Once again I find myself writing about food, although given the amount of fun I regularly have at the grocery store, I'm surprised I didn't mention this earlier. If you can get past the fact that masses of people will be there day or night, there are several factors that make grocery shopping enjoyable.
- Samples. Everywhere, everyday. From what I remember, aside from Trader Joe's, it's hard to find a grocery store that gives samples on weekdays. Here, samples are woven into the daily experience. And they're abundant.
- Discounts. Shopping late has huge advantages, namely: bread and fish get marked down considerably. Tonight I bought a loaf of bread and got a second loaf free. I also got five pieces of sushi marked nearly half off.
- Costumes. Like the girls I featured in an earlier post who were wearing pink and white cheerleader outfits, there are often young women promoting products in apparel reminiscent of Judy Jetson. I'd love to get one of these ensembles as they're super cute. Korean Thanksgiving ("Chuseok") is this weekend, and I've seen several women throughout the various stores I've visited who are donning traditional, old-world attire. They happen to be promoting host gifts for visitors to bring when traveling during Chuseok. I need to do a separate entry on these gift sets as they're quite unique, but some of the more noteworthy ones include: Dove soap and body wash; Crest toothpaste and mouth care; SPAM -multiple cans within a gift box. These descriptions don't do them justice; I really need to take photos tomorrow before the holiday is over.
- Freebies. There are two kinds: the ones you get when you purchase an item and those you get for just passing by. I honestly think the main reason I bought a box of Special K was that it came with a pink and white bowl (see photo below). I haven't purchased this cereal in years, and yet it suddenly struck me as irresistible. The truly free freebies are really cool. The other day I was looking for body wash, and this salesgirl handed me a bottle of Neutrogena face wash. She didn't even mind that I wasn't looking at Neutrogena products (rare, since I do own many of them). I have several other examples, but you get the idea.