I mentioned yesterday that I was planning to try out a grocery outlet store for the first time today, and I thought I’d share my experience looking for and purchasing relatively healthy foods there. The grocery outlet was a local chain so unless you live in Central/SE PA the name probably doesn’t matter, but I’m sure most of these outlets follow a similar model.
I will begin by saying that I have never actually shopped for myself at a grocery outlet before – my parents sometimes took me with them when I was a kid, but for some reason they were just never really on my radar. I was at a party a few weeks ago, though, and someone mentioned that she got an incredible deal on coffee at one, which inspired me to see if one was near my house. Today was a good day to go because we did not need any major groceries, so I figured that if I had to leave empty-handed it would not be a big deal. They unfortunately did not have the same spectacular coffee deal ($2.99 for 1 lb bags of Starbucks!) but overall it was a positive experience.
- Facial cleansing wipes. Half the price for twice as many as I usually get.
- Freschetta pizza. Half off the sale price at my normal grocery store.
- The hot and spicy pickles! I have not been able to find these in a normal grocery store in months (don’t worry, they aren’t expired) and I used to pay $1.50 more for them.
- Bananas were $.12/lb cheaper than my normal grocery store and in better shape.
- The green tea (hidden in the back). This was priced at the typical sale price for half gallons, 3/$5 (I got a full gallon).
Just Ok Deals:
- All that shredded cheese. It was actually a really good deal, but it was like 1/3 of the price. I will have to assess later whether stocking up on it was worth it.
- Most of the other items (i.e. string cheese, oatmeal, crackers) were only $.50-$1 off. Still savings, but I’m sure I could get them at that price with a coupon.
- The dried cranberries. The price wasn’t marked and I intended to ask the clerk how much they were but got distracted because the register would not ring up the makeup wipes and forgot to ask. They were $2.99 for 12 oz., which is probably MORE than I would pay for Craisins if they were on sale and the same price I would pay normally.
Weirdest/Grossest Finds (note: almost nothing I picked up was expired or in super bad shape – most of it was boxes that were a little crumpled, and NOTHING was wrong with the produce – I just didn’t need much).
- Expired Feta 😦
- Cream cheese that said nothing but “cream cheese” on it in English. I had no way of knowing if it was flavored, expired, or anything!
One final addition: The store had a fairly decent sized natural/organic section (where I found the syrup, actually) and stocked several vegetarian/vegan items, such as Earth Balance Mayo and multiple brands of veggie burgers. I don’t buy these things but they were impressively good deals if you do!