Saturday, October 07, 2006

All Grocery Stores Are NOT Created Equal

Ok, well, basically since I'm cheap bastard, as my husband would say (he wouldn't call me a cheap bastard, but he uses the phrase occasionally), I have always shopped at the grocery store on the corner. Until recently, said grocery store was a Food Lion. Around Memorial Day, they underwent intensive remodelling and re-opened as a BOTTOM DOLLAR FOODS...

Now, prior to this change, the Food Lion was not too bad a place. It looked a little dated, but I shopped there because a) it was the same food loads cheaper than Yuppie-Heaven/Giant; and b) it was close to the house. There was a nice mix of people there--some like me who wanted to save money, a lot of single people, and a lot of folks who didn't appear to have a lot of money too, judging by their WIC checks and such. (I have no problem with those people, incidentally, I know a lot of people in my hometown who, through no fault of their own, had to depend on WIC a lot, and saw the good it did.)

Damn, I'm getting off on a lot of tangents here.

ANYWAY.

Immediately after the place became Bottom Dollar, it was advertised as THE place to save. They eliminated the deli, widened the aisles and dropped about 4/5 of their products. They advertised that while most grocery stores carry about 30,000 items, they would carry 6,000 and all of it quite cheap. Ok, fine with me... But I immediately had a couple of beefs with the place.

Number one, they now charge for grocery bags. This royally pisses me off. I flat out refuse to pay for them. I would much rather pay an extra penny on my Cheez-Its than pay 5 cents for a stupid grocery sack. What the hell?

Then I started shopping. They have the strangest system. Not only do they only have 6,000 items, but they don't have the variety you might expect.

For instance, let's take the aforementioned Cheez-Its. They have 6 or 7 varieties and brands of Cheez-its. This appears to be a big ticket item in the Bottom Dollar food chain. But, pudding? You cannot buy chocolate pudding over there. You can get vanilla, you can get tapioca, you can get rice pudding, but not chocolate. What the hell????

Well, I went in last night to pick up 3 or 4 things, and the place has just become SO low rent. Seriously. The clientele, a term I use as loosely as possible, seems to have deteriorated to the town drunks, freaks, and generally the very strange.

For instance, I was walking past the case of $2.00 Ben and Jerry's (about the only thing the store has going for it at this point) last night, when a little girl (she couldn't have been more than 9 or 10) came flying around the corner, planted herself in the middle of the aisle, and began to do the stripper dance.

For those of you who are as white as I am, let me explain the stripper dance.

I first heard about it when I rented the documentary, Rize, on my Netflix. I had heard about "clowning" and "krumping" after seeing a trailer for Rize, and they explained it very well in the documentary. It's a form of dancing the street kids have developed in LA to keep out of gangs and reduce teen violence.

And apparently, a good part of it has to do with the stripper dance. What you do is, you plant your feet about shoulder length apart, and stick your butt out, bending your knees to accomplish a good butt-stick-out. Then you just shake that thang up and down as fast as you can, like a stripper. I swear to God I am not making this up. The sick thing is, while watching the documentary, I tried it, and it's actually about the easiest dance in the world. You will never see me dance like that, but I could if I were forced to stripper dance for my life. Well, if it keeps kids off drugs, who am I to judge?

So, I here I am in the dairy aisle, surrounded by ice cream and raw cookie dough, and here's a little girl stripper-dancing in front of me, when suddenly her family comes around the corner, and she yells, "How do you like me shakin' it now!?" Mom had the decency to look slightly mortified, but not much, and the other kids attempted to run into "it" with the shopping cart.

After leaving that charming little tableau, I headed to the register, where the biggest collection of scruffy individuals I've ever seen were standing around with cases of Coors Light and a 12-year-old young lady. As I went past them, they were discussing returning to the trailer park to "tie one on"...

So, low rent patrons, payin' for bags, and no chocolate pudding is looking like it's adding up to me making a once weekly trip to Central Park to shop at either Shoppers or Walmart Supercenter. Although, I probably wouldn't get some of the entertainment out of it if I go elsewhere... It's a point to debate. We'll see what happens.

5 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Melissa said...

Susan you really should write a book this is freaking hysterical!

Don't forget that that there is a super wal-mart off Rt. 1 now - prob easier to get to than Central Park! Also I think there might be a Super Target in Fred. now - my grandma said she went to a Target with a big grocery section that was trying to compete with Super Wal-Mart...although you def won't get the entertainment factor you'd get at Bottom Dollar! :)

Kate/Susan said...

I am strongly considering writing a book called "My Life in the South"... We'll have to see. LOL

Talmadge G. said...

Man, you had me howling.

I have a name for grocery stores like that: Trailer-park food This "Bottom Dollar" store you speak of reminds me of ALDI stores and of what we have here in Savannah, the illustrious SAV-A-LOT.

No brand names, just off-brand private labels. No thanks, I'll stick to dependable Kroger or Sam's American Choice. (We have a Food Lion here in town, but it's nasty ... my kingdom for a Publix. Please?)

-TG

BJ said...

Stay outta stores like that. They're everywhere. Food Lion is, for me, a minimally acceptable solution. I don't step lower than that. No Publix up your way, but there are some Harris Teeter stores up there, and they're great. Decent prices and good food, along with a near absence of bottom-feeders.

Sandy said...

Well, all can say about your post and the folks who commented is "WOW" what a bunch of Snobs you all are!!!!! Let me tell you one thing even us Bottom Feeders have familys too!!! The problem is that the yankie snobs who move to the south. Please, Please, Please go back we beg you!!!! Come on your too lazy to bag your own grocerys? All I know is that I can fill my trunk with food for less than $60 bucks. Thats a bargain!!!!!! I would much rather shop with "trailer trash" than with person such as youself who think their better than everyone else!!!!! I guess "Fruit Loops" taste better when for the bottom feeders bag your groceries.