At home you probably have a good idea of where to go when you need different food items. At your new home in the U.S.A., you’ll need to dig around a little bit to figure out where to buy what. Hopefully, this post will give you some hints. It will cover different places to buy food and their pros and cons.
At farmers’ markets, growers bring their crops to you directly. You can expect fresher produce because it spends less time in transit. In some cities, farmers’ markets are seasonal, but in the Bay Area they run year-round. While freshness is a definite advantage, farmers’ markets may not have prepared foods. In the Bay Area, you can visit the Ecology Center to find a farmers’ market near you.
Supermarkets are big stores that have anything and everything you might need. They offer a lot of processed and packaged food, which can be convenient (but also pricey). Their produce typically comes from farther away, so it may not be as fresh. However, they will always have your kitchen staples and may even save you time because you can find what you need in one place. In the Bay Area, there are many different supermarket chains including Smart and Final ($), Grocery Outlet ($), Safeway ($$), Ranch 99 ($$), Berkeley Bowl ($$), and Andronico’s ($$$).
Unless you just want a snack, corner stores are usually not the best place to find food. Typically, they sell a small selection of prepared or packaged food. They are often more expensive than other options. Still, they are almost everywhere, so they may help
In many college towns, you can expect to have a strong public transit fleet comprised of a combination of buses, trains, subways, and shuttles. However, if you plan on buying a car when you arrive, there are some points to consider.
First, in the U.S., you should expect to bargain or negotiate. Dealers and sellers usually have a list price which they announce, but this may be much higher than the price they are willing to accept. The best way to handle this issue is to come informed. Take time before you go shopping to decide on what kind of car you want to buy, how much you want to spend, and what add-ons you need. If the dealer is not willing to bargain and you believe the price is unreasonable, it might be best to walk away from the deal.
Second, car insurance, parking, and gas may be additional costs to factor in when making your decision. Car insurance is mandatory everywhere and the expense varies based on your driving history and coverage. In other words, cheaper plans usually pay for less if you have an accident. Additionally, if you live in an urban area, you may need to pay for a parking spot. This may be a significant expense.
Finally, when you’re ready to sell your car, your choices will depend on its condition and popularity. Cars always depreciate, but you might get a respectable price if you pick a popular car and keep it in good condition. You can resell your car directly to a buyer or dealer, or you can sell it through a third party. A third party will usually charge a commission.
In any case, if you decide to buy a car, allow for plenty of time to do research and browse. If you feel rushed, you may make a bad deal. Building in flexibility will help protect you through the process.
Unless you will be living in campus housing (dorms or university provided apartments), which is typically furnished, you will probably need to pick up a few items for your new home. There are many options available to you, although they vary greatly in terms of cost and convenience.
Chain Household Furnishing Stores, $$$, Effort: Easy
National Examples: Target, World Market, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Ikea
Local East Bay Examples: N/A
Pros: These stores often have delivery options available. Also, they have a wide selection, so you will definitely have choices.
Cons: They are more expensive than other options.
Second-hand Stores, $, Effort: Moderate
National Examples: Goodwill, Salvation Army
Local East Bay Examples: Out of the Closet
Pros: These stores usually have affordable, sturdy furniture.
Cons: You’ll need to transport the items yourself. Also, items may look a little
Yard Sales, $, Effort: Difficult
National Examples: N/A
Local East Bay Examples: Yard sales are usually advertised on the street. Keep an eye out for signs when you are walking around your neighborhood. You’ll see the most in spring or summer.
Pros: Yard sales are usually very cheap!
Cons: They are also hit-and-miss.
Online Social Networking Sites, $$, Effort: Moderate
National Examples: Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter
Local East Bay Examples: NextDoor
Pros: Neighbors can post items they want to get rid of. You might have more wiggle-room if you want to barter.
Cons: You should be cautious about safety during pick-ups and drop-offs.
Last week, you checked out my favorite list of misplaced modifiers. Here are some (potential) answers!
Hopefully, you have a basic understanding of the rules controlling modifiers. Now it's time to practice! Here is a link to my favorite list of absolutely misplaced modifiers. How would you correct them?
Question: What is a modifier?
Answer: In brief, a modifier is a word or phrase that changes another word in the sentence. For example, one-word modifiers include very, quickly, and frequently.
Question: Does it matter where you put them in a sentence?
Answer: Of course! Modifiers should always be close to the word they change. One-word modifiers generally go before the word they change. Modifier phrases often go after the word they change.
Question: Where can I find more information on modifiers?
Answer: Here are some resources I find helpful.
Grammar Girl offers a quick and easy to understand explanation.
The Guide to Writing and Grammar gives examples (and non-examples) of successfully using modifiers.
Lastly, Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is always a great resource.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for learners in the San Francisco East Bay.