Before the announcement that Fresh & Easy will be liquidated, I was contemplating whether to start trekking out to Lazy Acres or subsist on the local Ralphs/Vons/etc. chain stores.
Mind you, I can afford quality ingredients. I hate those huge chain stores. I am a lazy bitch. But F & E lost much of its mojo after Tesco sold the chain to Wild Oats, and the recent and absolute demise of F & E was not surprising. I loved the small format, limited (but quality) selection, plethora of wholesome nuke/bake & serve options (see: lazy bitch) and absolute convenience – and I wish more people had equally loved it back in the Tesco days. Alas and alack.
Enter Amazon Fresh. It was worth the $200/yr upgrade from Amazon Prime, because I can bargain shop from the comfort of my own cubicle, buy non/semi-perishables in bulk and perishables in manageable amounts – and have it arrive on my doorstep in time for dinner. This is key for me, because I’m parenting solo (RIP, Mr. Shrew!) and I would
fucking kill provide face-to-face introductions to Mr. Shrew, if I had to run the Megachain gauntlet with the spawn in tow on a regular basis.
BTDT, without a car and with 1/10th the food budget, many years ago. I could do it if I had to; I took The Food Stamp Challenge (Insane Mode) before it was cool. I’ll pass, thanks.
Plus, it kicked me out of an 18-month rut; today is Day 30 of (mostly) cooking from scratch at home, rather than relying on nuke/bake & serve. A future post will deal with chicken wings and legs, which I have become adept at baking. I don’t eat them, but the picky spawn strip them bare of all but the bones and the cluck, so I reckon it’s worth a post.
Anyway, yay for AF. I can get quality ingredients for a reasonable price in a timely fashion and limited physical effort. The annual fee literally paid for itself in 1 month (fuck you, Wild Oats). Shelling out $200/yr up front for a $50 minimum/$0 charge per delivery is cheaper than a weekly Vons delivery @ $6.95 for the same spend. . .or $3.95 if I try hard to spend $150+ every time, pick a 4-hour window to be chained to the house – and only if I order by 8:30 am for same-day delivery. Yep – fuck Vons, too.
Which brings us back to that whole “quality” bit. I don’t mind paying more for local/organic ingredients. When it’s local/organic, excellent quality and close in price to the Megachains? Fuck yeah, count me in. And that’s Marconda’s Meats. Having a local butcher deliver meat to my door via AF >>> buying some sketchy meat from a Megachain. I will gladly pay the difference – 10% on *freshly* ground beef (as opposed to stuff that starts turning brown the day after I buy it), 3% on chicken breast (organic, free-range vs not organic, cage-raised at the Megachain). . .yeah, I have zero problems with that.
(FYI: I don’t get paid for endorsements, never will – fuck that shit, I call ’em as I see ’em.)