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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Breaking Out of the Dinner Rut: Sausage & Pepper Mac 'n Cheese


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    At a freezer meal swap I participated in recently, my good friend Haley brought this delicious homemade macaroni and cheese casserole to share. (You might remember Haley from this video we were in for the Grocery Outlet YouTube channel a few months ago!) Unlike just plain old cheese and noodles, hers had chicken sausage, vegetables, and a breadcrumb topping. It was perfect comfort food!

    I loved the idea of elevating an old standby dinner - macaroni and cheese - into something a bit heartier. Talk about a perfect way to get out of a dinner rut! Taking inspiration from Haley's dish, I headed to my local Grocery Outlet to see what I could find to make something similar.

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    I found these packages of Beeman Gourmet Sausages priced at just $2.99! Elsewhere, you could expect to pay up to $5.99 for the same product. I decided to select the Apple and Gouda Cheese variety. We've had it before and it's delicious!

     

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    I couldn't help but notice these beautiful peppers for just $0.50 each! This is a great deal on colored peppers - they can often be as much as $1.50 at other grocery stores (and sometimes more.).

     

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    Finally, the pasta. I found this package of rotini for just $0.89. Feel free to use whatever pasta you want for this recipe; it certainly does not have to be elbow macaroni.

    Start by preparing your bag of 1-lb pasta according to package directions. Veer towards cooking it "al dente" as you'll be baking it up in the oven a bit. While the pasta is cooking, you can begin to cook up the other components of this casserole.

     

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    I sliced up all four chicken sausages (12 oz) and browned them lightly in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil.

     

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    Next, I added in a diced red pepper and continued cooking for another minute or so, just until soft. Turn off heat and set aside.

     

    cheesesauce

    Now it's time to make your cheese sauce. Gather 1 cup of warm milk and 2 cups of shredded cheese (I chose 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1 cup of Colby Jack, but you could vary this based on your preferences). Start by melting ¼ cup of butter (that's ½ a stick) over medium heat. Once it's melted, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. The mixture will thicken and bubble pretty quickly, so make sure to keep whisking - don't let it burn! Once you see the bubbles form, begin to drop in cheese shreds by handful and alternate with adding the milk, whisking constantly, until it's all incorporated. Finally, add a pinch of salt. At the end you should have a delicious, silky smooth cheese sauce!

    Turn off the heat, and set aside. If you've timed everything right, your pasta should be just about done now. Go ahead and drain it.

     

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    As you might have guessed, you're going to mix the pasta, cheese sauce, and sausage all together. Pour into a lightly-greased casserole dish. Sprinkle ½ cup breadcrumbs and drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake in a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes until set.

     

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    Well, how was it? I have to tell you that of all the dinners I've featured here on the Bargainista Blog, this is hands down my favorite! It's hearty fall comfort food at it's finest, but it's still quick and easy to make. I spent a total of $8.39 preparing this dish thanks to Grocery Outlet, so it's also friendly on the budget.

    A special thank you also to my friend Haley for the idea!  Download the PDF of this recipe here: Recipe Card.

    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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  • 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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  • Guest Blog: Save Money with Edible Gifts!

    Truly, giving is better than receiving. Giving gifts to our friends, family, neighbors, teachers and co-workers is one of our favorite parts of the holiday season. So we're embracing it! And this year, we're all about edible gifts like cookies or hot cocoa to help your loved ones welcome the holiday spirit in a delicious way. They will enjoy the treat, without the clutter of one more thing to store in the closet, kitchen or garage. And with ingredients you can find at your local Grocery Outlet, your budget will rejoice too!

    Here are simple recipes for edible holiday gifts, developed by food blogger Amy Sherman at Cooking with Amy.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar
    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 12 ounce package, semi sweet chocolate chips, about 2 cups
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/3 cup granulated sugar

    Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in a 1-quart jar. Layer on the chocolate chips, brown sugar and finally the white sugar on top, pressing firmly after each layer. Seal with lid and decorate with fabric, ribbon and a recipe tag.

