I do most of the food shopping in my household so I pay attention to the weekly grocery circulars.
I know use of the word “circular” immediately dates me, but no one has created an iPhone ap yet that enables you to easily compare prices on specific items at different supermarkets. Old school newsprint still rules in this respect.
I get ads for Safeway, QFC and Albertson’s, but I also receive one from a place called Saar’s Market Place, which appears to have rock bottom prices, especially on produce. I see their ad and always wonder, how can they sell oranges for only 29 cents a pound?
In this comatose economy, every dollar counts so I decided to visit the Saar’s Market Place closest to my home. This took me to Burien, a small, non-descript city southwest of Seattle.
I immediately knew that I was not going to have a typical supermarket experience when I saw the grocery cart corral at Saar’s. There were only about 20 beat-up, rusted carts with suspect wheels available.
I entered the store and was struck by two things: it was bright, and it was almost empty. It was a Monday night, which isn’t a super busy night for grocery shopping, but I know if I had been at the nearby Safeway, there would have been easily five times the number of people.
The people that I did see appeared to be mainly Latino and Asian. There were fewer than 10 white people in the entire store, and 3 were employees.
I knew for sure that Saar’s is an ethnic supermarket when I saw these kinds of items in the meat department.
The piñatas were also a dead giveaway.
I learned the Spanish word for “marshmallows” that night.
I find it amusing that food packaging from other countries often features the food item as a cartoon character that is really excited about the possibility of being eaten. For example:
Saar’s did have good prices on produce, but I had to shop carefully and thoroughly examine the wares. Prices on canned goods and other staples were fairly comparable to other grocery stores. I was not convinced of the integrity of the chicken, beef and pork in the meat department (unusual cuts aside), but bacon aficionados may want to check this out:
Saar’s had the typical grocery store offerings, but there was also an odd mishmash of other items.