Grocery Outlet beyond Bay area
Since each store is independantly owned and managed, the size of the stores and the specials tend to vary. Often Costco pricing is better, but their larger packaging is sometimes a turnoff for our small household. I look at GO as sort of a grocery "Big Lots". Never know what you'll find. I've got the time to browse; others on a tighter schedule might not find it worthwhile.
I shop the Santa Maria store semi-regularly, and it can be hit-or-miss, depending on what you're looking for, it's fairly small. If you like to use a lot of canned vegetables and sauces, fruits and condiments, they have a large selection; just be sure to check the expiration dates.
They carry a few lines of organic packaged foods and have a small but slowly expanding produce section. They recently added the smaller size of organic mixed baby green in the plastic boxes. They carry Producer's fluid dairy line from the Central Valley as well as some other butters and yogurts. (Challenge butter was $2.49# last week.)
The line of preserved meat products (bacon, sausage, ham etc) is extensive. I get my "soup" bacon ends there. Very meaty. They also carry a fair amount of the popular cheeses in bulk, slice, and grated packaging. Nothing too exotic, however.
The unexpected finds are what take me back to GO. Last week I found White Lily self rising corn flour baking mix (presumably for making cornbread). And large bags of giant Frito Scoopers, good for cookouts. Hershey's choc chips were 1.49 for the lg pkg. Great for kids' cookies.
This spring they had unbelievable buys on the heavy stoneware Asian pottery that I like for my sport gardening. I scooped up 1/2 dozen pots (which are now cranking out cut flowers and veggies/herbs on my patio). They occasionally have inexpensive metal or wicker patio chairs, gardening tools, etc.
The wine section is small and concentrates mostly on Australian and Nor Cal wines. I'm not a regular wine drinker and am unfamiliar with the labels. They occasionally have case-buy specials that are deep discounts.
(My BIL shops the Grass Valley GO which has to be one of the best groceries in the area. FABulous store. I make him take me there every time we visit!)
At the Salinas store today we picked up
Bison burgers, 6 1/3# patties for $6.99
Saag's bockwurst and smoked bratwurst for $3.99'
San Luis garlic and cheese sourdough, 24 oz loaf for $1.99
Masking tape, 99¢
Oscar Meyer centercut bacon, 12 oz
Amy's frozen cheese pizza, $4.99
Back in stock, I saw Hormel turkey slices, Land o Lakes butter, Best Foods mayo, Almond Roca seconds. Lots of toilet paper inventory of Charmin, Angel Soft and Cottonelle, time to stock up.
re: Melanie Wong
The lucky folks who shop at the GO in Grass Valley can choose from a great selection of the wonderful Truckee Sourdough Bakery. I just stocked up on the whole grain sourdough and regular sliced sourdough. The kalmata olive bread is great as well.
Mariani sliced, slivered and whole almonds at about 29 cents an ounce (just slightly better than TJ's prices).
White Lily self-raising flour at $1.99 for 5#.