Friday, October 28, 2011

More hassles at H Mart

NJ - Bergen County - Ridgefield: Super H-Mart ...Image by wallyg via Flickr
At Super H Mart in Ridgefield.

With my H Mart coupons expiring in two days, I wanted to get over to the Korean supermarket to pick up two 1-liter bottles of 100% pomegranate juice for $4 (normally $7.98).

That H Mart coupon offers an unusually good discount -- about 50%. For example, a second unused coupon offered 10% off "oriental sweet potatoes" that sell for 99 cents a pound, reducing the price to 90 cents a pound.

So, this morning, after a workout in the cardiac-rehab unit of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, I stopped first at ShopRite in Englewood before driving a short distance to H Mart.

I picked up what I thought was a sweet potato and brought it over to a cashier with my coupon, and asked her if this was the right item. She said yes, so I bagged four or five small ones.

At checkout with a different cashier, the coupon was rejected -- I had the wrong potatoes -- only one of the problems I encountered today.

I found the pomegranate juice down one of the aisles, and put two bottles, the limit, in my cart. I found some fresh collard greens for 99 cents a pound and two small heads of red-leaf lettuce for 99 cents.

Another coupon offered 10% off green seedless grapes, but they were priced at $1.79 a pound, compared to 99 cents a pound at ShopRite, where I bought red grapes for the lower price. No sale.

Also on sale with a coupon was a table-top electric hot pot for $34.99, compared to the regular price of $49.99, but I'm not sure I would use it more than once or twice. 

I did want to use a coupon for live blue crabs that cut the price of $1.99 to 99 cents, but in the fish department, I found an empty bin. An employee brought out maybe 15 crabs, saying more were due to be delivered around noon.

I was trying to call my wife to find out if she wanted crabs for dinner, when a woman walked over and said she had called about blue crabs, and wanted to buy the ones the man had just put out.

I gave up, and handed her my coupon for the crabs.

The cashier rang up the pomegranate juice for $3.99 each, but scanned the coupon once for $1.99. I pointed out the coupon said 2 for $4.

She took off 20 cents for my reusable bag, the most of any supermarket in North Jersey. Then, I remembered I had a $1.06 credit for spoiled fruit I returned to the store a couple of weeks ago.

She said the checkout "machine" was new and couldn't process the credit. I again asked for the proper discount on the pomegranate juice, and told two people waiting on line behind me to be patient.

Her solution was to give me a second $1.99 discount for the juice, then discount an additional $1.99 for my store credit, while taking back the 20 cents for the reusable bag.

My balance was $4.99.

This is the same H Mart that resisted giving me credit for a 12-inch stainless-steel steamer that rusted after less than a year of use. A cashier lectured me about drying it completely before I put it away.

H Mart, 25 Lafayette Ave., Englewood; 
201-871-8822. Food court is closed.

Applegate Farms

Organic and naturally raised cold cuts are sold under the Applegate Farms label. In addition to being raised without antibiotics and growth hormones, the meats are uncured and free of preservatives.

The ShopRite in Englewood is one of the few to carry Applegate Farms, but rarely puts the sliced ham, beef, turkey and other meat on sale.

Today, I looked over the price labels and saw some were selling for the equivalent of about $18 a pound and others for about $13.70 a pound.

Trader Joe's has Applegate Farms cold cuts at much better prices, but is not as convenient. 

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