Grocery Wars: Again?


Opening Day of Ralph's Supermarket/ April 25, 1942/
Opening Day of Ralph's Supermarket/ April 25, 1942/

Photo from USC Digital Archives

The LA Times reports that major food chains like Ralphs and Vons are lowering prices in an effort to win back price conscious consumers.

Trader Joes is where I usually shop. With no coupons, they still have the lowest prices. Bread, eggs, yogurt, jams, cereals, produce: they all cost less at TJ’s.

Even with coupons, Ralphs is a rip-off. Who has not done their weekly shopping and walked away spending less than $75?  When I meander down the aisle, every item seems to cost no less than $4.99.  Notice how they round it up to almost $5?

Ralphs is also a very inconvenient store to shop in. They have TOO MANY CHOICES and many aisles filled with junk foods, pet foods, organic foods and rip-off, overpriced produce.

Gelsons is expensive but very courteous. Vons tries hard but is often dirty and poorly managed. Whole Foods is full of entitled bitchy shoppers. Ralphs is mediocre with mostly high priced goods and no service.  Fresh and Easy gives you low prices and no choice and zero personality.

The only thing Trader Joes needs to work on: their crazy, overcrowded, exasperating, slow, accident prone parking lots.

Mediocrity is Still Out of Reach.


Culver City, CA
Culver City, CA

Every day, the news reports indicate that home prices are falling. And here in Los Angeles, the price of a single family home has supposedly dropped 26.7%

So I wonder, as always, if it is finally possible to find a decent home in a decent neighborhood where your neighbors are not a pack of pit bulls, and the kids might be able to walk to school, and your wife (if you have one) might be able to walk around outside at night?

And then I find a three bedroom, two bathroom home in bland but increasingly hip Culver City, a town that has always reminded me of Burbank.  The residence looks in the advertisement like so many 1950’s starter houses, the ones that G.I.’s bought for $15,000 with $3,000 down and mortgage payments of $150 a month.

What might they be asking for this modest little nothing house? $1,050,000

Over a million dollars.