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  • Guest Blog: Meladramatic Mommy on Budget-Friendly Snacks

    Just in time for weekend sports games, we wanted to share a fun post from Melanie of Mel, a Dramatic Mommy on budget-friendly snacks at Grocery Outlet:

    Between packing lunches and sports weekends, snack foods have started taking up a bigger portion of my budget. There haven't been too many breakthroughs in terms of the variety of portable, healthier, non-perishables. My choices seem to be cheap and bad for you, or healthy and expensive. Organics? Hardly ever an option.

    I wasn't sure about taking my local Grocery Outlet up on their snack food challenge. I'm not used to shopping without coupons and couldn't see how I'd be able to save money without them. Plus, I thought the store would be filled with brands I'd never heard of. I was wrong on both counts.

     

    Organic Snacks from Grocery Outlet

     

    Since I've been paying attention to prices for so long, I have a good sense of when an item is priced well and when (even on 'sale') it is not. This knowledge came in handy while I was shopping. I picked up 26 items* and paid $29.34.

    When I took my receipt to Vons to compare, the savings were very clear. I found six items that were identical to the ones I purchased at Grocery Outlet. If I had purchased the same things in the same quantities from Vons, I would have spent $26.85 for only 10 items.

     

    Price Comparison

     

    That's a significant difference. Again, since snacks go so quickly in our house, they're something I keep an eye on because they can quickly take over my grocery budget. Now, will I see these same items the next time I go to Grocery Outlet? Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm fine with that. I'd rather a slightly rotating inventory with low prices than the same things over and over. Overall, I'm happy with my first experience and can say with certainty I will go back again.

    *There should be two more items in the photo: one more Yopa (I got hungry) and a 59oz bottle of Tropicana Orange Tangerine.

    For more of Melanie's post and a $25 gift card giveaway, visit her blog, Mel, a Dramatic Mommy.

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  • Guest Blog: Rave & Review, plus a Giveaway!

    Leanne from Rave & Review visited Grocery Outlet for the first time.  We wanted to share her blog post and the opportunity to enter her giveaway for a Grocery Outlet gift card.

     

    I started noticing many friends sharing their couponing successes online and started clipping myself, but some weeks I simply did not have time to fully plan for each shopping trip. And, then I noticed that a friend of mine was posting shopping success stories without ever clipping a coupon.

    Her secret? Our local Grocery Outlet store that she swears by for great deals and steals. What surprised me most wasn’t the low prices she paid, but the quality of the food she was buying. I’ve always known her as someone who was the picture of health – organic preferences, homemade whenever possible, and foods with as little ingredients as possible, so I was shocked to find out that she got nearly all her groceries there each week.

    Sure, I got these flyers in the mail, but I had dismissed it as simply a discount store. Boy, was I surprised to find it might be the solution I was looking for to help our food budget!

     

    Read the full review here: Rave & Review: Budget-friendly Grocery Shopping with Kids at Grocery Outlet


     Rave & Review

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Countdown to the Holidays: Tips to Survive the Season

    Once again, the holiday season is upon us! It's a special time to enjoy festive gatherings, family traditions and reconnect with loved ones. Who doesn't love the twinkle lights, holiday music and warm fuzzies that come with the season of giving? But it's also a time that can become stressful with increased demands on our time and money. At Grocery Outlet, we want to help folks survive the season with  these tips to save time and money.

     

    Happy Holidays from Grocery Outlet!

    Prioritize your commitments. The festivities are endless, but an overcommitted holiday calendar can bring out the Scrooge in anyone. Make a list of the holiday traditions that are most  important to you and your family, then cut the list in half and focus on the traditions that really make you happy.

    Limit shopping time. Forget those aimless shopping excursions and schedule only one day to complete all your holiday gift shopping. Make a list and stick to one theme for all gifts to make it easier to choose. For example, everyone on your list gets a book, or a game, or a specialty food item.

