As the mother of 3 children, I am always looking for ways to save my family time and money. After all, caring for a family of five on a one-income budget can be quite the challenge, especially when you don't want to skimp on quality. I want to give my family the absolute best while keeping money in our pockets for the fun things in life, like day trips to the zoo or even the occasional take-out night, complete with board games and maybe even a movie or two.
I personally choose natural or organic fruits, veggies, meats, and snacks whenever possible, and this can be a very pricey lifestyle decision. Unless you know where to find the best possible deals, that is. Rather than clip coupons like a mad-woman, scour various circulars for deals and go to 6 or 7 different grocery stores, which is not friendly on the gas tank, I like to find one place where I can always find the products I love at great, low prices everyday.
Recently, I got the opportunity to check out Food Lion's new, revamped look while doing my weekly grocery shopping. We have several Food Lion locations in my town, and I go there fairly regularly since the quality of food is good and the prices are, too. I have noticed, however, that many of my local stores are rather drab and not well-organized. I don't know about you, but I like grocery shopping to be a full-on, sensory experience. I love nothing more than walking into a store that is beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to navigate. This is something my local Food Lion has been lacking, so I was excited to check out one of their newly remodeled locations to see what changes the company has made.
To see these changes, we had to drive about 30 miles to Mineral, VA. This was a gorgeous, scenic drive that took us out of town and down winding country roads. It was a lot of fun just getting there, so the anticipation as we arrived at the newly redesigned Food Lion was high. I could tell as we reached our destination that this was not the same Food Lion I was accustomed to. The outside alone was gorgeous, well-kept, and very upscale looking.
After we found a parking space, we grabbed a couple of shopping carts and headed inside to see what awaited us and purchase some groceries for our family. As we approached the store entry, we were greeted with this sign, promising THOUSANDS of lower prices. Not a few, not hundreds, but thousands! For a frugal mama like me, this was a very welcome sight.
As we entered the store itself, I was blown away by the immediate changes I noticed. The store was gleaming, beautiful, and had an upscale, neighborhood market feel. The signage had a homey, hand-painted feel to it, much like you would expect at a Farmer's Market. The floors were freshly buffed and attractive, and the displays were well thought out and wonderful to look at.
Here are a couple of photos of the new Food Lion's interior. Now tell me this doesn't look like an inviting, welcoming grocery store!
Our first stop after our intial "Oohs" and "Ahhs" was the produce department. It was bright, colorful, and really showcased the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. All of Food Lion's produce was at the absolute peak of freshness, and almost screamed to be eaten. I really liked the layout, as everything was beautifully displayed and easy to find. You could tell that Food Lion takes great pride in their produce, and works diligently to provide their customers with only the best product possible. I couldn't find a single fruit or vegetable that was bruised or over-ripe. The displays were also full. This was a huge improvement, as I don't like going into a produce department and seeing bare shelves with only a few products, often sub-par, to choose from.
Take a look at how beautiful these fruits and veggies look!
Another thing I really loved to see was this super-convenient Meal Solutions section of the store. Let's face it: As moms, we're busy. With the demands of busy schedules, loaded with sports practices, appointments, and everyday life, it's not always possible to spend hours in the kitchen. Food Lion understands that, and offers a great alternative to fast food in this Meal Solutions area. Here you'll find easy to prepare, prepackaged entrees and sides that can put a tasty meal on the table in minutes. This is a lifesaver on a busy weeknight!
For those of you who enjoy a glass of wine or two in the evenings, Food Lion has an extensive collection of wines to choose from. I was shocked by the vast selection. They have every wine imaginable, and offer both domestic and imported wines. I also love the fact that they offer a visual definition of each type of wine, along with suggested food pairings. This makes planning a romantic evening or even your next get-together a quick and easy process. You can plan your entire menu around your wine selection. Food Lion helps take all the guess-work out of what can be a confusing process.
Next, we visited the deli and meat departments. This is one area of the store I usually dread, because I generally suffer from sticker shock. Meats, while an important part of our diet, are often very expensive. I was thrilled to see that Food Lion has lived up to their promise of lower prices. I was able to get a week's worth of meat for far less than I had initially expected to pay. The quality is great, and the prices are lower than even that well-known super-center that has a big, blue sign out front. (You know which one I am talking about, right?)
