Friday, January 13, 2012

Pics of INSANE Raw Food Shopping Deals and Bargains!

I had a comment on an older entry a little while ago asking me specifically where to shop for deals. Now, this comment came from my area, so anyone outside the Sacramento area will have much different results, but the point is, no matter where you live, there are likely steep discounts hiding right around the corner from you. Here is a list of the most common ways I've found to buy fruits and vegetables for rock bottom prices.

Check ALL of your local grocery chains. Out of several we have here, including Raley's, Safeway, and BelAir, Save Mart is the only company that discounts in my area (to my knowledge). Out of the SaveMarts in Sacramento, and there are many, only three that I know of discount enough perishables to warrant regular trips. So, if you're in an area with a SaveMart, make a few trips at different times of the day/different days of the week to see they've marked anything down. This might sound like a time and gas-waster, but time them with other errands. I'm taking my kids to their Grandmother's house later today, and there just happens to be an out of the way SaveMart less then a mile away. On the way home, I'll make a 5 minute stop inside and grab whatever's been stickered. If there's nothing, no gas wasted, and if there's a haul waiting for you, you'll be able to stock up! Not only am I able to buy bananas and greens this way on a semi-regular basis, I'm also able to pick up healthy vegan items for my non-raw family, like the portabello mushrooms here:

The organic iceberg lettuce in the picture leads me to me next topic: local ethnic markets! I have two in my area that I visit regularly. One is Eastern European/Russian in focus, and the other is Middle Eastern/Ethiopian. At both of them I can regularly find discounted fruits and vegetables. I picked up this organic head of lettuce for 50 cents last week! Within the last month I've gotten a box of large mangoes for $6.00, manila mangoes for 50 cents apiece, local oranges for 39 cents a pound, a 5 pound box of grapes for 4.99, and medium RIPE pineapples for $1.50. That's off the top of my head. These places are tiny, and tucked away in smaller neighborhoods or located just off of main streets. Your best bet is to hit Yelp or another online city search and make a list of places to visit when you've in the area. You'll know a good shop when you see one. Both of mine keep huge bins of fruit outside that line the entire front of the shop.

Next up: dollar stores! In my area, we have two chains, Dollar Tree, and 99 Cents Only. Dollar Tree has limited food and only stocks boxed and canned good for the most part, but 99 Cents Only is a gold mine for raw food vegans. I routinely, and I mean at least every 2 weeks, find deals like this:
Everything here was 99 cents each. They buy these in cases overstocked from local grocers who need to sell off their lettuce before it goes bad to make a profit, and 99 Cents Only buys them up and sells them for a buck! I can get organic greens of all kinds, including pre-washed salads like these, or 3 packs of organic romaine as of this week. Other non-organic produce includes 50 cent cucumbers, banana 5 packs, 2 pound bags of carrots, cabbage heads, and fresh or frozen berries. Since they buy up deals and not by demand, the supply isn't regular, so try to go weekly and buy up what you can.

Another way to go is discount outlet shops. We have several in our area including Big Lots! and Grocery Outlet. Grocery Outlet is by far my favorite, and I found an insane, rock bottom deal there last week that was so great I bought 5 cases:
Larabars are amazing transition foods or occasional treats for low fat raw vegans. They are made with nuts and fruit- and that's it. This particular variety is made with raisins, dates, walnuts, pecans, and cinnamon. Each case has 16 bars, which sell for about $1.50 each at places where they are sold such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. My frugal blog readers, I purchased these for $1.99 a case. No. Joke. They make perfect additions to my son's lunchbox, and even a treat for me! Since they only contain fruit and nuts, they're great for emergencies when you aren't able to find ripe fruit, like hiking, camping, long car trips, etc.

In addition, one of the Grocery Outlets in my area has a discount fruit rack. This week I was able to purchase two 5 pound bags of apples for just $1.99 each. But even at locations without the discount rack, they have a produce section with good deals on fruit regularly.

I hope this post has given you some leads on how to get started on discount shopping in your area. Keep watching for more raw food shopping hauls, an upcoming handcrafted herbal giveaway especially for breastfeeding Mommies, and more fruity adventures!

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