My First Trip to Sprouts, Summed Up in a Blog Post
Part of my fiancé and I's weekend ritual, especially since being quarantined, has been to meal plan for the week, create a thorough grocery list, and hit up our neighborhood grocer. For us, this happens to be a combination of a nearby local fresh produce stand (shout out to Indian Rocks Fresh Market) and Walmart Neighborhood Market, because my fiancé gets a discount there due to his job and they are both within a 5 minute drive to our house.
This routine has worked for us in a number of ways. We are saving money from not having to order food as much, eating healthier since we are now cooking most of our foods from scratch, and it has also limited the amount of time we have to be in public (not because we are #antisocial but because #socialdistancing).
This week however we decided to venture out from the normal Sunday morning grocery run and try a new place that just opened up near us, Sprouts Farmers Market. I’ve heard a lot about this place and how inexpensive, yet high quality the products are. I couldn’t wait to go here and see what the hype was about.
Before getting into my thoughts on the trip, I do want to point out that Sprouts Farmers Market was inspired by a farmers market selling fresh fish, natural and organic groceries but obviously creating a brick and mortar concept. In fact over 90% of the products they offer are natural or certified organic.
Here are some of my overall takeaways:
The produce definitely seemed to be a good price, high quality, and there were a lot of options.
Like I said the produce here seemed to be a pretty decent price and a higher quality than what you may find at a big box grocer like Walmart and the prices were certainly better than what you might find at Publix. At first glance I would say about 30% of the entire store total was dedicated to produce which stood out to me. Some of the prices that stood out to me were 2/ $1 cucumbers, $.88 for an avocado, $.79 for an ear of sweet corn. I have attached a copy of my receipt below (which is also the first double sided grocery receipt I’ve ever seen!)
The store itself seemed very open.
Walking in I noticed how open the entire store was. I could literally see all across the entire store to all 4 walls. Overall at first glance, there didn’t even seem to be many “aisles” in the store. Only 15 - 20% of the store that had traditional grocery aisles that took up one side of the store aligned to the freezer section. Half of the aisles were dedicated to pantry products and the other half were dedicated to health and beauty products (also surprising for a grocery concept!) It was nice that the store was so open because I could easily see which areas of the store I needed to go to and where the products I needed would be. It also relates to the fact that so many products offered here are “whole foods” in nature, while only offering certain healthier dry goods.
The meat and fish were expensive but high quality.
This wasn’t surprising knowing that the only option for the meat and fish is organic, farm fresh, yada yada, etc. There was a very large case filled with a few different kinds of fresh fish, sausages, and steaks. We purchased a pound of grouper for $16 which isn't that bad when you think about an order of grouper from a restaurant costing more than that for 1 filet.
They don’t accept reusable bags.
Ironically they don’t accept reusable bags. Now I’m not entirely sure if this was just a COVID practice or the norm but I was surprised at this. The caveat was that we could use our own bags as long as we bagged our groceries ourselves which was the option we took. (I love bagging groceries because it feels like I’m playing real life tetris.)
The Verdict: Sprouts vs. Our Normal Routine
While our total spend at Sprouts came to about $150 for the week and our normal trip is typically somewhere between $115 - $130, I would have to say I would choose Sprouts again. The biggest reason for this is because we could get all of our products in one place plus most everything was certified organic. It was convenient to be able to have a wide assortment of fresh and organic meat options without having to travel between 2 different locations (and sometimes 3 depending on what we have planned for the week.) I also think the overall quality of products is better at Sprouts, meat and produce seemed to be fresher. Additionally, many of the highly processed items that we usually would look past at Walmart are eliminated here which was also pretty convenient for us. The price was pretty comparable in my opinion for a week of food and not having to make any additional trips to the grocery store. I will most certainly be back!