I was very impressed by the appearance of the meats. As you can see, the color is spot-on. There is no browning or odd, irridescent sheen that sometimes indicates that meat is a little past its prime. All I found as this Food Lion location was meat that was fresh and juicy looking. I picked up a nice Chuck Tender Roast to make pot roast with when we got home. My quick and easy pressure cooker recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. Trust me, you want to try this. It's done in about an hour and is so tender that it tastes like you've been slow-roasting it all day long! Oh, it makes its own gravy, too!
As we made our way from aisle to aisle, I noticed something that had me really excited. They have a huge variety of natural and organic foods! They are grouped by the contents of the specific aisle, and are clearly labeled in their own little section. This is very helpful to me, since I don't have to go on a wild goose chase searching for natural and organic products. Food Lion has them grouped together by aisle, so you can locate them at a glance.
Here are just a few of the natural, organic, or gluten-free products I found while doing my grocery shopping.
I noticed so many great sales and deals when making my way throughout the store. I have photographed just a few of these. There were hundreds, no thousands, of amazing prices, so I couldn't possibly try and share them all! I am just highlighting a few that feature commonly purchased items that can be found in most every household.
After filling up both of our shopping carts with groceries, it was time to say farewell to this beautifully redesigned Food Lion location. The check-out process was quick, efficient, and because we have an MVP card, we enjoyed some fabulous savings on already super-low prices. The checkout girl did give me some funny looks as I photographed everything, but I explained I am a blogger, and am checking out their new, gorgeous store.
Overall, I was very impressed with our Food Lion experience. The newly remodeled store was stunning to look at, and I love the changes in layout. Food Lion has always had wonderful prices, but the new design makes the whole shopping experience most convenient and user-friendly. I didn't have to go searching for my organic goodies, and everything was so bright, clean, and fresh looking. Planning weekly meals on the fly would be a very simple process while shopping here. I am not always the most organized person, and I often plan my meals as I shop. Food Lion has really stepped up to the plate and is now offering a friendlier, more inviting shopping experience overall. And the money I saved? Let's just say Mommy and Daddy might just get a long-overdue date night!
I would definitely recommend checking out the newly revamped Food Lion stores. I think you'll be surprised, not only by the new upscale appearance of the store, but by the quality and freshness of the food and the super-low prices. Even if you've had less than ideal shopping experiences at Food Lion in the past, I dare you to compare. The difference is like night and day! I know we'll be going back, despite the 30 mile trip. I just hope Food Lion decides to remodel the loactions here in town soon!
So I believe I promised a recipe for a yummy, fall-apart tender pot roast and gravy that cooks to perfection in about an hour? Well, here it is! I made this last night after doing our grocery shopping, and it turned out amazingly. The chuck roast from Food Lion was fantastic quality, and was definitely the star of the evening. I served this with a nice salad, some roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and some crusty bread from the Food Lion bakery. The thing I love the most is that this roast makes its own gravy, which is delicious spooned over the meat and mashed potatoes. It's definitely a family pleaser, and tastes like it cooked all day long!
Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Rub seasoning into the roast on both sides. Heat oil in a large skillet and brown the roast, searing it on both sides. Add onions and garlic to skillet for 1 to 2 minutes to absorb leftover roast juice. Place into pressure cooker with meat and bay leaves.
Combine the mushroom soup, wine, Worcestershire sauce and beef bouillon into a bowl. Pour over the roast. Add water.
Set pressure cooker to HIGH setting, cook for 1 hour. Be sure to make sure pressure is fully released before removing the lid.
Remove and discard the bay leaves.
*Note: If the gravy is not thick enough, remove the meat from the pressure cooker and pour the gravy into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and thicken it by adding 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water, stirring constantly.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH FOOD LION:
You can check out all of the amazing deals on the Food Lion website. Be sure to look up your local store so you can plan your next shopping trip!
The awesome folks at Food Lion are so sure you'll love their new look, they're offering one of my lucky readers a $50 Gift Card to go shopping with! How cool is that?!
Enter on the easy Rafflecopter form below!
This giveaway is open to US Residents 18+ until 11:59PM on May 18, 2012. No PO Boxes. Winner will be drawn using Rafflecopter's Random Number Generator. All entries will be verified, so play fair! I will notify winner via e-mail and they will have 48 hours to reply before I am forced to redraw winners. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. Thanks for entering, and Good Luck!
***Disclosure:I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central for Food Lion. I received a gift card and product kit to facilitate my review.***
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I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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