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Grocery Outlet May 2008

Had to dash in today to get some ice cream and take a quick glance around ...... noticed a container of arborio rice ( 27 oz?) for $1.99 ..... container was clear and the rice looked in good shape - not a bad price. Several varieties of Back to Nature crackers - including their take on triscuits - 99 cents for a smallish box. Several varieties of Anna's thin cookies - 99cents @. In the freezer case, Haagen Daas Macadamia Nut Brittle pints are $1.49 and they also have the Tropical Fruit Sorbet for the same price....both are good. Edy's Grand Vanilla Ice Cream is $2.99 for a half gallon. Sunland Natural Peanut Butter ( crunchy & smooth ) is $1.69 for an 18oz jar. Classico Basil Tomato Sauce is $1.79. Happy Hunting.

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  1. Thanks for starting this month's topic, Gordon! The Oakland store has had tons of those Anna's cookies my last couple of trips -- I keep forgetting to mention them.

    1. San Pablo store

      Hershey’s organic dark chocolate 3.53oz $1.49
      Pacific chicken broth 32 oz box 99 cents
      Imagine organic chicken broth 32 oz box 99 cents

      Tried both broths and in addtion to the Imagine being organic, it is a lot tastier. There was also some Imagine beef broth, I think.

      Hershey's is fine. Tastes like their regular dark chocolate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange

        Yes, Imagine is much better than Pacific. Sadly the best chicken stock is Swanson, which is not organic, although they might make one now.

      2. Some random gets at RWC GO today:

        Frozen turnip greens (10 oz box) - 59c
        Uncured Oscar Mayer bacon - $1.79
        Welch's dried fruit Berry Medley (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, golden raisins) -- $2.99
        Distilled white vinegar --32 oz. -- 99c (good for decalcifying the coffee maker)

        IL Prosecco and Moscato - 375ml -- $1.99 (Haven't tried it yet. I was sucked in by cute packaging. The web site describes the prosecco as a "gentle sparkling white wine from the Italian Veneto region." And then says, "You ran into your boyfriend's ex and you happened to look especially fabulous that day? Cheers!" http://www.ilsparkling.com/

        7 Replies
        1. re: kivarita

          In SJ:

          Lindsay Gardens orange pekoe black tea bags -- 100 bags for 99 cents
          Covey Run Syrah and Cab/Merlot blend (750 ml btls): still $2.50
          Canterbury Naturals all natural lemon-poppy seed muffin mix $1.49
          Pacific chicken broth 32 oz box 99 cents (didn't see Imagine brand)
          Post cinnamon Shredded Wheat 17 oz cereal (expires 6/26/08) $1.99

          1. re: kivarita

            Pleasant Hill, slim pickings this week.

            Also picked up a couple bottles of Il Prosecco and Moscato, though haven't tried. Also $1.99. They had plenty of Covey Run for $2.50.

            Santa Cruz organic apple raspberry sauce- $1.49

            Skinny Cow vanilla and strawberry sorbet bars- pack of 6 for $2.99

            Back to Nature crackers, similar to Cheez Its, $0.99

            Silk organic soymilk and Silk Lite soymilk, small cartons $0.99, large for $1.99

            Nature's Path Peanut Butter Granola and Optimum Rebound Cereal- $1.79

            Ghiradelli Brownie Mix. Forgot to note the price, but there was plenty left.

            1. re: alag

              FYI -- the Santa Cruz organic apple raspberry sauce is super sour (or maybe it's just the batch that I bought). Anyway, I have a bunch here in my drawer that are too sour for me to eat.

                1. re: hummy

                  Nope, this is the second time I've bought it and it's tasted fine both times. Maybe a little more tart than regular applesauce, but definitely more than edible.

              1. re: kivarita

                Made the OM uncured bacon. I usually find the uncured variety of any brand kind of tasteless - it's the extra sodium w/ the nitrates and nitrites that I miss, I guess. The OM is actually pretty good. I'd definitely get it again.

