Barganista Blog

  • Beans and Rice: Versatile Recipes to Stretch Your Budget


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Beans and rice: the quintessential "dinner on a budget" fare. Unfortunately, I think beans and rice have gotten a bad rap. Sure, it's easy to make a bland dinner with these staples, but with a little creativity, you can cook up a flavorful, budget-friendly meal that will have your entire family smiling.

    Each month in 2014, I've been working to come up with delicious, low-cost meals using Grocery Outlet ingredients and this month? It's all about beans and rice.

     

    Shopping at GO

     

    One of the things that I love about Grocery Outlet is that I never know exactly what I'm going to find - it's truly like hunting for treasure! Today's recipes are very easy to adapt to whatever you happen to find at your store. Here are a few of the good deals that I spotted on my trip last week:

    • Ethnic spices for as low as $0.79
    • Ro-Tel Tomatoes for $0.99
    • Organic canned beans for $0.99
    • Chorizo for $3.39

    My Grocery Outlet trip came to right around $20, and each of my dinners is hearty enough to feed a family of six. Not only that, I had lots of leftovers and items that didn't entirely get used (for instance, I barely put a dent in the HUGE bag of rice I bought at Grocery Outlet for $2.49!).

    Night One: Stuffed Green Peppers with Spanish Rice

     

    Stuffed Pepper

     

     

    For this recipe, I combined several of my favorite foods - stuffed peppers, tacos, and Spanish-style rice - to create a delicious meal. While there are a few steps and ingredients involved, I can assure you, it's very simple to put together and the results are delicious!

     

    Ingredients

     

     

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 6 green peppers, tops and seeds removed
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 2 cups cooked rice (roughly 1/2 cup uncooked)
    • 1 can black beans, drained
    • 1 can corn, drained (or 1 1/2 cup frozen)
    • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
    • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 cup shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

     

    Green Bell Pepper

     

    Grocery Outlet consistently has amazing prices on peppers of all kinds! I found these for just $0.49 each - and red, orange, and yellow peppers for just $0.99 each. That makes a recipe like this very affordable! Keeping in mind you'll be stuffing these, look for nice-sized peppers that tend to have flatter bottoms.

    Start by washing your peppers, cutting off the tops and removing the seeds.

     

    Boiling Peppers

     

    Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and plop your peppers in for 5 minutes. Remove them with tongs and place in a baking dish. Add a bit of salt and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

     

    Filling for Peppers

     

    Saute the onion until translucent (about a couple minutes), then brown the ground beef. Season with salt and pepper and drain off the excess fat. Next, mix in the 2 cups of cooked rice, the Ro-Tel tomatoes, the beans, corn, and taco seasoning. 

     

    More Filling

     

     I encourage you to taste your food at this point to make sure it's seasoned how you want. Once you stuff your peppers, this will be more difficult to do!

     

    Daughter stuffing peppers

     

    This next step is a fun one to involve your kids with! As you might have guessed, you're going to stuff those peppers with your rice and beans mixture. After every spoonful, I had her gently pat down the mixture with the back of her spoon so we could really pack in the goodness.

     

    Stuffed Peppers Ready to Bake

     

    Next, you're going to dump that can of tomato sauce on top - this helps keep everything moist and delicious during the baking process - and top with the cheese. I prefer cheddar, but you could get creative with whatever cheese strikes your fancy at Grocery Outlet! Bake in a 325º oven for 25-30 minutes.

    I found I had a good 2-3 cups of the rice and beans mixture leftover. I ended up freezing this portion for the next time I make this recipe.

     

     Cheesy Pepper

     

     

    These turned out just amazing! Full of flavor, and the beans and rice will really fill you up! My husband and I also found they were tasty reheated the next day for lunch. Enjoy!

     

    Night Two: Southern Red Beans and Rice

     

     Red Beans and Rice

     

    It's night two, and while we'll still keep with the beans and rice theme, we're going to do something completely different and take inspiration from New Orleans and this Emeril Lagasse recipe.

     

    Sausage

     

    While at Grocery Outlet, I noticed this chorizo for just $3.39. I've used this brand of sausage before (see my meatballs recipe from a few months back) and LOVED it. I understand chorizo might not exactly fit with the New Orleans theme, but I'm going with it anyways. (Hence the vague "Southern" in the recipe title!)

