OK, here comes another not-mystery book rant! (I don’t even want to know how often these rants are appearing… but I’m pretty sure it’s more and more often!)
Here in San Antonio, we pretty much have a grocery store monopoly. When we first arrived in Texas fifteen years ago, there were several competing grocery stores. H.E.B. managed to strong-arm the other grocery stores by always undercutting their prices by a few pennies. I was guilty of comparison shopping – so my husband now blames me for H.E.B.’s current monopoly status.
It seemed like the day the last grocery store “hold-out” left town (I miss you so much, Albertson’s!!!) H.E.B. hiked all of their prices and started placing name brand items on the very bottom shelves, while they featured all of their store items in the choice shelves. Since they have several different store labels, that’s a lot of H.E.B. prime space devoted to their H.E.B., Hill Country, Central Market, (just to name a few of their labels) ETC hierarchy of “generic” brands at not-so-generic prices!
All of this has annoyed me – but not to the point of grocery shopping at department stores like Target and Walmart. (I enjoy these stores… but don’t think of them as grocery stores, and their selection in groceries is rather limited…)
Recently, however, I am more than just a little annoyed at my H.E.B. monopoly. My H.E.B. has gone green! And, in doing this, they have told their baggers to jam-pack as much as they can into the free bags, while pushing their cloth bags, which of course are NOT free. And they do this with a smile on their faces, touting saving the planet and minimizing our carbon footprint, ETC.
I recycle (almost) all of the cardboard boxes, plastic, cans, glass, and paper that comes into our house. I am, what some might call, obsessive about recycling. So, I appreciate the steps that H.E.B. is taking to try to get people to use the re-usable cloth bags. HOWEVER!!!!! I think that my grocery store taking the high road for environmental purposes would make more sense if they offered these reusable bags FREE of charge. (We even use the reusable Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles rather than the plastic water bottles you buy at the grocery store!)
That’s right… If they are going green, then great! But don’t tell your baggers to jam-pack my free, non reusable bags, while charging me to buy your environmental, save-the-planet bags. Give me the “green” bags, and I’ll use them. And, as for my grocery store deciding what is re-usable and what is not: I recycle the bags that are free. (I told you I’m obsessive about recycling!) I’m very concerned about the environment, and certainly don’t need to be guided by my grocery store… especially when they benefit financially by their “subtle” guidance!
You may wonder what I mean when I say “subtle” guidance >>> It seems that my H.E.B. baggers have now been instructed to follow the “jam-all-you-can-into-the-free-bag” approach >>> This of course has caused the flimsy plastic bags to rip, which means that I have had to clean a jar of jelly off of my garage floor this past month, not to mention having to take things out of the jammed-to-the-top bags, so that they don’t tear before placing them in my car.
Thanks H.E.B. for caring!