Barganista Blog

  • GO Buyer Shares the Secret to Finding WOW Products for Your Shopping Bag

    We sat down with Kai to chat about how our buyers find the best products and offer them for less than traditional retailers. Here’s what she had to say:


    Kai Mitchell

    I don’t understand why I can’t find the same things every time I shop – why is that?

    Kai: As a buyer, we look for amazing opportunities to bring products to your store. Sometimes this means that we purchase close-outs, over-production lots or promotional packaging that can’t be currently sold in other stores.

    We are able to get products that might otherwise end up unused or disposed of because it couldn’t be used in a traditional retailer. The product is still fresh and usable – and you can buy it for a fraction of what you would pay for the same thing, in a different package elsewhere. Once these special purchases sell out, they are gone. That’s why we say to come in often and stock up when you see a WOW deal.

    For example: a manufacturer was asked to create a special promotional 2-pack of deodorant for a national retailer. They forecasted more than the retailer actually purchased and they offered the excess to us – and it ends up on the shelves for you.

    Why is it that I can find products at GO for so much less?

    Kai: We’ve been around since 1946 and in that time we’ve developed some long-lasting relationships with vendors that trust us to be a great resource for them. Often times, a new vendor comes to us with an offer because they’ve heard about the way we operate. And there are other times where we seek out vendors – we meet them at tradeshows or find out that a product was sold to a new company.

    Our philosophy is to get back to our vendors immediately when they make us an offer. We take the products from them immediately so they don’t have to store it longer than necessary. We also purchase the products for a fair value – which our vendors place a high value on, enhancing our relationship with them. Many of our vendors also like knowing that they are helping a community – from the small business aspect of the independent operator to how that operator helps the community they are servicing. We really do live the “it’s just like family” philosophy and that extends to our vendors.

    I was in one Grocery Outlet and it didn’t have what my regular store had… was it sold out?

    Kai: It might have sold out or it may have been a special selection for the store. Sometimes one store will have something different than another, but there are many products that all of our stores will have in-stock. Variations come from the differences from store to store – this is the beauty of the independently owned and operated. We will make items available to purchase and the operator will bring it into the store if it is something that they think their customers will snap up. So one store may carry lots of NOSH items because their community loves the natural & organic selections, where another store may have a smaller selection but has an amazing selection of wines.

    We heard that you are now buying for the Health and Beauty section – what can we expect to see?

    Kai: We’re looking for WOW deals from conventional brands and natural product companies. Selections we’re looking to expand are the cosmetics we offer our customers – bringing in more high quality make-up choices for you. We’re also looking to expand our hair care selections – offering more variety of the brands you know and some hidden gems too.

    What’s the favorite GO product you have in your home right now?

    Kai: I love the organic maple syrup… who doesn’t love syrup?

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  • Your Guide for Going Meatless in March & April

    With many kicking off new healthy habits for the year and spring holidays starting this month, you might be scrambling to find meatless meals that the whole family will enjoy.

    Check out some of our top tips to go meatless this season that will make your mouth water!

    Substitute Fish

    While you can replace your tried-and-true weekday meals with fish fillets or tuna steaks, try substituting fish into your favorite recipes in place of meat. Love grilling burgers? Try salmon patties. Can’t get enough spaghetti and meatballs? Swap in shrimp in your spaghetti. Enjoy your chicken tacos? Experiment with scallop tacos. Using substitutions with fish, the world is your oyster.  

     

    Shrimp Pasta

    Give Tofu A Try

    Tofu might not conjure the most appetizing thoughts, but what is great about tofu is that it takes on a variety of flavors, depending on how you prepare it. We’re not saying you have should replace your Thanksgiving day turkey with a tofurky, but try incorporating tofu into rice dishes, stir fry dishes, soups, and salads for an added protein punch.

    Be Bold With Beans

    Beans are in fact a magical fruit, well…not a fruit but a legume anyway. They are wonderfully filling, and are packed with protein. For dinner ideas, crowd-pleaser recipes include Black Bean Burritos, Polenta with Beans or Falafel.

     

    Beet Salad

    Let Your Veggies Shine

    Spring is the season for a variety of vegetables to be at their peak of freshness. Veggies like artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, carrots, cherries, greens, oranges, strawberries, sweet onions and more are all in season in the March and April time. Tempt your taste buds with a Roasted Beet SaladQuinoa Stuffed Avocados or Spring Vegetable Stew.

    Need some more inspiration? Visit your local Grocery Outlet store and stock up on meatless staples to create your own recipe! 

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  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Two Ways!


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

    Every month in 2014, I'm sharing a plan for a couple meals you can easily put together for your family by shopping Grocery Outlet. My goal is to keep the menu to $2 or less per serving, based on a family of six. To capitalize on the savings I'll get by shopping at Grocery Outlet, I'll be creating meals that use similar ingredients, or as in the recipes featured this month, using one main ingredient two different ways.