                Other gets at RWC today:
                Bonne Maman Cherry preserves -- $1.99
                POM Pomegranate Peach White Tea (lg. size ) -- $1.99 (score!!) -- it looks like POM is going to plastic bottles to replace glass (less energy to produce and haul apparently) so we may be seeing lots more of it. Also had the individual size in various varieties for $1.49

                Haagen Dazs Extra Rich Light Mint Chip - $1.49
                Corazonas Salsa Picante chips -- $1.99

                1. re: kivarita

                  San Pablo had Alouette creme fraiche for 99 cents. The ingrediant list wasn't too bad. If it was fresh fig season I would have bought some since that's about all I'll splurge the calories for creme fraiche.

                  Prices are starting to creep up. Aidelles sausges are now $3.99 not $2.99. There were a few other items I noticed were 50 cents or a dollar more.

              2. At the Berkeley store:

                Back to Nature "creme" cookies. "Better than Oreos" (says my 14yr old) with no trans fats or HFCS. .99

                California Healthy Harvest whole tomatoes (Organic) 28 oz. .79 Haven't tried this yet, but it could be a great deal.

                Muir Glen organic tomato sauce 15 oz .99 Good.

                Vital Vittles 9 grain bread 1.99. Makes the BEST toast.

                Haagen-Dazs tropical sorbet 1.49

                Has anyone tried the SARKS "rainforest French roast" coffee beans? 5.99 for 12 oz isn't cheap, but it is organic.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Glencora

                  Will you post when you try the organic whole tomatoes? The Muir Glen deal is seriously tempting.

                  Also would like to know if kivarita tried that prosecco yet. We are in DIRE need of making a wine run, and I'm wondering if there are any nice red wine deals.

                  1. re: Atomica

                    I tried the whole tomatoes yesterday. Good flavor, not too acidic. They didn't have whitish or yellowish hard spots near the stem end, the way bad canned tomatoes sometimes do. I'll get them again if I see them.

                    1. re: Glencora

                      Thank you. I went on Sunday to the Berkeley store and I think they've run out of Muir Glen. I didn't pick up the California Healthy Harvest whole tomatoes because I wasn't sure about them. Happily, Muir Glen was on sale at Whole Foods. If I get back to GO, I'll grab those whole tomatoes, though.

                    2. re: Atomica

                      We busted out the Moscato yesterday -- inoffensive, but nothing special. The prosecco we just opened -- not sure if I got a flat bottle, but though it claims to be a "gently sparkling" wine, it's practically flat w/ little to no effervescence at all. Taste-wise it just tastes like watered down white wine. I'm not a white wine spritzer drinker, but it's what I imagine it tastes like.

                      I'd pass on the prosecco.

                      1. re: Atomica

                        Oops - also meant to add the RWC store had Folie a Deux Menage a Troix (red) for $4.99 -- good price. Usually goes for about $10-12.

                    3. After terrific lunch yesterday at Ajanta of tandoori mushroom appetizer and entree of lotus root & veggies headed to Berkeley Grocery Outlet:

                      - Honey and Ginseng White Tea, 18 bags, 1.1 oz., from Stash Tea of Portland, $1.49, other varieties also;

                      - Celentano Light Lasagna, all natural, 10 oz. frozen package, $1.99, 5 grams total fat for 10 oz. serving, didn't see any additives in the ingredients. From Celentano Food of Buffalo, NY and

                      - Luna Nutition Bars, berry pomegranate tea cakes (1.4 oz pkg.), berry almond bars (1.69 oz. pkg.)and others, 2 bars for $1, distributed by Clif Bar of Berkeley.