    Recipe tag to attach to jar:
    Preheat oven to 350° F. Beat 1 stick softened butter or margarine and 1 large egg in large mixer bowl until blended. Fold in the contents of the jar with a wooden spoon. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy with a glass of milk - and don't forget to save one for Santa!


    Cookies in a Jar


    Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar
    4 packets hot cocoa mix
    4 teaspoons chocolate chips
    1/4 cup mini marshmallows

    Open the packets of cocoa mix and pour them into a tall narrow jar. Top with marshmallows and add a layer of chocolate chips on top.  Seal with lid and decorate with fabric, ribbon and a recipe tag.

    Recipe tag to attach to jar:
    Combine jar contents with 4 cups of hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour into 4 mugs and sip by the glow of the holiday lights. Enjoy!

     



    Hot Cocoa in a Jar

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  • Beauty Blog: Holiday Gifts!

    ‘Tis the Season!  Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have come and gone, Sarah this time of the year goes from being "The Season of Giving" to "The Season of Over-Spending."  Even though you’ve checked your Holiday Gift List multiple times, it’s easy to lose track of things in your holiday bows and wrapping paper.

    Let Grocery Outlet be your one stop shop for holiday gifts!  There are all kinds of wonderful finds for the holidays—at amazing prices!  The Health & Beauty Department has all kinds of gift sets and stocking stuffers that will be sure to WOW on Christmas morning.

     

     

     

     

    Popular Stocking Stuffers:
    Holiday gifts from Grocery Outlet
    • Nail Polish
    • Hair brushes & Accessories
    • Tooth Brushes
    • Tooth Paste
    • Whitening Kits
    • Small bottles of perfume
    • Makeup Sets
    • Nail Clippers
    • Nail Files
    • Body Lotions
    • Lip Gloss
    • Travel Kits
    Some great brand names to snatch up and stuff into stockings: Revlon, Sally Hansen, Bert’s Bees, Tim McGraw, Katy Perry, Trim, Marvel, Star Wars, Crest, E.L.F., Adidas, Barbie, Dora the Explorer, Disney, Justice League, Baby Phat, and much more!

    Gift Sets From:  Gifts from Grocery Outlet
    • E.L.F
    • Adidas
    • Disney
    • Trim
    • Baylis & Harding
    • Assorted Fragrance Sets
    • Burt’s Bees
    • Crest

    Don’t forget, you can also create your own unique gift sets! Grocery Outlet has everything you need—from bags, baskets & boxes—to ribbon, bows, & cards!

    No matter how big or small your holiday budget is, Grocery Outlet can help you bring tremendous value to your holiday. Save time shopping—spend time with those you hold near and dear.

    Remember gift sets and quantities vary from store to store—but each Grocery Outlet is stocked with extraordinary finds! Enjoy the treasure hunt—we’ve loaded the stores up with all kinds of goodies this year!

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  • Lesson 10: Frugal and DIY Halloween Costumes


    Frugal Find Logo

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

    When I grew up, Halloween costumes were made from "scratch" around the house.  Today, however, costumes can cost upwards of $50 each just for the kids!  This is just silly.  They're worn for a couple of hours then tossed in a bin to donate next year when they've been outgrown.  Now, I realize there are those kiddos that wear their costumes night and day for months—we have had a couple of those around here, however, I still cannot justify the $50 price tag.  So with this in mind, I thought I'd share a few DIY costume ideas from around the web.  I hope you find something here that will save you a few bucks.

    Tip Junkie has a slew of great Halloween DIY ideas, everything from food, to decor, to costumes.

    Real Simple has a photo slide show with 16 DIY Costumes for Kids.  They're really cute too!  I especially love these because most of the costumes are from your kiddos' gear that they already have at home!

     

     Safari Costume
    Photo Credit: Real Simple

     

    Of course we can't forget Pinterest, especially when DIY is in mind.  Check out this Halloween Costume board over on Pinterest for some great costume ideas for all ages.

    I'd love to hear from you.  What are some of your frugal, tried-and-true costumes?  Has your child ever won a "Best Costume" award and you were grinning from ear-to-ear because you knew it cost you practically nothing?  Leave a comment on our Facebook post and let us know what your best costume was!


