Three Stores Worth the Stops for Groceries: Take Note!


When is more time in the car worth it? When these three grocery stores are on your list!


As moms, it seems like there’s never enough time. We are spending so much time working, driving kids around, attending events, and running a household that it’s difficult to make enough time to even go to the grocery store sometimes. How about making the time to go to three grocery stores? No way. Except that I do, and here’s why.


See, each of the three stores on my route offers me something(s) I just can’t live without. Each store has products that make my life more enjoyable or keep my wallet in check, and each makes it worth the time it takes to drive up and down Manchester to hit them all. 


a close up of an empty grocery cart in the produce aisle



I buy all of my staples at Aldi: eggs, milk, flour, sugar, bread, cereals, fruits, veggies, pasta, plain Greek yogurt, cheese … the prices on all of these items are so significantly lower that I cannot even force myself to buy them anywhere else. But here are the gems:

  • Belmont Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: There’s a rich, smooth flavor to this that rivals the $4-6 cartons at other stores. We love to have this on hand for root beer floats!
  • Chicken Breasts: They are almost always lower priced at Aldi than anywhere else, including Sam’s. 
  • Frozen shrimp, scallops: Great to have on hand to toss into pasta or zucchini noodles.
  • Chicken patties, chicken fries, buffalo chicken strips: Yes, we really like frozen chicken … all of these have great flavor and are lifesavers when kids need to make their own meals pretty quickly.
  • BellaVie Sparkling Water: Like LaCroix, but without the LaCroix price tag. 

Recs from my friends: Wine, frozen pizzas, Elevation bars, pesto sauce, and parmesan encrusted tilapia.


Fresh Thyme


I have to admit I usually only hit up Fresh Thyme when they’ve got my sales going, but that happens all the time. Here’s what I watch for:

  • Thick cut applewood smoked bacon: Hands down the main reason I go to Fresh Thyme.  Regularly $5.99/lb, but it goes on sale at least once a month and is down sometimes as low as $3.99/lb. That’s a great deal. I buy it in 10-pound packages when it’s on sale. So does my mom.
  • Fruit: Fruit from Fresh Thyme seems to stay fresh forever. When it’s on a great sale, which is often, I definitely stock up because I’m not worried about having to eat it too quickly.
  • Chicken Breasts and Ground Beef: Sometimes, these sales beat Aldi’s sales. Since I’m probably stopping off for bacon anyway, I grab these staples.
  • Beef Tenderloin: Like the bacon, Fresh Thyme regularly runs sales on their delicious beef tenderloin, and it’s only $9.99/lb. Worth. The. Stop. 

Recs from my friends: hazelnut crepes, cheese, fresh fish, and nuts.


Trader Joe’s


Trader Joe’s may have a long line during Covid Times, but it moves pretty quickly and is definitely worth the wait for these products: 

  • a picture of the front of a Trader Joe's grocery storeEverything But the Bagel Seasoning: Add this to avocado toast with egg, and it’s the perfect breakfast. 
  • Flowers: You can’t beat the quality and price of the flowers at Trader Joe’s. These beauties alone are worth it. Sometimes this is all I come for, but most of the time, I also hit up the frozen food aisle.
  • Cauliflower stir fry: You guys, my kids don’t know it’s not rice. Please don’t tell them. It’s delicious.
  • Mandarin Chicken and potstickers: We eat this about once a week, and the kids would eat it more often if I let them.
  • Mini Ice Cream Cones: Kids are obsessed with these delicious treats, and I can’t blame them. They’re just the right size for a little something sweet after dinner, or before, really. 

Recs from my friends: chicken shawarma, frozen brown rice in a steam bag, pastry bites with feta cheese and caramelized onions, and espresso ice cream sandwiches.



You don’t have to go to all three stores in one day, of course, because who has that kind of time? But I do think these items are worth the extra stops at some point in your week. Now you tell me, what are the items from these stores I should be adding to my list?

a minivan parked in a driveway with the trunk open and groceries in the back