No Time to DIY? (Plus Giveaway!)

No time to DIY?

Many of you know that I’m nutty about making things instead of buying them. But there are some phases of life when there’s no time for DIY, and this month was one of those times.

January is full of planning and scheduling, both for the family and our businesses (this blog and my essential oil business, and Hubby’s comic book store). Add my office job and the kids’ schedules, and it seems like the day is over the moment it starts.

So this month, I decided to shop for food instead of making many things from scratch. It’s tough to save money and eat healthy at the grocery store, though! Organic foods are our first choice, and they are expensive. But we sure can’t cut back on groceries with two hungry kids in the house. Both of them are growing and eating like crazy.

It was time to figure out where to get the most for my grocery money, and a good friend recommended Grocery Outlet. She said that she gets lots of natural and organic foods there for great prices.

I’d never been there before, and I confess that I had a mental picture of the “salvage stores” that were described in The Tightwad Gazette III:  “The most remarkable deal we’ve found [at salvage stores] are “mystery cans.” One store has a large bin of dented, unlabled cans selling for 10 cents each. Mystery cans have become a major source of entertainment for our kids. They take turns choosing a can and guessing its contents.”

Ummm…no thanks.

There are a bunch of Grocery Outlet stores in my area (they’re in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Pennsylvania), and I was pleasantly surprised when I visited. They’ve just expanded their Natural/Organic/Specialty/Healthy section (NOSH), providing savings up to 70% off conventional natural food or health food stores.

Check out the produce section! Those bananas are nicer than the ones at my neighborhood grocery store (and the prices are much better, too).

No time to DIY?

The shelf displays aren’t fancy, but that’s OK with me. You can’t beat this price on Pacific Organic Soups.

No time to DIY?

The aisles are wide and clean, and there are lots of brand-name organic and conventional products. Nope, they didn’t know I was coming. This is really how nice the store looks every day.

No time to DIY?

Plus they have a few things you never knew existed… ;)

No time to DIY?

How are they able to offer such great prices? That’s exactly what I asked. They buy overstock products, or items with packaging changes, direct from the manufacturers. For example, I got Horizon Organic Mac-n-Cheese for less than $1 a box because of a packaging change.

The dairy products and meats are fresh, with plenty of time before the sell-by date. They get multiple shipments of fresh dairy and produce, so you can do all your shopping in one store.

One important thing to know is that their stock changes constantly. Yes, they will always have milk, bread, produce and meats–but if you see your favorite granola bars or Amy’s frozen meals, stock up! They might not be there next time.

What do you think? Want to give Grocery Outlet a try?

Two lucky Brown Thumb Mama readers will win a $25 Grocery Outlet gift card!

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest is open until Sunday, January 25 at 7pm PST. The winner will be drawn randomly and I’ll announce the winner on Monday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Grocery Outlet. All opinions are my own (of course).


  1. kristine Laybourn says

    I love Grocery Outlet. I can get so much quality food for next to nothing. They give me the ability to try products that sometimes are out of my budget .I check The Brown thumb mama Facebook page Daily. keep the innovative items coming!!

  2. says

    I love Grocery Outlet I must say the quality varies which store though. Since they are individually owned some are better than others. The one in Elk Grove is especially nice.

  3. Ali Mendoza says

    Pam, I love Grocery Outlet! You do have to watch the expiration date on the dairy products sometimes though! The wine selections are sometimes pretty great.

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