    This month, I wanted to create a couple recipes that minimized your prep time. And what's more convenient than whipping out the slow cooker? So the first day, we're going to throw a pork roast in the slow cooker and then shred it and make pulled sandwiches. We'll use a bit of the leftover meat to create a deliciously different pizza!
     
    Haul from Grocery Outlet


    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
    - 3.5 lb pork roast
    - 1 package bacon
    - bag of onions
    - garlic
    - 1 clamshell organic salad greens
    - 1 2-cup package pizza cheese
    - 1 pizza crust mix (on sale for just $0.33!)
    - 1 bottle barbecue sauce
    - 1 bottle pickles
    - hamburger buns

    From the pantry:
    - 1 tbsp brown sugar
    - 1 tbsp chili powder
    - 1 tbsp kosher salt
    - 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    - 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

    All together, I paid just under $25 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $2.08 per serving (based on 6 servings). That works out to just a tick over $2 per serving, but I should point out that I suspect this menu plan serves more than 6. The pork roast yielded SO MUCH shredded meat that I gave a bunch to a friend to enjoy for dinner!

    Night One: Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches

    I found this highly-rated slow cooker pulled pork over at Chow.com and made some modifications for today's recipe.

     

    Pork Roast

     

    Place one thinly sliced onion and two cloves of minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1 cup of broth on top. Next, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Pat your 3-4 lb pork roast dry with paper towels, trim as desired, and then rub the spice mixture into the meat. Place the pork roast on top of the onions and garlic in your slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6-8 hours.

     

    Cooked Pork

    When I went to remove the roast from my slow cooker later in the day, my 5-year old daughter wandered into the kitchen and asked, "Mama, what is that wonderful smell?" So warning: be prepared to come home to a delicious aroma!

     

    Pulled Pork

    Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. My roast just fell apart, it was that moist! Don't forget about the broth and onions still in your slow cooker! Run them through a strainer and return the onions back to the slow cooker. You can return the shredded pork to the slow cooker as well. After the remaining broth has sat for a few minutes, the fat will float to the surface so you can easily skim it.

    Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of the barbecue sauce to the pork and combine. Pour in the reserved broth ¼cup at a time, until the meat is moist.

     

    Pulled Pork Sandwich


    The first night, serve the pulled pork on hamburger buns!



    Pickles

     

    I served mine alongside these hot & spicy pickles I found at Grocery Outlet for just $1.49! This is comfort food at its best and quick to serve up!

    Night Two: Leftover Pulled Pork Pizza

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza

    Now of course, you could go on and enjoy pulled pork sandwiches for the second night, but I want to encourage you to be creative with your leftovers!

    Pizza Crust

    Use any pizza crust recipe you like, but I opted for these Betty Crocker pizza crust mixes at Grocery Outlet for just $0.33! One of these makes a 12" pizza. I'd recommend you use 2 or even 3 of these crusts for feeding a larger family. All you need to do is combine with water and let sit for five minutes!

    I topped my pizza with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce (leftover from yesterday's recipe), one cup of pizza cheese, one cup of the pulled pork, and 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped up.

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza Slices

     

    I topped with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro after cooking. Of course, there are so many variations you could take on this pizza. Try adding sliced red onion, green peppers, or crushed red pepper. You could also nix the cheese or add fresh sliced tomato. This pizza was oh so good - and it took only minutes to throw together thanks to reusing the previous night's leftovers!

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    To download this recipe in a PDF, click here: March Recipe

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Italian Wedding Soup and Spaghetti and Meatballs


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    Every month in 2014, I'll be working to give a plan for a couple meals you can easily put together for your family by shopping Grocery Outlet. My goal is to keep the menu to $2 or less per serving, based on a family of six. In addition to finding terrific bargains at Grocery Outlet, I'm going to work to save money by using similar ingredients across both meals. For instance, in January I shared an awesome hearty slow cooker chili recipe and then we took the leftovers and turned them into burritos for the next day!

    For February, it's all about meatballs! Meatballs are delicious and quick to make, plus they can be used in a variety of dishes. We'll start by making up a big batch of meatballs the first night we'll make an amazing Italian Wedding Soup. The next night, we'll simmer the remaining meatballs in a simple spaghetti sauce.

     

    Ingredients

    Chances are you may already have many of the ingredients needed for either or both of these recipes like I did!


    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
    - 1 lb lean ground beef
    - 1 lb ground bulk sausage (OR for leaner recipes, opt for a 2nd lb of lean ground beef)
    - bag of onions
    - bag of carrots
    - 1 clamshell organic baby spinach
    - Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (I found this for just $1.99!)
    - Loaf of sourdough bread
    - 2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes (I found these for just $0.99!)
    - 4 cans chicken broth

     
    From the pantry:
    - 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
    - 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
    - 1/2 cup dry pasta (for soup) - any kind you have will do!
    - dry spaghetti noodles
    - minced garlic
    - 6 oz can tomato paste
    - 2 eggs
    - 1 tsp sugar
    - 1 bay leaf
    - 1/4 cup olive oil
    - salt and fresh ground pepper

     
    All together, I paid $23.27 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $1.94 per serving (based on 6 servings) - just under my $2 menu plan goal!

