Seattle has one of the lowest child-per-capita rates in the nation. But while you may have no need to fill the SUV with groceries every

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Best Costco Alternative for Urbanites

Ballard Fred Meyer

Seattle has one of the lowest child-per-capita rates in the nation. But while you may have no need to fill the SUV with groceries every week to feed a family of five, that doesn't mean you can't also appreciate one-stop convenience, ample parking, and low prices. And those are precisely the virtues of the Ballard Fred Meyer. A subject of pitched neighborhood debate before it was permitted and built, it has since become a neighborhood staple. Need some nails and paint for a weekend project? Lawn furniture? A new Blu-ray player? A replacement toaster? A refill for your allergy meds? Plus supplies for tonight's big barbecue? Just push your cart from hardware to housewares to groceries and back. The store was seemingly designed for the mismatched to-do list: plumbing, salmon broiling, soccer-ball inflating, picture framing...oh, and pick up a paperback for the plane, too. And if you do happen to have five mouths to feed, there's a day-care room where you can park your toddlers. —Brian Miller 915 N.W. 45th St., 297-4300

 
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