Working in an area where there’s been lots of talk about how the “big box” stores kill the little man and the specialty stores, I decided I would forego my usual Target trip to buy groceries and instead go to an actual grocery store. Now, I haven’t been in an actual grocery store to buy actual food in quite a long time, but I thought I would try it. I went to Bloom. While inside, after I got my oh-so-important Breeze Card, I did a little shopping. What drew me to the store was the sales ad highlighting 93 percent lean ground beef on sale, so I picked some of that up. I also threw in some all natural pork chops because the price was right. Then things went down hill. Grocery stores are more expensive than big box stores. Aside from that, I found myself waiting at the deli to purchase lunch meat because the two employees were busy having a personal conversation. The one saw me, went back to her conversation and then a few minutes later said the other woman would be with me in a minute. Um, okay. Then the lunch meat was $1 more than advertised on the sign. Nine dollars for a pound of turkey is pretty ridiculous compared to the $5 I usually spend at Target for all natural turkey. Then, at the checkout, I hand my reusable bags to the checker who in turn hands them to the bagger who in turn promptly ignores them. He starts using plastic. Now, I’m pretty environmentally conscious. I use reusable bags, I try not to waste things, I turn off the water while I brush my teeth. I’m not chaining myself to trees in the effort to protect nature, but I try. So when I look at the bagger weird, the checker notices who then says to the guy, “She has reusable bags.” He says, “Oh, I thought you bought those here or something.” Really? I purchased two Ron Jon reusable bags, one from Grand Turk and the other from Cocoa Beach, and a Target bag from Bloom? I don’t think so. I say, “It’s cool,” and take my groceries. When I get out the door, I rebag them using my bags. By now, the waste from the plastic is done. It’s too late to fix that, but the one bag is a cooler bag and seeing as how I purchased meat and a few frozen items, I really wanted them to go in the cooler bag. Needless to say, I tried to go anti-big box. I gave it a good shot, but I’ll be returning to Target to purchase my groceries from now on. They’re cheaper, I can combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons on top of sales, I get 5 cents off for each reusable bag I use and I don’t have to have a card on my key chain to get the sale price. Sure, they don’t always have everything you’re looking for and their meat is packaged smaller, but that’s when I can go into the specialty store and pick up just those items. And, while I can’t always get a particular brand of food at Target, at least I can buy everything else I need at the same time, except for scrapbooking stuff. For that, I’ll go to the specialty store.