    Make hostess duties easier. Ask your guests to contribute an appetizer, side dish or dessert to the big meal. You can focus on the turkey or ham and spend less time in the kitchen. To avoid last-minuet hostess stress, set your table two days before with a non-perishable centerpiece. Include empty serviing dishes and utensils, labeled according to intended foods, so your helpers can assemble the feast.

    Give gifts from the heart. Keep your gift budget under control with homemade treats and gifts of your time. Consider framed photos from your digital archives, children's artwork for grandparents, homemade cookies, or a coupon for pet-sitting.

    Shop smart. Take inventory and shop your cupboards before you buy anything. Then, shop discount retailers first, such as Grocery Outlet, where you can find brand-name items for 40-70% less. Also, take advantage of offers online and social media sites.


    Now, take time to ponder your own ways to cut stress, save money and tame over-the-top traditions. Setting simple strategies in place early will keep you from being swept up in the holiday madness. And let you enjoy the magic of the season.

    Happy Holideals from everyone at Grocery Outlet!

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  • 20% off Wine Sale!

    For 5 days only, all wine at Grocery Outlet is 20% off!  Our prices are already 40-70% off regular store retails, so you can save an additional 20% during the sale, Wednesday November 6th - Sunday, November 10th!

    Also, save with us when you buy your Thanksgiving turkey at Grocery Outlet. Spend a minimum of $30, and get a 14-16 lb frozen turkey for just $9.99!

     

    20% off All Wine

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  • Back to School Savings

    Back-to-School season can cost you both time and money. Being of the frugal-minded, we want to help you alleviate some of the cost. Below, are a few easy-to-do suggestions on how to save money on school supplies.

    Think simple and plan. Make a list of the bare essentials for school and plan a budget. Knowing what you can spend in advance will help prevent surprise purchases and added stress. Stick to the bare minimum, like paper and pencils, and expand from there. Keep in mind, they’re going to class, not combat.

    Practice patience. During the first week of classes, teachers will usually send home a list of required items and materials for the school year. Holding off on a shopping spree and waiting for an “official” school list will prevent you from buying unnecessary items and help save on costs.

    Scavenge your space. Start your shopping at home. You’ll be surprised to find that a lot of the items on your list are probably right under your nose. Gather barely-used pens and pencils from your “junk” drawer, or borrow scotch tape and glue from your craft box. Better yet, help your children clean out their rooms, while keeping an eye out for lost rulers or erasers.

     

    Back to School

    Recover and recreate. Be creative with your old findings. You can spruce up used notebooks and binders with collages, using recycled paper, old magazines and stickers. If you’re sew-savvy, you can use loose fabric and a spare button to make a one-of-a-kind pencil case. Making it a family activity will help ensure your kids are happy with their refurbished supplies, while lessening your shopping load.

    Stay Organized. Encourage your family to keep all school essentials in one place. This will save time when a last-minute school project comes up and emergency report covers or construction paper is needed. But most importantly, staying organized will help you avoid unnecessary expenses during the school year, when things tend to get misplaced.

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  • Beauty Blog: Nail-ed It!

    If there’s one beauty regime I have trouble with, it’s painting my nails. I don’t have the time, the energy, or the willpower to sit with a bottle of nail polish, painstakingly paint each nail, only to accidentally touch something and ruin the whole hand. SarahAs if painting my nails one color wasn’t hard enough, the trends in nail art suddenly exploded and it was no longer ‘fashionable’ to have your nails only one color—there had to be intricate designs, patterns, themes! What was a girl to do but just stand by the wayside admiring all of those other girls with pretty nails?

    Someone in the beauty industry must have shared the same pain I had and decided to take action with Nail Art Strips—nail polish strips that are dry to begin with, can be repositioned after application, and have beautiful designs that could only come with hours of work and lots of money spent at the salon—it was as if my prayers had been answered.

    Before beginning work at Grocery Outlet, I was buying the same nail polish strips from CVS for 9.99 or more! I didn’t realize Grocery Outlet was able to buy the strips on closeout and retail them for just $2.99!  This is quite the steal, but thanks to a recent super-duper-exclusive closeout buy from Revlon, we’re going to be selling these Nail Art Strips for ONLY $1.50! Now that’s not just a deal, it’s a “SCORE!” This was a one-time specialty buy from Revlon so stock up while you can!