    Not only that, both of the following recipes are absolutely delicious. Even my picky eating children adored them!

    Step One: Meatball Prep!

     

     Meatball Prep

    The first step is going to be the most time consuming, but lucky for you, it's not that time consuming! I recommend you make all the meatballs for both recipes on the same night, to reduce mess and prep time.

    In a large glass bowl, mix the lean ground beef, sausage (if using), breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, 2 tsp minced garlic, and tbsp Italian seasoning.

     

     Meatballs!

     

     I find the easiest way to mix is simply by hand! If you can't get over the "ew" factor, you could process in a mixer. Once mixed, roll into small meatballs. I worked to make mine as consistent in size as possible, for even cooking times. You're now ready to make the next two recipes!

    I should mention that the Italian sausage made these meatballs quite tasty, but definitely upped the fat content. If you're looking to reduce that, I recommend you swap out the sausage for another pound of lean ground beef. Another idea would be to pre-cook the meatballs for the recipes below, to cook off some of the fat.

    Night One: Italian Wedding Soup


    Italian Wedding Soup

    I drew inspiration from this recipe at AllRecipes.com for today's easy and delicious soup! Start by bringing your 4 cans of chicken broth (8 cups total) to a boil. Then, add 1 cup diced carrots, 1/2 cup pasta (I used corkscrew), 1 cup spinach and 1/2 of your batch of meatballs. Cook for 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked. That's it! I served mine with the loaf of sourdough bread.

     

    Night Two: Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

     

    Spaghetti & Meatballs

     

    Once you've tried this delicious spaghetti sauce, I dare you to go back to the jarred stuff! I took inspiration from this recipe at Allrecipes.com.

     

    Spaghetti Sauce


    This recipe is incredibly simple to prepare, but it does require some time - so make sure to plan ahead! Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Stir in the 2 cans of whole tomatoes, salt, sugar, and bay leaf. Cover, reduce to a simmer for 90 minutes. Next, add your meatballs, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and pepper to taste. Cook another 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve with the pasta of your choice. I also love mine topped with a little Parmesan.

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • Beauty Blog: Better Hair in 7 Days!

    SarahWe have an exciting product on the shelves of every Grocery Outlet Store—CLEAR 7 Day Scalp & Hair Beauty Treatment! This seven day treatment is designed to give you softer, silkier, smoother hair in just one week.  If you check out the reviews online you’ll see that this is a 5 star product!  You’ll pay up to $15.99 for this product at drug stores—or $14.98 at WalMart, but you can buy the CLEAR 7 Day Scalp & Hair Beauty Treatment for just $3.99 at Grocery Outlet.  This is a 73% savings—can you say SCORE!?

    This product is super easy to use and smells amazing. The scent seems a little strong at first, but after you wash the treatment out of your hair, you’re left with just a light smelling fragrance and super silky hair. Personally, I have very dry and damaged hair from over processing and coloring—the CLEAR 7 Day Scalp & Hair Beauty Treatment made my hair so much more manageable and softer after just one usage! Plus, for just 3.99, what’s not to love?

    Hurry in to your Grocery Outlet to find the CLEAR 7 Day Scalp & Hair Beauty Treatment!

     

     

    Clear Hair Treatment

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  • Hearty Slow Cooker Chili and Chili Cheese Burritos


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    You're short on time, you're short on money, you're short on ideas!

    Does this sound like you? If so, I want you to join me this year at the Bargainista Blog. Each month, I'm going to give you a Grocery Outlet shopping list and recipes that will provide 2 meals for a family of 6. My goal will be to keep the total serving cost right around $2 per person, as well as keep your prep work simple. We're going to do this by focusing on similar ingredients between the 2 meals or using the leftovers from the 1st night's meal in a different way for the 2nd night. Here's our plan for January: the first night we're going to make a hearty chili in our slow cooker. Perfect for a cold winter's night and super quick when it comes to prep time! Then the second night, we're going to take the leftover chili and bake up some burritos. We'll also make sure to pick up some fresh salad makings to round out the meals.


    Ingredients

     

    Now if you've made chili before you might think it's a bit boring - but that's only because you've not yet tried this kicked up version complete with sausage! I have made many chili recipes in my day, but I have to say this one is by far the tastiest!

