Depending on what kind of person you are this post will either be fascinating or boring. I'm always fascinated by how people spend and manage their money so you know what camp I'm in.
Last week I got a question in the comment section asking how I am able to spend $50 a week on groceries for the 2 of us. To be honest I usually spend a lot less than $50. I'm able to do this because I do most of my shopping at the .99 store. I started shopping there when we were broke and I continue to shop there because it is smart. I supplement what I get there with a trip to Trader Joe's or the farmers market.
A lot of people think the .99 store sells food that is past its due date (everything I bought had a minimum of 10 days til the expiration date) or is in some way inferior, but they are wrong. All products sold there meet all local, state and federal safety, labeling, environmental and all other laws and regulations. If you purchase something that you feel is inferior in any way they will happily refund your money just like your local market would.
On Saturday's shopping trip I was able to purchase enough food for 2 weeks of breakfasting plus several dinners and lunches. They don't always have vegan yogurts so that was exciting. I'll put a few spoonfuls of yogurt and chopped nuts over the fresh oranges and grapefruits my neighbor just gave me. Fresh apples and oatmeal will make up the other breakfasts. We go through a lot of spinach in smoothies and the frozen mango is great paired with it. They always have fresh basics like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, shallots, mushrooms and so many other veggies that are perfect for soups and stews. A lot of the produce there is organic too.
The dinners I plan to make with this haul (and also use existing food I bought last week) will be 2 nights of spinach, black bean and potato enchiladas (5 lbs potatoes purchased last week for .99) with green sauce, vegetarian chili for at least 2 nights. 2 nights of spaghetti and salad. And 2 nights of black bean/veggie tacos. 1 night of fresh steamed veggies over mashed potatoes. Lunches will be a combination of salads, veggie sandwiches, leftovers and soups. As you see our meals are quite mundane but they are healthy and filling.
Also, I buy other products there too. Cleaning products, greeting cards...all sorts of things. The savings really are dramatic.
If you are not on the west coast and are unfamiliar with the .99 store, here is an ABC News report on a man who lost a ton of weight (250 lbs!) eating at the .99 store. I love his light bulb moment when he cleaned out his refrigerator. Made me (almost) want to jump up and throw out the chips I had just bought! Also it's a good video because it shows the great choices available and that the store is clean and not what you might expect. Here's the video.
Alrighty then, have you shopped the .99 store? If so what are some of your favorite products? Are you put off by the .99 store? Do tell.