That is a poor argument and no offense, no one asked you to do that and that is a general stupid practice to partake in. But if you only shop at the same two, three stores and don't even bother looking anywhere else than that is your fault and you have locked yourself into a spiral of poor choices. You find the places you like to go to the most for the best cost effective food upon moving in that area, and it is not something you can easily do in one week. It is a cop out to claim that you have to go to 10 different stores for the best deals and if you only go to a small handful of stores and refuse to check out other small markets, that is a personal problem. You can, on your way to shop for example, go to a store you have never been in and spend 10 minutes looking at the standard price and sale price of items to see if it is worth you time, pick up an ad or ask someone at the store if they have a weekly ad. Do it once a month and in probably a year you will have a damn good system figured out because you can check promising places every once in a while and see if things improve. If they are not major supermarkets and they do have things in your price range then you plan your trips to them if they are not in the same general area. So what if one place charges 25 cents more on an item when the rest of what you get there is 80% cheaper, in turn you go to the place with the majority of cheaper stuff on average, but how do you know if you don't check them weekly. I even rotate stores I go to based on their sales ads but I make an effort to go to the stores that are in the general direction of the one with the most things I want to get. Doing this keeps the food in my home constantly changing. Some people only like one brand of something, or one particular style and that is a personal problem. I'm just saying, in most decent sized cities you have options and you do not have to drive 120 miles. If you are complaining that you have to I have to say you're doing something VERY wrong in your shopping habits.
Some places actually have these neat little things called ads that come in the paper, albeit some don't, but you can subscribe to them (for free) and get them delivered weekly (for example two local grocers who are not big name places have ads, but they are not in the standard paper. I was able to get them by visiting the store, getting a paper, and giving them my address via email and boom, ads.) I go through my weekly ads and figure out what I need to get, how long it will last me, and make it so they are all on my way and convenient.
How long does it take me to get food for 4 weeks, about 2 to 3 hours MAX and that includes driving time (not in one go, but I might visit two stores one week and another store another week based on sales). I don't look about or check every single isle. I know what I want and I know who has it cheap most of the time in many cases because I know their "Every Day" price. So if it's not on sale I don't bother. Unless you live in the rural parts of whatever country you live in there is really no excuse. No offense, but poor purchasing and shopping habits do contribute to the problems that people in this thread speak of and perhaps some other habits need to start. Like I said, in two hours I can get to two to three stores, withing 3 miles of where I live and I work my way from the furthest one out and make my way back. Now, is this something everyone can do, of course not because it depends on where you live. But I stand by what I said above, most place (even places like Visalia and Tracey's Landing) have more than enough places to look and choose from and somewhere like Strathmore, CA (A place I have had to help a friend of my figure out shopping), which is not really THAT close to any large city has at least 3 large grocery stores, 10 markets, several fast food joints, and so on and their population is less than 3000 people.
+For me I have a Korean market a block from where I live for almost all my produce needs.
+I have a meat market two blocks from there and there is a Vons grocery store in the same shopping center and if my meat market has no deals I can get meat deals at Vons if they have one (its not my preferred store to buy meat for sure, but I am not anal about my where I buy food. Sometimes you go to the place you can afford to go to at the time based on their sales).
+There is an Albertsons on the other side of the city I live in (4 miles), but surprisingly my kids music teacher is there. I take them to their lesson and go hit up Albertsons if they have any hot deals since the lessons are only an hour and I can walk to there from the music school.
+Behind the Vons there is a Sam's Club and a Costco. I know what their prices usually are because they really don't have saleson most of their food. I don't buy from these places too often unless things like milk, heavy whipping cream, and certain things like cereal, rice, dried herbs, or oatmeal are not cheap anywhere else.
+ Walmart, Ralphs, and Target are all within a few blocks of each other on the other far side of town. But Walmart has never really had too many good deals so I really never venture there. I usually check their ads to see if it is worth the time to head in that direction, which is where the local mall is, restaurants, office supply stores, etc. So I know I head that direction at least once a month and if there is something worth a darn in that direction I go that way.
Do I do this in one day. No, that would be ridiculous. But I buy smart and in good enough bulk when I need to, and surprisingly I do hit up a grocery store or two every other week. But it is coming back or on the way to something I would normally do. I do not just set aside a single shopping day a month and go balls deep, that is just silly and most stores are open till at least midnight, some ever 24 hours.
Now, perhaps your situation is different. But you have no information staking your situation and really you're just making an unfounded excuse. Do you live in a rural area? Do you not get ads in the mail or online? Do you have a poor selection of stores? Do you work far away or in the most non-direct way to get to some of these stores? ANSWER ME!!!!!! ~head explodes~ XD
Again, all jokes aside. Any fool can complain about something they have no interest in figuring out. It is easy to gripe, but hard to grow a pair, get out there, and do some exploratory searching for food! OH GLORIOUS FOOD! I have lived in large cities mostly, but friends and family have moved to rural places and small towns/cities and still are able to figure it out without proclaiming your extreme.