Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I shop at 99 Cents Only Stores

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Note: This post is not sponsored, paid or, or in any way supported by anyone or anything other than my own opinions and my own pocketbook. I am a very happy and frequent customer of the 99 Cents Only Stores.

There's a chain of dollar stores in California and other southwestern states called 99 Cents Only Stores. There's one very close to my house. And I buy a lot of my groceries there, including excellent fresh produce.

Buy produce at a dollar store? Yes. The 99 Cents Only Stores stock produce that is high-quality, fresh, and sometimes even organic. They have brand-name groceries, too. And each item costs...99 cents.

You never know what you'll find and you can't count on buying the same thing two days in a row. But if you're an opportunistic food shopper, you can do very well at the 99 Cents Only Stores. I've found that the best time to go is around 10am - they've put out the day's stock but it isn't heavily picked over yet.

Here's what I bought on one trip this week - I think you'll be impressed. Next time you see a 99 Cents Only Store, stop in and see what's they've got.


Persian cucumbers (2 packages)
Sliced Baby Bella mushrooms (4 packages)
Sicilian sea salt - coarse and fine
Organic spinach - 1 pound for 99 cents! (2 packages)
Precooked brown rice (4 packages)
Brown sugar (3 packages)
White and orange cauliflower

Coconut milk (4 cans)
2-pound bags of all-purpose flour - this mill usually sells wholesale (I looked them up) (3 packages)
Cactus tortillas - I love these for quesadillas (2 packages)

Beautiful heads of crunchy romaine (2 packages)
Limes (1 bag)
Three kinds of melon
Whole wheat pasta (4 bags)

16 comments:

Ericka @Nibbles and Feasts said...

It's my favorite place to get cactus tortillas!

Kat said...

I LOVE the 99 cent stores...especially the larger ones...so much good stuff!

Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious said...

Love all your purchases! The only one I would look twice at is the coconut milk. Sometimes you get a can that is water, coconut extract and thickener, and they call it coconut milk. Not sure about the brand you have there. Other than that, your choices look like exactly what would land in my cart!

Erika Kerekes said...

@Dorothy hmm, that's the brand I often buy in regular grocery stores...let me check...well, the first ingredient is "coconut milk extract 27.27%" so you may be right there.

Valentina said...

I AM impressed! I have gotten those Tortillas De Napol a few times. Delicious and gluten-free!

Christina said...

Totally agree, Erika-but I like finding the surprises too. I once walked into a 99c only store to kill some time, but as soon as I entered, the first thing I saw was HEINZ beans from the UK! I immediately did a u-turn and walked back out to get a shopping cart and bought over 50 cans (I have lots of friends and relatives that like them too!) I also found DeCecco tomatoes there once, and cleaned them out :)

HK said...

Yes!! I'm a HUGE fan of doing my grocery shopping at 99 Cents Only stores, and was SO thrilled when one finally opened up near me last month (before that, the closest one was 50 miles away). I'm always amazed at how fresh the produce is-- often times even fresher than at the grocery store, where things can cost 2-3 times as much! What a great haul you've got pictured :-)

Anonymous said...

oooohhhh! I'm a huge 99 Cent Only Store fan...I've never seen the Tortillas De Napol at ours...I'll keep an eye out!

Libbety said...

Great store! I go there for basic spices. They are so cheap and just as good of quality as the more expensive brands. Things like hot pepper flakes, cumin, nutmeg, onion powder etc...

BonnieBanters said...

Well, Erika, you've surprised me! I guess you could call me an opportunist shopper. I familiarize myself with a store and it's products, plan before I go and keep an open eye for new products or seasonal. I always have my "main store". In other words, I keep different lists for different stores. I don't have this store near me, but similar ones.

Erika Kerekes said...

@Bonnie - surprised you how? Do I not seem like the kind of woman who would buy her groceries at the dollar store? :)

Stacy said...

Wow! Well done! You found some great bargains. I love the 99 Cent stores but the one near my home in Houston (where I spend the summer) never has such nice produce. I have scored several cans of palmito and wonderful Italian tomatoes there though so it is always worth a quick browse.

Lentil Breakdown said...

When I find shiitake mushrooms there, I do the happy dance!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

You will love that Lehi flour. The mill is close to my house and they do a wonderful job...

BonnieBanters said...

Hey Erika, Not really...but I appreciate you like the game of value! Why watch a good $ fly out the window if you know you could do better...right?

MMK said...

I shop at the 99 cent only store probably 4 times a week. Their produce is outstanding and I can't believe so many of my friends still snub their noses at it. My husband and I juice every day for two meals so we go through tons of produce. I'd be very poor if I had to pay the prices charged at the regular market. Good job!!

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