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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NorCal Dollar Store Deals

DollarStoreVeg has relocated to Northern California, where the East Bay hosts 99c stores that feature several of the same deals as the Southern California chain.  Unfortunately, the bargain basement produce deals are few and far between compared to Los Angeles.  At my most recent 99c store visit this past weekend, I spotted:
  • 15 oz. garbanzo, kidney, and black beans
  • Fresh baby spinach, pre-washed
  • West soy tetra pack 32 oz. soy milk
  • Arabian flat bread (great for pita pizza or with hummus)
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Bunch of asparagus
  • Balsamic, rice, plain, red wine, and white wine vinegars
  • The usual other greens: pack of romaine lettuce, celery, limes, red bell peppers
A couple weeks ago I had spotted 5 oz. cremini mushrooms and portobello (~2 caps) mushrooms, too.

As for other stores with deals (not necessarily for $1), I like the Geary & 4th Ave. market (called "Farmer Market") for their good produce prices, by NorCal standards.  For example, 3 bunches of leeks were $2.99, white nectarines were 79c/lb, and apricots were 69 c/lb.  They also have capers, olives, and other specialty items. 

I also love Rainbow Grocery (around 13th/Folsom St.) for offering bulk Ener-G (around $5-6/lb.) and nutritional yeast (under $7/lb).  I bought bulk vital wheat gluten (also just under $7/lb.) but later realized that I can get Hodgson's Mill or even Bob's Red Mill brands less expensively.  In addition, they have bulk brown rice syrup, TVP, and tons of other surprises (trail mix of various kinds, dry pasta, beans, lentils, etc.).  They no longer carry my favorite Black China Bakery vegan carrot cake with the delectable soy cream cheese frosting, at least not in the past few visits there.

If you are looking for Asian style fake meat products in the freezer section, both New May Wah and Lien Hing supermarkets along Clement St. (start at 6th Ave/Clement and walk east or west) offer them at just under $4/bag or more.  My favorite soy triangles with veggies embedded in them run around $4 for 8 little triangles. Thus these items are pretty pricey but cheaper than eating at a restaurant.  For example, ~12 veggie fish filets run around $10-12.  The produce prices are hit or miss: tomatoes for 59c/lb (good) while other items are less expensive elsewhere (Fuji apples 99c/lb. vs. only 79c/lb. at other places blocks away).

It took a while for me to find mirin to use in some of Isa Moskowitz' recipes.  Food4Less (aka Foodsco in NorCal) carried it in SoCal, but the SF Foodsco does not.  However, Safeway does sell mirin for ~$4/bottle.

Stay tuned for more NorCal DollarStore deals!

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