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  • Lesson 9: Back to School Lunches on a Budget


    Frugal Find Logo

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

    If you're sending kids to school, likely you're making the decision between hot lunches at school or sending a cold lunch.  We have four kids all in school this year and a hot lunch costs $2.50 x 4 that's a whopping $10 a day!  I've talked before about our ENTIRE family grocery budget being only $75/week.  This would seriously eat into our budget so the decision for our family was an easy one to make.


    Back to School Kids

     


    Of course, finances aren't the only factor that plays into sending a lunch with our kids to school.  Knowing they'll actually EAT the food I send with them is even more important.  I wanted to share a few examples of lunches we send with our kids each day.  First of all, we invested in a few containers with snug lids to put inside their lunch boxes so that we could cut back on the cost of Ziploc bags.  I also scoured local thrift stores and found a few Thermos containers so that I could send hot lunches from time to time.  Sending hot lunches is a great way to stretch your budget if you have leftovers from dinner.  For example, today my daughter is taking a bowl of White Bean Chicken Chili to school today—I think that beats a PB&J any day!


    Cost of food varies greatly from state to state, but I think you'll find that hands-down, eating at home (or prepared at home) food is always cheaper.


    Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about creative (and frugal!) lunchbox meals:
    Bagel & Cream Cheese
    Homemade Uncrustables (PB&J or Grilled Cheese)
    Salami, Cheese, and Crackers - substitute ham, turkey, etc
    Peanut Butter and Apple "Sandwiches"
    Homemade Pumpkin Muffins
    Soups and Chilis

     Homemade Uncrustable How-To!

    There are also a few tools that make packing lunches a breeze for me.  The first one is the Apple Wedger which works great for pears too! When packing hot liquid lunches (soups, etc) the Thermos Leak Proof Stainless Steel Food Container is a must!  Of course if you're packing a cold lunch and actually want it to stay cold you'll need a couple Blue Ice Packs.  Also as I mentioned above, a good set of plastic containers are very useful and in the end will help you to save money by cutting out Ziploc bags. I like The Container Store Klip-It Lunch Cubes but there are many different products on the market, the key is to make sure they don't leak especially if you're putting fruit or yogurt into the containers.


    Lastly, I thought I'd share one of my family's favorite recipes: Homemade Granola Bars!  They're actually very simple to make and a lot heartier (and healthier) than your average Quaker granola bars. This recipe comes from my friend Sumiko who blogs at Near to Nothing.  She guest posts on The Frugal Find each week in our From Our Pantry on a Budget series!

    Granola Bars
    2 cups old fashioned oats
    1/2 to 3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup wheat germ*
    3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    3/4 tsp salt
    3/4 cup mix-ins (see below)
    1/2 cup honey
    1 egg
    1/2 cup canola oil
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    Mix-ins:
    Dried cranberries
    Chocolate chips or peanut butter chips
    1/2 Cup peanut butter (plus some chocolate chips, of course!)
    Nuts
    Dried fruits (apples, bananas, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
    Pretty much anything your heart desires!

     Granola Bars!


    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour wet ingredients into well.  Mix until combined, then spread into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they begin to turn brown around the edges. Cut bars while still warm then cool completely. Store in an air-tight container or zip-top bag.


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  • Lesson 6: Staycation!


    Frugal Find Logo

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

    Defined by Wikipedia
    A staycation (or stay-cation, or stacation) is a neologism for a period of time in which an individual or family stays at home and relaxes at home or takes day trips from their home to area attractions. Staycations have achieved high popularity in current hard economic times in which unemployment levels and gas prices are high.

    Common activities of a staycation include use of the backyard pool, visits to local parks and museums,  and attendance at local festivals. Some staycationers also like to follow a set of rules, such as setting a start and end date, planning ahead, and avoiding routine, with the goal of creating the feel of a traditional vacation.