    Revlon Nails

    Another awesome perk about Nail Art Strips: the stinky nail polish smell is SUPER minimal. You could put these on almost anywhere—it takes less than 10 minutes to do!  Because of the zero dry time, you can do your nails in the car on a road trip, on the bus or train during a commute, or right before a night out!

    They are fun, easy, and oh so very chic!—and MUCH cheaper than a specialty salon manicure.

    TIPS: Use a basecoat to make the strips adhere to your nails better and prevent peeling…you won’t be able to reposition them, but if you’ve played with Nail Art Strips before, you should be fine. Even though a top coat isn’t necessary—I like to add one for some extra shine and protection. Your nail art (with these tips) should last about 2 weeks! And yes—these strips come off with nail polish remover.

    It does take a little bit of practice, but they are VERY EASY to apply and take off—plus you’re given several extra strips…just in case you mess up a little.

    Fancy nails

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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Goat Cheese & Apricot Preserve Appetizer


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Normally, I don't try to spice things up at the dinner table with fancy cheese because it's so expensive! However, Grocery Outlet always surprises me by offering up gourmet cheese for ridiculously low prices. This has been true of all the locations I've had the pleasure of visiting.

     

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    While at my local South Tacoma store recently, I stumbled upon such a cheese find. Check it out:

     

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    It's a small log of honey-flavored goat cheese for just $1.99. Elsewhere, you'd expect to pay about twice that. As I've never cooked with goat cheese before, I thought this would be just the ticket for this month's Breaking out of the Dinner Rut post. After all, I have definitely fallen into a pattern of choosing the same basic cheeses over and over again. Why not let a Grocery Outlet steal spark a new culinary experience?

     

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    While shopping - I bumped into my pal Christopher who works at Grocery Outlet. (He's actually the genius behind the Grocery Outlet YouTube Channel - make sure to check out their fun videos if you haven't already!). It turns out I was there during a wine tasting. How awesome is that?

    I mentioned the goat cheese to Christopher and he said he didn't much care for the stuff. But then he remembered an exception! He'd recently had an appetizer at a local restaurant which consisted of a crostini topped with dried fruit, pecans, and honey. I thought this sounded like excellent inspiration.

    So here's my version of that idea, frugal-ed up using Grocery Outlet ingredients!

     

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    Goat Cheese and Apricot Preserve Appetizers

    Ingredients

    • Crackers or appetizer-sized toast
    • Dried cranberries
    • Preserves of your choice - I selected apricot
    • Small log goat cheese

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    Start by spreading a little of the preserves on your crackers. Now you could use those fancy little toasts or crostini if you want, but I found that plain old crackers worked just fine for this recipe.

     

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    Next, spread a little of the goat cheese on top. You'll find that it may crumble a bit. Don't worry; it doesn't affect the flavor one bit.

     

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    Can you believe you're almost done with this recipe?

     

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    Finally, top with a few dried cranberries.

     

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    That's it!

     

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    I think they look pretty displayed on a cutting board with some sprigs of mint or other fresh herbs. (I had mint in my garden, so that's what I used!) You can serve this as a prelude to a light dinner alfresco, perhaps with some sparkling wine (make sure to check Grocery Outlet's wine department for fabulous prices there, too)!

    All told, I spent about $8 on the ingredients to make this recipe. I love that it's totally frugal but looks like I paid a lot more to make it.

    How were these?

     

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    I think the results speak for themselves!

    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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  • Beauty Blog: Color Me a Trendy Saver!

    A fun and easy way to change up your look without emptying your pocket book? Try a new hair color! Changing the style, color, or cut of your hair can Sarahdramatically change your appearance and give you a fresh look.