    Grocery List:
    - 1 lb ground beef
    - 1 lb ground bulk sausage
    - 1 yellow onion, chopped
    - 1 green pepper, chopped
    - 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    - 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
    - 3 cans chili beans
    - 2 stalks celery, chopped
    - 1 bag sharp cheddar cheese
    - 2 bags 10-ct tortillas
    - 1 bag corn tortilla chips
    - 1 container organic salad greens
    - 1 bottle salad dressing

     From the pantry:
    - 4 tbsp chili powder
    - 2 tbsp beef bouillon
    - 1 tbsp cumin
    - 2 tsp ground oregano
    - 1/2 tsp cayenne
    - plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper

     
    I was able to find everything I needed at Grocery Outlet to complete my two meals. My total cost? Just $26.51! That works out to $2.21 per serving (2 meals at 6 servings each). Plus, I should have some food leftover - for instance, I bought an entire bag of yellow onions. 

    Download a PDF of this recipe to print out here: Chili Recipe

     

    Night One: Hearty Slow-Cooker Chili

     

    Hearty Chili

     

     
    I was inspired by this chili at AllRecipes.com which combines ground beef and sausage! I changed up the recipe a fair amount to incorporate ingredients I found at Grocery Outlet and had in my pantry. I also wanted to make sure this recipe wasn't too spicy, so I omitted some of the spicier ingredients.

     

    Sausage

     

    Lucky for me - I found the ground sausage for just $1.99 at Grocery Outlet! Elsewhere, you'd pay about $4! I also found great deals on the other ingredients for this dish including the yellow onions, green bell pepper, and chili beans.

    To cook your chili, start by browning the ground beef and sausage in a skillet. While your meat is cooking, prep your other ingredients and place them all in a slow cooker - this will help maximize your time in the kitchen! Once the meet is fully browned, drain excess fat and add to the slow cooker. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

    When complete, simply spoon into bowls and serve! Top with the shredded cheese and serve with the tortilla chips and a generous side of salad.

     

    Chili!

    Night Two: Chili Cheese Burritos

     

    Chili Cheese Burritos

     

    Night Two is going to be a snap because you already have your chili assembled. Preheat you oven to 350°. Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan. Fill a tortilla with a nice dollop of the chili and top with cheddar. Roll and place on the sheet or in the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, until warmed through and the tortillas are just baked.

    Serve with a side salad.

     Burrito!

     

     I had a couple of these for dinner last night and they are AMAZING! I'm thinking of making a huge batch and freezing them to send with my husband for lunch! My 7-year old son thought they were delicious too, and he's not normally a fan of chili.

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or leftovers for a second meal. Then, make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first to save even more.

    Join me next month for another menu plan and shopping list!

     

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In the rare event she finds spare time, she loves gardening, hanging out with her girlfriends, and watching old cheesy monster movies.


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  • 2014: New Year, New Budget

    Happy New Year! It's refreshing to start a new year with a clean slate. While many new year resolutions may include trimming the waistline, we'd like to help folks trim their grocery spending. In fact, in 2013 we saved our customers $9,222,760.32. Here are some simple, money-saving tips for grocery shopping in 2014.

     

    2014 Budget

    Eat first. Never shop on an empty stomach. Most of us stop at the grocery store after work and before dinner when we are hungry. We've all made this mistake and it is a costly one. So try to plan grocery shopping on the weekends when you can go after a satisfying meal.

    Plan your meals. Meal planning will help you save time and money and avoid those unhealthy drive-thru dinners. Ask your family members to vote on their favorite meals and then take inventory of your cupboards so you don't end up with duplicate groceries.

    Shop in season. Out-of-season produce is more expensive, so find recipes for seasonal fruits and vegetables. It will also be the freshest and tastiest pick in the produce aisle.

    Think bulk. Buy yogurt, sour cream and soup in large containers. The individual servings are more expensive and not environmentally-friendly.

    Resist the ready-made. Pre-made, pre-cut or pre-washed groceries are convenient, but costly. If you're willing to put in the time to cut, wash and prepare your food, you'll reap the rewards and your wallet will thank you.

    Save the savings. Quick! Stash your savings so it doesn't run away. Some people like to make a game out of it and try to beat their savings each month.

    Wishing you all the best in the New Year! 

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project


    The weather's cold, your schedule's packed, and you have no idea what's for dinner. If this sounds like you, here's a thought: whip up a pot of hot soup! Making soup is pretty easy and usually only requires a few ingredients, making it easy on the budget too.

     

    DSCN3461 (600x800)

     

    The other day, I stopped in at my local Grocery Outlet store and found these canned Hunt's tomatoes for just $0.79 each. I decided to roll with it and make tomato bisque! I drew inspiration from this recipe from AllRecipes.com for today's post, eliminating several ingredients and adding roasted red peppers and cheese toast floats for a twist. Ingredients:
    • 4 cans 14.9 oz diced tomatoes
    • 1 red pepper
    • 2 cups half & half
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • plenty of salt & pepper, to taste
    • French bread, toasted and buttered, 1 or 2 cubes per bowl (optional)
    • Shredded cheese, about 2 or 3 tbsp per bowl (optional - I used sharp cheddar)

    DSCN3470 (800x600)

     

    Set your oven to 450°. Cut your red pepper into slices, put on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and top with salt. Roast until they are fork tender and the skins are just starting to char - about 10-15 minutes.

