Shopping there is an interesting experience. I certainly feel like a minority as I'm generally the only gringo in the place, and most of the workers and shoppers speak no English.
Aside from the cultural experience of it all, I have mixed feelings about this particular store.
They tend to have great loss leaders on produce (items that are priced at or below cost in order to entice shoppers into the store) but other than that, their price tend to be a bit more expensive than the other chain grocery stores in the area.
The store also has a history of shady business practices. A few years ago they were sued for advertising low prices, but then charging a 10% surcharge at the register. They have since discontinued this practice (and changed their name) but still...
Anyhow, for those reasons and more, I don't shop at this store often, but occasionally, they have so many sale items that it's pretty irresistible.
So today, I took a trip to the Mercado, and here's what I got for under $20 - $19.45 to be exact:
The trick is to stick strictly to the sale items:
- 15 oranges (5 for a dollar)
- 10 grapefruits (5 for a dollar)
- 3 giant red peppers ($.88/each)
- 2 big green peppers ($.59 each)
- 2 cucumbers ($.59 each)
- 4 enormous sweet potatoes ($.99/lb)
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce ($.99)
- 2 pounds of frozen veggies ($.89/pound)
- 3 avocados (3 for a dollar)
None of it is organic, but with the exception of the peppers, lettuce and frozen veggies, all of it will be peeled. And regardless of the source, I still can't bring myself to pay $5 for a single bell pepper even if I know they are on the dirty dozen list.
Usually, I feel a twinge of guilt if I go to a store and buy nothing but loss leaders, but given the history of this establishment, well... I'm actually just fine with it!
Of course, there is one other tiny detail that I would be remiss if I didn't mention. The store doesn't allow you to bring your own bags because of concerns over shoplifting. So in addition to my produce, I also came home with a big pile of plastic.
Oh... the moral dilemmas of daily life! Well, I was getting short on bags for cleaning the litter boxes, and the ones that aren't suitable for that use will be recycled. But still...
Anyhow, that's my morally questionable deal of the day.
So tell me, how do those prices compare to the prices in your area? And do you ever feel like you're making moral compromises when you go shopping? I'd love to hear how other people deal with these issues.