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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


Apples, oranges and mixed nuts....Remember when we were children we used to get an apple and an orange and some nuts in our Christmas stocking.

We didn’t have a lot of money and fresh fruit in December was a real treat back then: no refrigerated trucks, no hydrophonic farms, few boats from Chili and other foreign countries bringing fruit to America. Fresh fruit in December was expensive and really appreciated.

I can remember getting whole fresh coconuts--another treat. My dad would take an ice pick and a hammer and would punch a couple of holes in the coconut “eyes”--one to drain the “milk” and another to provide a breather hole. My dad used to ask who wanted to drink the coconut “milk.”

“I do! I do!” I would shout. I thought it was a real treat. Then the coconut would be broken into pieces with the hammer and mother would grate the fresh coconut.

As fresh fruit has become so plentiful and year round, we no longer added it to Christmas stockings. It was no big deal anymore.

Well, maybe it is.

Since I live alone, and eat out at newspaper functions, etc. so often, I never pay much attention to my grocery bill. I buy what I need and want, paying no attention to coupons. I realize that by not using coupons, I’m paying for all the people who do, but I’ve never cared. I don’t have time for that clipping, saving, organizing, etc. but my hat is off to those who do. Just don’t get in front of me at the checkout line.

However, the other day I bought some bargains during my grocery shopping and when I got home, I checked by tape to see if I was charged the bargain price. I had noticed the steadily creeping cost of my weekly groceries and thought I would also analyze my purchases.

While perusing my bill, I noticed that I was charged:

2 tomatoes-- $5.91

2 plums-- $2.61

3 peaches-- 5.31

3 little apricots---$4.75

The last straw was $2.32 for one onion!

“This can’t be right,” I thought, although I never weigh my fruits or vegetables.

I gathered them all up and headed back to Krogers in a real lather.

When I got there, the helpful manager reweighed all the fruits and vegetables and informed me I was overcharged for the onion which should have been charged at .99 per pound instead of the $1.49 per pound I was charged. I was also charged $2.99/lb. for peaches which should have been $1.99/lb.

To get rid of me, the manager credited me with all the fruits and vegetables although only the peaches and onions were overcharged by what they called a “new” checker.

I was somewhat mollified by his actions (and a little embarrassed by mine), but I also told him I had eaten by last $2.95 each tomato, my last $1.65 each LITTLE apricot (that didn’t even taste sweet) and my last $1.30 each plum.

I want to point out that the one onion still cost $1.56.

Just so you know, I am now looking for apples and oranges in my Christmas stocking.

You might throw in a couple of onions too!


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  July 16, 2008