    Vacationing with any size family can be a budget breaker and for many of us it's simply not possible at all.  With airfare out of the question for a family of 6 and gas prices soaring, you may have to stick close to home. That's why for the past few years our family has taken to the Staycation approach.  We take a few days off of work completely so that we're "on vacation", but instead of going anywhere, we explore our very own town.  We make time to do things that we wouldn't normally do and see.  We eat out, we go to the movies, and we just have fun!  Now those things can add up too, so you want to find frugal ways to save during your Staycation.  

     

    Bowling

    Here are a few ideas you'll want to keep in mind this summer:
    • You can head to the movies for $2 per ticket (or less!) this summer, head on over here for a full list of participating theaters.
    • How about bowling?  Take the kids bowling for FREE, there are 2 different programs running this summer.  The first is called "Kids Bowl Free" and the other is run by AMF Bowling with over 250 participating bowling alleys!
    • For dining out and more entertainment ideas, I suggest you stalk daily deals sites such as Living Social, Groupon, and Plum District.

    You can go here to see some of the events/outings we've done in the past, but we’re looking for new and fresh ideas this year as we're living in a new state!  Have you done a Staycation before?  Please share your tips, ideas, ways to make it fun, etc., on this Facebook post We'd love to hear from you!

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  • Pick up your Picnic!

    It's the perfect time for picnics!  Picnickers often head out with complicated dishes, but you can keep it simple and inexpensive by picking up your picnic at Grocery Outlet! Here's how:

    Fruit Salad - We have the best of the season in our produce aisles.  Slice berries, melons, pineapples, and citrus for a delicious and refreshing fruit salad.  All it takes is a little time, plus it's healthy and great for your family.  To jazz it up, thread fruit chunks onto skewers for fruit kabobs.


    Picnic!

    Deviled Eggs - A classic, and totally inexpensive.  There are hundreds of different ways to make them, but give them a twist by replacing some of the spices or fillings.  Check out this article for Deviled Eggs with Pesto, Bacon & Cheddar or Tomato & Capers.

    Cold Cuts - Sure, you could make the classic picnic staple of Fried Chicken, but why fuss?  Pick up a bunch of cold cuts from Grocery Outlet's deli section, some cheese, bread, and other sandwich fixings and let everyone make their own sandwich.  Or you could slice salami and cheese, and add olives and tomatoes for a great antipasto platter. 

    Looking for something a little different? Check out this article on easy picnic food you can make in 20 minutes from the New York Times: 101 Picnic Foods in 20 Minutes or Less.

    Don't forget to pick up your picnic at Grocery Outlet during the month of June! We have lots of great picnic items at extremely low prices.

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  • Lesson 5: Garage Sale Tips and Tricks


    Frugal Find Logo

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

    It’s that time of year again: it’s Garage Sale Season!  Yes it's a season, look... Fall, Winter, Spring, Garage-Saling, and Summer.  See?  I told you!

    I absolutely LOVE to go out on a Saturday morning and hit multiple garage sales.  It’s a fun hobby, but it’s also a frugal way that I provide for my family.  If there is something that we need, say clothes for the kids, a griddle, a printer, a patio table, etc., it goes on my Garage Sale Hunting List.  We have envelopes for these expenses already budgeted, so I figure out the funds and plan my trip.

    Garage Sale

    Here are a just a few tips to make the experience worthwhile…

    1.  Have a plan.  I use the iGarageSale app on my iPhone to help me along the way, but beforehand I search Craigslist and the newspaper for ads that look like they may have a few of the items I’m looking for.  I gather the address and add them to my GPS, optimizing them so that I’m not driving back and forth across town.

    2.  Have a budget.  Bring a certain amount of cash and leave the rest at home.  You’re much less likely to overspend if you simply don’t have a way to do so.

    3.  Show up on time, but not early.  I like to get to a garage that I know has something I want on-time, but if you're there early you risk being annoying.  If you annoy the seller, they're less likely to want to bargain with you.  Plus it's just rude, they had to roll out of bed much earlier than usual on a Saturday morning and they're probably feeling a bit stressed as it is.