     

    Rice Ingredients

     

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb dry red beans
    • 1 cup onions, chopped
    • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 lb chorizo (or sausage of your choice)
    • 3 tbsp minced garlic
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp dried thyme OR a couple sprigs fresh thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4-6 cups chicken broth or water
    • 1 cup beer (optional)
    • cayenne or hot sauce (optional)
    • steamed rice, to serve

     

    Beans


    Cooking with dried beans versus canned can really save you money! If you've ever been intimidated by cooking them from their dried version, don't be. Simply rinse and sort them, and place them in a deep pot with 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then cover and remove the pot from the heat for an hour. After this, you can rinse and drain them and proceed with the recipe.

     

    Mixing Ingredients

     

    Saute the onion, bell pepper, and celery in a little bit of vegetable oil. Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Next, work in your chorizo and bay leaves and brown.

    About this time, my son wandered into the kitchen inquiring about the delicious smell! I was pleased to tell him it was dinner!

     

     Mix in the beans

     

    I did not drain my chorizo, because I wanted the flavor to really infuse my beans, but you could drain it a bit if you wanted at this point. Add the beans and garlic. I then added 1 quart of chicken broth and 1 cup of beer. If you want to skip the beer, just use more chicken broth. You could also use water in place of all/part of the broth, too. The important thing is to make sure you add enough liquid to cover the beans.

    Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Once the beans start to get tender (anywhere from 30-60 minutes) smash about half of them up against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon. Then, continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until you've reached a nice consistency and flavor. Ideally, you want some liquid - but not entirely soupy. If your beans start to get too mushy, you can always work in more liquid.

     

    Beans and Rice

     

    These beans came out very good! This also produced a HUGE pot - enough to easily serve 6, 8, or more. My version has quite a bit of flavor, but I went easy on the spice since I knew my kids would be eating it. If you like a bit of a kick, I'd add a pinch of cayenne or hot sauce. Serve over rice.

    If you've grown tired of plain ol' rice and beans, I hope I've challenged your thinking with how delicious they really can be. Make sure to shop Grocery Outlet first for inspiration for your rice and beans dishes and see how much you can save.

    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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  • Mystery Man Puchases Groceries for Strangers

    We think it's AWESOME when someone allows us to be a part of their generosity... Thank you to this special friend from all of us and all of those you touched.

    You can help too - click on the Independence From Hunger tab at the top of our Facebook page to donate today.

     

    Mystery Man Purchases Groceries for Strangers


    In today's edition of the "Good Stuff," a mystery man strolls into a grocery store, and makes the day of many unsuspecting shoppers. CNN's Michaela Pereira reports.

    Typically, when someone walks up to the register at a grocery store, he or she seeking the whereabouts of the dairy aisle, or maybe where one can find the organic apples.

    But an enigmatic shopper at a grocery outlet Concord, California is anything but average.

    He waited patiently at the register while the clerk scanned every item from a random customer, according to store supervisor Jaime Flores.

    And then pulled out a wad of cash to pay.

    He did this not once, twice or even three times.

    Half a dozen customers were the beneficiaries of his good will, and this Zorro of Aisle 7 spent over $600 on strangers by day's end.

     

    Link to the CNN article and video here: Mystery Man Purchases Groceries for Strangers

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  • Our Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger® Food Drive Starts on July 1st

    Did you know that 1 in every 6 Americans is food insecure and 46.5 million Americans (15%) were reported as living at or below the poverty level in 2012?* To help fight hunger in our local communities, we are thrilled to launch our Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger® Food Drive on July 1st.

     

    Independence from Hunger

     

    What is Independence from Hunger®?
    Independence from Hunger® is a month-long, company-wide campaign where customers can donate food and/or cash to support local food assistance partners. Every Grocery Outlet store is teaming up with an agency in their area and all donations received throughout the campaign will go directly to that partner – staying in the community of that store’s customers.

    You can make a difference by visiting your local Grocery Outlet and participating in one of these easy steps:
    • Look for specially-marked food items. These are items that each local food agency has identified as "high-need" items. Purchase these products and then place in the collection bin at the front of the store.
    • Pick up a pre-made bag that is filled with an assortment of the groceries that have been identified as needed – bags are $4.99 or $9.99.