                      From Oakland Grocery Outlet last Tuesday:

                      - Beyerskloof Cape Blend 2004 wine, cab sauv & pinotage & merlot blend from S. Africa, $4.99 for 750 ml bottle, 87 points from Wine Spectator
                      http://www.southernwines.com/beyerskl... and

                      - Organic Choco w/ organic cacao, malt extract, sugar, from Brazil, $1.99 for 14 oz. can, for cocoa drinks, from Trile of Brazil.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: zippo

                        I'm going to keep an eye out for that lasagne -- let me know if you try it soon. Those berry almond Luna bars are terrific, and a great price (cheapest retail price I know of is 99 cents at TJ's, most places are at least $1.49).

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          had the lasagne for lunch and it was good even though I messed up the directions for making it in the microwave. With the lower-fat ingredients, it didn't have the oiliness that some lasagne has and it was not overly garlicky. I'd buy it again.

                          Berkeley GO also had 'Krinos Olive Medley in vinegar brine & olive oil,' $1.99 for an 8 oz. plastic jar in the fridge section, drained weight 5 oz.

                      2. We love Rio Grande decaf. I don't know if it is available at all Grocery Outlets, but we drive down to the Placerville store from the Georgetown Divide just to get it. We drink regular coffee during the day but at night prefer a good cup of decaf that tastes like coffee.

                        1. Friday morning at Oakland GO:
                          Dr. Andrew Weil for Tea Brewed Darjeeling, Green White and Jasmine Teas
                          in steel 8.2 oz cans: 4/1.00!!! Just opened the Darjeeling and it's pretty tasty.
                          No sugar, yeah!
                          Seeds of Change Organic Roasted Garlic Vinagrette: $1.49: Really nice
                          All Star Gourmet Organic Spinach, Herb & Asiago cheese popcorn looked
                          interesting:$ .99
                          Annie's CinnaBunnies (price?)& Bunny Love cereal: 1.99: Great for the kiddies
                          And I saw Dickerson's Apple & (Jalapeno) Pepper Spread: $2.49
                          That one was a little out there for me, but they did have Knorr Chipotle cubes (20 pack)
                          (sorry, forgot the price, up top in the freezer aisle) that looked like they could be fun
                          but I need to use up what's in my cupboard first.

                          1. Has anyone noticed that the "Fit Kids" cookies' typography suggests the very reason they landed at G.O.? Namely, at a glance, it always looks like it says "Fat Kids."

                            1. this afternoon at Oakland Grocery Outlet:

                              - Rancho Berenda Corn Tortilla Chips, 16 oz. cello bag located to the right of the front door, 2 bags for $1. Made from whole grain corn masa with high oleic safflower oil.from Warnock Food of Madera, CA. Sell by 6/15/08. decent chips with good ingredients for the lowest price i've ever seen. i bought 6 bags;

                              - Mendocino Summer Season Wheat beer, Limited Edition, 6-12 oz. bottles, $3.99/6-pack. A spright summer citrusy filtered wheat beer from a great brewery, Mendocino Brewing of Ukaih, CA. which also makes Eye of the Hawk Ale. Wheat beers are perfect thirst quenchers for hot days like today. After googling, it looks like their April, 2007 release and it's a little past its prime,


                              but at this price it sure beats a diet coke and

                              - Senoria de Sarria Vinedo No. 4, Merlot 2001, from Spain. $2.99 for a 750 ml. bottle. here's a link to the tasting notes from drinkerfind:


                              though i'm not the wine expert, it seems as if the berry and black fruit notes referred to in the review have become muddied after 7 years.

                              Increasingly, I'm finding it harder to find plain and vanilla soy drinks at GO that used to be $2 or so for a half gallon. Also, today was a good day for Alvarado Street Bread of Petaluma with different varieties for $1.99 for a 24-oz. loaf. An excellent bread that I think that Trader Joe's may rebrand for their own stores at higher prices. Picked up 3 loaves of organic sprouted rye seed and sprouted sourdough. Makes excellent toast.