    4.  Practice negotiating.  People that are selling the items you’re shopping for consider much of it “junk” and that works to your advantage.  Many times I’ve been blown away by what people consider junk because to me it’s a treasure!  With that said, always ask if they’ll take less.  More times than not they will.  Now don’t undercut them to the point of insulting them, but it is a garage sale and bargaining is the game.

    5.  Be prepared.  Pack a snack, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lots of water – but not too much because you’ll have to find a restroom!

    What are some of your best Garage Sale tips?  Let's talk selling and shopping!

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  • Stocking Stuffer Savings

    With all the festivities and shopping lists, we're all strapped for time and money during the holidays, and stockings are often overlooked until the last minute.  Often, this means paying premium for those sock-sized items, and the stuffed stocking can end up costing more than the big gift.  The Bargainistas at Grocery Outlet have some simple suggestions to help you save time and money and deliver stocking bliss.

    • Be Convenient. You don't need to make a special trip to a special store.  Look for stocking stuffers at the places you normally frequent, like Grocery Outlet.
    • Be Sneaky.  Sneak in some practical items like a toothbrush, socks, band-aids and school supplies.  These are things you'll need to buy anyways, so you'll be stuffing two socks with one dollar.  And, one less trip to the store when your kid needs new socks.
    • Be Consumable.  If you're one of those parents that feels like all the little toys are overtaking your home, stuff those socks with consumable items, like their favorite candy, gum, fruit snacks and granola bars.
    • Be Thematic.  Follow a theme for all the items.  Have an art enthusiast?  Fill the stocking with art supplies – markers, crayons, glue, and butcher paper rolled up.  It will give you back a fridge door full of artwork to display.
    • Be Silly.  Throw in a couple things that will make them laugh.  Maybe a whoopie cushion or a pet rock.
    Happy sock stuffing and Happy Holidays from everyone at Grocery Outlet!

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  • Holiday Memories Worth a Fortune

    The holiday season is a wonderful time to bring together families and friends, and celebrate the season with festive traditions, old and new. But it's also easy to get caught up in the holiday spending trap for the sake of making holiday memories. So this year, our Season of Sanity pledge inspired us to consider holiday merriment that won't break your budget. In fact, many of these fun and festive ideas are free!

    Light Drive. Surprise your family or friends with a tour of the local holiday light displays. Put on some cozy pajamas, pack some cookies, then start driving. Don't forget the holiday tunes!

     

    Christmas Lights

    Seasonal Song. Bring back an old-time tradition with an evening of caroling. Dress in warm and festive attire and surprise your favorite neighbors with carols at their door. It will surely put a smile on their faces. And, you might be invited in for some hot cocoa and conversation!

    Give Service. It will only cost you time, but you'll receive much more and lasting memories. Schedule time to visit a local shelter or food bank and lend a helping hand. Include the children to inspire the next generation of do-gooders.

    Winter Wonderland.  December 22nd marks the Winter Solstice this year, welcoming longer days of sunlight, and a day many cultures celebrate with winter festivals. Host your own winter wonderland celebration, even without snow outside.  Build a paper snowman, make homemade ice cream and go ice gummy fishing in a bowl of ice!

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  • Party On!

    Chris gets his party on with festive ideas on how to save money on holiday entertaining.  He also previews our latest ad on Bargain TV.




    What's your favorite holiday song of all time? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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  • The Bargainista's Guide to Holiday Entertaining

    This month is sure to hold holiday gatherings galore! It's the most wonderful time of the year to gather family and friends for a night of holiday merriment. So whether you are hosting or attending the festivities, use these ideas to help you enjoy the holiday party season without sacrificing your savings or your sanity.

    Simplify. Your friends and family don't expect a Martha Stewart-style soiree, so don't stress-out about making it elaborate. In fact, a casual and understated event will be a welcome respite from all the craziness of the holidays. But make sure the holiday tunes are plentiful!

    Skip the meal. Keep the focus on your friends, not the food. It's a great reason why you don't have to slave away in the kitchen all day to serve a full-on meal. Just two or three appetizers will do. Consider a weekend afternoon gathering with mulled wine, cheese and crackers.

