The $25 Shopping Cart, version 12.0

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Hey there… remember me?  😉

I’ve been sans internet at home for over a week now and it’s killing me, so I’ve been everywhere I can think of to find a place with wi-fi that isn’t too far away and that my moody computer will deem acceptable.  Yesterday, many of you suggested I try the library, but the only one I knew of was still going to cost me a day pass for light rail, and right now $6 might as well be $600.  Even Starbucks seemed like a cheaper option.  As luck would have it though, I was on my way home from a short walk yesterday afternoon and took a different route, since the fall foliage was even more lovely one particular street than any other in my neighborhood.  As a result, I stumbled upon what I consider to be the greatest discovery of the year: a library in my neighborhood.

Okay, okay, so it’s been here for over 70 years.  I feel a little dumb for not knowing that there was a library so close to me all this time, especially since I’ve lived in this part of Sacramento for about 5 years now.  But the important thing is that I found it, it has the internet that my computer likes, and it’s only 4 blocks from where I live.  All it needs is a kitchen for me to work in and it’s pretty much nirvana.

ANYWAY…  that means I can post again!  Since we’re already 10 days into the month, I won’t bother with a What’s In Store post so I can launch right into the good stuff: like my most recent $25 Shopping Cart excursion.  This is probably the last one I’ll be able to do for a while since Poor Girl is still unemployed and waiting for her SNAP appointment to finally arrive, but I’m grateful that I was able to even do this small run thanks to some of your generous donations.  In order to make the most of the few bucks I had, not to mention that I hadn’t yet done an official  $25 Shopping Cart from this particular store, I headed to the new Grocery Outlet in Midtown to stock up on some goods.

This branch of Grocery Outlet opened this summer and brought another much-needed grocery store to the Midtown area.  Except for my Safeway on 19th & R and the Co-op, there really aren’t many food storage options for us Midtown.  Located on 17th & Capitol, it’s a great central spot for anyone to access.  Despite being a small store, they carry a wide variety of quality foods and other products and even have an impressive wine & beer section.  Though it’s still very new, I’m always impressed with the cleanliness of the store and the overall friendliness of the staff.  But my favorite part would definitely have to be the insanely low prices they offer.  You all know I love me some Trader Joe’s because of their low prices, but Grocery Outlet is a whole other animal in that respect.  Observe…

  • 1 8 oz container baby portabella mushrooms – $1.49
  • 1 8 oz bag baby spinach – $1.99 (I can do better at TJ’s, but this is still a good deal)
  • 2 red onions – $0.50/each
  • 2 yellow onions – $0.50/each
  • 2 white onions – $0.50/each
  • 2 bunches green onions – $0.50/each (yes, that’s a lot of onions, but you can never have enough onions in the house!)
  • 1 package Canadian bacon – $1.99
  • 1 6 oz block havarti cheese – $0.50 (!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • 1 6 oz block Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese – $1.23 (at this point, I pretty much fainted)
  • 2 large russet potatoes – $0.50/each
  • 1 butternut squash – $1.29
  • 1 bag split peas – $0.79
  • 1 Foster Farms “Picnic Pack” (8 drumsticks & 8 thighs) – $4.14
  • 1 12 oz bag brown rice pasta shells – $1.99
  • 1 package of napkins – $1.59

As if that wasn’t enough, I was even able to cater a bit to the furbabies:

  • Meow Mix Wholesome Goodness wet food for my gravy lovin’ StuKitty – 3/$1
  • 26 lbs Arm & Hammer litter – $7.99 (!!!!!!!!!!)

Total for everything, including the cat provisions: $31.42.  CRAZINESS!!!

That means that without the kitty stuff, I only spent about $22 on food for me.  And it’s stuff I know I can stretch to make several different meals.  I had this idea in mind when I purchased that large flat of chicken legs & thighs, as I was actually leaning more towards the whole chickens they had available for just $0.99/lb.  However, I knew that it would be easier for me to bag the pieces separately before freezing them, giving me more room for variety rather than cooking the whole chicken.  I also had visions of warm, comforting split pea soup dancing in my head once I saw those split peas, and I’m sort of regretting not getting a few more bags.  With the few frozen veggies I have in the freezer and some more grains & beans in the cupboard, I should be set for a few weeks of interesting eating, thanks to Grocery Outlet’s crazy cheap prices.

There’s only one bad thing about G.O.: if you don’t get an item right away, you’re pretty much never going to see it again because of the close-out nature of the store.  So if you can afford it and you’re absolutely in love with a certain product, try to get more than one (this is the only time I suggest doing this!).  Actually, I take that back.  The OTHER bad part about G.O. is that it is quite possible to become intoxicated by the super low prices, therefore causing one to be in danger of overfilling one’s shopping cart and possibly overspend (I speak from experience).

Other than that, I find myself visiting this new Grocery Outlet a lot more than my standard go-to stores.  I can walk to it for free and the prices are definitely Poor Girl friendly.  So they don’t carry Chevre with Honey or some of the other oddball things I consider to be so wonderful at Trader Joe’s; their location, ever-changing inventory, and ridiculously low prices are swiftly making this the first grocery store I visit.  Even before TJ’s (Shhh!  Don’t tell them I said that!).

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