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Oct 4, 2013 10:40 AM

Anyone shopped Big Lots for grocery items?

Several months ago we put a local Big Lots into our shopping mix to wean ourselves from a large chain grocer. Big Lots became our paper products supplier; ALDI, our produce and frozen foods source; and Trader Joe's, a stop for fresh meats, cheeses, beer/wine/coffee, and bread.

Earlier this week we found ourselves with bananas extra ripe, so my DW suggested looking in Big Lots for Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and walnuts to convert the bananas into desert bread. But that's not all we bought there this trip.

We also came away with Louisiana Supreme Steak Sauce, Madison Square Dijon Mustard, two different bags of Chex Mix, a 30 oz bag of Schultz Pretzels, and a 16 oz can of GK Party Peanuts, and two different Gluten Free Bob's Red Mill products. I was surprized at how inexpensive the grocery bill totaled.

So my question is: do any other 'hounds find themselves in the grocery aisle at Big Lots?

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  1. Love shopping at Big Lots. Got 4 six-packs of blood orange Sanpellegrino for $2.75 each. Also picked up some basmati rice and some H.K. Anderson pretzel stix.

    6 Replies
    1. re: wadejay26

      Wow...excellent price! We just paid $5.99 a couple of months ago for a six-pack of the San Pelligrino blood orange soda at Fresh Market. I hope our local Big Lots is still carrying it for that price!

      1. re: littleflower

        Littleflower, Costco occasionally has a coupon for it. Can't remember the price off the top of my head

        1. re: ohmyyum

          Thanks ohmyyum...we do have a Costco membership and actually have bought the San Pelligrino sodas from there. The only problem is that you have to buy 2 cases (6 pk. to a case) of the Aranciata (which we love, and is actually our favorite flavor - we even like it a little better than the Blood Orange one) but it also includes 2 cases of the Limonata which is just too tart for my taste.

        1. re: suzigirl

          suzigirl just saw it at WalMart, which usually has great prices on food/drinks...$4.98. Almost double the price of Big Lots - hope ours has it in stock.

          1. re: littleflower

            I already grabbed four. Wiped them out. They are super hard to find here.

      2. We do go to Big Lots - it's not on our regular routine but they're nearby so when I have an occasion to go there, I always take a gander through their food aisles. They've had the Italian canned tomatoes (San something) at a great deal and I snatched them up. Their prices are usually great.

        Luckily, I live in a big urban area and have many options to decrease our food budget - Costco, discount bread stores, TJs, we now have a Whole Foods, but I haven't gone in yet. A local chain, Sprouts, is my go to for most produce.

        1. They are a great source for international products too. I get a huge bottle of Tapatio hot sauce there for under $2. The small bottle (when available) at my local grocer is... $4.29

          2 Replies
          1. re: kimeats

            Big Lots is the only store in San Francisco where I've found Texas Pete hot sauce. Not every time, but sometimes. (Not that TP is international, but I've only ever seen it in the south.)

            1. re: Frosty Melon

              Texas Pete is pretty common in Indiana.

          2. I love Big Lots. I buy Bob's Red Mill beans & flours. Misc canned tomatoes, canned beans, pasta, coconut milk, chips & all kinds of interesting finds. Most of their canned tomatoes & beans are around .50 to .80 a can, quite a steal. If you like Aldi they have a frozen cheesecake for $9.99 that has four different flavors. It is very good quality.

            1. Are you suggesting ALDI is not a large chain grocer? It's one of the largest supermarket chains in the world (9,800 stores).

              5 Replies
              1. re: drongo

                The chain we are leaving is Kroger. There are five Kroger stores in a three mile radius of our house. ALDI has two outlets within 10 miles. And both ALDI stores are about a quarter the foot print of the Kroger competitors.

                I perceive ALDI as a specialty grocer. But that may just be me.

                1. re: RedTop

                  Walmart and Kroger are the only US grocer outlets that are bigger than ALDI worldwide. The ALDI group is the 8th largest retailer of any kind in the world -- ahead of (for example) Target, Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, Supervalu, Publix. The owners of ALDI (Albrecht family, which owns Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord) are the richest people in Germany.

                  I do agree that they have a niche role in the US market.

                    1. re: seamunky

                      Yes, Aldi Süd owns what's called ALDI in USA, and Aldi Nord owns TJs.

                      I'm not opposed to these stores, but I was taken aback when the OP wrote that the goal was to "wean ourselves from a large chain grocer" -- when Aldi is among the largest of the large.

                      1. re: drongo

                        I think the OP just left out the word 'specific' from their post 'wean ourselves..., etc."