I love cruising through discount stores. Larry and I used to go to Big Lots (formerly MacFrugal’s, even more formerly Pic ‘N’ Save), and the dollar store* almost every weekend, just for fun. Most times we wouldn’t buy anything, but we enjoyed wandering up and down the aisles to see if there were any good buys.
We don’t go as often anymore, but I still love shopping the International foods section at Big Lots. This week’s haul:
Laporta Pasta. This stuff is so awesome! Comparing it to regular pasta is like comparing a fresh garden tomato to a winter grocery store tomato. Seriously. In fact, it’s better than any pasta I’ve ever made myself. The flavor and texture are outstanding. At $3 for a 17-oz bag, it’s a little more expensive than typical pasta, but worth every penny. They didn’t have my favorite shape this time – the festosi. They look like ruffles, and really hold the sauce well. The gigli (lilies) are cute, too. Run down to your local Big Lots right now and get some.
Inka Corn. Larry is totally addicted to it, ever since I bought a bag at a Big Lots in Las Vegas a few years ago. It’s like Corn Nuts, but they’re larger and not as hard. Lighter and crispier, and just a light touch of salt. They used to only have it when they did their International Food fairs, but they’ve had it pretty regularly lately. Only a buck a bag (4 oz). One of my local friends told me they sell it at Sprouts in the bulk foods section. Score! It’s cheaper at Big Lots ($4 per pound instead of… $6, I think… at Sprouts), but at least if Big Lots is out of it, I know where to get more. Gluten-free, non-GMO.
Rice Bran Oil This is the first time I’ve seen rice bran oil sold locally, though I haven’t looked for it for a while. Even the Asian markets didn’t carry it, so I had to buy it online. I love using rice bran oil for frying, rather than olive oil, since it has a higher smoke point. It’s also great for baking since it has very little taste. It has a long shelf life, may help reduce cholesterol, may help with menopause symptoms, and it’s also good on your skin and cuticles. A 1-liter bottle was $6. They also had an even larger bottle of sunflower oil for $4.
Last time I was there, I also picked up some “Brazil Serra Negra” coffee (12 oz, ground, for $6). It was pretty good, and I’d buy it again.
Oh, and while I was wandering down the coffee/tea aisle, I noticed that they had these Starbucks shaker/tumblers for $7. Looks like a good buy for any of you who are into that sort of thing.
* We used to have a locally-owned dollar store called “Greenbacks All a Dollar”, and I loved it. If you went regularly, you could find some really great stuff that they’d get on closeout somewhere. But since it has been purchased by “Dollar Tree”, it’s pretty much the same stuff every time except for seasonal items, so I don’t go very often except to get gift wrapping supplies.
I may need the corn thingies. I see a stop at Big Lots this Tuesday. They’re near the taco place. Ya know, I really need a Cheryl Made Me Do It button…
Thanks for the good hints! Try T.J. Maxx in the checkout waiting aisle for amazing gift bags for $1.69. I’m talking works of art. I just saw them at the store in Kimball Junction but they’re probably at every store.
Fun haul! I drive past Big Lots every day and haven’t been in it for years. Maybe a detour is needed…
I didn’t even realize we had Big Lots here until doing a quick search just now. Hmm.
If only I could stand to step inside the place.
I got some Philosophy make-up for Hannah at Big Lots once. I paid almost nothing for it. She almost peed her pants.
You never know what you’ll find at Big Lots! I haven’t been to ours in a while, but I think you’ve just inspired a little walk-through!