I want to take a minute and share my praises of Grocery Outlet. This is just in case anyone out there harbors wrong thinking about what is for sale there as I used to. About six or seven years ago my two youngest daughters were taking ballet classes half an hour from where we live. The class was an hour long and I decided to poke around what I considered the 'dented can store' for the first time. I expected to see a lot of dents and missing labels. I figured there would be a lot of no name 'ugly' food that would never find its way to my table. What a pleasant shock to find that the opposite is true. In fact, much of what I now buy there is the same as what I just walk by in the regular grocery store because of the crazy prices.
The deal with this store is that you don't know exactly what you are going to find from one week to the next. Some things are standard but always discounted, while others are overstock and largely discounted. when things are close to expiration the price is incredible. I love to stock up on close to expiration items that freeze well. This time I purchased mushrooms at $0.97. They were in fine shape. I bought enough to completely stuff a gallon sized zip-lock freezer bag. When I need some for a stew or casserole I can just grab a handful and toss them in as is.
The fun thing about the unpredictable inventory is that it lends itself to creative cooking... which I love. Remember that I am a recipe rebel? It's always so much fun when the cashier hands you your receipt and tells you how much you saved. My goal is to save as much as I spend. This was a tremendous haul. I saved almost 2/3 more than what I paid! I still purchase most of my grains, sweeteners, nuts and seeds from the co-op that comes by truck once a month (I posted about it here) and I usually purchase the bread that I keep in the freezer (for no bake times) at the Franz bread outlet. Between these three resources the only time I hit another grocery store is when the weekly coupons are worth my time.
Audrey no longer takes ballet and Erin's teacher is here now, so I would now have to figure gas into my spending. Luckily that isn't an issue as several years ago we received our own Grocery Outlet right in this here little town! That's it. I just thought I would share...