Any of you guys who have kids probably already know that these little munchkins eat a lot.
If there is a bowl or a cup or a plate full of something edible within a hundred yards, chances are my boys have their heads fully immersed in it. Especially the younger one. That kid is like a garbage disposal. He always insists on feeding himself, too, so I have to either have toddler bite-sized snacky things on hand or be prepared for a full splash zone of applesauce.
It can get super-expensive trying to feed a family healthfully. When people hear about our gluten-free diet they always want to compare notes and take away tips about where to get the cheapest flour or bread or latest in all-natural goods. Honestly, until recently, when people have asked how I save on healthy food my answer has been, “I don't.” Prices for specialty goods have seemed relatively consistent to me from store-to-store.
A couple weeks ago a PR friend invited me to come check out Grocery Outlet, a private, family-owned supermarket chain which happens to be one of our nearest grocery stores. It opened in town less than a year ago and I hadn't gotten around to visiting yet but she told me they have a clever answer for people like me who like to try new stuff and save money. I spoke with the store owner who explained that they keep their costs low by making bulk purchases of limited or discontinued items from brands. So, say Annie's is testing a new flavor of macaroni and cheese but has decided not to release it nationwide yet; Grocery Outlet will buy their excess inventory at a steeply-discounted price since other stores don't want to take the effort to create signage and checkout information for a limited-supply. Same with popular items of unique sizes, colors, etc. It works a lot like how Marshalls or TJ Maxx can offer discounts on last season's clothes or on items that the manufacturer simply produced too much of.
I wandered the aisles with the boys and was pleased to find tons of organic fruit at the same price as conventionally-grown, as well as steep discounts like $1 (instead of $7) for a package of high-end Ghirardelli hot chocolate and $1.50 (compared to a usual cost of $4) for non-GMO Guiltless Gourmet tortilla chips. The gluten-free options were awesome, and I stocked up my snack freezer for months at a fraction of what it would usually cost me. If you're looking to save on feeding your family or even just want to throw together some cool gourmet gift baskets, this is the place to come. I like it because the low prices also push me to buy things I wouldn't normally look at and expand my family's usual meal plan.