Thursday, April 9, 2009


Let's talk about comparative shopping.

I am one of those baby boomer holdouts when it comes to canned food. I eat canned tuna, I eat canned salmon, I will even eat peas, stringbeans and asparagus from cans. Maybe not as nutritious as the real thing straight from the ground, but certainly better than popcorn for dinner and you don't have to wash it.

My monetary situation is now so grave it is hard to look at 2.09 for certain canned foods packed by Green Giant or Del Monte, so I have taken to searching the store for alternatives. Enter: Goya Foods! My friends and I always avoided the Spanish food sections of the supermarket, racist prigs that we were (and I emphasize "were"). There was always some unconscious view that those foods were for the people in the "projects" on either side of our fancy shmancy red brick neighborhood, or for the few Domina-Ricans who still managed an apartment in Manhattan. We'd turn our noses up for the opportunity to pay MORE.

Well, GUESS WHAT -- Goya sells fabulous cut beets in a can for 1.19. ONE DOLLAR AND 19 CENTS as opposed to spending almost a dollar more for Del Monte's fancier can (is it really fancier? maybe I am just reacting to the familiar logo). And they have an enormous variety of canned beans, from butter beans to pintos, limas to garbanzos, all at around 1.19 or so per can. Hey, Progresso: you aren't even that cheap ON SALE! They also sell boxes full of cookable rice and beans (the perfect protein, so they say) in many variations. I am getting addicted to the random bowl of red beans and rice - and a box is good for several meals at a mere 2.39. I don't even think Hamburger Helper is that cheap.

So let's think of this recession as a time when we are called upon to broaden our horizons. I now walk to work one way in order to burn off the extra rice - and it's working. Do not worry about Goya -- seems my nephew went to boarding school in New Jersey with the heir to the fortune, so the company certainly doesn't need us as much as we need them right now.

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