I think Grocery Outlet is a little known secret of bargain goodness. Most people I know, after shopping Grocery Outlet a few times, are hooked. The savings can be great WITHOUT coupons. In fact, they don’t even accept manufacturer coupons, so it can be a great place to go when you don’t have time to clip coupons, but you still want some decent deals. This post will hopefully help you navigate the aisles of Grocery Outlet . . .
How does Grocery Outlet work? Basically they buy their inventory straight from the manufacturer. For example when a manufacturer has surplus inventory or the packaging has changed, they’ll call Grocery Outlet and sell it to them at a reduced price.
“Here’s a true life example: a major cereal manufacturer partnered with the producers of Shrek and created promotional packaging for the movie’s release. After a great first run, Shrek went to DVD, however the manufacturer still had a lot of Shrek cereal boxes. So they filled them up with brand new product and sold it to us at a fraction of the original cost. Then we sold it to you at less than half of what you would have paid for the same product when the movie was in theaters. Same fantastic and fresh product; half the price.” – Grocery Outlet Website
They don’t accept manufacturer coupons – As I briefly mentioned above, they don’t take manufacturer coupons. Before you start scoffing at this, keep in mind that the manufacturers already took a huge cut when selling Grocery Outlet these products. I suggest you see it as a guilt-free break for using coupons. They DO take store-issued coupons, when they are available.
The inventory is not consistent – It’s an outlet store. Shop often because the inventory can change as often as twice a week, or even more, and you can get a lot of stuff for stock up price! If you have multiple Grocery Outlet stores in your area, shop all of them – you might find one carries different products than the other. For example, here in the Olympia area the Olympia Grocery Outlet carries more natural and organic products than the Lacey location.
Grocery Outlet can be a good go-to place – When you are looking for a decent deal and you can live if they don’t have something in stock – the Grocery Outlet can be a great regular stop on your shopping trip.
Here are some suggested BEST BUYS for Grocery Outlet –
Bread – Sara Lee bread and all the Sara Lee bread products are always a $1. I’ve seen almost every variety of Sara Lee bread there for a $1.
Yogurt – You know those deals all the couponers scramble for when Yoplait goes on sale for $0.30 cents a cup? Grocery Outlet usually always has the single cups for 3 for a $1. And the yogurt is typically well stocked with some variety. I’ve seen many versions of Yoplait, Tillamook, Dannon, Dannon kids (such as a four packs of crush cups for $0.99), Breyers (single cups four for a $1), etc.
Produce – Dole bananas are sold in 3 pound bags for only $1.99. You can generally find cilantro for almost always $0.50 a bunch, bell peppers typically a $1 or less, big bags of apples for $2.99-$3.99. I’ll find great deals on grapes, kiwis, pears, onions, etc. Recently I found fresh strawberries for a $1.
Cheeses – Throwing a dinner party? Want a nice cheese for an appetizer plate or some bleu cheese for a salad? Grocery has crazy prices on gourmet cheeses – the kinds of deals you would get after coupon and sale at the big box stores. For example, the Alouette brand gourmet cheeses and spreads are usually around $0.99 cents. You can sometimes find Kraft bagged shredded cheeses for $0.99.
Olives – Canned olives range from $0.79 – $0.99 a can – the sale price at most big box stores. I really hate paying more than $1 a can for olives, so when I see them for $0.79 – it’s a stock-up price.
Vitamins – With drug store promotions and coupons you can get vitamins for dirt cheap or FREE. But, you are generally limited to specific vitamin types, such as fish oil or vitamin E. If you need a specific vitamin go to Grocery Outlet’s vitamin section where you can find a large variety for really good prices.
Freezer items - You can find some incredible deals on frozen meals, ice creams/desserts and frozen vegetables.
Organics and natural products – Believe it or not you can find some AMAZING prices on major brands such as Amy’s and Annies. You can also sometimes find organic produce.
Hopefully this gives you some inspiration to check out your local Grocery Outlet store. You can find your nearest Grocery Outlet store here. You can follow Grocery Outlet on Facebook and Twitter where they sometimes post specials. Grocery Outlet also has a great Web site.
What do you like to buy at Grocery Outlet? As always, if you find a deal at your local Grocery Outlet, I’d love to hear about it!