Living Gourmet on the Cheap
You don't have to spend a lot of money to dine really well.
One of the best ways to save money on eating is to prepare it yourself.
Sure preparing your own food takes more time than grabbing a hamburger at a fast food joint, but if you do it right, you can wind up with great tasting, high quality healthy gourmet food for a lot less than the cost of eating out.
And if you choose wisely where you shop, you can often cut anywhere from 25% to 50% and more off you grocery budget and eat a wide variety of high quality foods that you would ordinarily not be able to eat otherwise.
Some of the places to look for low cost 'gourmet foods" :
- discount stores
- outlet stores
- weekly specials
- dollar stores
- flea markets
- roadside veggie stands
- canning plants
- u-pick fields & orchards
- websites like Amazon.com and eBay.com
Large Chains which often have delicious delicacies... cheap!
Aldi is a limited assortment, deep discount retailer that sells only private-label products, and is of the world's largest grocers, with 580 U.S. stores and almost 3,000 worldwide. Aldi keeps costs low by stocking only approximately 700 of the most popularly purchased items, displaying them on shipping pallets in the boxes in which they arrive. Totally bare bones. No baggers. Cash only. Customers bring their own bags or purchase them.
CostCo.com Membership club. Gourmet groceries, international, wines, large restaurant size portions, frozen gourmet foods -- plus a wide variety of other goods and services -- at a discount.
Big Lots features an interesting assortment of gourmet goodies... candies, spices, snacks, drinks. Check out their weekly online flyer.
Dollar General Discounted food items, dairy, candy, snacks, nuts, soft drinks.
DollarTree.com A limited selection, all $1.00 or 2/$1. Found SunMaid raisins, luxury hand soap, pasta, olives. Store locator
GO -- Grocery Outlet. Over 135 stores in ten states and growing.
".... In order to provide its customers with 'bargains only,' Grocery Outlet focuses on finding the best deals from food, beverage and consumer goods companies. Grocery Outlet receives the majority of its products from excess inventory in other distribution channels, including surpluses that arise due to product packaging changes, special promotions or overabundance. Grocery Outlet works with about 2,500 manufacturers to provide its customers with a wide variety of products, including frozen and refrigerated foods, dry groceries, beer and wine, health and beauty care, over-the-counter drugs and general merchandise...." We shop there often and continually find quality products in virtually every area... from discounted angus beef to spices, cheeses (as low as $2/lb!), produce, wines, etc. Well worth checking on a regular basis as you never know what you're going to find... like a Treasure Hunt!
National Wholesale Liquidators Offers a wide variety of discounted groceries. Good buys on olive oil, pastas, balsamic vinegar, basmati rice, gourmet cookies, gourmet candies. Online flyer shows weekly specials.
Sams Club "... Memberships provide the opportunity to save on a complete line of products such as quality jewelry, designer goods, sunglasses, crystal and collectibles, high end electronics, floral, apparel, organic foods and choice meats...."
Sav-A-Lot "... one of the nation's leading extreme value, carefully selected
assortment grocery chains, operating nearly 1,200 value-oriented stores
in all types of neighborhoods— urban, rural and suburban. We deliver our customers terrific savings, up to 40% compared to conventional grocery stores...."
"... Our shelves are stocked full of delicious foods and beverages from the basics like milk, bread and butter to more exotic fare like imported cheeses, organic produce and hand-tossed pizza from Italy. ..."
We found that Trader Joe's is definitely worth checking out on a regular basis to uncover a few really good buys... including some outrageously low-priced wine ($2.99 a bottle). Trader Joe's has expanded to almost 200 stores in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
Also check Trader Joe's® Bargain Raider "...We watch them every week, so you don't have to. Keep tuning in here, and you'll never miss the appearance of their best bargains. Don't forget to check out our other resources (listed on the side bar to your right), and before you try anything weird at TJ's, check our reviews first. .."
And some posts re Trader Joe's.