                              Before my excursion to Oakland GO, had lunch for the first time in 10 years at Shan Dong on 10th Street near Webster. Ordered dry-fried green beans and pea sprouts with garlic. The waiter remembered me after all this time. I love Oakland Chinatown.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: zippo

                                Zippo I hope that was a typo on the chips sell by date. 6 bags by 6/15/08 is probably alright if you eat fast. 6 bags with a sell by 6/15/06 is adventurous.

                                1. re: wolfe

                                  wolfe, thanks for noticing. I corrected the sell by date to 6/15/08. I'm sitting here eating the chips and drinking a few of the Mendocino Wheat Beers and apparently the tasty beers and hot weather have clouded my thinking. thx

                                  1. re: zippo

                                    Yum. Did you see any good salsa? :-)

                              2. Today at Oakland I bought: Corto California unfiltered arbequina EVOO $6.99 for 750 ml.; Cabot light cheddar snack bars (individually wrapped .75 ounce pieces), bag of 36 for 4.99; they also had similar bags from Tillamook; Horizon organic low fat sour cream, 99 cents/pint. RW Knudsen 100 percent juice cherry nectar, $2.99/half gallon.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  I've been really happy with that Corto olive oil I bought last month.

                                2. San Pablo - A great deal with two caveats ...

                                  Target 4 liter wine cubes $3.99 (save $12.99)

                                  1. Best enjoyed by May 11 2008
                                  2. A little white sticker I didn't notice till I was home that says "This wine was salvaged from a railroad car derailment. This label was not affixed by the manufacturer".

                                  The boxes are in perfect condition and the two I bought were just fine for boxed red wine. There was a chardonnay I didn't buy but I though both of these reds were good
                                  - 2005 cabernet sauvignon/shiraz California
                                  - 2006 shiraz South Austrailia

                                  They tasted pretty similar but I liked the 2006 slightly better. It was a little smoother. The 2005 had a very slight touch of sweetness. Nothing amazing, but nice inoffensive table or cooking wines. Probably good in a sangria too. Then again, consider the source giving you this info.

                                  Also Tillamook yogurt is 3 for $1. Kosher gelatin and no artificial growth hormones ... and sugar not HFCS. The lemon sqeeze was pretty good ... it is the texture of original yoplait.

                                  16 Replies
                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      Sorry,edited it after you read it ... San Pablo

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        Oakland had the Tillamook yogurt as well on Saturday.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Wish we'd had that a week ago. All of the buyers at G.O. are doing the eating on $3/day/person - all from G.O. - and I ended up buying a Dannon Light & Fit yogurt that's not very good...

                                          1. re: David Carlson

                                            What an interesting project -- were you inspired by rworange?

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              In my execution, yes to a degree. Unfortunately we could ONLY shop at G.O. - no farmer's market (hardest part).
                                              But the plan to do it came down from our VP of Marketing. Our Executive Group did it first, now our Buyers are doing it.
                                              It's pretty sad for the ones that don't know how to cook...
                                              If anyone's interested, we're blogging our experiences at

                                              1. re: David Carlson

                                                Before I go off on a NOT serious rant about the $3 a day thing, I forgot to mention that Imagine has an organic soup stock … not broth … for 99 cents. Haven’t tried this yet though.

                                                NOT serious rant

                                                1. You folks are pathetic :-) … give me a little leniency Chowhound Team and read the whole post before hitting delete … I’m sure David will take this as the ribbing it is meant and not a personal attack ... also it is SERIOUSLY about eating better on a minimalist budget ... and isn't eating better ... more deliciously ... what Chowhound is about?

                                                2. There was a fatal flaw in this that I mentioned in my $3 a day series. This can NOT be done on a weekly budget. If you spend $21 each week … well, what happened … happens. If you give someone $84 for the month … different outcome. That’s where all the political/journalist reports fail. Someone on welfare has a monthly budget and quite frankly, I see better stuff in carts at GO of people using food stamps (or whatever it is called) than what happened here.

                                                If this does anything, I hope it might wakes up management that the fatal flaw at GO is that they need a better fresh produce department, the one real flaw at GO ... if FoodCo can provide inexpensive produce ... so can GO.

