HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

"L'Oreal" grocery favorites?

Are there grocery items that you regularly "splurchase"? That is, staples or other everyday foods that are much higher in price than you'd normally be willing to pay, but you justify buying them because they are so much better than the alternatives, and you're "worth it", as the hair coloring commercial goes?

Mine is Trader Joe's English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions. It's always on my grocery,list although with other types of cheese, I look for what's on sale.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Good cheese and quality meats. I don't wait for a sale or buy cheaper cuts.

    1. Fish, heavy cream (half and half is much cheaper), peppers, and olives are three purchases that I tend to spend more on, in order to get exactly what I want. I also travel a little out of my way to get items at a few different markets, as one has better fish, while the other has better produce, etc. The price of gas in my area makes of each additional trip a splurge.

      Back when I was still eating meat other than fish, bacon and beef would have figured on this list very prominently.

      1. Rancho Gordo beans.

        1. I buy whole peppercorns for grinding at Penzey's. It would be much cheaper to simply buy ground pepper in a tin at the grocer. When I buy lunchmeat, I buy the all natural at the store's deli. There is no comparison in quality and I feel the it is the healthier and tastier of the choices. I buy expensive cereal in the health food aisle because I can get the right sort for my eating plan. And I eat whole nuts for snacking. Talk about splurging! I like unsalted roasted cashews from WF, whole raw almonds from Costco, and roasted sunflower seeds from WF or my regular grocer. And I will not eat any but organic celery from WF.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sueatmo

            Whole peppercorns are a must, but I won't pay Penzey's prices. My local Indian market sells them by the half-pound for far less than McCormick's ground sand. And Trader Joe's sells nuts (I prefer to buy them raw and cook them myself) far cheaper than any other grocery store.

            I definitely hear where you're coming from, and splurging on these items is in order when bargain prices aren't available. But it's a lot more fun to get better quality at lower prices when you can.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              The last time I checked TJ, they didn't have the kind of nuts I buy. Its been awhile since I looked, though. Eating the nuts has become a priority because of my changed way of eating. I would never have added these to my diet if I hadn't given up most carbs. And, it isn't fun to get great prices if the items are old or stale or rancid. I have pretty good assurance that these products are fresh.

              On the peppercorns, I don't have easy access to an Indian grocer. I've been buying these from Penzeys, or the original Spice House, for a couple of decades. I enjoy making a trip of it about twice a year. Again, I know I'm getting good stuff when I buy there. I also buy their hot chocolate mix for Mr. Sueatmo. Check the ingredients. Good stuff, for a mix.

          2. I'm this way about plain yogurt. I buy different brands, based on where I am, but I am adamant about purchasing a brand that doesn't have added pectin, etc. in it. Whenever I do, I regret it, as it just tastes off to me! It's worth it to pay for the good stuff.

            1. Golden Farms No Salt Added Turkey, which i can only find at the deli counter at a handful of stores...and costs $10 or $11 per pound.

              Friendship No Salt Added Cottage Cheese. the thieves at Whole Wallet charge nearly 5 bucks for a 16-oz container, but they're the ONLY ones in the entire county who carry it.

              Organic grass-fed and finished beef, and organic chicken.

              SmartWater, on the rare occasion that i buy bottled water.

              i'm sure there are more, but those immediately come to mind.

              oh, and it took a little finesse to find it, but i knew there was a similar thread:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783138

              4 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                it's amazing how expensive a grocery bill gets suddenly with the addition of a few bottles of SmartWater. but i second that purchase.

                most likely no one will "get" this, but i spend an arm and a leg on baby and fingerling potatoes. like... insipid amounts of money considering how many i'll eat at a time. i'm aware 10 pounds of russets go for a few bucks, but hey.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Guilty dog look from me, GHG! I hate redundant threads and did try to find this topic before initiating this one. There are loads, of course, on lower-cost alternatives.

                  The mention of Rancho Gordo (although I've tried them and didn't find them worth the premium) made me realize I hadn't considered mail-order foods. In that category, it's online dried pears and pit-in dried apricots from Apricotking.com. Now that I'm retired, I'm pinching pennies but these are worth it to me.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    no need to hang your head - as i said, it wasn't easy to find and i knew it was there!

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Just got back from a local farmer's market where a bean farmer had a booth. A little more than the grocery store, but half the price of Rancho Gordo. Hopefully it'll be the best of both worlds.