As we have been traveling around Ohio, living this life of leisure and adventure, there are still some normal, housekeeping matters that come up regularly. There are things that break – like the smoke alarm that went insane at 4:30 a.m. We still have to clean our house. We still do laundry every week (see previous post) and we still do grocery shopping once a week.
Grocery shopping once a week is more often than I used to do it at home. When I was still working I hated to go grocery shopping. There was a great store, Acme, across the street from the church and it had very convenient hours, but I hated to take the time in the middle of a crazy day or at the end of an exhausting day, to go grocery shopping.
Now that I am retired, I look at grocery shopping differently. For one thing, Tom and I do it together. We also get less stuff at once since we are going more regularly. We get more fresh stuff because I still haven’t gotten in the routine of cooking in the RV so we have lots of sandwiches, fruit and fresh veggies. Our refrigerator is smaller and can’t hold as much, which is good because fewer things get spoiled and thrown out. And everywhere we go, we have the excitement of finding a grocery store and checking out unique things about it.
Since we moved away from Akron, we have shopped at four different grocery stores (thought I would write about them while I can still remember them separately). We have shopped at The Anderson’s General Store several times. It is our favorite because of the outstanding deli. If you haven’t tried Anderson’s Chicken Salad, you have missed out on the most delicious chicken salad EVER! Tom likes Anderson’s because you can also buy carpet, tools, and clothing – but not like Walmart. It is more like the old-fashioned general store that used to be at the heart of every town. The grocery section is small but features an aisle with 40 different kinds of olive oil that you can sample, a huge bakery, and “The House of Meats” with real butchers behind the counter. They are generous with samples in all parts of the grocery section (skip lunch – just go grocery shopping at Anderson’s)!
When we were in Zanesville we shopped at Riesbeck’s Food Market. It was a good grocery store with plenty of variety and the normal brands. But they also had lots of food on “special,” which at Acme would have meant that you had to have an Acme card to get the lower price. Riesbeck’s didn’t require any special card. Special meant sale and it was the same price for everyone. Yeah! I don’t need any more loyalty cards in my purse. Riesbeck’s was also one of the few strictly grocery stores we have found that was open 24 hours.
While we were by Lake Erie we went to Bassett’s Market in Port Clinton. There are only two locations for Bassett’s and it is smaller than the other grocery stores we visited. There wasn’t as much variety, but they had plenty of different kinds of food, a good produce section and bakery. We found a new kind of potato chips which Tom really likes – Ballreich’s Hot ‘n Sassy – which is a company in Tiffin. Two unique things about Bassett’s: 1. They are connected to Bassett’s Hardware store which might be tempting to couples and 2. They have online ordering so that you can order groceries, go to the cash register and pay for your order and take them home. No shopping in the store! I would have loved this when I was working. We went to the store the Friday before Labor Day and it was crazy busy with weekenders stocking up, but they had lots of employees asking if there was anything they could help us find.
Finally, we hit one of the big chain stores in Delaware so we could get some of the stuff we couldn’t find at the smaller independent stores. We went to Meijers. We thought it was just a grocery store but it is another version of Walmart. It has low prices and all the brands we are used to buying, but it didn’t have any personality or charm. These kinds of stores have their place but they are not the ones that we will look for when we go new places.
There are many ways to have adventures. Finding local grocery stores may not seem very exciting but Tom and I have enjoyed seeing and tasting some of the local flavor as reflected by the grocery stores.