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Old 01-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #21
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Funny this subject should come up cause I was just pondering recently that the ethnic grocery everywhere I've lived (all major cities) had the cheapest and best produce.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #22
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Yeah, I know some people are really skilled/vigilant and are able to take advantage of those deals but I suck at it - so rather go to a store where prices are generally low then hunt and peck!
I'm generally the same way. Which leaves me with walmart's "everyday low prices". It would probably be Supertarget if it wasn't so far away (almost 3 miles!). But the snooty local grocery keeps sending me $10 off $40 coupons in sets of 4, so I keep buying one and getting one or two free and then taking $10 more off. So I get stuff pretty cheap. The cashiers are always amazed that I can get a cart full of stuff that costs exactly $40-41 and barely qualifies for the coupon. Vegas card counting skills finally come in handy (since they are useless in vegas...).
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:01 PM   #23
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You have farmers' markets in Ohio in the winter? We only have them in the warmer months.
Yes, that's why I said I was lucky.

Depending on where you live, you might be surprised what's available.
Check out Local Harvest if you care to search for opportunities.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:36 PM   #24
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I also notice that most of the major name grocery stores run deep discount specials on a limited selection of items. The buy one, get one free deals, and 30-40% off deals. These are loss leaders (or make very little profit), but draw you in the store. Then everything else is more expensive to make the overall product line up profitable. Most of the ethnic stores don't run these kind of gimmicky specials, so everything can be a little bit cheaper than Big Grocery's regular prices.
In the Chicago area, the smaller stores always seem to run some crazy deal to get you to buy, i.e., eggs $0.39/dz lrg eggs, milk .99/gal. buy1get1 deals on all kinds of stuff, crazy 8's sales where everything listed is .88 each or by the lb. Also buy $xx, get $5 off. There's one store here that runs $1 off $10 or more frequently.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:36 PM   #25
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Trader Joe's is finally opening here - this spring, I think - and near my house.
I start most days with a walk over to Trader Joe's. Free coffee, a chance to do any shopping I need to do before it is crowded, and a two mile walk through a nice neighborhood before breakfast. I buy 80% of my groceries there.

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Old 01-05-2011, 04:55 PM   #26
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I start most days with a walk over to Trader Joe's. Free coffee, a chance to do any shopping I need to do before it is crowded, and a two mile walk through a nice neighborhood before breakfast. I buy 80% of my groceries there.

Ha
Good to know - thanks, Ha, about Trader Joe's - although I think I'll drive. It's a long walk uphill part of the way in both directions (with a dip in the middle, I'm serious). And I have a bad back - I'd have to use a rolling cart for the groceries. Getting old is not for sissies...

I have quickly figured out that shopping between 11 am and 1:30 pm is a really bad idea. Too many shoppers. It calms down a little mid-afternoon. I try to hit Costco when it opens if possible. I'm getting into this retired lifestyle...
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:13 PM   #27
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MichaelB,
I think we shop in the same general area...are you in the north side/suburbs of Chicago? Try these places too: Jerry's Produce (Niles), Village Marketplace(Skokie), Oakton Produce (Skokie), Fresh Farms (Niles), then these are stock up stores: Butera, Shop n Save (Niles), Tony's Finer Food (Chicago), Meijer (Niles) and Food4Less(Evanston). We tend to target sale shop these stores depending on our driving path between Chicago and N. burbs.
Dimsumkid, thanks for this info. We spend part of the year in the northshore 'burbs and are still looking for options for fresh produce, meat and fish.

Cheers!
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:21 PM   #28
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We buy almost all our produce at the local Persian market. Most if it is pretty good quality and the deals are very good. We also supplement by going to Sprouts and the farmers market (some stalls have very good deals).

