While grocery shopping in college can be difficult enough, grocery shopping at a campus like Saint Joe’s can be even tougher.  With campus not having ample parking spaces, in addition to freshmen not being allowed to have cars, there is a lack of students having adequate transportation to local grocery stores. Although the campus shuttle does make trips to Target and Acme, it limits the amount that students can buy because they have to carry everything in one trip by themselves. Students are unable to make full grocery runs if they are limited to taking the shuttle. In addition, City Avenue is often busy and backed up and can lead to lengthy grocery trips and headaches.

With this being said, many students do opt to eliminate their meal plans once they have kitchens due to the lack of on campus food options and the occasional sub-par quality of food. Students then need to go grocery shopping despite the transportation and cost issues. Target, Giant, Acme, and Whole Foods are the four most popular locations to buy groceries because of their locations near Saint Joe’s campus and the different pros and cons they offer.


Target is often utilized as the primary grocery store for students because of the shuttle stop and variety of items that can be purchased there. Students enjoy shopping at Target because they can buy groceries, clothing, electronics, school supplies, and even stop at Starbucks, doing all of their shopping in one store. In addition, Target offers an app called “Cartwheel” where shoppers can find coupons for their favorite products. This app is organized in categories such as Bath, Beauty, and Home which adds to the benefits of the store.

For many students that live on campus, Target is the grocery store of choice because of the convenience and its location next to restaurants such as Chipotle and California Pizza Kitchen. “I like grocery shopping at Target because it is convenient and everything is in a central location in that shopping center. Target has everything that I need and I don’t need to make multiple different stops for all of my items. It’s also nice that the shuttle makes runs to and from Target and campus.” says sophomore Monica Higgins. Target and the shopping center have everything that students need.

Giant is located in Wynnewood Shopping Center and is about a mile and a half from campus. However, the drive may be five minutes or may be twenty, depending on traffic. While Giant may be more of a hassle to get to, it is favored by some students because of the cheaper prices and location away from City Ave. Senior Sophia Millan elaborated on why she prefers shopping at Giant, “Giant has discounts on my favorite items, is constantly stocked up with fresh items, and is in a convenient location away from the hustle and bustle of City Avenue.”

The CollegeXpress article “Your Guide to Grocery Shopping on Campus” discusses how college students can shop for groceries by only buying things that they need and that will stay fresh for longer periods of time. The article lists foods that are simple and cheap, such as bread, pasta, eggs, and frozen fruits and vegetables. The article also includes tips on how to plan a grocery list and provides valuable instructions on what to do once in the store. For example, it recommends shoppers to consider the cheaper generic brands instead of well known products that still serve the same purpose, as well as utilizing deals and coupons. The article concludes by giving shoppers a list of advice to follow after their shopping experience, such as freezing meats and vegetables, organizing the refrigerator, and devising a system to save money via coupons and mobile shopping apps.

This article relates well to Giant because of the emphasis on saving money and using coupons. Giant has a rewards program for gas points and often includes coupons attached to receipts and in the mail. Focusing on buying simple foods that stay fresh for long periods of time and buying only the necessary items can help maintain a budget and make the shopping trip shorter. Giant is a reliable grocery store for Saint Joe’s students who are looking for reasonable prices and a location where one can avoid busy City Ave.

Acme is the most popular grocery store among SJU students. This grocery store is favored among these students because it is a location where the campus shuttle stops. This form of transportation is convenient to freshman because the majority of them do not have access to their own car. In addition, Acme also accepts Hawk Cash, which gives incentives to SJU students to shop there and use their pre-loaded funds.

While Acme may be more pricey than Giant, it is still cheaper than Target and Whole Foods and has more variety of items compared to other stores. “While I enjoy Giant because of the prices, Acme definitely has more of a selection. For example, I was looking for one specific type of pasta sauce that a certain brand made but Giant didn’t carry it so I had to go to Acme and buy it instead.” says junior Nicole DiPietro. Acme provides SJU students with both convenience and variety.



Whole Foods is another campus favorite because it not only supplies a large variety of healthy items but also provides an area with fresh food that is ready to eat. This grocery store is well known for staying away from processed foods and focusing on the availability of power foods.

Rachel Link wrote the article, “11 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs Now”, which lists the most essential nutrients that one needs to consume on a daily basis, as well as recommendations on what to buy at the grocery store. Not only are the nutrients listed, but Link educates her audience on the benefits these nutrients have for your body. She begins with listing and elaborating on the basic nutrients, such as water, carbohydrates, proteins, fat, etc. In addition, Link expands on her suggestions with detailed photographs that allows a person to brainstorm and gain ideas on what to buy at the grocery store and make for dinner. In addition, Link includes further websites in which provide recipes that provide the essential nutrients in which she recommends.

This article enhances the benefits Whole Foods has to offer because they offer more vitamins, minerals, and key nutrients. In addition, their objective is to offer nutritious food that will help people avoid diseases and live healthier lifestyles. Some college students seem to associate college as a time to snack daily and eat processed food due to the convenience. However, many Saint Joe’s students noted that they prefer Whole Foods because it helps them maintain a nutritious diet. Sophomore Deanna Mangione mentioned that “College is the best time to adapt new lifestyle habits”, so Whole Foods is a great place to help you start. However, buying such nutritious food can turn out to being pretty pricey. Whole Foods offers a rewards program and has gone digital with many of their coupons, making it easier for students to save money. Whole Foods offers many benefits for its shoppers, which makes this location a popular store for Saint Joe’s students.

Which one do you choose?

Target, Giant, Acme, and Whole Foods are each popular locations for SJU students to grocery shop for multiple different reasons. Whether it be the coupons, prices, convenience, or store variety, each student prefers a different store based on their own preferences. Although some stores may be difficult to get to and take a while to navigate through, at the end of the day it is all about saving money on food while on a strict college budget.

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