City Mom versus Suburban Mom: Grabbing the Groceries

Dec 15, 2023

In the first installment of City Mom versus Suburban Mom, we talk about the ultimate hot topic: GROCERY SHOPPING.

#1. Where do you get most of your groceries?

City Mom: I rely on FreshDirect for grocery delivery. There’s an amazing grocery store just three blocks away, and we do swing through and grab a few things from time to time. However, with three kids, carrying groceries even a short distance can be quite challenging. And when I’m alone, it still feels more trouble than it’s worth. Managing so many bags with no efficient way to get them home is a hassle. I prefer to order online for grocery delivery. I even subscribe to the unlimited delivery service, so sometimes I order a few times a week instead of having one large delivery. Typically that means we’re tossing less food, which is a plus. 

Suburban Mom: I have to confess, I also rely on FreshDirect! I’ve been ordering from FreshDirect for 15 years, so it’s a hard habit to break. Additionally, I work full-time in the city and am out of the house 12 or 13 hours a day, five days a week. On the weekends, the last thing I want to do is go grocery shopping. 

It’s funny – it’s been so long since I grocery-shopped in a store that I’m so bad at it now. I wind up spending twice as much money when I go into a store. And now with Instacart and DoorDash, I can get grocery delivery in less than an hour, which is a huge win.

#2. What are your staples?

City Mom: We go through a ton of milk, but our fridge can’t hold a gallon without compromising spots for other essentials, so we buy it in smaller quantities throughout the week.

Suburban Mom: Our essential items are the usual suspects—milk, bread, eggs, and cheese. Snacks, too, of course. We even have a dedicated cabinet in the garage just for school snacks. I always make sure to have plenty of extras on hand. Running out of veggie chips and yogurt sticks is simply not an option.

#3. What do you never buy but always want to?

City Mom: I would love to get anything in bulk—whether it’s toilet paper, paper towels, pretzels, or milk, I’d take it all! Space is a concern for us, but I often dream about making a Costco run…

Suburban Mom: I’ve always wanted to try making my Indian food. Unfortunately, we have zero options for Indian takeout or delivery nearby, so I keep thinking about attempting to whip up some dishes myself. We definitely miss the amazing food options in the city.

#4. What’s your go-to weeknight dinner?

City Mom: Takeout. Even my kids know the Postmates password.

Suburban Mom: Air Fryer anything. Toss some chicken, veggies, and seasoning in and we’ve got dinner in 15 minutes. Done and done.

#5. If you could change one thing about grocery shopping, what would it be?

City Mom: I wish I had more storage space. It always feels like I don’t have enough room to stock up on essentials, so I’m constantly scrambling to pack lunches, make breakfasts, and get dinner on the table. We often run out of things like olive oil, granola bars, or eggs. If we had a larger fridge and more cabinet space, we wouldn’t always run out of groceries. The just-in-time shopping is sometimes stressful.

Suburban Mom: I wish there were more FreshDirect delivery times available. Sometimes, I fill my cart only to discover that I have to wait three or four days for a delivery slot. I also wish we had more convenient grocery stores. The old Trader Joe’s in the city was small, which made it easy to run in and out, even with kids. Now, every grocery store is massive, and there’s no quick or easy way to shop.

#6. Last question: what’s your grocery shopping guilty pleasure?

City Mom: Paying extra for the faster PrimeNow grocery delivery—or ordering wine on Drizzly…

Suburban Mom: Shopping at the gourmet grocer near us. It’s super small, so I really can pop in and out. But it’s so much more expensive than the “regular” grocery store. Sometimes, though, the convenience is worth it!

There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.

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