    Oakland Independence from Hunger display

    • Tell your cashier that you'd like to make a cash donation at the register. Donations will go directly to that store’s local food agency partner. Donate $1, $5 or round up your change.
    • Donate on our Facebook page where we will have an online fundraiser to benefit Berkeley Food Pantry.
    • Pick up information at a Grocery Outlet store about hunger, food insecurity and local/national resources for people in need. Be informed and willing to help.
    • Join the events at your local store to support the Independence from Hunger® food drive.

    In our first year - July 2011 – we were able to donate more than $223,000 in cash, gift cards and food to help support local food assistance agencies through the generosity of our customers and community partners. In July of 2012, donations increased to over $292,000 —more than half a million dollars donated in just two years! In its 3rd year, the total reached was $300,000. And this year’s goal is to raise enough to put the total donated amount over the $1 million mark.

     

    Maple Valley Food Bank donation

    And our CEO, MacGregor Read, knows how important this is to the communities where our stores are located:
    “The face of poverty has changed and hunger is a reality in every community throughout the country. We are eager for the Fourth Annual Independence from Hunger Campaign® because it is a time for communities to rally together and help neighbors in need. All of the donations collected at each store will directly impact people in your community.”

    Each of our owner/operators is committed to their community. They have chosen a food assistance agency making a difference within its unique community. We can’t do this without each of you. Stop in to your local Grocery Outlet today and help your community.

    * (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. - Data collected in 2012 and released September, 2013.)

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  • Grilled Rainbow Vegetables


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

     

    Last month, I shared that one of the best ways I've found to save money on your groceries is to plan your meals around seasonal produce, not meat. Not only is this a healthful approach to eating, it's also a great way to prevent dinner ruts! Today I want to show you how I took the bargains I found at Grocery Outlet and turned them into two delicious, budget-friendly meals.

     

    Peppers

     

    My Grocery Outlet store almost always carries bell peppers at low prices! I decided to use that as the inspiration for this month's frugal recipes. 

     

    Grocery Outlet Ingredients

     

    Here are some of the great deals I picked up at Grocery Outlet to complete a couple dinners:
    • Chicken at $2.19/lb
    • Zucchini and peppers at $1 each
    • Red onion at $0.50
    • Organic canned beans at $0.99

     I even found a big bag of bamboo skewers for just $0.99! Since we're moving into summer now, I took that as my cue to do some grilling!

    All told, I spent a little less than $15 at Grocery Outlet for these ingredients! (See what I'm starting to get at by featuring vegetables?)

     

    Night One: Honey Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Skewers


    What could be more fun than making kabobs for dinner? They are simple to make and full of flavor. It's also an easy way to sneak in extra veggies in your family's diet! Today's recipe is adapted from this recipe I spotted at AllRecipes.

     

    Here's what you'll need:
    • 1-2 lb chicken, cut into 1" chunks (I found that 1 lb made 4 skewers, plan accordingly!)
    • 3 bell peppers, cut into big chunks (I used red, yellow, and orange)
    • 1 red onion, cut into big chunks
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tsp minced garlic
    • ground pepper
    • skewers
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Start by chopping your vegetables into large-size chunks. As much as possible, try to cut them roughly the same size for even cooking.

     

    Chopped Veggies

     

    Mix the honey, oil, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper in a bowl. Allow your chicken and chopped vegetables to marinate in it at least 2 hours in the fridge. You could even allow it to marinate overnight if you have the time!

    Skewers

     

    When you're ready to cook, heat up your grill (or grill pan, as I'm using!). Using the skewers, alternate threading a vegetable and chicken cube until full. As you can tell from my picture above, I left some room at the bottom and the top for easy eating. In some cases, I added an extra veggie here and there, too.

    This is going to take anywhere from 12 - 20 minutes cooking time, depending on the temperature of your grill and the thickness of your food. Rotate every few minutes to ensure even cooking.

     


    Grilled Chicken Skewers

     

     
    You could serve this alongside a salad, fresh buttered bread, and some fresh fruit. Feel free to change up this recipe to suit your preferences and what you find at Grocery Outlet! Mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and jalapenos (de-seeded!) would also be delicious.

