rivkasmom: (Angrycat)
[personal profile] rivkasmom
I am so, SO annoyed with Albertson's grocery store.  Beyond pissed, actually.

They stopped putting their day old bread on sale.  They are the ONLY kosher bakery in the whole state, and I depended on the sale bread to cover my grocery budget.  I can't afford five dollars for a loaf of bread, but 99 cents is doable.  I would stock up on everything they had on sale, and throw it in the freezer for days when I was too exhausted to make my own bread.  It's been a life saver for me.  I went a bit ballistic at the employees.

The woman in the bakery department told me that "We're giving it away to the needy."  I stared at her and said "I AM THE NEEDY!"  and gave her a nice long rant about the economy and the state of my finances.  She said "It's a corporate decision.  You can complain, but it won't change anything."

Then I found the general manager, and gave him the brunt of my wrath.  He said "It's for charity, it's a good thing!"  I told him "How many Orthodox Jews are homeless right now?  There are dozens of major bakeries who give truckloads of goods to charity, they don't care if it's kosher.  This is the ONLY kosher bakery, and you're taking that away from us?  Many of us go out of our way to support this store, and we depend on the sales to help make ends meet.  Because I can't get affordable bread, now I have to look at my list and see what I have to put back on the shelves.  This is BAD BUSINESS for you.  I can get kosher food delivered to my door step, and for much cheaper.  There are fewer and fewer reasons for me to drive halfway across town to shop here at all.  You are losing a customer, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way."  He just handed me a complaint slip and shrugged.  Corporate decision, ya know.  What can you do?

To make matters worse, there is only one brand of cake mix that is dairy free, and my daughter is allergic to diary.  They used to carry a dozen different flavors of this brand, and now they only carry two.  All of the dairy mixes are much less expensive. I was happy to buy the more expensive ones, and now I can't even do that!

Their kosher section gets smaller every time I go, and I couldn't even get myself a candy bar because it was $4.99 and out of my budget.  At that price, it would taste like eating ashes.  Don't even get me started on 8.99 for a tiny jar of almond butter! 

I was so angry that when I came home I ranted to Aryeh about it for quite a while, and then made 4 loaves of my own damn bread (which came out awesome. I should knead in anger more often.)  

I will never, EVER go back to Albertson's again, until they start realizing that Jewish people go out of their way to shop there, and that we have financial needs too.

In the meantime, AffordableKosher.com and NWKosher.com do door to door deliveries, as does Amazon and Safeway.  SPUD is a great place to get organic produce (spendy) but OMG their food is gorgeous!  You can also get dairy free soy yogurt there which is awesome.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dream-king.livejournal.com
Safeway carries frozen bread dough.

All you have to do is thaw, let rise, bake and you have fresh bread instead.

1 bag had 8 frozen breads in it and it costs about $6.

And it is with a hechsher.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bork.livejournal.com
This sounds like a fantastic option. How does the bread actually taste? I may also be interested in this.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Thanks, I may have to look into that as my new backup plan, for when my Fibro is too bad for me to do any baking. I never know when it's going to hit me, and I can barely get out of bed. I need to have easy ways to fix meals when I'm not up to cooking from scratch.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellie-kay.livejournal.com
Albertsons, wow. My first job! I was a bagger, and then a cashier, before I moved on to bigger and better things.

In any case, I'm sorry you have to go through this. Since moving to IL I haven't had to deal with Albie's, but I heard a few of them (including the one I had worked at) back down in FL have gone out of business. They better be careful or there will be a lot more of them, apparently!

It sucks when they don't listen to loyal customers. I always remember our store being so local-friendly, everyone knew the manager and when there was a complaint, he or the regional manager would do anything they could to remedy it. But that was back in 1999-2000....wow, how times change in such a short amount of time! :-(

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Yeah, I didn't even try so much to convince them based on humanitarian or religious grounds, but to tell them how bad it was for their business, and how it would affect where I choose to spend my money. I know they don't care about the people, just the bottom line.

That's cool, I support capitalism, just not stupid corporate mandates!

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juliet-winters.livejournal.com
Don't know kosher rules, but would a bread machine help with the tiring kneading? You can usually pick them up dirt cheap at a thrift shop. When cooking a double recipe for church, I use twice the amounts called for and the dough setting. Then let it do first rise in a low oven.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
I have a bread machine out in the garage, I think I'm going to be putting it to a lot more use now.

Do you use your bread for communion, or for potlucks? I always found it amusing that most non Catholic churches use matzoh for communion.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marzipan-pig.livejournal.com
Well but it is - the Last Supper (what communion is based on) was a seder, that's why Jesus and his disciples were hanging out at a table eating bread and wine for him to bless and turn into his body and blood.

We used some kind of special wafers that were probably the same as Catholic wafers - I know when I went to someone else's church we had 'crackers' (probably matzoh) and grape juice and my mom freaked out that I had 'communion' before being confirmed. My dad pointed out that it wasn't really 'communion' b/c it wasn't our church :)

Sorry about Albertson's, suck. Does Jewish Family Services distribute any kind of foods?

