Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sweet ShopRite deal goes sour once again

The sign on sweet potatoes at the ShopRite in Paramus clearly states you get a 20-cents-per-pound discount, if you buy more than 5 pounds, but the store's computer continues to ignore that at checkout, requiring an "override" from a supervisor, who then goes to the produce section, eyeballs the sign ("Buy Big and Save!) and gets a code to punch into the register.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss how the ShopRite in Paramus requires shoppers to jump through hoops for a discount, compare prices at ShopRite and other stores, offer suggestions for meals made with seafood from Costco Wholesale, and report on good buys at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood.


How long does it take to fix the computerized checkout gizmo at the ShopRite in Paramus to reflect a volume discount on 5 pounds of sweet potatoes?

In the past few weeks, I've stopped there on the way home from the gym to buy sweet potatoes for baking and mashing, and each time, I saw a sign offering a discount of 20 cents a pound for more than 5 pounds.

The first time, I got the discount automatically at checkout, but the last two times, including on Wednesday, I didn't, and the sweet potatoes rang up at the full price.

That meant a delay of 10 minutes to 15 minutes while the problem was cleared up.

On Wednesday, after all the back and forth, I was charged 69 cents a pound for 4 pounds and given the 5th pound free. The regular price was 89 cents a pound.

The Paramus ShopRrite sells peeled garlic from China for $3.39 a pound, compared to the $2 a pound I pay at Costco Wholesale for peeled heirloom garlic from the Christopher Ranch in California.

Comparing prices

In the produce section of the Paramus ShopRite, I noticed peeled garlic from China for $3.39 a pound, compared to $5.99 for a 3-pound bag of peeled California garlic at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

ShopRite had a bag of celery stalks for $1.49, compared to 99 cents at Hackensack Market, 120 Passaic St. 

Other sale items at Hackensack Market on Tuesday included 12-ounce bottles of Goya Malta at 5 for $3.

A 1-liter bottle of Valentina Salsa Picante (Black Label), a terrific Mexican hot sauce that doesn't obliterate the flavors of the food you're eating, was $1.99. 

At ShopRite, a 1-pound package of Olivia Organic's Spring Mix was $7.99, a dollar more than a 1-pound package of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix or Organic Half & Half (spring mix and baby spinach).

At Costco, Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix is $4.99 or less.  

Salted cod fish fillets from Canada is available at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack in 2-pound bags for $11.99. Here, the wild-caught fish is prepared with okra, sweet peppers, onions and garlic, and served with a leftover fish from a Korean takeout order, rear.

Canned wild-caught pink salmon in water and smoked wild sockeye salmon also are sold at Costco. A no-mayo pink salmon salad, left, includes chopped celery, sweet pepper and red onion; and Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, ground cumin and avocado oil for moisture. The smoked salmon is sliced and ready to add to salads, right.

Salted cod fish with cabbage and sweet peppers served with baby spinach sauteed in avocado oil and chopped California garlic.

Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon goes into an egg-white omelet served with leftover shrimp, organic brown rice and organic quinoa. The price of a 1-pound package of smoked wild salmon jumped more than $3 recently, to $18.89, but you'll pay about $30 a pound at other stores. 

Deals at Jerry's

I ran out of Ponti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, but found half-liter bottles for $1.99 each on Wednesday at Jerry's Gourmet & More, 410 S. Dean St., Englewood.

I was served this balsamic vinegar at restaurants in and near Milan during a trip to Italy in 2010, and have been buying it ever since. 

It contains no added color, unlike so many other brands I see.

I also found two Jerry's Meals To Go, complete restaurant-quality dinners reduced to $5.99 from $7.99 after 4 p.m.

The dinners contained Chicken Siciliano, toasted orzo salad, string beans and artichoke salad -- ready to be plated and reheated in the microwave.

After I grabbed the last two Meals To Go in a refrigerated case, I walked around sampling Jerry's cheeses, and came across an antipasto platter with two cheeses, two styles of salami, sweet peppers and mixed olives with sun-dried tomatoes.

The 2.1-pound Messana-brand Party Platter was $6.99 or less than half price.

The Asiago and Fontina cheeses are made with part skimmed milk, meaning they are reduced fat.

Part of the antipasto platter I picked up at Jerry's for $6.99.

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