else, so high quality isn’t as important as low prices.  We did pick up a bag of frozen chicken tenders which is a staple around our house.  Again, I doctor chicken up so much, the natural flavor of the meat doesn’t really come out anyway.

We had a few more stops after picking up some snacks and other staples, but when it was time to check out, we were both happily surprised. 

Even though it was a super busy day, they had an adequate number of checkouts open.  We had our choice of three lanes with only one other person in line.  When I’m by myself, I use the self check out, but J hates those things.  She gets in too much of a hurry bagging (she worked at a grocery store in high school) and it screws the computer up which ends up frustrating her. 

Our cashier was actually doing a crossword puzzle as he was checking us out which actually is not as awkward as it seems.  Instead of making small talk, he asked for help with a couple clues he couldn’t figure out.  Never had that happen at a grocery store before. 

Our total bill was a little over $100, but that was to restock our kitchen.  We had a $50 Visa gift card left over from the wedding, so that took care of a good chunk of the bill.  We don’t usually do $100 shopping trips.  I normally do small trips throughout the week then J and I will go get fruits and snacks on the weekends. 

I’m not going to be as hesitant to go to this Meijer as I was with the store in South Lansing.  It’s a much nicer store with a better layout, more checkers, and bigger produce section.  We always feel guilty when we shop hyper-markets, but we feel better about Meijer because it is a Michigan business that supports Michigan farmers.  We’ll still hit up those farmer’s markets, but those are treats to ourselves more than staple shopping.

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