     

    DSCN3476 (800x600)

    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large stockpot and add in the onions. Sautee until softened. Then add all four cans of tomatoes (undrained), salt, and pepper.

     

    DSCN3479 (800x673)

    About this time, I found my red peppers were roasted, so I added them into the soup mixture. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Next, add in your 2 cups of half and half and stir until heated through.

    DSCN3482 (800x600)

     

    At this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I don't have an immersion blender, so I just pureed it in batches using my Vitamix. Works just as well!

     

    DSCN3484 (800x600)

     

    Now you could eat your soup up at this point and it would be delicious. But I felt it needed something extra... So I took a couple small pieces of French bread, toasted them in the oven with butter, then placed them on top of a bowl of soup. To that, I added a bit of shredded sharp cheddar that I found at Grocery Outlet and finished it all under the broiler for about a minute.

    If you go this route, make sure to use a broiler-safe bowl and set it on a baking sheet to easily move it in and out of the oven.

     

    DSCN3490 (800x600)

     

    This soup was very good, and I do think the toast on top made it perfect comfort food! Best of all, this recipe will yield you lots of soup - easily enough to feed 6 or 8 people or leave leftovers for a smaller family.

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • Happy Holidays!

    This time of year, we often reflect on what matters most to us.  Here at GO HQ, we talk a lot about how Grocery Outlet is a family.  It started with a family, the Reads, who created Grocery Outlet and helped it grow to 200+ stores.  It's continued on in our owner operator families, some of them second and third generation owner operators.  It's alive in our corporate headquarters in the atmosphere, approach, and our mission statement: Touching Lives for the Better.

    What's important to us year-round is family.  And you're a part of that family if you've ever come inside a Grocery Outlet store, visited our website, talked with us on social media, or even if you're reading this for the first time.  We hope we've touched your life, because you touch ours every day.  And we want that connection, that family, to stay strong for many years to come.

    Thank you for being a part of our lives and our family.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and much happiness, health, and cheer for this year and all the ones that follow.

    Grocery Outlet

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  • Cheers to Holiday Wine Savings!

    Whether it's a casual gathering with friends or the traditional family Christmas meal, holiday celebrations and wine go together like Santa and cookies.  We hoped you saved a lot on our 20% off Wine Sale this weekend, but the good news is that it's still the perfect time to stock up and say “Cheers!” to your savings on great wines. And since it can be overwhelming to buy wines sure to please everyone at the party, we wanted to share these simple tips.

    Think Variety. Holiday parties usually involve a large variety of foods, including appetizers and desserts. So don't limit the wine selection to the main course. Provide a variety of wine selections including a sparkling wine, a white wine and a red wine.

    Bubbles or Bust. Sparkling wine, or Champagne, makes every holiday activity feel more festive. And it will work for brunch, lunch and dinner parties. Don't be afraid to add a little dash of color to the bubbles with a splash of cranberry juice and a few fresh cranberries.

     

    Holiday Wine

    Go Corkless. It's become more common to find great wines with screw caps instead of corks. So you can ditch the hassle of a corkscrew – especially handy at a large party.

    Bulk Buy. If you find a wine you know you love, go ahead and buy in bulk. And if you're not hosting the holiday parties this year, it's the perfect hostess gift to bring along. Just don't show up empty handed!

    Go ahead and raise your glasses, then toast to your favorite people!

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  • Start Baking!

    As if commissioned by Santa Claus himself, today is National Bake Cookies Day! It's the perfect excuse to get out your favorite holiday cookie recipes and make a mess of your kitchen. And be sure to double the recipes so you'll have plenty to share with friends and family. Before you get started, nibble on these quick tips.

     

    Holiday Baking

    Stock up on staples. You don't want to be caught mid-mixing without those simple ingredients. Look for great deals at your local Grocery Outlet store, and stock up on the baking basics - like flour, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate chips. Keep chocolate chips in the freezer to maintain freshness.

    Mix in a holiday flavor. For a fun holiday twist, substitute traditional ingredients for holiday-inspired ingredients. Try adding crushed candy canes for a peppermint topping, or try this Egg Nog Cookie recipe.

    Pretty packages. If you feel inspired to share your sweet treats, wrap them up in a unique way. A large mason jar is a perfect way to show-off what's inside – and they can reuse the jar.

    Now it's time to throw on that apron, cue the holiday music and start baking!

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Stocking Stuffer Solutions

    Holiday shoppers were in full swing this weekend, some proudly announcing that their holiday shopping was complete. But with kids waving their holiday wish lists, it's easy for parents to forget about good ol' stocking stuffers. Stocking stuffers are a fun way to surprise and delight children on Christmas morning. So don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays leave you paying premium prices on stocking stuffers. Here are some budget-friendly stocking stuffing tips that will make you feel like the most clever (and frugal) elf in the North Pole!