    Salud! Add some holiday cheer to your party, but keep it limited to one or two choices, not a full bar. Serve just eggnog or just wine, but not both. Try our Novella Synergy Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon, just $4.99 per bottle (you save $7). And the kid revelers will enjoy toasting with our Martinelli's Northwest Blend Sparkling Apple Cider for just $1.79 per bottle (you save $1.90).

    Say Thanks. Certain holiday traditions never go out of style, like arriving at a holiday party with a gift for the gracious host/hostess. We suggest some gourmet chocolates like our Brown & Haley Candy Cane Roca for $2.99 (you save $2), or a festive 4” poinsettia for $4.99 (you save $4).

    Surely, you have your own budget-friendly party tips, and we'd love to hear them. How do you entertain during the holidays without blowing the budget?


    Happy Holidays from everyone at Grocery Outlet!

     

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  • Gifts Under $10!

    Check out this week's Bargain TV and see the amazing Holiday Gifts that you can find at your local Grocery Outlet for less than 10 dollars!

    Christopher outlines this week's ad, which is full of great deals that are surely on your Holiday shopping list, so hurry in and don't miss this opportunity to save big!



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  • Be Gifty and Thrifty!

    The holiday season is in full swing! Gift giving is an age-old tradition in the holiday season.  But this year, don't let your holiday budget and your sanity fly to the North Pole.  Consider giving homemade, personalized gift baskets with items you can find at Grocery Outlet for 50% less than traditional stores.  Follow these simple tips for a gifty and thrify holiday:


    Gift Basket

    Gather an assortment of small, inexpensive items with a common theme that the recipient will appreciate.  No need to go overboard, just three or four items will do.  Here are some ideas:

    • Chocolate Lovers—chocolate of every kind, don't forget the hot cocoa
    • Foodie Friends—gourmet cheeses, crackers, olive oil, nuts and a unique cooking tool
    • Wine Enthusiast—red, white and rosé varieties, with fresh grapes, wine glasses and a corkscrew
    • Home Spa—beauty care products, bath salts, loofah sponge, cozy socks
    • Tea Time—a combination of black and herbal teas, a pretty mug or tea cup and specialty cookies
    • Pet Perfect—pet toys, pet treats and a pet dish
    • Movie Night—DVDs, microwave popcorn, candy and a blanket

    Find a decorative basket or container.  Check your cupboards and storage space, you probably already have something laying around that you can use. Place items in the basket, using tissue paper or old gift wrap to help stabilize the items inside the basket. Finish with festive trimmings, like ribbon, raffia or even old-fashioned tinsel, then add a homemade gift tag.

    Your family and friends will be thrilled to receive something you know they'll love.  And your wallet will say thanks, too.  Wishing you a simple holiday season!

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  • Thanksgiving Bounty

    Grocery Outlet loves Thanksgiving because it's a holiday focused on family and food.  All year long, we are helping families save money so they can prepare bountiful meals for their families.  And we can't think of a more bountiful meal than Thanksgiving. Here are some ideas to help you save time and money as you prepare.


    Thanksgiving dinner

    Tips to Simplify Your Thanksgiving and Save Your Sanity:

    • Share a slice of the pie! Ask your guests to bring the dessert. Sometimes the cost of the desserts winds up being more expensive than the main event!
    • Ask visiting relatives to prepare breakfast that morning, so you can focus on the turkey.
    • Plan your menu and stick to your list. You’ll save money.
    • Quality over quantity. You don’t need seven vegetable sides and six pies. Really, you don't. Keep it simple.
    • Dice your fruits, vegetables and herbs for cooking the day before and place them in plastic bags or storage containers. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    • Fake it. Not everything needs to be made from scratch. Delicious cookies, desserts and candy can be bought pre-made.
    • Organize your grocery list by department to save time at the store. Shop your own cup- boards first to see what you already have.

    Then sit down and enjoy the American tradition of gathering your favorite people and sharing your gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Grocery Outlet!

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  • Early Holiday Deals

    Enter to win a $15 Grocery Outlet Gift Card!  Watch the below video on early holiday deals at Grocery Outlet and follow the assignment for your chance to win!




    Good luck!

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