    Enjoy!

    Night Two: Grilled Rainbow Vegetable Pasta

     

    Summer Vegetable Salad

     

    For the second night, we're going to do something a little bit different with grilled vegetables! This dish has a ton of flavor, it's good for you, and it's inexpensive. What more could you ask for?

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb cooked & drained pasta
    • 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained (or beans of your choice)
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • 1 orange bell pepper
    • 1 yellow bell pepper
    • 1 small zucchini, sliced
    • 1 red onion, cut into large chunks
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh torn basil leaves
    • Parmesan cheese, to taste
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Rainbow Veggies

     

    Start by preheating your grill or grill pan. Then, get to work on your veggies! As I was chopping mine up I realized, "Eureka! It's a rainbow!" Hence, the name of this recipe. Toss your veggies with 1/4 cup olive oil, some salt and pepper.

     

    Grilled Veggies

     

    Grill your veggies until they are fork tender and have that nice char-y look about them. 

     

    Summer Vegetable Pasta

     

    When your veggies are cooked, toss them in a large bowl with the cooked pasta and can of beans. To that, add 1/4 cup olive oil, the fresh torn basil, plus the cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. While this is a vegetarian dish, you could easily add grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp if you wish. Either way - it's absolutely delicious!

    The next time you're shopping at Grocery Outlet, consider how you could turn the bargains you find into healthful, budget-friendly meals!

    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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  • The Best Way to Your Father’s Heart – His Stomach

    Father’s Day is a time to show your dad how much he means to you and how thankful you are for him as a dad. What is the best way to show him how much you care? Feed him! Select one of the dad-approved recipes and make him a delicious meal this Father’s Day. We highly recommend:

     

     Pulled Pork Sandwich

    Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich

     

     Sausage and Pepper Mac 'n Cheese

    Sausage and Pepper Mac 'n Cheese


    Make sure to pick up your top ingredients at Grocery Outlet when you are getting ready to prepare the lip-smacking meal. When you shop at Grocery Outlet, you know you will get big savings and high-quality taste! Find a store near you!

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  • Grocery Outlet in your Pocket? We’re GOing places with you!

    Are you connected on your mobile phone? Do you Facebook on-the-go? Do you use your phone to shop? Now Grocery Outlet can go with you wherever you are!

    Download Android version: Android
    Download the iOS version: iOS

    We just announced our brand new FREE Mobile App! Now you can find GO on the go. The GO App has a number of useful tools for our shoppers:

     

    Mobile App

     

    1. FIND A STORE

    Do you often wonder where the closest GO is when you are on the road? You know we have the best deals in town, but when you aren’t near your favorite GO how do you find the closest one?

    Using your phone’s GPS, the GO App will show you the store closest to your current location. When you tap on the location you’d like, it brings up the stores profile information - address, phone number, hours of operation and directions to THAT store!

     

    Store Finder

     

    2. CURRENT AD
    If you love getting our ad in your email in-box, why not take it with you on your phone? As soon as we have a new ad available, you can have it right in the palm of your hand. Need to make your list for your shopping trip from the ad, there it is - right on your mobile app!

     

     

     Ads


    3. COUPONS
    We don’t do them often but when we do, you can have them right there handy! Click on the Coupon tab, select your coupon and VOILA! There is a time limit to redeem the mobile coupons, so please don’t click redeem until you are at the check-out.

     

    Coupons

     

    Remember, it’s free & easy! And we’ll be adding useful tools as we get them. GO download it right now...

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  • San Marcos Grocery Outlet Provides Relief to Local Firefighters

    As wildfires spread though San Diego County, residents and businesses did everything they could to make sure they were prepared and out of harms way during the emergency.  San Diego was experiencing nearly a dozen fires at one time and the San Marcos Grocery Outlet, located in San Diego County, was particularly close to the fires and had to act fast.

    “We were very fortunate that the San Diego firefighters did such an incredible job and protected the San Marcos community,” stated Henry Martinez, one of San Marcos Grocery Outlet’s store owners and operators. “With scorching temperatures over 100 degrees, we wanted to help out the firefighters who were working day and night to protect our city.”

