The nearest store is in a run down shopping center about five minutes from the house. Apparently, the shopping center owners have wanted to tear down the store so they could build something more prominent and visible from a busy street corner for years. But, when they bought the place, the old Acme had a lease, and they would not be swayed to break it. Over time, the owners have patiently waited out the lease. They have done no repairs or maintenance on the old building, and the parking lot has potholes the size of a Volkswagen. They remove only the bear minimum of snow, and the railings around the shopping cart return are rusting and bent.
However, the store itself seems to have a decent selection, and it is rarely crowded, even on Sunday. Also, it is super close. So I regularly navigate the gaping potholes and weave through the haphazard piles of snow to shop at the Acme. (Inevitably, Adam tells me to buy a pair of rocket roller skates while I am there.)
I have never had trouble finding even the most gourmet of ingredients at the Acme. But on Saturday, they were short on a few things:
Eerie, huh? Everything left was 50% off, and it was interesting to see the remains. In general, it was stuff you never think to buy at a grocery store. The crappy DVD's of movies like "Look Who's Talking Too" were marked for 50% off of $1.50, and still I had no interest. There were a ton of panty hose, about thirty cans of Raid, and Acme brand milk in a box. (Like juice boxes - unrefrigerated, and to me, potentially nauseating with flavors like vanilla and strawberry.) Beyond that there were bins of holiday junk, neatly separated into boxes labeled "Easter Stuff", "Halloween Stuff", and "Christmas Wreaths".
Next there were bags of sawdust used as bedding for your live-in rodent. Lots of them. (Bags - not rodents. Hopefully.)
The freezer section and the dairy section were still semi-stocked. I piled frozen manicotti and tortellini into my basket, but passed up the many varieties of Lean Pockets. I do like Lean Pockets, but they are not part of my current diet goals. Also, they would not fit into the basket because I had already loaded the pasta and several tubs of reduced price Ben and Jerry's pints. Ben and Jerry's claims Vanilla is their most popular flavor, but most of the poor, sad little pints remaining were Vanilla. There was also "Cinnamon Bun" and "Cherry Garcia" frozen yogurt that looked like it had been melted and re-frozen. (Tasted like it too.)
Throw in a couple gallons of $2 milk and nine Rubbermaid containers, and I spent $47 before I went to the store. For the record, the Ben and Jerry's Vanilla is pretty good, and I might buy Cinnamon Bun more often.
**Follow up advice: Always check the dates when gallons of milk are sold for 50% off of $2. I noted yesterday that my chocolate milk tasted "like they might have changed the recipe for Ovaltine". This morning, it was downright nasty and was marked "Sell By 02-01-11". I bought it on the 5th. This would probably explain the raging gas I experienced all night...