Awesome, awesome, awesome. That's what I think of 99-Cents Only stores.
And why do I think this?
Since early Spring, they have been offering all sorts of fresh fruits and veggies in every one of their stores for the cheapo price of - you guessed it - 99 cents each.
And I'm not talking about tiny portions of wilted lettuce or baby carrots past their freshness date. I'm talking about freshly stocked and delivered produce (daily, according to their website) at way more affordable prices than regular supermarkets.
Here's what I saw on their Twitter feed: Dole bagged salad greens, 1.5 pound bags of peaches, plums or nectarines, a huge head of cauliflower, three bell peppers (some red, some green), 2 big avocados....each for just 99 cents. Serious bargains that are healthy to boot.
Yes, 99-Cents Only stores continue to sell not-so-healthy packaged foods and lots of candy. But sometimes small steps can create big changes. The fact that they are offering a variety of produce to the very people who may need it the most and exposing them to a healthier way of eating (and caring enough to do it the right way, mind you) is awesome.
I teach community classes and I constantly hear from lower-income families how they choose not to purchase fresh produce due to expense and a short shelf life. If 99-Cents Only stores can influence even a few families to eat fresh produce (full of healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber) on a regular basis, then I consider it a success.
99-Cents Only stores are in California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas. But my hope is that if they find this initiative to be successful, then perhaps other dollar-type stores will follow suit.