Went to Food Lion today…

And you know, no story that begins this way ends well.  (And let’s keep in mind that Food Lion has launched a new brand strategy.  Lower prices, better shopping experience,  and revamped produce are supposed to be a part of this. Well…)

Let me back up.  I skipped my grocery shopping on my usual Sunday because Deb was over, and I waited til today, when I really had no food left, to do it.  I’m not a poor person, it would be a lie to say I was.  But I’m a recent graduate who’s on a fairly tight budget.  I usually do my grocery shopping at Super Target, and I save the special stuff for Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.   I say “special stuff” to mean my vegetarian supplies.  I’ve been a vegetarian for like 5 or 6 years, after I went to Elon and was not at all impressed by the quality of the meat they served in the dining halls.  No shade, Elon was totally great otherwise, but I saw some questionable meat items come through those dining halls.  Anyhoo, I drink a lot of smoothies and eat some tofu-type things that require those special trips.  At any rate, I thought I’d head down to Food Lion to save a few bucks on groceries.  Part of my thing with being a grown-up is actually packing my lunch to save some money.  (Plus it makes lunchtime at work so exciting when you know you cooked something delish that all your coworkers can be jealous of.) I went, armed with a list, and a resolve to get all the stuff I needed for another of my famous crock pot creation of the week.

First mistake?  I didn’t know where the closest Food Lion was, so I GPSed it.  The GPS took me to an unsavory part of town.  No problem, I can blend!

Food Lion

I went straight for the dairy to find my favorite brand of Greek yogurt, Fage (with the total split cup girl!). No Fage. Okay.  My eager attitude is beginning to dwindle.  But my resolve would not be tarnished!

I headed over to the soup aisle to grab some things for my crockpot.  Some coconut gel stuff in particular.  Couldn’t find it, and asked a gentleman in a uniform where to find it.

Me: Excuse me, where could I find the coconut cream canned stuff?

Food Lion Guy: ::finishes his text conversation:: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Finally, I headed over to produce.  Saw some tumbleweeds blowing through, some floppy looking potatoes, and some sad-looking apples.  I poked down the snack aisle to see what the Oreo aisle is looking like, however?  And there were so many varieties of Oreo, one called a “mega-stuf”, that I was stunned that I’d never heard of!  But to find 5 non-rotting Russet Potatoes was a task?! Wth?!

Okay. ::deep breath:: Just because someone is poor, doesn’t mean they need to be relegated to stores that aren’t clean, with poor lighting, poor customer service, and with a wider variety of Pop-Tart and Oreo, than of apple.  The disparity between the poor and the wealthy as far as obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease is concerned is staggering.  And part of the issue is that it seems like folks with a lower socio-economic status aren’t afforded choices.  Check out the produce section of a Harris Teeter, a Whole Foods, or a Trader Joes. There are choices!  And the choices are between fresh, fresher, and maybe, once in a blue moon, a little too ripe.  My point is, folks like me, folks who want to save a few bucks, still deserve a choice when it comes to what we put in our mouths.  I don’t think I will be returning to that Food Lion, however, in the next few days, I will be drafting some constructive comments to the manager, and I hope that my obnoxious letter will even raise some awareness about the fact that people in my tax bracket deserve better as it pertains to our sustenance.

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5 thoughts on “Went to Food Lion today…

  1. I totally agree with your evaluation of Food Lion… that’s why I avoid shopping there whenever possible. Luckily we have a lot of options in Raleigh. I normally shop at Kroger because they seem to have a good balance of reasonable prices, variety, and decent produce/healthy items. I went to HT the other day and I felt so spoiled… they had so many wonderful things, I bought some apples too pretty and large to eat (almost), and the cashiers seemed so thrilled with life and eager to help make the experience the best it could be.

    Your posts are so interesting… love reading your insights. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoy the posts!

      You’re right, we do have some good choices in Raleigh, but some of these bargain places need to step up and place a priority on making shopping at their establishments a fun places to shop.

  2. You’ve just described my neighborhood Kroger. It really is a shame. During the early portion of my pregnancy I actually had to avoid this, the grocery store closest to my home, because the smell of the meat department (which is located in the very back of the store) literally made me gag as soon as I entered the store. My last straw with the produce department was the day I saw an employee using a shop vac to remove loose onion skins from the onion display bin. So. Gross. The worst part is that if I do wish to purchase the organic and better quality produce and other items they carry I end up paying more than I do at Whole Foods because in my “regular” Kroger these are “speciality” items. Luckily Nashville has an amazing farmer’s market that is open 363 days a year, so this helps with our produce budget, but in the winter season one can only do so much with root vegetables and collards.

    1. I need to take a visit down to our Farmer’s Market. I know we have one, and I’ve been down once or twice, but I’ve never buckled down and purchased all my produce there. You may be onto something – I should try to seriously see if I can find what I need for my next crock pot creation at the Farmer’s Market.

  3. So this is a description of the Wal Mart’s closest to me out in Cali. Granted there are many other amazing stores like Fresh and Easy and Smart & Final out here but some days I wanna run in to WM for a specialty item. Tell me why there’s a Wal Mart for clothes, dry foods, etc and a whole separate one for produce and regular groceries?? I tried buying a rotisserie chicken at the grocery one and the place didn’t even have a deli. Also couldn’t find basic herbs like fresh basil and thyme. I was beside myself and vowed never to return.

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