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
JFS runs an awesome kosher food bank, but it's a royal pain to get there without a car, not to mention trying to get home on the bus with all of your groceries. Canned goods weigh a ton!

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 09:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juliet-winters.livejournal.com
I do a lot of roll baking for potlucks, yes, but I have also been known to bake Communion bread for a contemporary service.

In our church, we do communion weekly. That is not the case for all Protestant churches. Some do it monthly. Some do it quarterly.

Again, in our case depending on the service you go to we either use an unleavened wafer (traditional/formal when the tray is passed)or torn (broken) leavened bread (contemporary...when everyone comes to the front of the church in a line to share one loaf). The unleavened is considered more traditional because it does nod to Seder.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zachkessin.livejournal.com
*HUG*, because it sounds like you need one. And baking break is a great way to work out anger.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Thanks. I made 5 loaves of mezonos bread last night so that we could have snacks, because obviously I won't be buying overpriced pastries anymore. I could live without it, but my husband is a nosher. ;-)

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrn613.livejournal.com
which brand of cake mix, duncan hines? the brand was sold a few years ago so now it is not part of a big company anymore and they have fewer flavors. but I'm sure you can find that on-line and buy by the case. personally I like their brownies but find it easier and more tasty to make cake from scratch but the brownies are cheaper than homemade if you buy the boxes.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
I generally love cooking from scratch, but when I have a Fibro or Chronic Fatigue flare, I need my backups, you know? My family expects Shabbos dinners, no matter how crummy I feel. It's nice to be able to just pull some rolls out of the freezer and whip up a quick cake.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] horizonchaser.livejournal.com
Ugh. Complain, because kindly as it seems to donate the bread, there's a lot of working poor that need the break. (oo. Pun.)

We don't have Albertson's out here anymore, we've got Stater Brothers and Cardenas, and they know we're poor. :D

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itslily.livejournal.com
Maybe not as the only place you shop, but do you have a local Grocery Outlet there? My mom lives in Washington State and goes there very often. She always finds awesome, affordable kosher stuff and sends it to me! I thought of it more because you mentioned the almond butter thing -- that's the type of stuff she gets for cheap, and kosher! In my experience in Cali, they do sell bread, too, but I can't vouch for the kashrut.

The cake mix thing is strange, if you mean duncan hines. My (future) mother in law can only find marble cake and yellow cake pareve near here, but I have like ten thousand varieties. DH is also the cheapest here, and often goes on sale for under a buck.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
DH is expensive here compared to the OU-D brands, and we keep CY anyway. They never put it on sale because they know it's the only parve cake mix on the market.

Bastages.

(It could be worse, in England DH mixes are $6 a box!)

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] itslily.livejournal.com
That's really lame! They put it on sale here BECAUSE it's the only pareve brand!! They know a lot of Jews shop at shoprite and similar stores, so they always put it on sale. Then again, we have an amazing kosher section and they really take care of us kosher keepers out here... Ugh. I'm sorry it's such a pain for you. I hope you find a solution!

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
So sorry to hear that. I hope other customers complain as well. You never know, they might reverse the decision.

In the meantime, I hope you are able to find other options.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yeishlitikvah.livejournal.com
OMG that sucks. I would bitch and bitch and bitch.

I don't know if this website is still as influential as it used to be. www.planetfeedback.com but it doesn't hurt to post and rant.

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ford-prefect42.livejournal.com
This goes back to the constant barrage of "for profit=bad, charity=good" that we are bombarded with. how much more helpful would it be for them to sell their day-olds reasonably to the few that have a specific need for them rather than give them away free to those that would be fine with wonder bread?

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juliet-winters.livejournal.com
I'd wager it's because by giving it away free they get a better tax write off.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hannahsarah.livejournal.com
Yep, that's what I think, too.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)

Date: Jun. 29th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arosoff.livejournal.com
Albertsons got bought out a couple of years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if new management were making changes.

Date: Jun. 30th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brendala.livejournal.com
That really sucks. A lot of these outlets don't understand that there are many people out there who are struggling financially but aren't poor enough (or are too proud) to go to food banks and shelters for food. Nor do they realize how hard it is for people with unique dietary needs to get affordable food.

Albertsons have virtually disappeared from California (I don't know if we even have any left). I hear they were bought out; so that's probably why there are a bunch of stupid corporate changes being made.

Date: Jul. 1st, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gishmak.livejournal.com
email them a complaint! at least they should send you some coupons???

Date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mauser.livejournal.com
I gave up on Albertsons when they got one of those Loyalty Card systems (Like Safeway and Haggen (the three closest supermarkets to me in Lake Stevens)) and their prices went WAY up so they could reduce them by about half the increase to prove that you were "saving" with their card.

I bake my own bread (Although I haven't in a while). It's much more economical. I'd bake and freeze even more if I had a decent chest freezer.

A Kitchen-Aid with a dough hook will do an excellent job of kneading for you.

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