Highlands Grocery Stores: Why Kroger? Why ValuMarket? Why not BOTH!

Kroger Highlands ValuMarket Highlands

In the urban environment we live in known as The Highlands, we are lucky enough to have a few stores to choose from when it comes to groceries.  I’m sure some people don’t look into it as much as I do, but I see these choices each as having their own special place in the neighborhood.  Everyone has their own method for choosing where they shop, but I figured I would take a second to explore the options.  Some people would say that convenience is key and some people might say that price is the determining factor.  Still, other people might take the chance to mix and match these grocery store locations as I do.

I think most people would agree that if you are driven by price alone, the Germantown Kroger is your shopping home.  It is no secret that Kroger determines price variations based on the median income of the zip code where the grocery store is located.  If you have shopped at the Highlands location as well as the Germantown location then you can agree that most items are 10 – 20 cents cheaper across the board at the Germantown location.  This doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but it can add up.  Some items can be 30-40 cents cheaper or even less, although it is not the norm.  I also have noticed that different items are on sale at different times for each location, however I am not an “extreme couponing” kind of guy so I haven’t come up with an algorithm for finding the max amount of savings or anything like that.  For those of you die hard Germantown Kroger-goers, I won’t forget to mention that the layout and amount of space in the Germantown location is far superior to that of the Highlands Kroger, and…PARKING.  Yes that’s right, lot’s of parking at the Germantown Kroger because there are other businesses that share the parking lot.  Oh yeah, Kroger Gas station too.

If you like to “shop local” or you live directly across the street from Mid City Mall (like the blue house I grew up in) then you might enjoy shopping at ValuMarket.  Although prices are generally higher than both Kroger locations, that doesn’t keep people (including myself) from shopping there.  Yes, ValuMarket is a Louisville operation.  There are five ValuMarket grocery stores in Louisville.  Shopping local is important, but at what price?  Well, I say the price doesn’t matter, and here’s why:  There are enough items at ValuMarket that I can’t even get at either Kroger location to keep me going back.  To name a few, they have an incredible selection of BBQ sauces (they even have Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot sauces), and hot sauces.  That’s right, I’m a sauce guy.  I love creating my own sauces and marinades, but when I don’t have time to make my own, I know that the ValuMarket will have something delightful to try.  They also have the best local cheese selection and craft beer selection in the world (or maybe just among the Highlands grocery stores).  Is it possible to “shop local” at Kroger?  Yes.  There are a number of frozen veggies that come from local farmers and they are pretty obvious to spot by the very modest packaging that they come in.  There are also local, Louisville breads and meats available at Kroger so don’t feel like you are dumping on the little guys just because you shop there.

Also, it’s interesting to know that it’s not only a convenience or price issue when we talk about the proximity of a grocery store in The Highlands or any neighborhood for that matter, but it also affects your home’s value.  According to a study done by the National Association of Home Builders, if you don’t have at least a grocery store nearby, your home’s value can be reduced by more than $6,000!  And that number is most likely greater now.

So how do I shop?  If I am getting a large quantity of typical groceries for the week, I go to Germantown Kroger to save money.  If I am planning some hors d’ouvres for a party or if I ran out of cheese, I head to ValuMarket to pick up the ingredients along with a six pack of Three Floyds Gumballhead, and some Kentucky Proud Produce.  If my wife really wants something it’s either salty, sweet, a crazy huge salad, or a prescription.  In that case I stop at the Highlands Kroger because that salad/olive bar is ridiculously awesome and because they have a drive thru for prescriptions.  No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a good chance that you are within 2 miles of it when you live in the Highlands.  Each grocery store has its own purpose, so try mixing it up sometime!

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