     

    San Marcos Fire

     

    Henry and Breana, the store owners of the San Marcos Grocery Outlet supported the San Marcos Fire Department by donating a crate of water, totaling nearly 300 gallons of water, and 37 cases of granola bars as a thank you for their efforts.

    Due to the large size load, Henry made a call to the North County Food Bank to see if they could help with the delivery. By noon on Thursday, the water and granola bars were loaded onto a truck along with additional donations from the North County Food Bank and American Red Cross and delivered to the San Marcos Fire Department.

     

    Supplies for Firefighters

    Thankfully, the fire was 100 percent contained and the temperatures have cooled.  We are thankful for the incredible efforts of the firefighters and first-responders. Grocery Outlet will always be ready to help when needed.  

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  • Fresh Vegetarian Meals for Summer


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

    One of my best tips for getting out of a dinner rut? Plan your menu around vegetables, not meat! Not only is this a creative way to menu plan, it's good for your body and your budget


    On the vine tomatoes

    This month, I decided to shop at Grocery Outlet for inspiration for a couple vegetarian meals. I wanted to come up with meals that would be light and refreshing as the weather has started to heat up!

    Of course, I didn't leave my store disappointed! Check out some of the deals I spotted...

     

     Deals from Grocery Outlet

    I snagged a 1-lb package of tomatoes on the vine for $1.99, 2 containers of cherry tomatoes for $1.50, grated Parmesan cheese for just $1.99, and a full pound of mozzarella cheese for $2.99! After taking the tomatoes home, I knew I wanted to make dinners that played on the flavor combination of one of my all-time favorite appetizers, bruschetta. (And yes, they both turned out AMAZING!)

     

     Wine

    I even managed to find a bottle of Chardonnay for just $2.99, which went perfect with my menu.

    To this, I also picked up a loaf of bread, some garlic, and a red onion! All told, I spent only $17.04 at Grocery Outlet on these simple dinners (including the wine) - the rest of the ingredients needed I already had on hand (and you likely do right now, too).

     

    Night One: Broiled Tomato & Herb Sandwiches

     

    Open Faced Sandwiches

     

    I knew I wanted one of my recipes to be a sandwich of some sort. But what to do? That's when I came upon this Broiled Tomato Sandwich recipe. I loved the idea of an open-faced sandwich! I took the idea and made some modifications to the recipe to suit my taste. The result? Pure heaven!

    Here's what you'll need:

    • 1 lb tomatoes-on-the-vine, sliced
    • Loaf of bread (choose something that is a little "sturdier")
    • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (plus more for top)
    • ¼ cup butter, softened
    • ½ tsp dried parsley
    • ½ tsp dried basil
    • ¼ tsp garlic powder
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • Salt & pepper, to taste

    Cut Tomatoes
    Start by preheating your broiler, then get to work on marinating your tomatoes. Whisk the olive oil and vinegar in a bowl, and add some salt and pepper. Gently place your sliced tomatoes in, stirring to cover. Here's a tip: when you're ready to use the tomatoes, don't throw out that marinade. It makes a delicious dressing!

     

    Cheese Spread

     Next, make an herb butter. Combine the softened butter with the dried herbs, 2 tbsp Parmesan, and garlic salt.

     

    The Essential Baking Company Bread

     

     I picked up this beautiful loaf of bread at my Grocery Outlet for $2.49. Because you will be topping the bread with tomatoes and butter, you want a bit of a heavier bread like this. Too soft, and the whole thing could go mushy on you.

     

    Tomato Sandwiches

     
    Lightly toast your bread. I did this by placing in my broiler for a minute. I didn't let it turn brown at all; just enough to firm it up a little. Then, spread the herb butter on your bread and top with your tomatoes. Add a bit more Parmesan cheese and throw under the broiler for a few minutes. Watch it closely; you don't want it to burn! Mine was done in about 5 minutes.

     

     Open Faced Sandwich

     
    You can enjoy this sandwich open-faced, or, combine two for a full sandwich. To keep it light, serve with a salad using the reserved marinade. This sandwich was so good, I found myself returning to the fridge later than night for a second helping!