    At Grocery Outlet we’ve got an assortment of hair color from Nice ‘n Easy by Clairol. What’s nice about most of these Nice ‘n Easy items is that they’re non-permanent! Try a new shade of brown or go ‘back to black’ without the huge commitment!  Non-permanent hair color gradually washes out of your hair over time—the box says it will last about 28 washes.

    Elsewhere, a box of Nice 'n Easy hair color retails for up to $7.99! Shop Grocery Outlet and spend only $3.99! For just $3.99—how can you afford to not try something new and exciting with your hair? 

    You save up to $4 on Nice 'n Easy hair color.  While you're at it, get some with a friend and have a home beauty night.  Do your nails as you wait for your hair to process with our great nail products—also in the Health & Beauty Care aisle.

     

    Nice 'n Easy

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  • Sam the Cooking Guy and Grocery Outlet

    We like to partner with local chefs and experts to illustrate how you can use the bargains you find at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in your everyday life.  We've been honored to work with Sam the Cooking Guy, whose take on easy, affordable cuisine is one we greatly admire.

    A little about Sam
    Sam Zien, known as Sam the Cooking Guy, is a Canadian-born television cook (not a classically trained chef) and author, based in San Diego, California. His show, Sam the Cooking Guy, started on local television stations before moving to a Fox affiliate and thence to Discovery Health. He has won multiple Emmy awards, including one for an episode on Jewish cuisine. Zien started his television career doing travel shows, but reconsidered after the World Trade Center attack. in the decade following Zien has taken his television cooking show on the road, producing multiple shows across the world in places like Hong Kong, Fiji, New Zealand and Vancouver. (from Wikipedia.  For more about Sam, check out his bio here.)


    Sam the Cooking Guy
    Source: Sam the Cooking Guy

    Grocery Outlet
    Sam agreed to partner with us in launching our East Village San Diego location.  He cooked for a couple of events we hosted at that store, and in the process, created these five videos for us about the amazing values he found at Grocery Outlet, checking out the deals by scanning them on his phone.  He even made some spicy steak and corn soft tacos.  Check out our videos below for more.

    Sam the Cooking Guy - Introduction

    Sam the Cooking Guy - Prices

    Sam the Cooking Guy - NOSH (Natural, Organic, Specialty, Healthy)

    Sam the Cooking Guy - Wine & Beer

    Sam the Cooking Guy - Sam Cooks Spicy Steak and Corn Soft Tacos

    Thank you Sam, for showing us you can make a healthy and delicious dinner easily and inexpensively, by shopping and saving at Grocery Outlet!

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  • Beauty Blog: Get the Skinny on Skinny Girl

    Sarah

    This past week Grocery Outlet ran an AD featuring the new and exciting Skinny Girl line by Bethenny Frankel. Many of us know her for the Skinny Girl Margarita and assorted other mixed drinks, but she seems to be a jack of all trades these days: skincare line, shaping body wear line, nutrition line…what’s next?

    We got an awesome deal on Skinny Girl products, so naturally we are sharing it with you! The unusual thing about this buy is the breadth of product we got—we are almost able to carry the complete Skinny Girl line! That amount and variety of product is rare in a closeout deal.

    More importantly, these products are a great value. If you go to Target, Walmart, CVS, or even drugstore.com you’ll see that this skincare line retails anywhere from $5-$16—but at Grocery Outlet, we’re selling Skinny Girl for $1.99-$4.99. Yes, you read that correctly.



    Items that I’m most excited about:

    Skinny Girl Lip Balm Shimmer—for when you want to keep things fun but not flashy. The Plumping Lip Gloss also has a lovely shimmer to it. And for $1.99—what’s not to love?! With ingredients like Shea Butter and Castor Seed Oil, lips will look luscious and be moisturized!

     

     Skinny Girl

     

    Skinny Girl Cleansing Facial Cloths—I’m addicted to facial cloths, because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to walk over to the sink and wash my face. These particular facial cloths have Aloe, Chamomile, Cucumber, and Willow Bark, which have natural anti-inflammatory properties. They’re only $2.99 for a pack of 25! These are great to pack in your bag to use after hitting the gym, yoga studio, or even doing a little gardening outside—or you could be like me and use them instead of washing your face, which might not be the best thing to do, come to think of it.

