How to shop without fighting crowds

Columnist sheds light on alternatives to multinational chains in Pullman, Moscow



Beat the rush by shopping smarter, not faster. Some options students can consider for groceries includes Winco and Rosauers Supermarket, which are both in Moscow. Students can also get a box fan in Ace Hardware.

JACQUI THOMASSON, Evergreen chief layout editor

Move-in is upon us. The gas station at Safeway is chock full of parents washing their windshields, and you can hardly find a parking spot at Walmart. Amid the grab for food and furnishings, where do you go to get what you need?

This semester poses a unique problem. While there is admittedly less of a crowd as some Cougs opt to stay home, the ever-present challenge remains: with COVID-19 still looming, how does one avoid the crowd? 


Winco in Moscow is open 24 hours (I’m looking at you, Walmart) so you can get everything to stock your pantry and then some at any hour. Their prices are still cheap compared to other stores, and the only thing you have to remember is they only accept debit or cash. If your parents are willing to buy you groceries and want to use their credit card, it’s in the best interest of your budget to maybe go elsewhere.

Rosauers Supermarket in Moscow is also a good option, and there is a Safeway as well on the far side of town.

If you make the trek to Moscow, don’t forget to top off your gas tank while you’re there. Whether you’re staying in Pullman or your parents’ car is headed back to the west side, there’s never a more opportune time to get some cheaper gas without the Washington state taxes tacked on.

In Pullman, there is the Safeway on Bishop Boulevard. It’s far less crowded than Walmart and just across the street, so it’s a good option for getting the essentials. It can be a bit more for groceries, but an important note is the store has an app for digital coupons. You can even scan the item to see if there are any coupons for that product. 

On Grand Avenue, Dissmore’s IGA is also a good option. While things may be pricier than the ever-loved Walmart, it’s supporting a smaller business as opposed to the multinational chain. This store is also very close to campus for anyone in the dorms or located in Apartment Land.


I’m used to driving a bigger car, but since mine is in the shop and I’m borrowing my mom’s, I’m extremely sympathetic to anyone with a smaller vehicle. I love the gas mileage, but I realize it doesn’t even have to be out-of-state students flying in who need to buy everything at the other end.

Let me remind you, dear readers, that it is August. I thought I had everything for the dorm in my freshman year, even the little Arctic Air portable air conditioner. It was great for sitting at my desk, but move-in is another animal entirely.

Especially if there are ramps or stairs involved, you’re going to be sweating. Don’t forget the box fan! And I’m going to say it again, do not forget the fan. Every year Walmart sells out and people ask where they can get a hold of them, so I’m here to help you out.

Just next door to Walmart is the Pullman Building Supply. They have that fan you need and some other decor, so don’t sweat it — pun intended. They’ll make sure you can get some air circulating while you haul everything into the room.

Ace Hardware is also a good option for a box fan. Since the Pullman location closed about two years ago, Tri-State Distributors in Moscow or Ace Hardware in Colfax are the next-best options. Moscow also has its building supply location.

Before it closed down, Shopko was an excellent place to get dorm decor without fighting the Walmart crowd. Now, Bed Bath & Beyond or Marshalls at the Palouse Empire Mall are your best bet to get those folding chairs or storage bins you need.

If you’re feeling thrifty, check out Palouse Treasures, the WSU Surplus Store, Goodwill or Palouse Habitat for Humanity. You may not always find exactly what you need at these places, but I almost always find something I want or think is cool.

Best of luck in the coming months, Cougs. Remember to wear your masks, do your best to stay healthy and make the most of the online experience. Because a lot more time will be spent at home, hopefully, this list helps you deck the halls in a way that suits you.