|A 2013 Can Can Sale! display at the ShopRite in Englewood.|
I expected a bigger crowd at the ShopRite in Englewood today, the start of the 2013 Can Can Sale!
Or as the sales flier wrapped around the front page of my daily newspaper called it: "The Greatest Sale Ever!"
All those exclamation marks can't hide the sad realization that the first of this year's Can Can Sales is a mere shadow of past discounts.
And when I compared ShopRite's Can Can Sale prices to the everyday low prices at Costco Wholesale, I saw the supermarket chain has an edge only in variety.
A couple of items I regard as staples aren't as big a buy as they were in the past at ShopRite:
ShopRite's 100% Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, which was cut to $5.99 per liter, compared to $4.99 in the past; and 12 packs of Adirondack Seltzer, which were $2.50 each, not the $1.99 I paid last July at the Summer Can Can Sale.
|ShopRite's imported Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.|
|I could find only a few 12 packs of Adirondack Seltzer.|
I had to buy 10 cans of low-sodium Progresso Soup to get the Can Can Sale price of under $1.19 each.
I came across boxes of 40 Melita No. 2 Coffee Filters (brown) for 99 cents each or half price, even cheaper than ShopRite's white filters.
Five 15.5-ounce cans of low-sodium Goya Beans were 5 for $3, but green pigeon peas weren't included for some reason.
I also bought uncured, antibiotic-free Applegate Naturals Black Forest Ham, which wasn't on sale, because the Englewood ShopRite is one of the few that carries that brand.
Similarly, there was a barnyard full of low-quality chicken on sale, but none of Readington Farms' antibiotic-free poultry or the chicken parts from Coleman Organics.
|Naturally raised, uncured ham wasn't on sale in Englewood.|
The Can Can Sale price for Florida's Natural Premium Orange Juice is $5 for 2 cartons (59 ounces each), compared to 4 full half-gallons of Tropicana Premium Orange Juice for $11.19.
That works out to .043 cents at Costco and .042 cents at ShopRite.
Poland Spring Water is 13.4 cents a bottle at Costco and 13.8 cents a bottle at ShopRite, but you have to buy 72 bottles to get that price at the supermarket, compared to only 35 at the warehouse store.
A 40-ounce jar of Victoria Marinara Sauce, which uses Italian tomatoes, is $3.99 at ShopRite.
I couldn't find the same pasta sauce at Costco, although I've bought it at the Hackensack warehouse store before.
Costco has an annoying habit of moving products around -- to create a treasure-hunt atmosphere -- or my store may have run out of it.
|Food treasure at Costco: hand-made pasta from Italy.|
To get Can Can Sale prices, you have to present the ShopRite Price Plus Card.
To get the biggest bang for you buck, search for coupons in sales fliers that will get you an even better buy when combined with Can Can Sale discounts.
I also use an American Express Blue Cash credit card, which gives a 3% rebate on groceries.