Secret Source for Grocery Savings
by Bernie Quesada
In my continuing quest to save money on groceries, I stumbled upon this little known source of grocery savings.
While looking for a supermarket near my place of work, I found this little Asian grocery store and decided to venture in. I was intimidated at first, as the signs were in English and Chinese, but I was curious and really needed to pick up some groceries. I was pleasantly surprised! They had fresh produce at great prices and I found everything I needed at this store. No, I was not having Chinese on the menu, but they had all the ingredients nonetheless. This experience has led me to check out other ethnic groceries; here's a list of bargains I found:
Mexican Groceries also known as "Carniceria" for butcher shop or "Marketa" for grocery: --Great deals can be found on meats such as beef, pork and chicken, rice, beans, tortillas, fresh produce.
Asian Markets - I've shopped at Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese stores -- Save on fresh produce, noodles, meat and especially fish and seafood. Of course they have the sauces that you can use for many recipes such as soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, hoisin sauce and your basic stir fry sauce. I also found some great deals on orchids, ceramic pots and Hello Kitty gift items.
Italian Markets -- I found great deals on pastries, pasta, meats and sausages, breads, fresh produce and different pasta sauces.
Middle Eastern Markets -- I just discovered these, but I found good deals on fresh produce, olive oil, nuts, fresh breads and pastry.
A few tips when shopping:
- Just as you would for supermarket shopping, bring a list.
- Some stores do not accept checks, so bring cash.
- Don't be intimidated by signs in a foreign language. Most stores have the English translation; if not, ask!
- The larger stores have published specials, usually there are flyers at the door. One larger store had a free membership card and they provided at 10% discount upon joining.
So if you happen to spot an ethnic grocery but have never ventured in, be bold and check it out. You might save some cash and have fun!
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