                                                Looking at some of these reports it would have better to buy $10 worth of Angel Juice (20 liters of white wine), 99 cent bread, a jar of mayo and bologna to get through the week ... at least you'd spent the week in a happy haze.

                                                Which goes to prove that without information and help, people make poor choices when on a budget.

                                                One thing about GO … it is the luck of the draw … some months are better than others. That Carnation powdered milk was a real deal … especially when it was marked down to something mind-blowing like $3 for 22 quarts. I am lurking at the San Pablo store waiting for a product I KNOW will eventually get marked down. Sorry, won’t pass which it is along because … I WANT IT.

                                                Has the management thought of opening this up to customers … giving them a MONTHLY budget target and awarding a prize to the person who does the best? You might get some creative ideas. Of course, I’d be disqualified because I would always win :)

                                                I do have to say, it must be nice to work at GO. This company does so much good for people on a budget. Sometimes it almost makes me weep to see people in line on a limited budget yet still being able to afford decent … actually better food than at the major markets. GO does a good thing.

                                                Thanks for the link. Entertaining reading ... pathetic ... but entertaining ... :-)

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  You are absolutely correct. Most grocery execs and management (not just G.O., almost every chain) are pathetic - way out of touch with the real world of shopping.

                                                  And doing this for only one week doesn't work - of course convincing a bunch of buyers and execs to do it for even one weeks ain't easy - try to make them do it for a month and there'd be a rebellion. To counter that they let us use pantry staples without counting against our budget - then one of our board members claimed wine was a pantry staple...
                                                  And our produce dept sucks, which I rib our produce buyer about frequently.

                                                  1. re: David Carlson

                                                    Yeah, I worked in the corporate world and know about out of touch. Raley's recently has some salmon for $22 lb ... what were they thinking? Someone who is going to spend that much on salmon isn't going to pay that amount for pre-cut salmon that who knows how long it is being kept around. Just haven't got up early enough to look for marked-down packages that didn't sell. Next to GO I love Raley's though. They take risks that other markets don't .. but $22 lb salmon?

                                                    Maybe you can pass along opening up this to customers on a monthly basis. I think the results would be amazing.

                                          2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            One aspect of the GO stores that I do enjoy is what I call their 'entertainment' value. By that I mean seeing products that you would not ordinarily see in other stores that have quality or innovative ingredients but for some reason apparently were not successful or were overstocked.

                                            Yesterday, for example, at Berkeley Go picked up Stonyfield Farm Organic YoMommy lowfat yogurt, 4 - 4 oz. servings for $1. The ingredients include "fish oil ( anchovy oil, sardine oil, tilapia gelatin: a natural source of dha)." I'm no marketing expert and the ingredients are in very small print, but it is pretty courageous to put those kinds of ingredients in a yogurt. My hat is off to Stonyfield for even trying. I also appreciate it that there seems to be a steady supply of Smart Balance margarine tubs with lots of omega-3 in them for about 1/2 of what TJ might sell them for.

                                            Also get a kick out of the non-food items. Picked up a couple of boxes of the Pears transparent soap, 3 - 4.4 oz. bars for $2.69.

                                            1. re: zippo

                                              Yeah, I have to go with entertainment value ... outside of price being the BIG factor.

                                              I often wonder why some particular item is on sale and why so cheap. It is not always a matter of being close to the expiration date.

                                              The railroad car wine ... easy to understand. Why Aidell's offers sausages at half price ... no clue ... but loved them.

                                              I like seeing East Coast items that aren't sold here.

                                              I'm guessing Haagen Daz discountinued their coconut sorbet which was 50 cents ... and to tell you the truth that would be the last flavor I tried unless it was at that price ... and too bad ... I liked it alot and would buy it at full price after giving it a try.

                                              1. re: rworange

                                                The coconut sorbet was close to code from the start, I think it was taken down to $.50 when it went past code.

