Monday, March 1, 2010

To market, to market

This past weekend my family and I ventured out to the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. We do most of our grocery shopping together as a family and we visit this rare gem at least once a month. The stock is constantly changing so each trip we find something new to ad to our menu. It's especially close to home, has exceptional customer service and this store holds within its walls some of the best food bargains out there.

Grocery Outlets are independently owned and operated, which is a bonus. These bargain grocers buy overstocked goods from the large grocery stores for pennies on the dollar, and, in return, sell it to their customers for usually less than half of what you would pay for retail.

The last few times we have visited the store, we've saved more than we've spent. One of the main reasons for this is that as with all of my shopping, I don't skimp on quality when it comes to groceries. The Grocery Outlet stocks high quality groceries from Organic to All Natural and we've even happened upon some Gluten Free products. Usually, these types of foods are priced out of the conventional shoppers budget but at half of retail price, it is seriously affordable for the masses.

The Grocery Outlet is definitely not the only place that my family finds it food. We are members of the local grocery co-op as well, where we are privileged enough to have local produce that tastes like its all been fresh picked. I visit the mega marts that have some especially unbeatable weekly deals on fresh cuts of meats and fish that are from local farms and waters. When we run out of yeast for fresh bread, we run to the local market where the savings are seen in its convenience factor. We don't limit ourselves or have any special loyalties to a particular grocery store. A deal is a deal and we seek them out at any store.

We just stay true to our grocery shopping principles of:

1. Staying local. Shop at stores that are within 15 min. of your home. You'd be surprised at the deals you are able to snag in your very own neighborhood.

2. Never skimping on quality foods. This should be top priority for everyone especially considering the accessibility of quality foods. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables; local, natural meats; and unprocessed snacks are three ways to get started on high quality grocery shopping.

3. Finding the bargains. Do a bit of research before your next trip to the market. Grab a newspaper or go online and look for discount grocery stores in your area as well as the weekly store ads of local grocers. Try doing this for only about 15-20 min. and see what you come up with. Bargain hunting for groceries shouldn't become a part time job.
Remember to also check out closeouts or specials within the individual stores. They are usually in the far back away from the regularly priced products so don't be afraid to ask a clerk for help locating it.

So, for this week-happy grocery shopping! Search out the deals because the savings are simply phenomenal.

(Because not everyone is blessed with a Grocery Outlet in their area, here are some other key names for your online searches: Day Old Bread, Bent n' Dent, Grocery Salvage, Produce Outlet, Sav a' Lot. This is a short list but should help you to get started.)