Price Chopper’s Healthy U Open House

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 10:05 AM

This past Saturday, I got up extra-early and headed out for a long day trip to Albany, NY to participate in Price Chopper’s  Healthy U Open House.  While driving 6+ hours and working a fast-paced show in a supermarket on a Saturday might sound like no fun to some, I was very excited to go.  Long-time readers of A Better Bag of Groceries can probably tell that I don’t just love my job, I’m practically addicted to it.  Seriously, I was thrilled to spread the NuVal word to Price Chopper’s customers.  I actually spent a lot of time in the aisles, helping customers trade up for better NuVal scores.  It was a blast.  Meanwhile, at home, my husband was shepherding the kids through a day that included ballet class, the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby, and a bowling birthday party.  Believe me, I got the better deal!  I think he was more tired than I was at the end of the day.

Price Chopper pulled out all the stops to make this event a great success.

Customers came in and were greeted with balloons and a free re-usable shopping bag.

After that, customers were treated to free samples throughout the store.

Yes, that is pineapple dipped in dark chocolate.  And yes, it was delicious!

The goal of the Healthy U Open House was to teach Price Chopper shoppers that they can choose to eat nutrititiously and it can be delicious.

So, we went to work teaching customers about how to use NuVal to trade up for better nutrition.  Price Chopper shoppers are so lucky to have NuVal scores right on shelf.  In fact, Price Chopper was first supermarket in the country to implement NuVal.

Price Chopper’s Senior Dietitian, Ellie Wilson, MS, RD  and NuVal’s Manager of Nutrition Communications, Rachel Rodek, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD worked the NuVal table….

while I hit the aisles and helped customers trade up for better nutrition.

This mom was very happy to learn about Dreamfield’s pasta  which gets an amazing NuVal score of 87

She bought 2 boxes!

Wouldn’t it be cool to see this sign on your grocery store shelf?

I got to meet some great people, like the Chopper Shopper…

Jodie Fitz, who runs Price Chopper’s Kids Cooking Club and Dianne Fagan, RD, CDN, one of Price Chopper’s registered dietitians.

We wrapped up the event at 4 pm, and then I became a Chopper Shopper myself.  I love to roam the aisles to look for new products!  I know – I’m a supermarket geek.

But check this out!

I could buy Classico sauce with a NuVal score of 37

or the Price Chopper brand with a NuVal score of 81.

Guess which one I bought? :-)

Also, I found that I could buy Old El Paso salsa with a NuVal score of 4

or Price Chopper’s Coyote Joe’s brand, which gets a much higher score of 41.

That went in my cart too! 

I could have stayed there all night digging into all the scores in the aisles.  I learn something new on every visit.  But it was time to hit the Mass Turnpike for the 3-hour ride home.  I was tired, but I felt great knowing that I had spread the NuVal word to some Price Chopper shoppers.  I love my job!

Winner of Yesterday’s Giveaway

Congratulations to Commenter #14 Kelley!  You’ve won Linguine and Dark Chocolate.  Send me an email @ with your mailing address.

Question of the Day

What grocery store would you most like to see NuVal scores in?

Posted by: Melissa 19 comments

Posted in: Price Chopper

Tags: ,

The Beans That Scored 100

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 07:13 AM

100 Beans

Whenever I get the chance to head to a Price Chopper store (which, sadly, is not too often), I make amazing new finds!  I always come home with bags full of new things.

My friend Joanna, who blogs over at Fitness and Spice, has the same experience at her local Hy-Vee in Nebraska.  She often blogs about her shopping experiences, discovering interesting products with NuVal scores.  Joanna even found this product!

Bible Bread

I guess that’s one you only find in the Bible Belt!

Luckily, I was able to make two trips out to Price Chopper back in December.  My son, the First Grader, had a half day so we had a “Go With Mommy to Work” afternoon and hit the Price Chopper store in Marlborough, MA.  It was there that I found these amazing Pinto Beans on the shelf.  Check out that NuVal score:  100!!!  They were off the shelf and into my cart in a heartbeat.  I do that a lot on my store visits.  It’s so easy when I can see the scores!  So, I stock up on high-scoring staples:  canned tomatoes, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, snacks, cookies, crackers, etc.

I’ve used most of my high-scoring finds in my family recipes, but those Pinto Beans are still sitting on my shelf.  What to do with them, what to do with them….

So far, my Google searches on Pinto Beans are leading me to sites like  No, I’m not kidding.  The Pinto Bean recipe on hillbilly housewife adds, and I quote, “2 to 4 ounces margarine or bacon or salt pork or 1/4 cup bacon grease.”  Oh my! 

I’m sure that you, my faithful readers, have some MUCH better ideas.  Please bring them on so that I can dust off that can of Pinto Beans and make them into something yummy.

Anyone, Anyone, Bueller?

Cookie GiveAway Winner

Congratulations to Commenter #13, Sue!  She is the winner of yesterday’s Cookie Giveaway.  Delicious cookies are headed your way.

Now back to the Question of the Day

What would you do with those Pinto Beans?