                                                I can't speak to the Aidell's situation specifically, but in general a traditional grocery store pays more because they're expensive to do business with. They charge a "slotting" fee just to carry a product - the higher the fee, the better the placement. They charge to put items on ads, for late deliveries, for unsold product - you name it, traditional grocers will charge a manufacturer for it.

                                                1. re: rworange

                                                  ITA. The whole "Treasure Hunt" and "wonder why this is here" aspect make it fun, and I love the out-of-region brands. Also, it really fits into the way I've come to shop since I virtually stopped shopping at conventional supermarkets: instead of going in with an idea of what I'm going to buy, I often go in with an open mind and a "I wonder what I can make with this" attitude -- works just as well at GO as it does at the farmers' market. Of course there's also the "better buy it now because sooner or later it will be gone" mentality, which has me buying the Clif Nectar bars by the box every time I go in.

                                                  The Oakland GO still has a lot of the Haagen Daz Mayan Chocolate ice cream, which they did discontinue.

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    I've tried to figure out why it is I like GO and not much other bargain shopping.

                                                    It comes down to OUTRAGEOUS value for quality.

                                                    With the 99 cent stores, basically it is mostly cheap junk.

                                                    I realize TJ isn't considered by some as a bargain store, but the ambiance to me is similar to GO. However, with GO there is no brand loyalty. You know you might not ever see it again.

                                                    With TJ, you get into a certain product and it is gone ... and also the prices aren't all that for the quality ... though I like the organic part of it. Also, the brands are hidden ... it MIGHT be Strauss or Acme under the TJ label.

                                                    However, with GO for the most part you know what you are buying.

                                                    There are some re-occuring items but still, I never count on them. I treat them all like a one-time fling. I'll try something and then immediately stock up if I really like it since I never expect to see it much longer.

                                                    I was glad to see Land O Lakes butter back at $2.29. I've gained some respect for LOL products because the ingredieants are always good. Other local markets don't often sell them. I still haven't caved to the LOL Chederella ... though the name amuses me ... come on ... gotta buy something with that name.

                                                    I finaly caved to the LOL chipotle cheddar ... and after the expiration date at that ... and it was good. There's some sort of sliced cheese, not LOL, with peppers in it that is 99 cents. Good ingrediant list and nice in a sandwich ... didn't think it was particualrily chowhish, so didn't mention it.

                                                    However, I'm less likely to buy stuff that doesn't have a wow factor in the price. When Quaker oats was 50 cents for a 18 ounce container ... yep, stocked up.

                                                    However the current 42 oz for $2.89 (or something like that) gets a snub from me. I can buy it for that price at other markets on sale and use a coupon. Orowheat at the same price as Raley's ... nope ... but I don't usually buy Orowheat anyway. Franzia at a buck less than Walgreens ... nope.

                                        2. re: rworange

                                          I had to laugh, rworange. That Folie a Deux had the same sticker -- I only noticed it after I got it home -- the wine was perfectly fine, but it still made me go, "Hmmmmm."

                                          1. re: rworange

                                            rworange, i had to laugh. i didn't notice that sticker either on the Folie a Deux until I got it home. The wine was perfectly fine, but it still made me go, "Hmmmm."

                                          2. The Tropical cans of peanuts in salted and salt-and-pepper that we have at the Marina GO are very crunchy and tasty, much like what Trader Joe sells as "blistered" peanuts.

                                            1. Quick drive by at RWC today:

                                              Blue Horizon Vegetable Spring Rolls $2.49 (it's a sustainable seafood company, but these were just vegetable)

                                              Clif MOJO bars 50c -- Fruit Nut Crunch (Almonds, Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries
                                              )Luna Bars $3 (6 to a box) -- Lemon Zest & Peanut Butter Cookie (husband likes lemon zest)
                                              Pezzi King 2000 Syrah - $2.99
                                              Publix Frozen Leaf Spinach - 59c