Originally, I was going to tweet my visit to Ocean State Job Lot, but decided that it was post-worthy. I've visited the store once or twice over the years.
You can get random stuff cheap. No frills. No ambiance. No pretty aisles with things nicely arranged in stacks based on shape, color, and size. The design and decor will not dazzle you. Nor thrill you. However, the selection and prices might make you smile and you'll feel like a smart and savvy shopper. In this economy, that's a really good thing.
Last month, I read this article and decided that I had to visit OSJL again. Guess how they got me? The food! I had no idea that they carried so many different types of brand name and specialty foods.
I have to say that there was a particulary strong smell of fumes in the Quincy store yesterday. I almost left after a few minutes, but found my way to the food aisles. I debated between inhaling really bad fumes and finding a good deal. I realize that this may not be a ringing endorsement, but it is what it is. I decided to endure the odor and see what I could find for not too much money.
From OSJL's website, I found that although they are known as a "closeout company", they prefer to think of themselves as "opportunistic merchants." Here's how they do it.
"Our merchandise selection not only consists of a variety of manufacturer's overruns, overstocks and packaging changes, but also includes many areas where our buyers have determined that "holes" exist in the marketplace. We are constantly on the hunt for special deals, which allow us to offer quality brand name merchandise at closeout prices."
They have far more stores than I realized and are still adding more locations. They also have online coupons.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of their products. You can buy all types of specialty flours, baking mixes, single-origin chocolates, organic cereals and juices, gourmet coffees, etc. The list goes on and on and the prices are far less than what you would pay in the typical stores that sell these products.
I haven't tried everything yet, but so far I really like the Peace Cereal Golden Honey Granola. Unfortunately, I can't make my own granola all the time, so I usually buy Stop & Shop's brand. It's good, but at $2.50, it's only about fifty cents less than the Peace Cereal, which is a larger size box (17 oz), tastes better and is organic with better ingredients, like flax. That's definitely more value for my money. Plus 10% of profits are donated to create peace.
Another purchase was a 33.8 ounce bottle of Heirloom Farms Pomegranate & Cherry Juice for $2.99. It's 100% natural with no added sugar, preservatives or colors. There are a ton of anti-oxidants, so it's some really healthy juice. The flavor was a bit tart for me, but it's still pretty good.
So overall, I was pretty happy with my purchases from OSJL and will be going back again. Since this post was all about trying to save money without giving up variety, I'm submitting this post as part of Alanna's How To Save Money On Groceries series. Check out her posts for more ways to save money.
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