First, the car. It's really really broken and needs major major work. We are waiting for a complete estimate and then will decide if the work will get done or not. My car is one of those cheap throwaway cars that when it starts falling apart means that it will keep falling apart until all that is left is a trail of auto parts strewn across the road. Do we pay $2000.00 to fix a car that isn't even worth $2000.00 or take that money and put it on a new car? If we fix the old car, do we have any confidence at all that something else won't break down next week? It was probably good that the weather kept us from traveling on Christmas Eve because the car would definitely have broken down somewhere on the trip over the mountain and then we would have been spending our Christmas on the side of the road. We had to go put $470.00 in tires on the truck yesterday so that Keith would have something to drive to work today. Regardless of what we decide, this will be the last year that we drive old beat up cars, a new car is in the future. (unless the economy finishes totally melting down and nobody has a job, of course)
Second, we were excited to see a new chain of grocery stores being built here in town. They are called Fresh and Easy neighborhood markets and originate in the UK. The concept is great, a smaller market for those times when you just need a few things or just want the basics with no frills and no aisles full of fishing and camping gear and garden furniture in your grocery store. Just your plain old groceries in a small store where you don't need a map to find the milk. And, they were handing out $5.00 off your purchase (of 25.00 or more) coupons. The UK version of Trader Joe's. Sounds good, right?
Wrong. The stores are really really no frills with a very small selection in a warehousey type setting. I hate grocery shopping period but really hate warehouse type grocery stores the most. We did buy a few of their house brand (fresh&easy) products to try out. Lunch sized fresh pizzas for $1.50? Sounds good! Not! They were good if you like your pizza with absolutely no flavor whatsoever. Frozen dinners? The prices were good, under $5.00 for a complete frozen dinner, so we got a few to try out. The first one was shepherds pie, which was almost tasteless but we ate it anyway because we were hungry. The second one we tried was tamale bake. The picture on the box looks appetizing enough, right?
Wrong again. I'm sorry, but this dish just totally reminded me of VOMIT! Yes, vomit! I couldn't eat it, it just looked too too nasty. Keith tried it and said it not only looked like vomit, but kind of tasted like it, too.
And, like so many frozen dinners, once again the actual product looks NOTHING LIKE THE PICTURE ON THE BOX!
Oh, and they have no cashiers. All of the checkouts are self checkouts. And if you buy beer the whole checkout stops and you have to find a well hidden button to push to call somebody over to get the whole thing going again because they have to make sure you are old enough to self checkout that beer.
Sorry, fresh and easy, I don't think I'll be stepping into your store again anytime soon, I just wasn't impressed and the food we tried was a total waste of money.