Healthy Frugal Tip: Never skip that expensive natural food department at your local mega-grocer.
Your Albertson’s, Krogers, Safeway, whatever-you-call-it-chain has likely inserted a highly overpriced natural food aisle or two into its store within the last few years. While my family does not consume hydrogenated or high fructose anything, dropping a small fortune in these specialty aisles is just not in my budget either. In fact, if you do some comparison shopping on those regular natural food necessities (like almond and rice milk in my case) you will typically find that Whole Paycheck is actually cheaper. For example, a box of cereal we enjoy is just $2.49 at Whole Foods, yet at my local mega-grocer it is $5.00. My favorite almond milk is $2.29 at Whole Foods (just $1.99 at Trader Joe’s though!), but it is nearly $4.00 at my local grocer.
Nonetheless, it is for this very reason that on occasion you may strike gold in those lone natural food aisles. For these grocers who have long known the demand for Nabisco crackers, the natural food section is still an area of trial and error. Some products just don’t sell (especially when they are marked up so highly!). Almost every week I find a new discontinued item on their shelves (discontinued by them, not usually the manufacturer), and quite often it is something that appeals … and discontinued items are often marked down quite substantially…
Case in Point: A Stash Organic Tea Review
I rarely purchase Stash Organic Tea. Their pretty labels are just not enough to warrant the price tag. But as an avid tea fan, I was stoked when I spotted two flavors of Stash Organic Tea marked with a huge discontinued tag at the Albertsons just down the road. For just $1.44 each, I picked up a package of the Organic Breakfast Blend (if its black and labeled as breakfast tea, then my husband will drink it) and the Organic Cascade Mint. That’s ORGANIC, not just the regular Stash brand. In the past I would never have touched a tea labeled with mint. I do love chocolate and mint, but tea always sounds weird. Yet, just a few weeks ago, some spearmint was slipped into a tea I ordered when we were traveling (okay, I just didn’t read the full description before ordering) and it was really good!
Well, let me say that this tea was indeed fantastic. Warm, soothing, and minty, it was like a wonderful caffeine-free wake-up call in the morning. I have heard that mint also satiates, so this may be an excellent after-dinner tea as well to prevent further nibbling. This tea was a nice blend of organic peppermint and organic spearmint leaves.
Would I purchase again? I will be heading back to Albertson’s to see if there is any left, definitely. Otherwise, I might pay up to $2.50 to have this on hand as a special treat, but really, that is my absolute limit for tea. Particularly considering it only has 18 tea bags. But, it would be a wonderful holiday tea… perhaps I should stock up on the discontinued for gift baskets?
The moral: A quick minute-long stroll through the natural food aisle can often reveal a treasure or two. Happy grocery shopping!