Grocery Outlet - your bargain finds? Post when you have a great one, and where...
I live in West Seattle, and have begun occasionally going to the Burien GO, as just across from the nice library there.
A few days ago, I went in to check for fancy cheeses, and was also hoping for frozen fruit for my morning yogurt or smoothie routine...
Score! Got a lovely chunk of ricotta salata for 4.49lb - the real deal from Italy. Also an individual 9 oz. brie in the little wooden box for $1.99! I opened the box and pealed back the paper wrapper just a wee bit to check rind quality before buying. Happy to report, very good. Ate on a baguette after warming to room temp. They had about 50 of them on the shelf in cheese section.
Yogurt find; there were at least 40 1 1lb. containers of Brown Cow brand 0% fat Greek Yogurt; 50. cents each! Got 3... had not had this brand of Greek Yogurt, but have seen it as an up-market brand other places so had high hopes. Good, not as good as Fage (one of my fav's), but perhaps that is 'cause I usually get low fat, not non...
Last big find, 2 lb. bag of frozen freestone peaches for $1.99 in the freezer case near ice cream, etc. Happy to report they have good flavor. Eating on my non-fat greek yogurt with a little honey for breakfast this week. Yogurt and peaches are costing me about 10 cents a serving!
Lastly, picked up a 5 lb. bag of organic Yukon Gold potatoes, med size, from OR for $1.50!
Didn't do much more of a look-see this time, as still eating out of freezer from too much stock up over the holidays.
What are your great finds at this chain?
For cross-reference, the San Francisco Bay Area board has a Grocery Outlet thread each month for local stores. They're all quite different. Here's the one started for January,
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/826610 , and you'll find past ones by scanning down to the bottom of the page.
Also discussed on the California board.
Grocery Outlet (Calif. board)
re: Melanie Wong
Thank you Melanie,
i just posted the suggested thread as another CH had commented about GO deals in a Trader Joe's current thread, so thought I would take the initiative and start one on the Chains board...
My first experience at GO was in November, when I discoverd this wonderful newish Library branch S. of my house, and there is a GO next door... went in to look around, and found mascarpone for $1.99 for 8 oz. Was hooked! Not for regular shopping, but worth checking when in the area for finds.
That is my intent.
So they CH controller's let you keep posting about Grocery Outlet on a common board, and haven't moved you to 'chains'? That's nice of them.
My intent I guess, would that I could have a Seattle Area version, for local finds, but since they are all individually owned, thought anyone could post here and let others in on great deals a CH would love, and could go out of their way to get before all gone.
Will see how this pan's out:) Thanks for contributing!
Don't know exactly, but a few factors probably come to bear. The majority of GO stores are in California, so they're considered a "local" chain. Unlike TJ's, Target, Costco, Walmart, and Whole Foods, GO does not have its own "house" brands that area offered chain-wide so there isn't that commonality across locations. Each store is locally owned and does its own buying, so that stock at each store is quite different. For example, the three stores in San Jose, CA are pretty different from each other and you can't count on finding a recommended item found at one store at the other. When we post on our local board, we make a point to state the store where we found an item. So I think that regional/local trumps "chain" for Grocery Outlet and makes the discussion of finds in the SF Bay Area and California more appropriate for the local boards.
Edited to add: And now 6 minutes later, I see that this thread has been moved from Chains to Greater Seattle. Good, hope the local 'hounds enjoy the stores.
There is also a Grocery Outlet in San Diego, but nobody talks about it on the local board. The inventory is so random/changes weekly. Word gets out within the local community about great priced items and they sell out in a day or two (the store is located about ten miles from the Mexico border).
The best deals I can remember were mis-labeled/incorrect cooking instructions on Stouffer frozen meals, Stouffer meals which were labeled as 'not meeting appearance standards' (the broccoli was more stems than florets) and Pepperidge Farm frozen garlic bread, all going for less than $1, but that was years ago. Now I go in with the intent of buying milk and cheese and am happy with whatever else I find.
Curious Cathy, how does 'word get out in the local community" about great deals? Kind of just neighbor to neighbor, or how?
So far for me, best deals have been in the deli/dary section, but I have literally only been in 3 times so far since November. Curious about other CH's who may go there, have longer experience with purchasing at this West Coast chain.
