My Next Post

Confession: I love my town.

I never thought I would say that, when as a bride I moved from fast-paced, up-to-date central Ohio to backwater Meadville. But I say it now, and every time I return from an absence I say it again. I love my town. I’m so happy I live here.

Now that I’m not shopping at Wal-Mart, here are some of the local spots I’m finding joy and good prices.

  1. Jack’s Pharmacy, 285 Chestnut Street

jacks-pharmacy I try not to state my opinions as facts, but Jack’s is simply the best pharmacy in town. They’re charming. They’re personal. They’re low-priced. I’ve been shopping this store for at least five years; they’ve been in business for 25. When I walk in from the street, I am greeted with the tinkle of a doorbell, caring questions, jokes sometimes, a warm smile always.


2. Aldi, 16500 Conneaut Lake Rd

aldi-meadvilleThis is where I do the bulk of my grocery shopping. As far as I can tell, I approve of the way they keep their prices low: efficiency and simplicity. (More fascinating notes on that at Of course they have plenty of highly processed foods loaded with sugar and fat. Every grocery does. You don’t have to buy them. I like their staples, their produce, and their meats. I’ve noticed that the taste and quality of Aldi’s brand is nearly always superior to other generic brands, but name brands I am picky about (Ritz crackers, good yogurt) I buy elsewhere.

3. Valesky’s, 1044 Water Street

valeskys-grocery For the rest of my grocery shopping, I come here. Locally owned by a Christian couple, Valesky’s just celebrated its 40th anniversary. I like their produce section and hometown atmosphere. There is usually Christian music playing, and you never have to contend with trashy magazines in the checkout lane. My kids love the car carts. I love the friendly workers and cashiers, especially my friend Renee.

4. Family Dollar, 18971 Park Avenue Plaza

family-dollarThis one I am more ambivalent about. Family Dollar is new to Meadville, and I don’t feel like I know much about it. So far I like the store because it is clean, bright, and better organized than many dollar stores. Also more economical than Wal-Mart. Touché. Here I buy the miscellanea on my list: organizer bins, a hairbrush, bath soap, a new bundle of socks, diapers for Kelly.


What are your favorite local stores? How do you choose where you shop?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

May I ask why you’ve chosen not to shop Wal Mart? I can get my Hersheys cocoa 1# box for almost a dollar cheaper than my other options! I love the hometown buying, tho, Shari, and if anyone should be practicing this more it would be me, since I’m also a small business and hoping others buy locally! Blessings to you, Hometown Girl! = )

11 years ago
Reply to  loila

Sure you can, Mama! I’m cheating to tell you my reasons in a nutshell without making you watch the video I recommended in my last post (ha!), but I’d be glad to. I don’t shop at Wal-Mart anymore because I think those wonderful low prices are only possible because of the way the company takes advantage of everyone around them: that’s their own employees, their factory workers, taxpayers’ dollars, small town coffers, and local businesses. All that can seem far away until you see their faces and hear their stories… Again, I want to be honest about what I feel, without creating pressure for others to choose the same. One of the things I love about you is your efficiency and frugality, Mama. You may buy cocoa where you wish, and I will honor you. 🙂 Love you!

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

Hey Shari,
Been enjoying reading your blogs. I had a question about family dollar. Did I understand you right that you can buy pampers there? I didn’t realize this. We buy the off brand pampers at Walmart. Great post makes me want to go stop in and visit all these places.

11 years ago
Reply to  LaDonna Nice

Hi LaDonna! Great to see you here! Yes, I started buying disposable diapers for Kelly at Family Dollar. They have a Kidgets brand, very comparable to Parent’s Choice (120 diapers for $20, vs. 140 for $20 at Wal-Mart). I’ve been very happy with the brand. They also occasionally carry name brand boxes, like Luv’s, which I actually liked less. Thanks for asking!

Lydia Beiler
11 years ago

Shari, I’ve just discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoyed perusing it and look forward to more. Love your idea of listening to Scripture online. Thank you. I was really needing that too.

Your comments about loving Meadville made me miss it. I fell in love with that little town when I lived out there and worked at CVS. Lancaster City is nice, but something about Meadville really wrapped itself around my heart. Kind of strange.

And now…I’m off to watch that video about Walmart. I hate shopping there and rarely do but maybe this will give me the freedom to totally stop! 🙂

jenny martin
11 years ago

Hi Shari, I am loving your blog!! Makes me miss you!

11 years ago

Your post about Walmart finalized my decision to shop elsewhere. Like you, I’ve been uneasy about it for a long time but until watching that video I wasn’t sure that other chains have much better business practices. (And I still have my questions about that.) But the video makes the point that Walmart because of its size has the power to make things better for both overseas factory workers and American employees, yet they consistently choose to engage in oppressive business practices.

Thanks for the video link and sharing where you shop. I’ve not heard of Jack’s Pharmacy before but I’m definitely going to check it out.

11 years ago

You’re making a difference. I’m proud of you.

Mom Coblentz
11 years ago

I’m enjoying your blog, Shari, even tho I don’t respond much. Too shy, maybe? What I have to say to you, I’d rather others wouldn’t listen in on. 🙂 Will say this tho, I’m proud of you as my daughter, and you’re a great mother, too. Blessings, and keep writing.

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top