Major grocery stores in Madison are Copps, Wal-Mart, Metcalf’s, and Whole Foods. In addition to chain grocery stores, there are employee-owned grocery stores such as Woodman’s and Hyvee as well as cooperatives such as the Willy Street Co-op (both east and west). Woodman’s has the best price for fresh fruits and vegetables. Most grocery stores stock organic produce and specialty items, although some (Whole Foods, Willy St Co-op) more than others.
International grocery stores:
If you are looking to bring some international flavor to your kitchen or miss your home country there are several specialty international stores in Madison:
Indian and Asian stores:
* Bombay Bazaar (735 S Gammon Road)
* Indian House (709 S Gammon Road)
* Yue-Wah (2328 S Park Street).
* Asian Midway Food (301 S Park Street)
* Garden Asian Market (6136 University Ave, Middleton)
European and Middle-Eastern stores:
* Istanbul Supermarket (739 S Gammon Road).
* Russian Intermarket (Old Middleton Road).
If you come from abroad and have limited budget, consider visiting thrift stores. They have furniture, small appliances, glassware and silverware and other knick-knacks that can really help you jumpstart your early months as a postdoc.
There are several Goodwills in Madison, some accessible with public transportation. There are several Goodwill branches spread around town (https://www.goodwillscwi.org). They are fairly priced and have large selection of clothes. In a slightly higher budget, you may give a try to Savers Madison (http://www.savers.com). They have a larger selection of clothes, furniture and other accessories and they also have a free membership to their Club. Apply for the card membership and benefit 25% discount every Monday and 50% on special days during the year.
If you want to make the most “bang for your buck” and ready to dig in some treasure troves or some bizarre gadgets, go visit Saint Vincent de Paul “Dig’N’Save”. Glassware and silverware are by the pound ($1/pound), they have lots of electronics (great to equip with a basic TV and DVD player) and lots of knick-knacks (35 cents/pound).
West-Town Mall (http://www.shopwesttowne-mall.com/)
East-Town Mall (http://www.shopeasttowne-mall.com/)
Hilldale Mall (http://www.hilldale.com/)