    Be practical. Think about items that you need to buy anyway. A toothbrush, character Band-Aids, socks and even deodorant becomes fun when you pull it out of a big red sock!

    Make it edible. Look for your child's favorite snack foods for sock filler, like pretzels, gum, nuts and for the healthy families, even small fruits.

    Smart socks. Grab some school tools for your whiz kids! School supplies like pencils, erasers, highlighters, a calculator and a paperback book will keep them sharp during winter break. Who doesn't love new school supplies?

    Age up. Don't disappoint your teenage kids with a stocking full of kiddie knick knacks. Beauty supplies, including name brand beauty care items available at Grocery Outlet, will please teen girls. And you can't go wrong with a gas gift card.

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Gifts Galore! Delicious Gifts for the Hostess, Teacher and More

    'Tis the season of giving! At Grocery Outlet, we like to think you can give more, when you spend less. And we're here to help! This week we are talking about budget-friendly gift ideas for those special people on your list. Here are some fun gift ideas, perfect for teachers, neighbors and co-workers. And don't forget those gracious party hosts and hostesses that deserve some holiday love too.

    Edible gifts
    We love giving edible gifts because they don't become clutter or require a gift receipt for returns. Last year, we posted some simple recipes for edible gifts created by food blogger Amy Sherman at Cooking with Amy. And here are some delicious ideas to add to the mix:

    Go Nuts. Fill a decorative vase with nuts for a classic salty snack. Consider layering nut varieties with dried cranberries and yogurt-covered raisins for a dash of red and white. Adorn with decorative ribbon and a tag that reads, “Go Nuts this Holiday!”

    Santa's Trail Mix. Fill a large mason jar with layers of mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, peanuts, granola and cereal. If you're feeling ambitious, you can add these darling Santa Hats made with Bugles and red Candy Melts.  Recipe and photo via Cookies & Cups.

     

    Cheers. If you're strapped for time, a bottle of wine is the perfect gift to show your appreciation to the gracious hostess. Just add a pretty ribbon and gift tag, or write a festive note directly on the bottle's label. Pop in to your local Grocery Outlet's Wine Department and you're guaranteed to find a great selection of quality wines at bargain prices. In fact, they're such a bargain you can get yourself a bottle too!

    So go ahead and give yummy gifts galore! Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Your Holiday Home – Inside and Out

    Decking the halls can be overwhelming and expensive. So if you haven't had time to tackle your holiday decorating yet, we put together some budget-friendly ideas to help inspire your inner elf.

    DIY all the way. Making your own decorations will save money and it's sure to get you into the holiday spirit. Pinterest has more holiday DIY ideas than the North Pole has snow. And don't forget to get the kids involved. One of our favorite bargain bloggers, Charlene at My Frugal Adventures, has a great tutorial for Easy Homemade Children's Christmas Ornaments. Check it out and get your craft on!

    Poinsettia points. The poinsettia is a classic. And the bright red blooms will last for weeks. So go ahead and add them around the house – inside and out. Right now we have a great deal on 6-inch potted poinsettias for only $3.99. You'll save up to $5 on each one!

     

    Poinsettias

    Twinkle, twinkle. Twinkle lights add instant holiday glow. We like to add them to a mantle, a door frame and even above a headboard in the bedroom. And the new LED lights use less energy, up to 75% less, so you'll save money on your energy bill.

    Pinecones everywhere. Take a winter walk and gather pinecones to spruce up your holiday home with a natural twist. You can glam them up with glitter or keep them au natural. Before using, it's a good idea to bake pinecones at 200-degrees for 20-30 minutes to dry the sap and kill any bugs.  

    Now it's time to get decorating so you can enjoy it for the rest of the month before we ring in 2014! Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Budget Holiday Party Ideas

    It's the most festive time of year to host a party. You've trimmed the tree and hung the lights, now all you need is to gather your favorite people and enjoy some holiday cheer. So don't be a Scrooge when it comes to holiday entertaining, consider these party ideas to entertain on a budget.

     

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Holiday Movie Night.
    Everyone loves a classic holiday movie. Invite your guests to bring their favorite holiday movie and the group can vote on the one to watch. Pull out your cozy blankets and pillows and serve popcorn and hot cocoa.

     

    A Christmas Story

    Holiday Cheers. Host a holiday wine tasting party. Ask your guests to bring a bottle of wine to share. Place each bottle in a brown paper bag and number each bag. Then pass out judging papers for guests to rate each bottle. Tally the scores and reveal the winning bottle. Just add a cheese plate and some classic holiday tunes to complete the party.

    Giving Party. 'Tis the season of giving, so why not make a party out of giving back? Invite guests to join a local volunteer opportunity (check www.volunteermatch.org) then top off the evening with a festive dessert and egg nog. It's a win-win.

    However you choose to celebrate, we hope you will enjoy the holiday spirit with your family and friends.

