The race was on yesterday morning at the Big Save shopping spree.
Three finalists from last weekend’s Contractors Association of Kaua‘i expo battled the clock as they grabbed items from the shelves at the Lihu‘e grocery store with the goal of coming in as close to $500 as possible.
It all came down to shortribs and shrimp for winner Chris Faye, of Kekaha, who dashed for the big-ticket items without the use of shopping carts or bags, while competitors Kathy Koerte, of Kapa‘a, and Daniel Nishiguchi, of Lawa‘i, tried strategies that proved less successful.
“I’m single and can’t eat all that much food,” Faye said. “So, the strategy was party food since I have friends that party regularly. All of them are helping me store the food until the next party.”
At the start, Faye headed right for the freezer cases, stacking boxes of boneless shortribs before making one trip to the checkout. Another trip loaded up more shortribs before heading for the frozen shrimp and more meats.
“It’s hard when you don’t have the use of a cart,” Faye said. “I had a list before starting, but then the boxes kept breaking and I didn’t want to drop anything because you lose time that way.”
Faye said all of the planning — contestants were allowed to scope out the store’s shelves beforehand — went to the wayside as she resigned herself to just taking what she could within the allocated time.
“One of my friends told me to get canned goods, but you know how hard it is to try and carry them without a shopping cart?” said the Kaua‘i Museum curator with a laugh.
Faye got to keep the nearly $500 in groceries as the grand prize, runner-up Koerte received a $100 gift certificate and Nishiguchi took home a $50 gift certificate.
This was the first spree for Mike Murakoshi of First Hawaiian Bank, a sponsor of the expo, and all he could do was watch in awe, offering encouragement as the clock ticked away.
Murakoshi, after helping tally the totals, left the store, only to promptly return.
“I got so wrapped up with this spree, I forgot I had to get eggs,” he said, wheeling a cart back inside.