When I went grocery shopping the other week at my big box grocery retailer, I bought a lot of normal every week foods: potatoes, eggs, biscuits, and bananas. I skipped the meat. I’ve had a terrible time with meat in the last few years. Almost all of the beef I’ve bought in the last two years has sections of green on it, and what isn’t green looks like someone hit it with a hammer. In otherwords, it’s green and bruised, and I deem it unsafe to eat. I’d rather not eat red meat than waste money and risk food poisoning on bad meat.
Meat was my first problem. Potatoes became my second problem. Over the last year, I’ve watched as my potatoes have gone from perfectly white to rotting from the inside out. For every 10 pound bag of potatoes I buy, I have to throw away at least three pounds to bad spots and rot, and my last bag of Sunfresh Russet potatoes was no different. The potatoes may or may not have spots on the outside, but almost all of them have bad spots on the inside. It’s a waste of money.
Last week, I noticed a problem with my bananas. The taste was lackluster, and the skins browned faster than normal. I looked at the sticker — Dole bananas. What happened to Chiquita bananas?
Furthermore, what happened to my Idaho potatoes in the mesh red bag, my Country Daybreak eggs, biscuits 10 to a can, and fresh edible meat? Turns out, all that food is still available, but it may not be available at a major chain.
This week, I decided to do my shopping at a small town grocer with a butcher shop meat department. My goal was to pick up enough fresh meat to last a couple weeks, but I browsed the produce and eggs as well.
What I found was astonishing. They had pineapple at 2 for $5 dollars, Country Daybreak eggs for $1.19 a dozen, real Idaho potatoes at $5.77 per 10 pound bag, heads of lettuce for .79 cents, rolls of biscuits 10 to a can for .89 cents, and prepackage whole zucchini 3 to a pack for $2.49.
I couldn’t beat it. Eggs at my big box retail grocery store are $1.59 per dozen. Biscuits are typically $1.39 for a can of eight. Pineapple can range anywhere from $2.99 to $3.99. Lettuce is typically $1.29 a head. The only thing that wasn’t cheaper at the local grocery verses the big box retailer were the potatoes, but the potatoes I got at the local grocer aren’t rotting on the inside.
Along with the produce and eggs, I bought a pound of fresh platter bacon for 3.89 a pound, two giant tenderloins for $1.98, two pounds of pork sausage for $1.98 a pound, and sirloin steak for $4.99 a pound.
The price of the bacon was comparable to the prepackaged versions, but without the chemicals. It was also thickly sliced. The sausage was .50 cheaper than the prepackaged rolls at the chain grocer. The steak was easily a dollar cheaper per pound, and there is simply no compare to fresh tenderloins.
Only two items were more expensive during my local grocer shopping trip; the bananas and the potatoes, but I bought exactly the bananas and potatoes I wanted. I’m willing to pay a little more to get the brands of produce I know are good.
The lesson here is simple. Don’t be afraid of your local grocer. They’re not trying to gouge you, and in my experience, you may just find exactly what you want. I have my Chiquita bananas, Idaho potatoes, and bruise free meat, and I’m ecstatic about it
More from this contributor:
The Impending Triple Hit to the U.S. Economy
Dollar Tree Verses Walmart
Registering a Business Can Be Inexpensive and Fast