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Publix Essentials Still Going Strong

Years ago I worked with Michelle from Lakeland, Florida who told me the one thing she missed living in Birmingham was shopping at Publix.  I wasn’t familiar with the chain at the time, but she assured me that I didn’t know what I was missing.

Now that Publix is well represented in Birmingham, I have to agree with her.  Although I can’t say that Publix always has the lowest price on every item, I can unequivocally say that the quality is excellent, the stores are clean and bright, and they do make sure “shopping is a pleasure.”

I’m praising Publix now because they have continued to offer each of their Publix brand essentials at what they term a “surprisingly low price.” At first I worried this was a loss-leader gimmick that would only last a week, but as the prices have continued to be promoted for several weeks now, my hat’s off to employee-owned Publix for holding the line.

Publix’ list of essentials includes milk, orange juice, bread, ground chuck, vanilla ice cream and Cheerios; in other words, the items that are always on the list and that are most likely to force a mid-week grocery run.  Although I would normally look for the quickest place to get in and out for an in-between grocery trip, these prices and the pleasant interior are enough to coax me into full-size Publix rather than the corner pharmacy for milk.

Another thing I like about Publix is that they positively glorify the home cooked meal.  I am the first to admit an unbecoming dependency on take out and convenience foods in a pinch, but Publix inspires me to aim higher whenever I can.  Every Wednesday circular has an Apron’s Simple Meals plan that includes shortcuts and tips, and they always plug the fact that you can feed a family of four for markedly less than cost of a restaurant meal.  They have an excellent publication of Thrifty Tips.

I’ll offer them one more compliment:  This is the only grocery chain where I have never heard the cashier and bagger shuffling my bread and discussing when their shifts finally end.