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For groceries, those of you from Florida or Georgia will be familiar with the major supermarket chain Publix. Publix is a Florida-based supermarket with every department found in most grocery stores including produce, deli, meats, canned goods, seafood, frozen foods, flowers, bread, soda, and stationery, candy, dairy and so forth. Publix recently opened a smaller location directly across from the UF campus with prepared foods like bento bowls, Florida-produced grocery items, and a Starbucks cafe. This smaller location hopes to compete against restaurants for students’ dining-out dollars.
The other major chain supermarkets you will find in Gainesville include The Fresh Market and cult-followed Trader Joe’s and Lucky’s Market. Lucky’s is most comparable to a Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market or Whole Foods in that their philosophy is to use local, organic and sustainable foods to support the local farmers and a farm to table existence.
Whole Foods is also open at the recently renovated Butler Plaza on Archer Road. In addition to its fresh produce, seafood, meat department, and prepared food section, it will also have create-your-own acai bowls, a macaroni bar, and a hot food station. What is new is their lounge area will seat up to 100 people and sell beer. And for those who have Amazon prime accounts (remember your student discount for Amazon prime), you get discounts including 10 percent off sale items and exclusive deals. To get these discounts at Whole Foods, download the Whole Foods app and sign on with your Amazon prime log in info. You can show to register cashier or give the phone number associated with your prime membership.
Another new addition to the Gainesville community is Aldi – known for being very reasonably priced because they sell their own brands and much smaller in size, students can bring their own bag or buy one of their reusable bags. There are two locations in Gainesville – one at Butler Plaza and one on NW 13th Street.
There are also two other food stores worth checking out that are also known for being organic and food to table quality stores. One is called Earth Origins and the other is called Ward’s. Ward’s is about two miles from the UF campus and Earth Origins is a bit further about four miles.
Can’t make it to the grocery store? Shipt will deliver their groceries right to them (for a fee, of course). And, there is also Instacart which delivers from Publix, Whole Foods, Costco, CVS and more.
Get the App
Have your student download the apps for any of the grocery stores that offer them. Both Publix and Lucky’s apps have digital coupons. Taking a little time to check off the coupons they may use saves them, and possibly you, some money. Lucky’s also offers a rewards program which they can manage through the app. The rewards program offers another way to build up points and save money. Publix also sells a two-part gift card that you can load from your local Publix onto your student’s gift card. It is another option if your student buys most of their groceries at Publix.