    Skinny Girl Tinted Daily Moisturizer SPF 15—I wear sunscreen every day—if you don’t already, you should too! Finding a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen is wonderful, especially if you’re not one to wear very much makeup, but want just a little bit more coverage. This is a great product to use as your base if you wear foundation. We carry this in three different shades: Sand, Beige, and Mocha. For $3.99, it’s hard to beat this awesome deal.

     

     Skinny Girl on Shelf

     

    If that wasn’t enough to get you excited about the Skinny Girl Skin Care Line, you should know that Skinny Girl does not test on animals. All of the products smell great, feel great, and are a great value! So hurry in and try Skinny Girl before we run out!

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  • Lesson 8: Save Money by Freezing Your Food


    Frugal Find Logo

    A 12-Month Series by Guest Blogger Julia Wessels, from The Frugal Find

    We talked very briefly last month about freezing your food as a method to saving money each month. Well I want to elaborate because in my opinion this is one of the MAIN ways you can save BIG each month. The key is stocking up when the prices are low, but if your food goes to waste so does your money. So you need to be prepared to freeze your goods. For quite some time I used the affordable over the counter Ziploc Vacuum Starter and Bags to freeze various food. However recently we upgraded to a FoodSaver from Costco, we bought the lower end model for $64 (after an instant $20 rebate). I’m so happy we did this, it’s made the process so much quicker and easier! However the Ziploc Vacuum works very well too!

     

    Frozen Food

     

    Here is a list of many food staples that freeze well. Of course, this isn't an extensive end-all list, but it's a great place to start!

    Milk and Cheese - Cheese is simple, just toss it in the freezer that includes shredded cheese too! However with your milk, you'll need to take the cap off and pour out about a 1/2 cup to leave room for the jug to expand. Often times you can find milk on clearance but if it expires in just a few days, you may not consider buying 4 gallons, unless of course you freeze them! When you thaw out your milk (in the fridge) you may need to give it a good shake before serving, but that's it.

    Eggs - Yes, surprisingly eggs freeze very well! You'll just need to take them out of their shells first and scramble them (you don't have to, but I find it's much easier this way). Place the scrambled eggs in ice cube trays to freeze them initially, then I combine them in a Ziploc bag to save space. You could also just place 6 scrambled eggs directly into a ziploc bag if you plan to use them all at once.

    Asparagus

    Veggies, Herbs, and Fruit - These are one of my favorites to freeze because it means that even when produce isn't in season I can still enjoy it. Recently I stocked up on asparagus. Here’s a tip when freezing asparagus (and brussels sprouts), the key is to blanch them first. Drop them into boiling water for 2-3 minutes then immediately place them into a cold water ice bath. Blanching stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Until vegetables are harvested, the enzymes cause them to grow and develop their color and flavor. By blanching them you stop that process, keeping them as fresh as possible.

    Bread, Cake, Pies, Dough - All forms of pastries freeze well, you just need to make sure that you prep it well using wax paper and a good freezer bag (or freezing system). Bread goes on sale from time to time and if I can find a good hearty whole wheat loaf for $1.00, that's when I buy 8-10 loaves and stick them in the freezer. We have 4 kids and we easily go through a loaf every 2-3 days so stocking up is essential for us.

    Fully Prepared or Fully Cooked Meals - This won't just save you money it will save you a lot of time too! If you can cook a meal or two in bulk and then freeze the rest you'll be very thankful when a busy day rolls around. Just grab that extra pan of enchiladas out of the freezer and stick in the oven! Maybe you'd like to organize a group of friends and create a Freezer Meal Exchange Group on Facebook!

    You may also be interested in using this Free Printable Freezer Inventory Form to keep track of what you have in the freezer. After all, you've gone through all the effort to score a deal and prep it for the freezer you wouldn't want it to go to waste because you forgot you had it!


    Frozen Food

     

     

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