Monday, August 25, 2014

Today's special at H Mart: $2.99 each or two for $6

Seen on Saturday morning at the H Mart in Englewood, part of a chain of Korean supermarkets celebrating its 30th anniversary in the United States.


Price signs continue to be a problem for food shoppers, whether they patronize a ShopRite or an H Mart.

On lower shelves, the signs are unreadable unless you get down on your hands and knees.

Often, products are misplaced on the shelf over the wrong sign, and instead of a deal, you get sticker shock at the register.

H Mart, formerly Han Ah Reum, is a chain of Korean supermarkets in New Jersey that is celebrating its 30th anniversary in America.

But the five H Marts I patronize in Englewood, Little Ferry, Fort Lee (2) and Ridgefield act as independent stores -- with different retail and sales prices, coupons, late-day discounts and sales.

Sign, label confusion

On Saturday at the Englewood H Mart, I saw Rico Garlic Paste for $2.99 each, according to the shelf sign, or a "special" of two for $6, according to a sticker on the jar.

The Englewood store also offers prepared food, and one of my favorites is spicy stewed Alaskan pollock, a cousin of the cod.

Jinga, one of the caterers that supplies H Mart, recently hiked the price for a 1-pound package of stewed pollock to $8.49 from $6.99.

Next to it on the shelf was a similar package of stewed pollock from Pinocchio, another outside company, for $7.49, but I couldn't compare the two, because the Pinocchio label listed the weight as "0 lb. 2 oz."

Shin Ramyun, a spicy instant noodles soup, is available in individual 2.6-ounce cups, above, and "Family Packs" of 4.2-ounce servings, below. The cups were on sale Saturday at the Englewood H Mart, but each serving contains 66% of the daily recommended sodium intake, compared to 43% for the larger portions.

The label on Pinocchio Catering's Stewed Alaskan Pollock has shoppers guessing at the correct weight.

At the H Mart in Englewood, I bought a 56-ounce tin of Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil from Japan on sale, but had to return to the store for a lesson on how to close it. The can has a three pictographs instructing you on how to open the can, but none on how to close it. The sale ends today.

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