I live and (try to find) work in the California Silicon Valley. It's unbelievably expensive here! Rent, gas, food, all cost A LOT, with little or nothing left for books and toys! I pay higher utility bills in the winter than my sister in Illinois! Needless to say, when I can save money on anything, I'm thrilled.
So I decided to share (and gather more...) my tips and sources. Most I don't have links for... Got more resources for me to check out and list? Got comments? Send them to me!
Ever done the poverty diet? Here's a grocery list gleaned from times (like now 8-( ) when unemployment didn't quite cover rent AND food!
CheapCooking.Com - "Recipes and hints for those needing - or wanting - to cut back." Definitely a well rounded site, and the data on it saves me the trouble of researching and writing the stuff myself! The recipes on it are also available as a .pdf, and you can contribute to the author (encourage her to write more) using the Amazon honor system.
Ramen Recipe Database. Just what the site title says - a database of recipes for ramen. Literally hundreds, submitted from all over the US, Canada, and Australia. [Referred by E. Ferlazzo - Thanks, cool site!]
Price/Costco: This place drives me nuts. If you have a membership, don't go on weekends. Everybody and their neighbor with is there, with their family, to shop. They sometimes have real good bargains, but stock can vary from site to site. Membership is about $45 a year, and can save you that much IF you like to shop in bulk. A freezer is very usefull if you shop here - you can break down larger packages and freeze them.
Pak'n'Save and Food 4 Less: These two stores are outlets for Safeway and Albertsons, I think. Slightly more expensive than Price/Costco, but often have a wider selection of smaller packages. If you like to buy bulk beans and grains, these are halfway decent places to do it. Why pay health food store prices unless you have to?
Entenmanns Bakery Outlet: Mmmmmmmm. Day old bread, Thomas's English muffins. Good stuff, great place to stock your freezer. On Maude avenue in Sunnyvale, between Mathilda and 237 (closer to Mathilda). They have some extra bargain days, and senior discounts.
There is also another Entenmann's-Orowheat outlet at 1033 S Bascom Ave in San Jose. [Thanks, K. Hall!]
Grocery Outlet: Redwood City, San Jose and Campbell. Discounted dented and off brand canned goods. Does not have consistant stock, of course, but often worth a monthly swoop through.
Smart & Final: Mountain View, Redwood City, San Jose. Used to be just for restaurant supplies. Still is primarily, but they do carry some smaller serving units. If you every cook for a lot of people, or cook & freeze, you can find some interesting equipment, basic stocks, and serving service. Think 'restaurant kitchen'. Also related is United Grocers Cash & Carry, on San Carlos at Leigh in San Jose.
Safeway and Albertsons: While these are ordinary grocery stores, you can sometimes find good deals on their club card or sale specials. While you need to watch out for "going broke saving money", sometimes they come below market rates on various staple items - like butter, hamburger, and bulk paks. Watch the ads!
Mi Rancho: On Willow Road, Menlo Park, just off the west bound exit of Hwy 101. It is two short blocks from 101 and is the place to shop for produce. The quality is good, and their prices are better than Safeway (some of the examples are less than half of the safeway prices). [This source was recommended by N. Warnes. Thanks!]
Walmart: Various locations. Not really a grocery store, but sometimes they have great bargains on what they do carry: tuna on sale at 3/$1, their regular price on 24 packs of toilet paper is under $5, they have motor oil for less than $1/qt (this is useful if you drive older cars with leaks). Watch the ads, and stock up on bargains when you can. Not a fun place on weekends, though, and don't go early in the day if you have fragrance allergies -- many of their employees wear really cheap perfume (which ends up with me doubled over coughing). They also are reputed to treat their employees like garbage.
India Grocery Outlet: 1165 Reed, near Lawrence Expwy, in Santa Clara/Sunnyvale. A bit of a specialty store, and definitely no-frills. They have loads of Indian foods, including so many types of rice it's amazing, loose tea in bulk packs, and vegetarian type food and raw materials. If you are a vegetarian, and worry about variety, put this place on your list. They also have frozen pre-prepared Indian dishes and nan.
Dollar Tree: Three stores in San Jose alone - 331 N Capitol Ave, 5546 Monterey Hwy, and 445 Blossom Hill Rd. Also in Milpitas, Freemont, and San Leandro. While not primarily a food store, has discounted consumer goods, including "trial and travel size" units of various non-good consumables. They also have cheap seasonal toys. [Recommended by K. Hall - Thanks!]
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Page built: October 19, 1998. Page last changed/tweaked on 3/22/2007