Goin’ to the market and we’re gonna get groceries…

Baltimore Farmer’s Market (Photo credit: USDAgov)

Grocery shopping in the city is an adventure. It’s that simple.

In our neighborhood, our options include:

  1. a tiny local shop with slightly better selection and prices than a 7-11,
  2. a full-size grocery in a borderline neighborhood with distinctly poor selection and quality,
  3. a full-size grocery in a nice neighborhood that’s a pain to get to with distinctly poor selection and poor quality,
  4. a full-size grocery in a semi-convenient location with decent selection, reasonable quality, but somewhat higher prices,
  5. a full-size market that requires a bit of a drive, but that offers amazing selection and prices on meats, produce, dairy, etc – just don’t try buying TP or bread – this one requires stopping at another store,
  6. a farmer’s market that runs April through December, where the prices are high and the selection varies. More on that in a minute.

These have been my choices since we moved to the city. There have been other finds here and there, but these are the major players. Numbers two and three were quickly eliminated for various reasons.

For a while, I dutifully shopped the farmer’s market and filled in at one of the full-size groceries. But sometimes schedules made getting to the market on a Sunday morning a bit of a challenge, leaving me back at square one.

Then I discovered number 5. The quality and prices were great and while it did take time, and two stops to complete the grocery shopping, it worked well.

But sometimes, schedules are tight and taking three hours out of my day to do the grocery shopping (plus more for putting things away) is not an option.

In April, the farmer’s market opened back up and wonder of wonders, we had time to go. Opening weekend was a bit of a disappointment – the selection was minimal. But hey, it’s early, right?

Meanwhile, I made a recent discovery. Relayfoods, a grocery delivery service that actually delivers to the city. Their selections are mostly local, often organic, and their prices are no higher than shopping the farmer’s market, or the pricier grocery stores. The quality? Ah-maze-ing.

Determined to give the local market another chance, we went again this past weekend… and we were disappointed for a variety of reasons. That post will come tomorrow, after I’ve had the chance to edit it for excessive use of profanity.

At this point… my choice has boiled down to spend the time or spend the money. While both are precious, the budget is sometimes more forgiving than the calendar.

Now I just have to get over feeling a little ridiculous that I’m having my groceries delivered to my front door.


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