On Friday the 16th I grabbed my jacket because although it was sunny outside it was still pretty cold. I left my house at 12:45 and headed across town to the meeting location Bottom dollar. When I pulled into the shopping center I passed a police officer sitting in his cruser.I looked at the other stores in the area. Although there was a brand new Verizon wireless store in the front of the shopping center facing the highway most of the other stores were directed to low income cliental. There was a Family dollar and a thrift store located directly next to my destination Bottom dollar. A Rent a Center, Pawn shop, and Labor Finders also surrounded the parking lot. After pulling my car into its spot I got out and walked past two lifted trucks, one of them muddy and sporting a confederate flag license plate frame.
I walked through the sliding doors into the store and was greeted by old boxes which food was previously shipped in. This is because bottom dollar charges for bags and offers these boxes as an alternative to keep prices of merchandise down. After moving away from the boxes I went to my right and inspected the produce. This section was relatively small and offered pretty much the basics. Tomatoes, apples, lettuce grapes esc… the apples which I am usually inclined to eat looked like the skin was old and would be mushy if you bit into it. I inspected a quart of strawberries which the fruit inside was literally rotting. The prices of the produce was relatively the same as other stores I have shopped in.
After inspecting the produce I moved into the frozen food section. I looked at Frozen pizza and saw that the prices for a Tombstone and Digorono pizza was much cheaper than any store around the area. The Tombstone pizza was less than 4.00 dollars and the Digorono was only a dollar more. In the back of the store I inspected the meat. The prepackaged meat had some good deals. Bacon which I eat often was on sale for 2.00 from previous retail price of 4.00. there was an area reserved for a butcher although there wasn’t one working there was meat on display that had been previously cut by someone in this profession. The meat that was cut on sight and was on display some of it looked good while others had stickers marking down old meat for fast sale. Some meat had multiple mark down stickers and you could see where the meat was turning. There was not a fresh seafood section available in this area.
On my way to the dairy section I passed a few shoppers who were older and overweight. The items in there cart were mostly canned goods and packaged snacks. I stopped a couple and asked them a few questions. The couple told me they shopped at bottom dollar once a week and if they didn’t shop at bottom dollar than they shopped at food lion. They told me they lived 6 miles away and that they came to bottom dollar and bought items that were on sale.
In the dairy section I noticed that many items were on sale and that they advertised with colorful signs which items were acceptable WIC and EBT eligible. The cheeses and basics were more affordable than other stores. Next to the dairy an advertisement brought attention to cases of cheep beer like natural light and had fried pork skins resting on top of the beer.
There was no bakery in the store but bread was available near the register. It was here that I interviewed a bottom dollar employee. The employee told me that he had been working here for 3 years and that he didn’t like it. He said the job was easy and he liked the people he worked with but that the pay was bad. He said the store only really got busy at the beginning of the month because most of the consumers paid for there groceries with EBT.
I live down the street from this location and do shop here on occasion when I want to pick up cheap beer or wine. Sometimes I do pick up basic things such as bread, eggs and other items. But only a few things never too much that I would need bags to get my groceries back to the house.
The most unusual thing that happened while I was there was the police officer that seemed like he was staking out the area in plain sight never left the whole hour I was there. Also I knew the girl who was working the register. We both graduated from a local high school in 2005