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Greek-Style Turkey Burgers


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    When you get in a dinner rut of making the same meals over and over, one easy way to change things up is to simply reinvent one of those meals! For today's recipe, I thought I'd take a classic go-to dinner, hamburgers, and do a little something different with it drawing inspiration from the aisles of my local Grocery Outlet.

     

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    I found this 3-lb chub of Jennie-O Fresh Ground Turkey Meat priced at $5.99 at my Grocery Outlet - that works out to just $1.99 per pound!

     

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    Grocery Outlet always has amazing cheeses at ridiculously low prices, including Feta. That's when I got the idea to make Greek-style turkey burgers! I picked up some additional ingredients I thought would work well with this plan including Kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh cucumbers. Here's what you'll need:
    • 1 lb Ground Turkey
    • ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
    • ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese
    • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1 tsp minced garlic (about one clove)
    • ¼ tsp dried oregano
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, Greek-style dressing - to top your burger
    • Hamburger buns

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    Start by mixing the olives, sun dried tomatoes, Feta, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a deep bowl.

     

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    Next, work in the turkey meat and press into patties using wax paper. Fry them up in a little olive oil in a skillet.

     

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    Once your turkey meat is cooked thoroughly, it's time to build your burger! There are so many ideas here, but I opted for lots of fresh veggies like spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers - all from my Grocery Outlet! I also happened to have a Greek style dressing on hand so I used that in place of mayonnaise. Delicious! I hope today's recipe has given you some inspiration to break the dinner rut by making some simple tweaks to a meal you regularly make.

     

    Download a PDF of this recipe here: Greek-Style Turkey Burgers

     

    Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:

    Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment!

    Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.

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  • Last-Minute Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks

    It happens. Sometimes, despite our best intentions to plan ahead, the holiday happenings creep up on us and we find ourselves strapped for time. But don’t let it keep you from playing host to the most wonderful meal of the year. Here are three quick tips for the Last-Minute Lucy’s out there.

    Mini bird. If you don’t have time to thaw and cook the whole turkey, opt for just the breast. A five-pound turkey breast will cook in just about one hour and will serve 6-8 people.

    Less is more. You don’t need eight different side dishes. Just choose your favorite three side dishes. After all, the true Thanksgiving bounty is the abundance of loved ones. And the turkey sandwiches on Friday!

    Store bought shortcuts. Dressing up store bought products is a great way to save time and impress guests. Add fresh garlic and parsley to boxed mashed potatoes. A store bought pumpkin pie looks great topped with homemade whipped cream, sprinkled graham cracker crumbs and a sprig of fresh mint.

     


    Thanksgiving Dinner

    Easy Thanksgiving Decor

    Thanksgiving is all about the food, so don’t let a fussy centerpiece steal the show. Consider these ideas to let the great American feast take center stage.

    Thankful notes. Use a butcher paper table runner and place colorful markers at each place setting. Ask your guests to write or draw what they are thankful for. In fact, ask them to do it before each course is served.

    Outside in. While you are whisking the gravy, ask your guests to take a nature walk down the block to collect fall foliage and acorns. Then they can place their treasures in a clear glass vase (or a few) on the table.

    Go nuts. Use your existing serving dishes, like a clear glass trifle bowl, and fill with whole walnuts. You can also layer with clementines to add a dash of bright orange color.

    Pumpkin redo. Use those leftover pumpkins from Halloween for a winter white tablescape. Just paint pumpkins in creamy white hues and you can even add gold glitter for a little sparkle.

    Whatever you choose to decorate your table, we’re certain the family, friends and food gracing your table will be the most memorable.

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!



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  • A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Goodness and our $3 Thanksgiving Menu

    Thanksgiving week is here! It's our favorite holiday at Grocery Outlet and we want to help folks embrace the cornucopia of Thanksgiving goodness - food, family, football and gratitude!

    Let's start with gratitude. We are thankful for you, our customers, for your loyalty. We are thankful for each Grocery Outlet Owner/Operator for working hard every day to help families put food on their tables. And we are thankful for our team of smart people that help score amazing deals on name brands we all love, so we can pass the savings along to our customers. Yes, we are feeling the Thanksgiving love!

     

    Thanksgiving

    And now onto the food. We asked one of our favorite food bloggers, Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy, to develop a traditional Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings. We're not talking about those elaborate menus with complicated recipes and expensive ingredients that you'll find in the glossy magazines. Amy's mission was to keep the recipes simple and to use ingredients from Grocery Outlet so it will cost less than $3 per person. That's Thanksgiving dinner - and dessert - for less than a latte!

    You can find the menu, recipes and print the complete shopping list here: Download a PDF

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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  • What To Do With All Those Leftovers

    After the big holiday meal, you'll have a lot of turkey and trimmings left over.  Here are some great recipes from Amy Sherman, of Cooking with Amy, to use up your leftovers in new delicious meals.

