Canada Kicks Ass
The 'buying local' conundrum.

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bootlegga @ Wed May 05, 2021 8:10 am

Thanos Thanos:
Given what we know of wage stagnation now it's more like people have no choice but to go to Walmart in order to stretch their dollars as far as they can. I know I'd prefer to only do groceries at Calgary CoOp but when I save $20 per trip at Walmart for the same items then I have to do what's best for us & not for the local provider.


I agree that that's definitely a big part of it, but there are a lot of cheap assholes (especially here in Alberta) who simply don't give a shit about low income people, because they are lazy, stupid, didn't work hard enough, or some other BS reason.

They treat retail workers like slaves, howl if anyone dares to raise minimum wage, and don't give a damn if an entire generation of kids are graduating from university/college/technical schools with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Yet all of those things impact our economy almost as much as wage stagnation.

Even when I earned minimum wage, I preferred shopping at Safeway or Save-On over Superstore because I liked the better service. Now that I can afford to spend a bit more, I shop mostly at Costco, which treats its employees properly, instead of as a resource to be exploited. I also buy local whenever I find a brand that I like. If it's a bit expensive, it just means I buy it less often than I would the cheaper stuff at Wal-Mart.

Having said all that, as I said to Patriot, all you can do is all you can do.

   



Zipperfish @ Wed May 05, 2021 9:40 am

It's a trend. Everybody bemoaned the loss of Sears, but when Sears came on the scene, it wiped out a lot of mom and pops. Like the "supermarkets" of the 50s wiped out markets. It's not something you can stop. Everyone thought it had reached its apex with Walmart, but then came Amazon. Bigger, cheaper, faster, more efficiently. And always less competition. Question is, what comes after Amazon? Probably we'll be looking back at Amazon in 20 years as the paleo entry into digital shopping. Wait till AI really hits its stride!

   



Tricks @ Wed May 05, 2021 10:03 am

Costco seems to combat this. Has the walmart style buy everything in one place but isn't (normally) filled with cheap garbage.

   



herbie @ Wed May 05, 2021 10:16 am

It's not the cheap Chinese garbage that attracts WalMart customers, it's the brand name merchandise and the same produce for less.
Watermelons for $1 less than Costco, $5 less than SaveOn. Pop for a lower price every damn day than Costco or even SaveOn sales events.
The employee wages aren't that much worse than other stores, but "seniority" means shit.
But in order to deliver those low prices, the treatment of suppliers is fucking predatory. Much stuff is there only because the supplier needs the promotional value of WalMart carrying their brand.

   



bootlegga @ Wed May 05, 2021 12:26 pm

herbie herbie:
It's not the cheap Chinese garbage that attracts WalMart customers, it's the brand name merchandise and the same produce for less.
Watermelons for $1 less than Costco, $5 less than SaveOn. Pop for a lower price every damn day than Costco or even SaveOn sales events.
The employee wages aren't that much worse than other stores, but "seniority" means shit.
But in order to deliver those low prices, the treatment of suppliers is fucking predatory. Much stuff is there only because the supplier needs the promotional value of WalMart carrying their brand.


Interesting, pop at Wal-Mart in Edmonton is the same price as pretty much every other grocery store here. In my experience, it's cheapest at Shopper's because they use it as a loss leader on the weekend. Some of Wal-mart's produce is cheap, but it's usually lower quality than Costco. Sure a pineapple or watermelon is $1 cheaper, but the one at Costco is 25% larger and sweeter than the barely ripe one at Wal-Mart. Same goes for their strawberries, raspberries, grapes, etc.

IMHO, the only problem with Costco is their limited selection. Most items only have one brand (or one brand plus Costco's Kirkland brand) or one flavour, which means a lot of the time, I have to hit Sobey's or Safeway if I want a different brand or flavour. However, that means that I find unique little brands (often local or Canadian) I wouldn't otherwise that I get to try.

   



raydan @ Wed May 05, 2021 1:18 pm

I never buy pop... I'm going to drink a local brew (right now) that I bought at a local d├ępanneur.

   



DrCaleb @ Wed May 05, 2021 2:41 pm

bootlegga bootlegga:
We went to a couple U-pick farms last year as family outings and it was a lot of fun. We got to support the local economy, get a bunch of exercise, and try out things we never had before.


Recommendations? I usually just go to the Farmers Market, even though I know they often don't have local produce. I don't mind the extra costs to know that they will be there when there are.

   



bootlegga @ Wed May 05, 2021 3:22 pm

The best one we went to was Happy Acres U-Pick near Spruce Grove. They had a huge variety of produce to pick from - potatoes, lettuce, herbs, rhubarb, berries, etc. They also make their own ice cream nd sell pastries and muffins if you're hungry.

http://www.happyacresupick.ca/u-pick/

Horse Hills Berry Farm had a bunch of different varieties of raspberries, which I love, but that's all.

http://www.horsehillberryfarm.ca/

We wanted to try a few other ones, but with COVID-19 last year, some were closed or had restrictions (like no kids), so we couldn't.