Posted by: Melissa 20 comments

Posted in: Pinto Beans, Price Chopper

Tags: ,

A Visit to Price Chopper

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 07:32 AM

Last week, while the kids were out of school for Christmas Vacation, I packed them up, picked up my mother, and we drove over the river and through the woods (literally) of Rhode Island and Connecticut to visit my Great Aunt Ruth.  After a lovely visit with our favorite Aunt, we decided to stop by Price Chopper in Putnam, CT on the way home.  I’m so glad we did.

My mother has heard a lot about NuVal and is a regular A Better Bag of Groceries reader, but this was her first experience seeing it live on the grocery store shelf.

PC Visit Mom

My mom loved seeing all the scores.  She kept saying, “We need this in a grocery store near us.  We SO need this in a grocery store near us.”

This was my 6-year-old son’s second visit to a Price Chopper store.  It was amazing to see him now that he had a little NuVal experience under his belt.  He knew just how to look for the scores.

PC Visit J finds score

This Rice A Roni whole grain rice mix, which scores a 23, was a huge improvement over the kind we used to buy.  You can see my daughter jumping up and down with excitement behind the box.

PC Visit J finds rice

The rice mix we used to buy, Knorr Rice Pilaf , only scores a 3.  We stopped buying that kind when we found out that little fun fact.  You can read more about my Mommy Guilt over that one here

My son now thinks of himself as a NuVal Pro.  He loved showing off his NuVal prowess to his little sister. 

PC Visit J shows C

He takes the Big Brother role very seriously.  Here he’s showing his little sister how the Whole Grain Macaroni & Cheese gets a better score than SpongeBob Macaroni & Cheese.  Remember that post?  The Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese that we found did not score so well.

PC visit Annies

No, you do not need glasses.  That is a 2. 

My son loved showing Grandma how NuVal works.

PC visit J shows Grandma

My mom quickly got the hang of it.  She had fun finding new, interesting products to try.  Here she found a green olive tapenade with a good score. 

PC visit Mom finds tapenade

That’s when I heard her say it again, “We SO need NuVal in a store near us!”

Every time I go to a Price Chopper, I find new things to try.  There are so many products out there, but the scores shed new light on products that I would normally overlook.  For example, on this trip, I found a very high-scoring canned tuna. 

PC visit LS Tuna

I had no idea there was lower sodium tuna.  As a busy mom, shopping with 2 kids in tow, I rarely have time to explore new products.  Normally, I would just buy the same old, same old – like this albacore tuna in water.

PC visit regular tuna

Now I know that I can get tuna that scores an 81 instead of the kind I used to buy (which scores a 55).  I made a nice little tuna salad and served it on whole wheat toast.  Yum!

It was bitter cold in Connecticut on the day of our trip and I was crazing something warm.  Usually, I steer away from canned soups because of the sodium content.  However, with all the scores on the shelf, I found a couple of higher-scoring soups that I took home to try.

PC visit soupPC visit soup 2

It was so cool to show my kids the scores on a Trade-Up we’ve made in our household.  We used to buy Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters for school snacks.  They travel well in backpacks.  However, they only get a score of 10!

PC visit Roarin Waters

Sorry my picture is so blurry!  It’s tough taking pictures in grocery stores! 

I remember I was in a Meijer store out in Michigan on a business trip when I found Minute Maid Fruit Falls with a score of 41.  I wanted to pack it up in my suitcase and bring it home!

PC visit Fruit Falls

That is a 41, by the way.  It looks like the folks at Price Chopper just had a little print alignment problem. 

After quite some time in the grocery department, we finally ventured over to Produce. 

PC visit vegetable scores

“Wow!” my mom said, ogling all the scores of 99 and 100.  “NuVal sure helps you to put nutrition into perspective.”  Yup, that’s why I call them “Incredible Vegetables.”

So, we finally hit the checkout, with about 15 new products to try in my basket. 

We climbed into the car, settled the kids in with water (NuVal score of 0) and chocolate Teddy Grahams (NuVal score of 25), and opened up our newly acquired Kashi Dark Mocha Almond TLC Bars (NuVal score of 27).  After our busy and cold day, I still had 2 tasks ahead of me: 

  1. Drive home
  2. Help my dad set up his new Ipod

Hmmmm.  Teaching my mom and kids how to use NuVal to choose nutritious foods in the grocery store:  Easy.  Teaching my dad how to set up and use his new Ipod:  Not so easy!

Winner of the Granola Challenge GiveAway

Congratulations to Commenter #14, Crystal!  She correctly rank-ordered the three granola products.

  • Bear Naked Fit Triple Berry Crunch gets an amazing score of 91
  • Bear Naked Peak Protein comes in at a 45 (wow, big difference!)
  • Kashi Mountain Medley Granola gets the lowest score with a 31
  • Crystal will be receiving a great granola care package in the mail.  Thanks for all the great guesses.

    Question of the Day

    If you could have NuVal scores in only one aisle of your grocery store, what would it be?



    Posted by: Melissa 22 comments

    Posted in: Macaroni and Cheese, Price Chopper

    Tags: , , ,