     

    To download a PDF of these recipes, click here: Leftovers Recipes


     
    Turkey Pot PieTurkey Pot Pies
    Serves 6

    1/4 cup butter
    1 large onion, diced
    3 carrots, chopped, about 1 cup
    1/2 cup flour
    2 cups turkey or chicken broth
    1 cup milk
    2 cups leftover turkey, diced
    1 cup frozen peas
    6 biscuits, 1 pkg ready-to-bake biscuits

     

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large heavy skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook until soft and golden. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for an additional minute, then whisk in the stock vigorously to avoid any lumps.

     

    Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low and cook until thick but still saucy, stirring often, for 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in the turkey and peas, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Arrange six ramekins on a baking sheet. Spoon the filling into the ramekins. Roll out the biscuits to fit the top of the pot pies and cover each ramekin.  Bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

     

    Turkey Cranberry Melts
    Serves 4

    3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    8 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
    1/2 cup cranberry sauce
    4 turkey slices, about 8 ounces
    8 thin slices cheddar, colby or jack cheese, about 4 ounces

     

    Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices, buttered side down, on work surface and spread unbuttered side with cranberry sauce. Top with turkey, cheese and remaining bread (buttered side up).
    Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.

     


    Curried Turkey Rice Soup
    Serves 4

    Broth
    1 turkey carcass, broken into pieces 12 cups water (or enough to cover the carcass)
    1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters
    1 stalk celery, cut in quarters
    2 carrots, cut in quarters
    1 teaspoon salt

    Soup
    1 teaspoon oil 1 onion, diced
    1 apple, peeled and diced  1 carrot, diced  1 stalk celery, diced  1 teaspoon curry powder 4 cups turkey or chicken broth
    1/3 cup rice  1 cups cooked turkey, diced

    Broth
    Combine turkey, water, onions, celery, carrots and salt in a large pot. Bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and simmer for another 30 minutes. Strain the stock, removing the bones and vegetables and skim off the fat.

     

    Soup
    Heat a soup pot and add a teaspoon of oil. Add the onion, apple, carrot and celery and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes of until vegetables are softened. Add the curry and stir. Add 4 cups broth and rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, to a simmer and cover, cook until the rice is tender. Transfer 2 cups of soup the blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot, add the turkey and heat through. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 days, in the freezer for 2 months.

     


    Split Pea and Ham Soup
    Serves 6

    1 Tablespoon oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 carrots, diced carrots
    1 stalk celery, diced
    Bones from the baked ham
    1 pound dried split green peas
    8 cups water
    1 cup leftover baked ham, chopped

    Heat 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, add oil. Add the onions and salt and cook until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes.
    Add the carrots, celery, ham bones, and 1/2 pound of the split peas. Add 8 cups of water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking.
    Add the remaining split peas, cover and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until all the peas are soft.  Remove the bones and add the ham. Cook for another 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator for 4 days or the freezer for up to two months.
     

     

    Grilled Ham, Pear & Cheese SandwichesHam Grilled Cheese
    Serves 4


    3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
    8 slices sourdough or white sandwich bread  Dijon mustard 8 thin slices cheddar, colby or jack cheese, about 4 ounces
    1 small pear, peeled, cored and sliced
    4 ham slices, about 8 ounces  

     

    Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place four slices, buttered side down, on work surface and spread with mustard, then top with cheese, ham and pear slices, and remaining bread (buttered side up).

     

    Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
     
     
    Ham Breakfast Strata
    Serves 6 to 8

    Cooking spray
    10 eggs
    2 cups whole milk
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    6 cups sandwich style bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
    12 ounces leftover baked ham, diced
    8 ounces colby, cheddar or jack cheese, thinly sliced or shredded

    Spray a 2 - 2 1/2 quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and mustard.
    Place half of the bread in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the ham and half the cheese. Repeat with a second layer of bread, pressing down as necessary to fit in the baking pan.
    Carefully pour the egg mixture over into the bread and top with the remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Remove strata from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


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  • Plan and Prep for the Holidays

    It's the calm before the holiday storm and a great time to prep for the holidays. With a little planning, you can reduce the stress of last-minute holiday demands, and you might even have time to sip some peppermint hot cocoa by a crackling fire. Here are some quick tips to help get you started.

    Be a wrapping ninja. Stock up now on wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, gift tags and tape. Look for it at discount stores to save money.

    Stock your pantry. Stock up on holiday cooking and baking pantry essentials at Grocery Outlet where you'll find prices 40-70% less than traditional grocery stores. It will be a breeze to whip up some holiday goodies!

     

    Holiday Baking

    Get recipe ready. Peruse your holiday recipes and start planning your menus for festive gatherings. Mix it up and try one new recipe this year.

    Start purging. Take some time to de-clutter and create space for holiday décor and gifts. Donate gently used clothes and toys to a local charity. It's a win-win.

    The peppermint hot cocoa is calling your name!

    Happy Holideals from Grocery Outlet!

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