Wednesday, August 22, 2012

H Mart coupons, kosher food, wine clubs

Seaweed rolls with vegetables, fish and egg from H Mart in Englewood.

I got a thick H Mart Coupon Book in the mail the other day, recalling the discount booklets the Korean supermarket chain issued for about 6 months in 2011.

Don't get your hopes up for the resumption of regular coupon books. This one is to celebrate the chain's 30th year in America.

H Mart has stores in 9 states.

A marketing employee at H Mart's New Jersey headquarters said another coupon book may be issued at the end of the year.

The coupon book was sent to shoppers like me who have an H Mart 1% cash-rebate card. 

The coupons are good from Aug. 25 through Sept. 7 at stores in Fort Lee, Englewood, Little Ferry, Ridgefield and Edison.

Some but not all of the coupons list the regular price for comparison to the discounted price.

glatt kosher turkey
A Glatt kosher turkey (Wikipedia)

'Kosher' fruit salad

I witnessed the kosher food scam at the Paramus ShopRite this morning.

An African-American woman distracted by her two young sons did a double take when a small container of fruit salad rang up at $3.49.

The African-American clerk explained the fruit salad came from the kosher food section.

When the woman asked how kosher is different than regular food, the clerk explained kosher food is prepared by "kosher people."

I tried to explain some of the rules of kosher food to the woman -- such as the prohibition against mixing meat and dairy -- but said I couldn't understand how fruit salad could be made "kosher."

I said kosher food is just like regular food, but costs more.

The poor woman was a victim of the kosher food scam, whereby conventional food is labeled kosher and the price is hiked accordingly.

Kosher food doesn't guarantee it was raised or grown naturally unless it says so on the package.

With dinner, I drank Italian Sangiovese di Romagna Superiore from a wine club.

Join the club

One of the few ways to get around high wine prices in restaurants and liquor stores is to take advantage of introductory offers from wine clubs.

In recent years, I've bought several cases of award-winning wine from clubs sponsored by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Zagat.

The introductory cases often include a bonus, such as the Rabbit corkscrew and other accessories that came in a beautiful wood case or a Riedel wine carafe.

Now, WSJ Wine is offering 15 bottles of "superb reds" worth $229.99 for only $69.99, plus $19.99 for shipping and tax. 

That's about $6 a bottle, and you're under no obligation to buy any more wine.

I'll drink to that.
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