    Night Two: Bruschetta Pasta

     

    Bruschetta Pasta
     
    For night two, we're keeping with bruschetta theme, but doing something a little different. Your costs will still stay down because many of the ingredients you used last night can be used in tonight's dinner! I took this recipe for Bruschetta Pasta and paired down the ingredients to keep it simple and frugal. This pasta is so delicious, you'll find yourself going back for seconds (my husband and I sure did!).

     

    Vegetables

     

    Here's what you'll need:
    • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved (one container at Grocery Outlet = 2 cups)
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 2 tbsp minced red onion
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
    • 1 lb pasta of your choice, plus 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
    • 8-10 torn basil leaves

     

     More Marinade!

     
    Very similar to last night's dinner, you're going to start by creating your marinade! Mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and minced garlic clove in a large bowl.

    Tomatoes and Mozzarella

     

    To the bowl, add your halved cherry tomatoes, red onion, cubed mozzarella, and basil. Stir to coat.

     

     Bowl of Bruschetta Pasta

    To complete the dish, toss in the cooked and drained pasta along with the 1/4 cup of reserved cooking liquid. Serve hot, or refrigerate a bit and serve cold. Either way, it's absolutely delicious!

    The next time you're planning your family's menu, think about how you could save money by using similar ingredients or going vegetarian for a dinner or two. 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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  • Guest Blog: Mama Harris's Moscato Berry Sangria!

    We're having a hot week, and the perfect thing to chill out (if you're a grown-up) is sangria out on your patio, deck, or porch.  One of our favorite bloggers, Mama Harris, made Moscato Berry Sangria with a bottle of Moscato she got at Grocery Outlet:

     

    Moscato Berry Sangria

     

    "But what I did get in the photos was this sangria that my friends and I enjoyed. It was deeee-lish, and strong too! Perfect for the occasion, if I do say so myself. I used the bottle of Moscato that I purchased from Grocery Outlet along with another bottle I had already of Sauvignon Blanc. Paired with a bunch of berries, a lemon from our tree and a bit of Triple Sec, it was the perfect pairing for our party."

    To get the recipe for this delicious sangria, view here post here: Mama Harris's Moscato Berry Sangria

    And to view all the items she got for her party, check out her Grocery Outlet haul post, here.


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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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  • One Bag of Frozen Tilapia: Two Dinners!


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project



    I know it can be tough to stick with a budget and come up with interesting dinners at the same time! For each month of 2014, I've challenged myself to shop at Grocery Outlet for inspiration. The goal is to come up with a couple nights' worth of dinners that use similar ingredients in different ways. The result? Non-boring dinners that please your family and your wallet.

    After the last couple month's worth of heavier (but delicious!) meals involving sausage and pork, I decided it was time to lighten things up a bit. As the spring months start to warm up, I find myself naturally craving lighter fare. So this month? It's all about FISH!

     

    Tilapia Ingredients

     

    I purchased everything pictured above at my Grocery Outlet store for just $20.80! (To be fair, a bag of frozen sweet potatoes are also included in that amount and didn't make it into the picture.) I actually ended up saving more than I spent on this trip and check it out - I have a bunch of produce, fish fillets, and organic beans. Not bad for good-for-you food!

    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet. Please note prices & availability may vary from store to store.
    - 1 bag of frozen Tilapia fillets, 2 lbs ($5.99)
    - 1 package broccoli slaw ($1.99)
    - 1 red onion ($0.50)
    - garlic (3 for $0.99)
    - 2 mangoes ($0.50 each!)
    - 1 lemon ($0.50)
    - 1 bag jalapenos ($1.99)
    - 1 bottle lime juice ($0.99)
    - 1 red pepper ($0.99)
    - 1 bunch cilantro ($0.50)
    - 1 can organic black beans ($0.99)
    - 1 bag Rold Gold Pretzels ($2.69)
    - 1 bag frozen sweet potatoes ($1.29)
    - 1 bag corn tortillas $1.13

    From the pantry:
    - ½ cup flour
    - 2 eggs
    - sea salt & pepper
    - 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    - ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    - 1-2 tbsp olive oil
    - vegetable oil, to fry


    Night One: Pretzel-Coated Tilapia Fillets

    I noticed that this recipe for Pretzel-Coated Fish got great reviews from AllRecipes.com. I also loved the simplicity of the ingredients! I decided to make a couple alterations based on my preferences and what I found at Grocery Outlet. Note that I sprang for tilapia, but my Grocery Outlet had several other varieties of lean white fish in stock that would work just fine for today's recipe (think cod, swai, halibut). Feel free to swap out as you wish!

