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Costco shoppers are by and large a weird bunch, and watching them during my once- or twice-a-week visits to the Hackensack warehouse store isn't amusing. Why does saving money bring out such bad behavior?
Their frenetic driving in the parking lot may be familiar to you, but they're lazy, too, leaving those big shopping carts up against parked cars rather than walking the carts a few steps to keep them out of the way.
Now, their behavior inside the store is deteriorating. Never mind that fickle shoppers will abandon their selections almost anywhere except where they found the items, including under the checkout counter, perishable food or not. Just look over the carts employees fill with rejects near the first registers.
I've also started to notice that some shoppers open packages of produce and seem intent on examining every tomato, orange, strawberry and even blueberry. True, I hate to buy produce and discover soft or moldy pieces, but the store's return policy is so generous, you can always get your money back. The other day, my wife ate two imported tangerines she bought at Costco, said they weren't sweet and asked me to return them for a refund, which I did.
To me, opening produce and touching it is taboo. I plan to speak to the store managers next time I'm there.
Good buys at Fairway Market
The sales flier from Fairway Market in Paramus is heralding "club store pricing" on 8,000 grocery items every day. Here are examples: Florida Natural orange juice (64 ounces), two for $5; Kozy Shack rice pudding (six pack or 22-ounce tub), $1.99; and Barilla pasta, 80 cents. Among specialty items, a three-liter tin of Fairway extra-virgin olive oil is $14.99.
Punch up your pasta sauce
I don't have the time or inclination to make my own pasta sauce, especially when there are such great bottled sauces available at Fairway Market and Costco at low prices. But I do add a few things to my bottled sauce to make it really special: olive oil, dried Italian seasoning, dried garlic and crushed red pepper.
Still, my sauce isn't complete without adding a can of anchovies, including oil (and capers, if any), and boiling it until the fish and anchovy taste disappear, leaving behind a distinctive, robust flavor. I'm not sure why, but the sauce with anchovies is not salty at all (I don't salt my pasta water, and use as little water as possible).
Last night, I added a can of anchovies to a little more than half of a 32-ounce bottle of Fairway tomato-and-basil pasta sauce ($3.49), and added about half a package of al dente fusiloni (oversize corkscrews from Italy that I buy at ShopRite). Delicious. And I love to have crusty bread to soak up the sauce left on the plate.