I’ve bragged many times after scoring great deals at a small, independent grocery store near my house, but after my last visit I’m not sure I’ll ever shop there again.
I was drawn to this store because the produce prices are especially low. The cost of meat, canned goods, and staples are pretty snappy, too. I’ve bought two pounds of sweet, crisp snap peas for $.99, a whole pineapple for $1.99, and prime pork chops for $1.99/lb. The store is a little funky and caters to Asians, but it is rarely crowded and the cashiers are fast. I can get almost everything on my list (except hummus and avocados) in one place at fabulous prices.
On my last trip I scored a bag of 15 limes for $.99, a 60-ounce pack of raspberries for $1.69, and three liter cartons of soy milk for $.99 each.
Well the limes are dry, the raspberries taste like nothing, and after two bowls of cereal I poured the soy milk down the drain. None of the food is past expiration date and everything looks fresh. It just doesn’t taste very good.
I’m less concerned with getting a refund or slamming this particular store, which I’ve been very happy with in the past, than with figuring out at what point it makes sense to pay more for food. I’ve bought plenty of produce at mainstream grocery stores that was mealy or plain tasting. I bet even organic produce hits the mark.
Is it worth it to pay for premium produce? Or do super low prices save me more in the long run, even if I occasionally have to toss something?