    Start by taking ½ cup flour, about 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of pepper and placing in a gallon-sized bag. Add 1 lb of thawed fish fillets, and toss gently to coat. Now, create your stations (as pictured above). In one pie plate or shallow bowl, whisk two eggs. In a second pie plate or bowl, add about 1 cup crushed pretzels. You can crush the pretzels using a knife or coffee grinder, but my trick is to place them in a plastic bag and mash them with the blunt end of a meat tenderizer. (It's fun; try it!)

    Next, heat up some vegetable oil in a large skillet and pan fry your coated fish for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. (Turning over at about the half way mark.)

     

    Pretzel-Coated Tilapia

     

    I served mine with a bit of the broccoli slaw and some of the sweet potato fries - both of which I snagged at Grocery Outlet. Not only is this a beautiful dish - it's delicious!

     

    Plated Tilapia with Broccoli Slaw

     

     

    Night Two: Tilapia Tacos with Mango Salsa

    For night two, we're taking a totally different direction with that fish! Thaw out the remaining 1 lb of fillets from your bag. Whisk together a tablespoon or two of olive oil, the cumin, 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro, a dash of lime juice, and a bit of salt and pepper. Drizzle over the fish and allow to marinate in your fridge for at least one hour.

     

    Marinating Tilapia

     

    Next, make your mango salsa! Mix together 2 small chopped mangoes (or one large), 2 tablespoons of minced red onion, ½ minced seeded jalapeno, ½ minced red bell pepper, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. While this may seem like a lot of work - trust me, it's worth it! It's also the most labor intensive component of both recipes. I should also add this ends up being enough to add on as a relish to your fish tacos, but if you'd like more to serve with chips or have on hand for later - you might want to double the recipe!

    Add it to the fridge to marinate a good hour or better before throwing the meal together.

     

    Mango Salsa

     

    When it's time for dinner, pan fry your fish in a skillet with a little oil. If you prefer, you could also bake it.

    When the fish is done, you can cube it or slice it into pieces and fill it in warmed corn tortillas. Top with the mango salsa. I served mine with more of the broccoli slaw and some of the organic black beans I'd picked up at Grocery Outlet. Season these with some of the leftover cilantro and lime. Be creative!

     

    Finished tacos

    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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  • 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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  • Your Guide for Going Meatless in March & April

    With many kicking off new healthy habits for the year and spring holidays starting this month, you might be scrambling to find meatless meals that the whole family will enjoy.

    Check out some of our top tips to go meatless this season that will make your mouth water!

    Substitute Fish

    While you can replace your tried-and-true weekday meals with fish fillets or tuna steaks, try substituting fish into your favorite recipes in place of meat. Love grilling burgers? Try salmon patties. Can’t get enough spaghetti and meatballs? Swap in shrimp in your spaghetti. Enjoy your chicken tacos? Experiment with scallop tacos. Using substitutions with fish, the world is your oyster.  

     

    Shrimp Pasta

    Give Tofu A Try

    Tofu might not conjure the most appetizing thoughts, but what is great about tofu is that it takes on a variety of flavors, depending on how you prepare it. We’re not saying you have should replace your Thanksgiving day turkey with a tofurky, but try incorporating tofu into rice dishes, stir fry dishes, soups, and salads for an added protein punch.

    Be Bold With Beans

    Beans are in fact a magical fruit, well…not a fruit but a legume anyway. They are wonderfully filling, and are packed with protein. For dinner ideas, crowd-pleaser recipes include Black Bean Burritos, Polenta with Beans or Falafel.

     

    Beet Salad

    Let Your Veggies Shine

    Spring is the season for a variety of vegetables to be at their peak of freshness. Veggies like artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, carrots, cherries, greens, oranges, strawberries, sweet onions and more are all in season in the March and April time. Tempt your taste buds with a Roasted Beet SaladQuinoa Stuffed Avocados or Spring Vegetable Stew.

