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Westwood

Westwood Grocery Wars

Empty fridge? You could’ve had cup noodles if you hadn’t devoured the last three during your last all-nighter. And you’ve got cereal, but no milk.

You’ve got a few options at this point:

  • You can choose to stay in denial about that empty fridge of yours.
  • Find a grocery store.

As you probably already knew, you’ve got a few options in Westwood, and Mojo is here to help you make the best grocery decision for the needs and wants of your taste buds (as well your wallet).

Ralphs

10861 Le Conte Ave.

We caught Rania Abdusamad, first-year undeclared student, walking back to campus from Westwood with handfuls of Ralphs grocery bags in tow. When asked “Why Ralphs?” Abdusamad said, “It’s the closest.” As she looked through her bags, she also told us that her must-have items are “probably bagel.”

Abdusamad was joined on her grocery run by roommate Xinjie Zuo, also a first-year student. Zuo wholeheartedly concurs with her roommate that Ralphs is the best; however, her reason diverges from that of her roommate.

“I think it’s cheap,” said Zuo who carried bags full of soda and nuts, her go-to groceries.

Mojo tip: Snag a Ralphs rewards card next time you’re there, and remember to look for the Manager’s Special section for ultimate savings. Also, take advantage of Ralphs’ amazing “rain check” policy when it is out of stock of an advertised sale item or product that you were eager to purchase. If you’re in a hurry, use the Le Conte entrance, where you’ll find self-checkout stations.

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Trader Joe’s

1000 Glendon Ave.

Lauren Clark, a second-year UCLA student living off campus, has a different favorite grocery store in the heart of Westwood.

“They have really, really good food. It’s so different from all other grocery stores,” said Clark. “Powerberries! They’re my favorite.”

Mojo tip: Do not, we repeat, DO NOT, forgo the Powerberries. You can only get these little fruit juice-filled and dark chocolate-covered pearls of goodness at Trader Joe’s, and you have to get them quick, as the goodness of Powerberries is apparently no secret to UCLA students. (Both times that I stopped by the Westwood location in the past week, they were out of stock!). Trader Joe’s is also perfect for prepackaged, yet always fresh, salads, wraps and sandwiches, and they also make their own all-natural body and beauty products.

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Whole Foods

1050 Gayley Ave.

We spotted Claudia Wijaya, a third-year student, walking through campus and asked her to share why Whole Foods is her favorite grocery store. “I know that everything I buy is healthy and fresh. And the hot meals they offer are really convenient when I’m too busy to cook. They have a home-cooked taste to them too!”

Wijaya told us that she doesn’t leave Whole Foods without one of their freshly made smoothies. “To me, they taste better than Jamba Juice, and you can easily customize your own.”

Whole Foods’ prices are slightly steeper than the prices at Ralphs or TJ’s, but Wijaya reassured us that you just have to keep your eyes open for the sale items.

Mojo tip: If you’re into organic, vegan or raw foods, and feeling sort of lazy, then you should head to Whole Foods. They have loads of super healthy, ready-made options, as well as a juice and smoothie bar to hit up. Near the entrance, you’ll find a selection of already-sliced fruits, and you know what that means: less dishwashing.

Sprouts Farmers Market

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1751 Westwood Blvd.

Sharmili Rakhit, a third-year student, was excited to spread the word about her favorite grocery store in the area, Sprouts. “Top notch! The workers are really friendly, and the produce is always fresh.” She never leaves Sprouts without grabbing some spices. “They have a rack of jars where you can buy small amounts of spices by the ounce – perfect for trying out new recipes.”

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Mojo tip: Sprouts may be most convenient for those of us living south of Wilshire, but this grocery joint is totally worth the trek from the north side. Sprouts offers the freshest produce for some of the freshest prices in town. You will find rows and rows of nuts, candies, snacks and dried fruit priced by weight. Our best tip for you? Head straight to the sandwich deli. It’s $3.99 for your bread or roll of choice filled to the brink with tasty deli meats, vegetables and lots and lots of sprouts.

Yes, it’s time to get on that grocery shopping.


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