Thursday, October 12, 2006


So, there's this fabulous place called Grocery Outlet, known fondly as GroceOut by its loyal patrons. It's a deep-discount bargain grocery store with locations in CA, AZ, OR, NV, WA and ID. It's full of close-outs, food with wierd packaging errors, items that were intended for shipment to another country and thus aren't packaged with English writing, and day-old bread from upscale local bakeries. Lots of packaged food that only has a month or so until its expiration date, and thus won't sell at a regular grocery store, where people expect their packaged goods to be good for another year. And then there are totally normal looking foods with recognizeable brands that are at Grocery Outlet for some perplexing reason we will never know. And oh yes, there are treasures. Treasures, I tell you. Really amazing finds at rock-bottom prices. I went there all the time when I was really broke.

Yesterday, I went to the Oakland location of Grocery Outlet. Hidden amongst the sketchy condiments and discontinued wines, here are a few of the treasures I found:

  • Aseptic packages of Imagine's Creamy Butternut Squash soup, which is one of my favorite prepared soups and the foundation of many soups and other dishes I make... for 50 cents each!

  • Westbrae organic chickpeas and other beans in some new-fangled aseptic-type packaging... for 99 cents each

  • Tiny terra cotta planters at 5 for $1.00

  • Mrs. Leeper's gluten-free meals-in-a-box (a GF version of "Hamburger Helper", etc) for under a dollar. I won't eat these, but I know this find will make someone's day.
I've heard rumors they sometimes have Amy's frozen food there, too. I sadly did not have time to wait on line, so I bought nothing. I will have to go back this weekend. I figured that now that I eat no gluten and almost no processed food I wouldn't find anything useful at a store that's built its reputation around frozen mini pizza-burritos and close-to-expiration Lunchables, but I was wrong.


reginae said...

OH! Your post brings on the bittersweet pang of homesickness . . . I moved away from Cali a couple years ago, and boy, do I miss the great stuff from Grocery Outlet!

reginae said...

Of course I don't mind! I'd be honored to be included in your links.

Unknown said...

I can't bring myself to shop there because I used to shop there for a place I used to work and we would buy flats of like, del monte peaches for $.53. Not per can, but the whole flat. I am always skeptical of things that are that cheap.