Inexpensive grocery items that are surprisingly good
A recent posting about buying "better butter" got me to thinking. I buy my butter from Save-a-Lot. The brand is Coburn Farms and costs $1.99 for the pound (4 sticks). While I can't claim to have tried every butter out there, this is the best I've ever had. Really made a difference in my Christmas cookies.
Another "cheap favorite" of mine is Kroger's Neufchatel cheese. It's what Philadelphia brand calls "1/3 fat cream cheese". The Kroger cheese is superior to the Philadelphia brand---we like it even better than any "full fat" cream cheese we've tried. It usually sells for about $1 (less when on sale) for the 8 oz. package.
So, what are YOUR favorite food bargains?
*TJ's tuscano tomato sauce in the can. Closest to fresh when I can't make my own
*stop and shop bagged/frozen chopped broccoli. In the winter fresh is pricey so when I just need something to add to recipe that will be cooked down is I buy this stuff. I stick with fresh when eating as is or steamed
Intresting. I buy frozen broccoli a lot for my pureed broccoli soup, and i usually get TJ's. They haven't had it lately, so I picked some up at S&S...No diff, i figured. But it was almost ALL stem chunks! It really made a differnce in flavor. i have no problem with stems; eat them all the time when I get fresh. But I'd like to know where all the flowerettes went!
I generally don't go to "regular" supermarkets as they really tend to suck in Manhattan (and I live closer to a Whole Foods than to a supermarket) -- but I used get Cento tomato paste when I lived in Queens. It's really sweet and not as acidic as some of the other brands, including the higher end ones.
When I can't make my own chicken broth, I turn to a store brand, Sunny Select fat-free, low sodium chicken broth. It is nice and light and has truer fresh chicken broth flavor, much better than its expensive cousin, imho.
Also Mexican pastas are very inexpensive, sometimes lower in calories, and make a decent pasta.
I recently bought Stop & Shop brand Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream. I only bought it because they were out of that flavor in Hagen Daz and Breyers. To my surpirise, it was better than Breyers and almost as good as Hagen Daz...and a lot cheaper!
Mojave spices. They're usually with the Mexican food around here. I use the ground cumin, ground oregano, cinnamon sticks, and the dried basil. Also, some of the middle eastern and Indian markets in this area carry spices and herbs at way lower prices than mainstream supermarkets or Whole Foods. Black mustard seed is incredibly cheaper in Indian markets.