I do not know what I would do without the internet! When we moved here fifteen years ago we had several grocery store options: Albertson’s, Handy Andy, and the Texas chain "H-E-B" (named after the initials of the founder). When we first arrived, I shopped at our Albertson’s grocery store. It was clean, large, well-stocked, with nice wide isles so that two shopping carts could easily navigate without having to "park" behind store kiosk-type displays that littered the isles… In short, it was an ideal store.
About five years after we moved here, I did a couple comparison shopping expeditions and found that my local "H-E-B" store actually had better prices on some of my often-purchased items… The prices were only about a dime to a quarter cheaper than the Albertson’s prices, but I knew that the coins would start adding up. So I changed my allegiance to H-E-B.
Boy am I ever sorry I did that! I wasn’t upset when I saw that all of the Handy Andy’s were closing up their stores in San Antonio since I didn’t live close enough to one of them to make it my regular shopping store. But, little did I know that Albertson’s would soon follow suit… pack up their stores, and leave us with an H-E-B monopoly.
It seemed to me that as Albertson’s started liquidating all of their inventory, I noticed a surprisingly immediate hike in some of the very same items I had "comparison shopped"… YIKES!!! And, since H-E-B no longer had competition in town, they were able to do away with name brand items that they had once carried… and replace them with their own brandS. (Yes, they actually have more than one store brand… so that we, the shoppers, can feel like we actually have a choice!)
The reason I started this blog was not to rant and rave (which it seems like I have done) but to say that I am glad I have access to the internet… so that I can still buy special items that I can no longer find in town. For a few years I was able to pick up items at the Albertson’s up in Austin (after visiting my college-attending children)… But guess what! Let’s just say that there are probably people in Austin who now have to use the internet to find some of the very same items that H-E-B once carried… but no longer has to carry.