I understand that each is individually owned, a small franchise system. Anyone who can speak to their buying/distribution would be appreciated for more insight.
I frequent the Ballard location and occasionally the SODO one. Most everything is offered at a great price, good enough that you don't mind when you have to make a second stop to get something on your shopping list they don't have.
IME, the best deals have been on wine. The Ballard store actually has a "wine manager" whose palate is not bad. For instance, he pointed me to a label of California red wines called "Goodnight" awhile back, and it was good wine at an astoundingly low price. Unfortunately, the wine selections are never repeated, so when something's gone, it's gone. Caveat Wino: Not all GO stores have anything but dreck wine, e.g., the Mt. Vernon store.
Between GO and Cash&Carry, I can do a solid 85% of my grocery shopping, all at steeply discounted prices.
Thanks for the reply Kaleo,
Unfortunatetly, my Burien store mostly has 'plonk' for wine, so that is a cruise-by in case I get lucky. You are more fortunate.
So far, my best excitement is in the fresh/dairy case.
I will take a bargain when I can, if I can determine it is a) not past it's prime, and b) has been handled well on it's way to the store... as in, no cheeses that smell like amonia when I open them, etc.
Off Chowhounding, my other best buy there was Rembrahndt tooth whitener for only $9.00! Bought 3... love the brand, and $21.00 at best-deal Target:).
Having the last of my great Brie tonight with a nice N. Cal chardonnay...
No problem, gingershelley:
Re: wine at GO... With all respect to Melanie, there *is* some commonality between the Greater Seattle GOs. I know that because when the Ballard store ran out of Goodnight, my wife found more at both the SODO and Burien GOs.
My point being, if you have another decent excuse to come north, check out the recommended wines at the Ballard store; if you like, maybe they're also to be found in Burien. Even though these wine sections are small, it's like *anywhere* else: the odds of choosing something good at random aren't that good. ;)
If you happen to be in the Lynnwood area, you can add in the Costco Business Center and you have all three within five minutes of each other, and like you I spend the vast majority of my shopping between them. Rarely go into a regular supermarket any more.
A bonus for the Lynnwood locations: there's also a Big Lots where you can find the occasional great deal on canned and packaged goods for pantry staples (pasta, canned tomatoes, etc).
My favorite purchase at the Lynnwood GO the Italian espresso coffee that Trade Joes used to carry. Sometimes they have good deals on cheese and deli meats, though DD Meats in Mountlake Terrace often is better (by the way, they have expanded).
I don't get much produce at GO. The 'ethnic' markets in the area usually have better selection and prices (e.g. JD's, Star, even 99 and HMart)
My husband likes Mexican Coca-cola in the glass bottles. GO sells it by the case at a great price.
We shop GO in North Seattle on Aurora Ave.
FYI, The "Chinook Book" coupon book has a couple of GO discount coupons.
Thank you so much for your replies so far, and Kaleheo on the info on wine at the North SEA store..
I posted this originally on the 'chains" board, on a comment someone on a TJ's thread had made which compared the two, but Chowhound editor's sent me an email saying they were moving this to SEA board, as there is a diversity amont the GO stores, and SF has their own thread about them.
Thanks for the feedback so far, interesting!
I find that to my purchasing proclivities, there are many items that I would not buy; discounts on common packaged, large agri-biz type frozen and canned and mixes I have no interest in, but the occasional great deal/steal is super, and I would like to shout out(!) to my local CH's if there is something at a GO they can run and get and benefit from. That is my idea for the thread:)
You have to be pretty careful reading the labels and the prices. Sometimes the GO special price is no better than a regular supermarket sale price (i.e. cake mixes) and sometimes what you're looking at is an oddball flavor of something -- once I thought I had found a great deal on mayo and then on further inspection, it turned out to be a special Hispanic Lime-flavored version. I'm sure it was great but not what I wanted to fill my pantry with.
And as I think I mentioned on another thread, check your receipt carefully before you leave the store. More than once I've had to go back to the manager because something rang up incorrectly.
If you see the Hellman's Mayonesa con Jugo de Limon (made in Canada) again and the price is right, do try it. I love it, wish I had some now, but it's not stocked in our supermarkets and GO was the only place I could find it. Here's a discussion thread about it.