What aspects of American culture would you like to know more about?













 

 

A Guide to "Bigger-is-Better" Shopping

Surely by now you have heard the stereotype that Americans all believe "bigger is better."  While that certainly doesn't apply to everything, you will quickly come to realize, that in Cedar Rapids (and America in general), the new Super Centers that are popping up all over the landscape are the place you need to go if you want anything from food to clothing.

Of course, with the wide variety of things you can find under the roof of a "super center", it can be a daunting task to find that simple jug of milk or box of cereal.  And of course, in America we wouldn't want to make that simple for you at all, the challenge of finding things just makes life more exciting!  So, some advice.

Where to Shop?  Super Centers vs. Dedicated Stores

First off, WHERE do you go to get necessary items such as food and bathroom (restroom) supplies which we all need?  In most countries a simple market will do the trick, but not here.  Welcome to Super Center shopping!  Here in Cedar Rapids you will find such national chain stores as Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart.  These stores truly have everything under one roof ranging from food to toys and electronics, some now are even incorporating vehicle service centers into them!  But, while the all-in-one idea may seem nice, it can actually be a very frustrating place to go if you know exactly what you want and don't need to shop for anything else.  On the other hand, if you're just shopping for the fun of it, or just need to waste some free time, these big stores can be a fun place to go and look for the cheap prices on all kinds of cool stuff.

Finding Food

For food, you could go to one of the city's Wal-Mart or Target Super centers and just use the "grocery" portion of it, or you can change pace and visit a true grocery store which only deals in food and other necessities.  The Iowa-based chain store Hy-Vee is our main local grocery store that carries everything from candy to full service meat markets.  So if food is what you need, check out a nearby Hy-Vee, you'll find it much easier to get what you need and get out quickly than if you head to the big super centers.

If you do choose the larger super centers, be careful with your money management.  There are a lot of little "things" you could spend a lot of money on if you're not careful!

Gas Stations and Convenience Stores

Also, in America, many of our gas stations (convenience stores) will offer simple food items for sale.  Some things you can buy at these stores include milk, bread, candy, pop, chips, and other snacks.  Often times, though these stores are usually very close to where you live, the food items they sell can be much more expensive.  That fits the general American tradition that if it's easier for you, it also costs you more money.

So, where to go to find these wonderful shopping centers you may ask, well we'll tell you:

Nearest Hy-Vee Grocery Store:
20 Wilson Ave. SW 
From Kirkwood CC, take Kirkwood Blvd. North to Wilson Ave. (approx 3 miles).  The store is on the left at the 4-way stop sign.

Nearest Wal-Mart Super Center:
3601 29TH Avenue SW
From Kirkwood CC, take Kirkwood Blvd to Highway 30.  Get on Highway 30 WEST and get off at exit 220 (Edgewood Rd)  Go north (right) for approx half a mile, the store is on the left, next to Target.

Nearest Target Super Center:

3400 Edgewood Rd SW
Kirkwood Blvd.  Get on Highway 30 WEST, exit at exit 220 (Edgewood Rd)  Go north (right) for approx half a mile, the store is on the left next to Wal-Mart.