Most U-pick farms don't open until July and then they get picked really fast, so make sure to go first thing in the morning (it's also cooler than the afternoon). Expect to do a fair bit of walking and carrying heavy stuff.

If the weather is nice, it's good exercise, but can get a bit pricey.

   



DrCaleb @ Wed May 05, 2021 5:04 pm

R=UP

Thanks!

   



herbie @ Wed May 05, 2021 5:24 pm

Nice to live where farmers can grow something other than hay.... :cry:
Here we can pick huckleberries, saskatoons and blueberries out in the bush, grow traditional staples like potatoes and carrots, not much else.
Farmer's Markets are more stinky candles, shiny things women look at and whatever you can make out of wood scraps...... sometimes I do buy the local honey.
The 78 year old next door did grow a couple fantastic pot plants on his porch though.

   



bootlegga @ Thu May 06, 2021 8:28 am

DrCaleb DrCaleb:
R=UP

Thanks!


Anytime, U=picks were one of the few fun activities we could do last year during the pandemic. I hope to go more often this year, both for the exercise and the fresh produce.



herbie herbie:
Nice to live where farmers can grow something other than hay.... :cry:
Here we can pick huckleberries, saskatoons and blueberries out in the bush, grow traditional staples like potatoes and carrots, not much else.
Farmer's Markets are more stinky candles, shiny things women look at and whatever you can make out of wood scraps...... sometimes I do buy the local honey.
The 78 year old next door did grow a couple fantastic pot plants on his porch though.


The U-picks here grow about the same, I think we're both in the same hardiness zone for agriculture:

http://planthardiness.gc.ca/images/PHZ_ ... ap_30M.pdf

However, we might have a slightly better growing season though because we're out on the prairies and not surrounded by mountains like you are, so it doesn't cool down as much at night and there are a few more hours of sunlight.

Maybe if you lived closer to Prince George you'd find better produce, they are zone 5. Better yet, move to Vernon (or somewhere in the Okanagan) and you'd get apples, peaches, pears and all sorts of great fruit and veggies.

   



DrCaleb @ Thu May 06, 2021 8:37 am

bootlegga bootlegga:
Maybe if you lived closer to Prince George you'd find better produce, they are zone 5.


Look to those zones to change soon.

science-f47/omnibus-climate-change-thread-t125175.html#p2386934

I can grow Eggplant and Hot Peppers, which I shouldn't be able to do. ;)

   



Zipperfish @ Thu May 06, 2021 8:48 am

Tricks Tricks:
Costco seems to combat this. Has the walmart style buy everything in one place but isn't (normally) filled with cheap garbage.


yes, agreed

   



herbie @ Thu May 06, 2021 10:59 am

Come share the Costco apple turnovers as tough as leather belts. They're going outside to be crow food shortly. The WalMart tractor tire donuts are already eaten.
Though sometimes it's the other way round. You can't blanket generalize.
Except for Jarlsberg cheese. It's always half as much for a dollar more at SaveOn.
Just got my first pair of prescription glasses at Costco. The wife said they were $50 cheaper than WalMart glasses, plus we got $35 instant discount and 4% back on the Executive card and credit card. Also grabbed 2 64GB Sandisk USB 3 sticks for less than the price of one at Staples or BestBuy.

I'll also add Timmie's to my predatory and then turn to shit list. Might sound unCanadian, but the few donuts they still have are as nasty as their coffee.

   



bootlegga @ Thu May 06, 2021 12:04 pm

herbie herbie:
Come share the Costco apple turnovers as tough as leather belts. They're going outside to be crow food shortly. The WalMart tractor tire donuts are already eaten.
Though sometimes it's the other way round. You can't blanket generalize.
Except for Jarlsberg cheese. It's always half as much for a dollar more at SaveOn.
Just got my first pair of prescription glasses at Costco. The wife said they were $50 cheaper than WalMart glasses, plus we got $35 instant discount and 4% back on the Executive card and credit card. Also grabbed 2 64GB Sandisk USB 3 sticks for less than the price of one at Staples or BestBuy.

I'll also add Timmie's to my predatory and then turn to shit list. Might sound unCanadian, but the few donuts they still have are as nasty as their coffee.


Timmy's has sucked every since they stopped making their doughnuts fresh every day on site. If I crave doughtnuts now, I go to a bakery and buy some. There is a vegan doughnut shop in Devon that is better than Timmy's ever was...and it's great in spite of being vegan. Fortunately it's far enough away that I only get out there once or twice a year.

If you go to Costco's bakery section, you can buy a case of them frozen then bake as many as you want. The cases are pretty big, but if you have friends over for brunch or need something for a bake sale or something, they are great. If not, you can always share a case with a friend or family member.

They also sell frozen cookie dough and croissants. The croissants in particular are incredible and we buy a case every year and portion them into freezer bags.

Toss some on a tray and put them in your oven before you go to bed, then wake up, pull them out and preheat the oven to 375, then bake for 15 minutes. An idiot-proof breakfast that is also amazing fresh out of the oven! [drool]

   



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