Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Orange switcheroo: Did they trick you?


It’s no secret that oranges got the short end of the cold stick during our unseasonably freezing weather here in the state. But how are retailers passing it down to us consumers?

Well, consider that before the freeze, a crate of oranges, say between 10-15 lbs, was going for 9.99 at Costco. Just last weekend, a much smaller bag of oranges–8 lbs to be exact–is going for 9.99. Same price, less fruit. I noticed this same trend at the local Raley’s as well.

Did anyone else notice this? I guess as long as we don’t have to “pay more” we can live with less. No one will be the wiser (except you and me).

Going “Ghetto” at Marshall’s

I had a really amazing experience at Marshall’s in the Lake Crest Village Shopping Center a few days ago. Have you ever been to that Marshall’s? It’s a bit back from the other store fronts, and it seems like they always have a long line to the cash registers.

This weekend, my daughter and I were in line behind a couple of children. The two boys were probably 2 years old and 7 years old. One was in the cart; the other was climbing on the cart. They were African American, and the tall, striking woman just in front of them was also African American. But all the while these two boys were fussing, the tall woman had her back to them. I kept wondering why she wasn’t looking after her kids.

Turns out, they weren’t her kids. The mother of these kids had sent them to wait in line. She showed up a bit later. Then her sister and a very tall man jumped in line too. There are ways to let the line know someone’s saving your place. The way these folks shouldered into the line was extremely rude. My six year old thought they were cutting and said so. The café-latte-colored woman behind us was incensed.

Eventually she was loud enough in her complaint that the tall man turned around. He asked, “Who cut the line?” The woman behind us shouted, “You did!” And the fight was on.

Elk Grove Coop closing down

I was a bit surprised when I walked into the Sac Natural Foods Coop yesterday and the sign proclaimed: Elk Grove Coop closing. They’ll be closed by January 31. How’s that for a short lived adventure? Certainly it hasn’t been all over the news like the poor sad (ridiculously melodramatized) closing of Tower last month. Easy come, easy go, in this case. Oh yeah, 1240AM also reported on it last night–they’re going to “liquidate” stock per the radio report starting January 15th for you bargain hunters.

Meanwhile, there’s a January owner drive at the Sac store, and they’re giving away free stuff. Also, if you made a resolution to eat healthier this year…free class coming up…Monday January 8 from 630 to 730 PM at the Sacramento store, Dionisio Esperas will be giving you a “teaser” of how to cook International Vegetarian. Call to pre-register (916) 455-2667.

Cal Expo Costco Rant

I’m a regular customer of the aforesaid Costco. Usually we get good service, usually we go home happy. Not this weekend. Seems like most of the cashiers were short-tempered, and we got Mister Nasty-A*s himself, in person. Here are a few tips and comments for Mister NA:

  • Your line is either open or not. Don’t play verbal “Simon Says” games. We’re tired, we have a full cart.
  • Don’t ever, ever comment on how large the purchase being made is–>maybe we won the lottery, maybe we have more than one person in our household, not just one self-serving rude NA like you. Maybe our purchases contribute towards your job security. It seems you would want to encourage people to buy more. If you really wanted to keep your job.
  • I don’t care that you’re off in 30 minutes. Just get me through the cash register with a minimum of your NA remarks.
  • If we don’t laugh, we don’t find you funny. Sarcasm and nasty comments only go so far. Just ask Michael Richards about that one. And he’s a “professional”–you’re not.
  • (more…)

Where would Santa shop in Sacramento?

I’ve exhausted most of my go-to destinations for gifts (Arden Fair, Downtown Plaza,, and–running short on ideas–I’m hoping I can fill the voids on my list with treats from the Capital City. I thought I’d start with a little research online before venturing out and was overwhelmed at the number of local stores just in Midtown over at Can anyone recommend places to go from experience? I’m not shopping for clothing at this point, so that narrows the field a bit. Bonus points for places that sell locally made items over locally themed items (I’m more interested in something crafted by a Sacramentan rather than “California” shot glasses or Governator bobbleheads).

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Can anyone love Safeway?

I couldn’t wait to see what my fellow Sacramentans had to say in this year’s News & Review Best of Sacramento guide. While I nodded in agreement to most of the winners, “Best Grocery Store” really surprised me: Safeway at S and 19th streets. This year’s list theme was “Sacramento, I Love You!”, and I was surprised that a Safeway would come out on top–particularly from SN&R readers. It’s great not to have to leave the central core to go shopping, but there are options, people! Trader Joe’s is accessible by car (or bike) without even getting on the freeway, and if you’re really feeling adventurous there’s a Whole Foods out in the Arden area. Am I the only one who isn’t in love with the shiny horse Safeway?

Italian Market Heaven, Volume 1: Corti Brothers


As the sign says, Corti Brothers has been around since 1947, and as local, ethnic market goes, Corti Brothers is It, in my book. Well, now, I shouldn’t be too hasty. Thanks to a historically high number of Italian immigrants and Italian-Americans in Sacramento (mostly from Lucca, at least according to my anecdotal research), this town supports more than its fair share of Italian markets. Because I care, I hereby volunteer to visit all known Italian Markets and fawn over them accordingly for your reading enjoyment. And Corti Bros gets the first treatment because I was hungry before class this evening and that’s where I ended up.

You can do all your shopping at Corti Bros – it’s not like the place is solely a collection of large hanging hams and netted provolone. They have, like, oatmeal and Prego pasta sauce too. But what sets this apart from your average small town, resisting-the-super-sized-Safeway invasion holdout, is the outstanding collection of deli items, imported goods, and, perhaps most importantly, booze. I mean vino – am impressive array of domestic and imported bottles as well as a wall of harder-to-find liqueurs

In search of greater memory

Ever play SIMS2? It’s a fun game, and my personal goal is to create and populate my own town with folks who all “know” each other–no computer “strangers.” It’s kind of like a microcosmic Sacramento, but you get to pick your characters, and their “genetics” are passed down to their children. (So if you only wanted red-heads in your town, you can do that.) If you’ve played the game and all the expansion packs, you know it eats RAM on your PC like nobody’s business. My PC had a little performance problem with the game–the more people in my town, the slower it got. So, in order to keep Mom happy, the whole family went on a shopping excursion this weekend for more memory. (Too bad they don’t sell it for us humans…I’d like a couple Gigabytes with that Latte, please.)

If you build it, will they come?

You may know the guy by those irritating ads where the child is telling you to go buy a car from his dad’s dealership. I understand getting the kids involved, but come on. There’s gotta be a better way. And there probably is, and you can’t blame guy for trying to make it work. Now he’s got an idea for a Fresh Air mall at Florin and Franklin in South Sacramento.

Well, I read the Bee article about the new mall they’re working on over by Paul Blanco’s Chevrolet dealership with interest. (Why did they call it a mall, anyway?)

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