|A festive display at Whole Foods Market in Paramus.|
|Boxes of Spanish clementines were piled high at the Paramus ShopRite.|
This morning, on the way home from the gym, I finished the food shopping for our Thanksgiving dinner.
As we've been doing all week, I went to stores early to beat the crowds.
I stopped at the ShopRite in Paramus for another Golden Pineapple ($1.99), a 5-pound box of clementines from Spain ($4.99) and four bottles of 100% sparkling Apple Cider, also from Spain, at the lowest price I've ever seen, 2 for $3.
I also picked up half-gallons of ShopRite lactose-free milk ($3.39 each) and 1.5 quarts of Breyers ice cream ($1.99).
|At the Paramus ShopRite, Lactaid milk was on sale, but not the store brand. What appear to be gallons of Lactaid (bottom shelf) are only 96 ounces, not a full 128 ounces.|
My next stop was Whole Foods Market, less than a half-mile from the ShopRite.
The store had a festive air, and I saw chestnuts from Italy, Brussels sprouts and other fall items in the produce section.
I headed for cold cases opposite the butcher counter to buy a Niman Ranch Petite Ham, which is boneless and smoked, to supplement the antibiotic-free turkey parts we picked up last week at the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff.
The ham ($7.99 a pound) is uncured and contains no preservatives, and comes from an animal that was raised on vegetarian feed and never received antibiotics and growth hormones.
At checkout, a woman ahead of me told Whole Foods employees she was going to the poultry farm for her turkey, but would have to wait on line for 2 hours.
I mentioned Goffle Road Poultry Farm is selling duck eggs for $1 each, and the workers said Whole Foods charges 99 cents for a duck egg.
|The front label of a Niman Ranch ham at Whole Foods Market.|
On Monday, my wife stopped at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack and I returned on Tuesday for farm-raised U-15 Black Tiger Shrimp (4 pounds for $41.99); 3 pounds of sodium-free raw Mexican almonds to roast at home ($12.99); corn and crab chowder, lobster bisque, seedless red grapes, Bartlett pears, organic brown eggs, multi-grain bread, and organic salad mix.
|Sunset Gourmet cucumbers at Costco are shorter, but the price is higher ($3.99).|
About 10 days ago, I stopped at H&Y Marketplace, a Korean supermarket on South Washington Avenue in Bergenfield, and noticed all of the price signs had the words "Healthy & Young" on them.
That's a stretch.
The floor of the store was worn and torn up in places. Live lobsters were displayed on ice, not in a tank of water.
Produce, prepared foods and other items didn't look as fresh and appetizing as they do at H Mart, the supermarket chain once known as Han Ah Reum.
And the prices for everything at H&Y Marketplace appeared to be slightly higher than at H Mart, and the quantities smaller.
The H Mart in Little Ferry has seen better days, but it's a more pleasant shopping experience than the Bergenfield H&Y Marketplace, as is the freshened Englewood H Mart.
24 Hour Fitness
I've been going to 24 Hour Fitness in Paramus since January, because I get a free gym membership as part of my AARP Part B Medicare health insurance.
And on the way home, I can stop at ShopRite and Whole Food Market.
The gym is a huge, impersonal place, where early morning employees seem more intent on getting large cups of coffee than on doing their jobs.
After my usual 30 minutes on a recumbent bicycle on the upper level of gym, I went over to a paper-towel dispenser so I could wipe down the equipment with a disinfectant spray the gym provides.
Most of the dispensers were empty.
Downstairs, I called over to an employee carrying a large cup of takeout coffee and said most of the "paper dispensers" were empty.
"What's empty?" she replied.
Your head, I thought.