    Need some more inspiration? Visit your local Grocery Outlet store and stock up on meatless staples to create your own recipe! 

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  • Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Two Ways!


     Guest Post from The Coupon Project

    Every month in 2014, I'm sharing 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. To capitalize on the savings I'll get by shopping at Grocery Outlet, I'll be creating meals that use similar ingredients, or as in the recipes featured this month, using one main ingredient two different ways.

    This month, I wanted to create a couple recipes that minimized your prep time. And what's more convenient than whipping out the slow cooker? So the first day, we're going to throw a pork roast in the slow cooker and then shred it and make pulled sandwiches. We'll use a bit of the leftover meat to create a deliciously different pizza!
     
    Haul from Grocery Outlet


    Here's what I ended up buying at Grocery Outlet:
    - 3.5 lb pork roast
    - 1 package bacon
    - bag of onions
    - garlic
    - 1 clamshell organic salad greens
    - 1 2-cup package pizza cheese
    - 1 pizza crust mix (on sale for just $0.33!)
    - 1 bottle barbecue sauce
    - 1 bottle pickles
    - hamburger buns

    From the pantry:
    - 1 tbsp brown sugar
    - 1 tbsp chili powder
    - 1 tbsp kosher salt
    - 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    - 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

    All together, I paid just under $25 out of pocket at Grocery Outlet for the items from my grocery list above! That works out to $11.64 per meal, or $2.08 per serving (based on 6 servings). That works out to just a tick over $2 per serving, but I should point out that I suspect this menu plan serves more than 6. The pork roast yielded SO MUCH shredded meat that I gave a bunch to a friend to enjoy for dinner!

    Night One: Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwiches

    I found this highly-rated slow cooker pulled pork over at Chow.com and made some modifications for today's recipe.

     

    Pork Roast

     

    Place one thinly sliced onion and two cloves of minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1 cup of broth on top. Next, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. Pat your 3-4 lb pork roast dry with paper towels, trim as desired, and then rub the spice mixture into the meat. Place the pork roast on top of the onions and garlic in your slow cooker and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 6-8 hours.

     

    Cooked Pork

    When I went to remove the roast from my slow cooker later in the day, my 5-year old daughter wandered into the kitchen and asked, "Mama, what is that wonderful smell?" So warning: be prepared to come home to a delicious aroma!

     

    Pulled Pork

    Remove the roast from the slow cooker and shred using two forks. My roast just fell apart, it was that moist! Don't forget about the broth and onions still in your slow cooker! Run them through a strainer and return the onions back to the slow cooker. You can return the shredded pork to the slow cooker as well. After the remaining broth has sat for a few minutes, the fat will float to the surface so you can easily skim it.

    Add 1 ½ - 2 cups of the barbecue sauce to the pork and combine. Pour in the reserved broth ¼cup at a time, until the meat is moist.

     

    Pulled Pork Sandwich


    The first night, serve the pulled pork on hamburger buns!



    Pickles

     

    I served mine alongside these hot & spicy pickles I found at Grocery Outlet for just $1.49! This is comfort food at its best and quick to serve up!

    Night Two: Leftover Pulled Pork Pizza

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza

    Now of course, you could go on and enjoy pulled pork sandwiches for the second night, but I want to encourage you to be creative with your leftovers!

    Pizza Crust

    Use any pizza crust recipe you like, but I opted for these Betty Crocker pizza crust mixes at Grocery Outlet for just $0.33! One of these makes a 12" pizza. I'd recommend you use 2 or even 3 of these crusts for feeding a larger family. All you need to do is combine with water and let sit for five minutes!

    I topped my pizza with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce (leftover from yesterday's recipe), one cup of pizza cheese, one cup of the pulled pork, and 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped up.

     

    Pulled Pork Pizza Slices

     

    I topped with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro after cooking. Of course, there are so many variations you could take on this pizza. Try adding sliced red onion, green peppers, or crushed red pepper. You could also nix the cheese or add fresh sliced tomato. This pizza was oh so good - and it took only minutes to throw together thanks to reusing the previous night's leftovers!

    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.

    To download this recipe in a PDF, click here: March Recipe

    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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  • 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.

     

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    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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