By Jay Beeler

Lately I’ve settled on Vons near the traffic circle as my favorite grocery store. Coming in second place were Smart & Final and Stater Brothers. Sam’s Club ranks high for frozen things like cooked shrimp with the tail off, marinated Alaskan salmon and mixed vegetable pouches that can be microwaved for five minutes, then used for two more meals.

Grocery stores today offer a wide variety of items for those of us who lack the time to cook food from scratch. The Vons deli offers fried chicken, sushi, tuna or egg salad for sandwiches, a wide variety of soups and much, much more.

The frozen foods section has every imaginable meal in a box that typically take less than ten minutes to nuke. Some come disguised as Lean Cuisine but I’ll settle for any international entree that adds variety at dinner time.

 My favorite part of the vegetable section has variety packages of fruit cut to edible sizes. No need to buy an entire watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon or similar items that make a great alternative for breakfast.


The negative thing about Vons is the grocery cart situation. It’s a challenge to find one because thieves keep stealing them. The same thing happened last year at this time until a shipment of 100 or so was delivered.

The lady checking out my groceries on Sunday suggested the carts may be getting melted down and sold as raw materials. I guess that’s why some stores like Target use plastic carts.

If I was king, anyone caught taking grocery carts off the property or shoplifting merchandise would have their hands cut off, maybe starting with the fingers until they were gone. After 12 amputations it would be more difficult for them to even walk into the store after their toes and feet are gone.

More than once I’ve heard the call go out regarding an active thief and thanked staff members for not letting the thieves go unnoticed. One time my cart froze outside the store and a staff member asked to see my receipt. I applauded that effort until the next time it happened when no staff member was around, and I had to drag the damn cart to my car.

Another CRAZY thing about Vons is their pricing for liquor. A 1.75 liter bottle of Jim Beam sells for $39.99 unless you are a “member” with a phone number or discount card on file. Then the price is $19.99!

Maybe that’s how they can afford to pay for replacement grocery carts.


Food for thought from Patricia Naughton via Facebook:

A lady asked an old street vendor: “How much do you sell your eggs for?” The old man replied “0.50¢ an egg, madam.” The lady responded, “I’ll take six eggs for $2 or I’m leaving.” The old salesman replied, “Buy them at the price you want, madam. This is a good start for me because I haven’t sold a single egg today and I need this to live.”

She bought her eggs at a bargain price and left with the feeling that she had won. She got into her fancy car and went to a fancy restaurant with her friend. She and her friend ordered what they wanted. They ate a little and left a lot of what they had asked for. They paid the bill, which was $150. The ladies gave $200 and told the fancy restaurant owner to keep the change as a tip.

This story might seem quite normal to the owner of the fancy restaurant, but very unfair to the egg seller. The question it raises is: Why do we always need to show that we have power when we buy from the needy? And why are we generous to those who don’t even need our generosity?

We once read somewhere that a father used to buy goods from poor people at a high price, even though he didn’t need the things. Sometimes he paid more for them. His children were amazed. One day they asked him “why are you doing this dad?” The father replied: “It’s charity wrapped in dignity.”


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