Friday, March 23, 2007

Shopping with GrannyJ

Some shopping excursions are hell; others are hoo-rah! Today was one of the good days. Because of the rainy weather, walking was out; why not take a cab all the way to the K-Mart mall. For starters, my driver, she of the very blonde hair, turned out to be a cop retired from the Philly police force. Interesting lady.
What should greet me at K-Mart but extreme temptation. Worried about carrying all that bulk around, I resisted. But, oh....

First stop, the Amazing 99 Cent Store. It's unlike the newer dollar stores, which are just one more dull, niche market for the big food/houshold products companies. For a number of years, my Sson has stocked up on exotics here, especially sauces and similar items.

Here are the marinades I bought -- 3 bottles for 99 cents total! The store has long specialized in fancy food close-outs in addition to the usual tacky geegaws and everyday items.

Oops. What have we here? Protesters, perhaps? Big signs and the right kind of costuming -- ironic patriotism and goth.

But no. Tax service promotion. There'll always be an adman! Next stop, the real reason I came -- a new recycled printer cartridge store. A franchise out of Oz yet. And I did indeed save money over the name brand ink. About half price or less.

Another addition to the K-Mart center line-up: Jay's Bird Barn. Believe it or not, there are two shops in town for the bird watcher. Of course, Jay writes a weekly column for the Courier which I always make a point of reading.

And guess what -- I discovered at least one source of those fancy decorated mailboxes. Apparently the covers are attached magnetically. Jays is also a good source for birding field manuals (below) and, yes, topical Tshirts.

While on the subject of books, I poked my nose into Anchor. In addition to shelf upon shelf of pop paperbacks, there was one book I almost bought. A big picture album of photographs by Elliot Porter.

Final stop: our lifestyle Safeway. The supermarket chain's answer to WalMart's invasion of their food turf. In reality, it's up-market because the lights are a lot dimmer (saves on the electric bill, too) ... spotlights shine on a few gondolas of food imports ... more wines are stocked ... and there's a Starbucks. I happen to like the place because its deli is far better than average, though that happened long before the life-styling kick.

But what caught my eye on this supermarket visit was the dispenser above and the accompanying fact that frozen CO2 has been, Lord help us, Branded. I suppose we have a legion of young folk out there who are ignorant of all the fun you can have with dry ice or of its many uses. Live and learn.

My final score: two splendid horsie picture books @ $2 each for the granddaughter, plus a remaindered Larry Niven Ringworld book that I hope I haven't read. Oh, yes. More good news: zante currants have resurfaced in the dried fruit department. They beat regular raisins all hollow.


Lucy said...

Your shopping trips are simply the best! I want to come!
(And I want a pair of those fleecy socks too...)

Hermano said...

My vintage '98 Epson 300 printer needed a new cartridge and the neighbourhood recycle cartridge place was my sole source.


Avus said...

Enjoyed our shopping trip together GJ - but you would have had to leave me in the book shop and picked me up later - then on to Starbucks for a tall latte and muffin, I think!

Anonymous said...

Promoting tax preparation, that's new. To me anyway. Filed mine yesterday.

Granny J said...

The K-Mart mall had been pretty dull for several years but yesterday it turned out to be rather fun, Lucy.

Bro. -- One of these days you'll have to enter the modern age...

And I'm afraid Mr. Avus would be disappointed in the bookstore -- the good books I got at the Safeway supermarket, which has a running charity table full of books.

As for using a tax prep service, Steve, I've always pondered the value of that. To me, the really hard work is pulling the bills & receipts together and determining what category of expense they belong in. Doing the forms is easy -- you just follow the directions.

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