About Me

My photo
My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shopping Review: BetterHealth Market

BetterHealth Market is a good middle-of-the-road store with some great choices. It is a little bit more, I find, than either Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's, but there are some things I get there that aren't readily available at either of those, one of which (sob) will be no longer. (I'm referring to the Cocoa Mole flavor of the LaraBar)!

Moving on ... The customer service I have experienced at the Novi store is wonderful. I can always get help if I need assistance finding something I want. It has a good selection of healthy foods minus the mind-boggling number of choices you'd find at a Whole Foods Market.

The prepared food section also is a good place to pick up a quick dinner if you'll be too tired to cook after shopping.

You can get some great loss-leader sales on certain items in the store. In addition, BetterHealth Market offers coupons. Some (which vary from 10 percent off your order to 20 percent off a single item) are sent to me in the mail. Usually, there are coupon books available with the flyer in the front of the store. Check these out before shopping to get the best possible deals!

Shopping Review: Trader Joe's Market

A few years ago, a former coworker brought in some beautiful red peppers and hummus. When I asked her where she got them, she said "Trader Joe's; that's where I do most of my shopping."

Think of Trader Joe's as a decently-sized specialty market minus the specialty prices. While it doesn't have the extensive stock of Whole Foods Market (which is both an advantage and a disadvantage, depending on how pressed for time I am). It does feature a bit of everything without being a megastore. While I enjoy both Whole Food Market and BetterHealth Market (more on that later), I find that, when I'm in a hurry to grab something to eat on the run, and there's a Trader Joe's in the neighborhood, it's my choice. It includes some heavenly healthy choices, including some wonderful meats, vegetables and fruits.

Unfortunately for me, the closest Trader Joe's to Milford is just south of Eight Mile on Haggerty. That means I don't get there often. If I'm on my way home from the area before 9 p.m. (which, I believe, is closing time), I usually make it a point to go there and get some of my favorite things. The great thing about TJ's is that I can do a quick shopping job there in about 15 minutes!

Shopping Review: Whole Foods Market

I have always enjoyed going to Whole Foods Market; it's a shopping experience. I've been to the one in Ann Arbor and the one in Farmington Hills. Probably my favorite one (which is likely by virtue of being the one I know the best) is the Farmington Hills location.

Cheese lovers and wine lovers alike can go wild there. Foodies everywhere drool over the prepared foods, including all-American favorites such as a luscious macaroni and cheese dish as well as Kosher foods, vegan choices, vegetarian fare and a terrific salad bar. I love the place.

That said, I frequently hear (or read) complaints that the chain is pricey. In some instances, that is true, but the biggest downside for me is that it's a megastore; with my penchant for label reading, a small shopping trip will take me at least an hour (usually closer to one-and-a-half hours). So I'd advise getting your perishables last. 

As is the case with many other chains, there are some great loss-leader sales available. If you stick to bulk food section and specials, you can get some bargains, especially in terms of healthier snacks.

I strongly suggest reading the flyer before you start shopping and limiting your purchases of the fabulous premade foods (particularly baked goods) to healthier choices so you too can have a shopping experience that's great for both your waistline and your wallet.