The meat at the Persian market is excellent too, probably because it is processed to be halal. Not that halal is better quality by itself but a farm that certifies meat to be halal/kosher is inspected more than a reg farm.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #29
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I'd been searching long and hard for a retailer that sells 1 gallon jug of Marukan Rice Vinegar, this is used to flavor sushi. Amazon (3rd party) sells it for $41 ($17+24 shipping). Used to buy at a small Asian mom and pop store, but they closed down 1-2 years ago in Chicago. I finally found one locally, it's called Assi Plaza and reg. price is only 10.49, about the same as the last place I bought from. They carry bigger size staple items than other chains, gal. vinegar, 50-70oz cans of sesame oil, 100 ct. sushi wraps, 5lb oyster and hoisin sauces, etc. Apparently they're located in MD,VA,NY,PA, GA, IL and CA now. Seems like they've stolen a lot of business from Super H Mart here anyway. Lots of fresh fish and fruits and veggies too. Here's a link for their website </title> <style type="text/css"> </style> <link href="../css/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> <style type="text/css"> </style> <script type="text/JavaScript"> </script> <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript"> </script> </head> <body> <div id="La
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #30
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I'd been searching long and hard for a retailer that sells 1 gallon jug of Marukan Rice Vinegar, this is used to flavor sushi. Amazon (3rd party) sells it for $41 ($17+24 shipping). Used to buy at a small Asian mom and pop store, but they closed down 1-2 years ago in Chicago. I finally found one locally, it's called Assi Plaza and reg. price is only 10.49, about the same as the last place I bought from. They carry bigger size staple items than other chains, gal. vinegar, 50-70oz cans of sesame oil, 100 ct. sushi wraps, 5lb oyster and hoisin sauces, etc. Apparently they're located in MD,VA,NY,PA, GA, IL and CA now. Seems like they've stolen a lot of business from Super H Mart here anyway. Lots of fresh fish and fruits and veggies too. Here's a link for their website </title> <style type="text/css"> </style> <link href="../css/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> <style type="text/css"> </style> <script type="text/JavaScript"> </script> <SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript"> </script> </head> <body> <div id="La
Do you operate an Asian restaurant? I can't imagine a homeowner using quantities like you post. 5# oyster sauce?

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Old 04-05-2011, 12:13 PM   #31
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Do you operate an Asian restaurant? I can't imagine a homeowner using quantities like you post. 5# oyster sauce?

Ha
No restaurant here, when we get oyster sauce, we split it w/in laws (they're retired restaurant owners). MIL still loves to cook food for us whenever we stop by and it will last the rest of the week. MIL still buys 100lb bags of rice when I come over (so I can be the mule) and the in laws are 81 and 87 yrs old! We get 5# hoisin sauce for asian wraps and make sushi a lot. Vinegar doesn't go bad and hoisin is refrigerated.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:09 PM   #32
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No restaurant here, when we get oyster sauce, we split it w/in laws (they're retired restaurant owners). MIL still loves to cook food for us whenever we stop by and it will last the rest of the week. MIL still buys 100lb bags of rice when I come over (so I can be the mule) and the in laws are 81 and 87 yrs old! We get 5# hoisin sauce for asian wraps and make sushi a lot. Vinegar doesn't go bad and hoisin is refrigerated.
My in-laws buy rice a quarter ton at a time. Big, extended family always stopping by to eat. They also buy meat by the animal or half animal (cow, pig). But man, 5 lb of hoison sauce and a gal of vinegar? That is a lot!
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:47 PM   #33
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My in-laws buy rice a quarter ton at a time. Big, extended family always stopping by to eat. They also buy meat by the animal or half animal (cow, pig). But man, 5 lb of hoison sauce and a gal of vinegar? That is a lot!
Wow! 500 lbs of rice puts me to shame! Now that's an awful lot of rice, most we personally get is 50 lbs. 5 lb of hoisin is only a little more than 1/2 gal. We've always been able to use it. Besides the cost is equal to 2 smaller bottles/cans, so it's like getting 100% more for free.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #34
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Count me in on the Hoisin sauce fetish, I usually have 3 or 4 bottles with 12 oz or so.

Lunch is usually 5-6 Shumai pork and shrimp dumplings and 5-6 Wei-chuen pork-veggie-seafood dumplings. Steam those babies and have bowls of Hoisin, Shriracha, and Soy for dipping.

Place I shop has a dozen or so huge pallet loads of 100lb bags of rice. I'd guess 10 tons of rice, easy.
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