A City Girl’s Guide to Loving Suburbia-Chapter 2: A Strange New World: Shopping in the Suburbs

Main Street Oil on Canvas by Ronnie Levine

When we last met, you had just arrived in the burbs and we got you busy making friends (Chapter 1: Movin on Up!). The next order of business is . . . Shopping! I know you know how to shop – I want to talk about how to avoid the quagmires of shopping in a whole new frontier.   

Now that youve graduated from what can fit in the basket under your stroller or bubbe cart to the back of a mini-van the size of your nursery back in the city, youre free to hit the big box stores. But beware the More-is-More temptation! Just because you no longer need to limit your supermarket hauls to what youll be eating tonight and one roll of paper towels, I urge you to consider if you really need that 10-gallon can of olive oil and ginormous block of cheese from Costco. Did your trip to Target for the pack of toilet paper suddenly turn into a $200 cart filled wittreasures” from the dollar section and yet another adorable” throw pillow?  

It’s really tempting to indulge the fantasy of never running out of supplies but this often leads to clutter, waste, and overspending. The new walk-of-shame is getting home and unpacking the car realizing that the ONE thing you needed isnt among the MANY things you bought. My favorite workaround for this is Amazon – with a quick press of my Dash Button or chat with Alexa, I can have my favorite Charmin Ultra Soft Cushiony Touch Toilet Paper 24 Family Mega Rolls delivered right to my doorstep tomorrow. And dont fret . . . you neednt give up Fresh Direct, as they service all of Westchester and now even feature same-day delivery! While Im not proud of what this does for my carbon (or cardboard) footprint, Im thrilled with what I save in waste and being able to get exactly what I need. 

Be sure to get to know the shops and farmers market in your local town where youll find incredible, personalized service as the shop owners get to know your taste. Supporting these businesses is a huge part of living in a community – their success is your success as a thriving downtown makes not only for a great place to live, but adds to your tax base and to the value of your new home!  

Next up, shopping malls which are not just for shopping anymore! Theyre perfect places to stroll (even in the winter), socialize and lunch. At The Westchester, you can join an exercise group, have your phone fixed, makeup done, dine at the upscale food court, plan a playgroup at Play and even take in a gospel choir all without buying a thing! And if you do need to shop, easy parking and shorter lines make for a much more pleasant experience than fighting thru the city bustle and crowds.  

Another quirky suburban experience is the in-home shopping parties which can be a fab way to meet people and a fun night out where you can buy everything from tennis outfits and skin care to kitchen gadgets and jewelry. Just be sure to brace yourself before you walk through the door: you don’t need to buy something at every party. My tip is to show up with a bottle of wine or small gift for the host, otherwise you might find yourself broke or on the hook as their newest regional sales rep! But who knows? That may be your next adventure!

As always, Id love to hear about your suburban shopping tips/tales and how youve otherwise settled in. Or feel free to share the struggles that youve had adjusting, knowing youre not alone!  

Hillary is a city girl-turned-suburban mama and a social worker-turned-realtor who focuses on the transition over the transaction. As a top-producer with Hillary’s Homes at Houlihan Lawrence, she has clearly embraced life in the suburbs!  

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