Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cheap ethnic food

You can get certain foods much cheaper at ethnic groceries than at your local grocery or discount store. (An exception to this is that sometimes Big!Lots and Dollar General have discount Hispanic and/or Asian foods.) You can also find foods at the ethnic groceries that you probably will never find in a regular grocery, especially outside of sophisticated large cities.
~One the best Asian stores I've shopped is TAN-A Supermarket at Horsepen and West Broad Streets. TAN-A carries exotic produce, teas, sauces, meats and seafoods, frozen goods and some kitchenware and sundries for very good prices.
Avoid TAN-A on Sundays! Sunday is a mob scene at TAN-A.
6221 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230

~A near-by store is Far East Market, which is on Rigsby Road, just off Horsepen Road, one block from West Broad Street. At Far East, You can get fresh tofu for four cakes for $1.25 or a reusable plastic tub of 10 cakes for $3.25. What a bargain! Even on sale, fresh tofu rarely sells for less than $1.00 a cake! Tofu is healthy food and at this price, is dirt cheap healthy food!
*Far East
6317 Rigsby Rd
Richmond, VA 23226
~There are a couple of other Asian markets, several restaurants, Pho shops and an Asian bakery in that neighborhood.
*Tam Phat Market
6316 Horsepen Road, Richmond, VA 23226
282-1144*Asian & Oriental Food Store
6322 Rigsby Road, Richmond, VA 23226

Shop around at your local Asian markets. Not every store carries the same merchandise and prices for similar items can vary store-to-store in the same neighborhood.
~With the influx of immigrants (legal and illegal) from Latin America, Hispanic markets or mercados/bodegas are popping up all over Virginia. Nowadays you can buy standard Latino products such as tortillas and masa harina at your local grocery cheaper than at the Latino specialty stores, but the Latino stores carry many products that the big chains will probably never carry.

The largest one that I've shopped, Tu Rincon Latin, is on West Broad Street about one block east of Horsepen Road. The mercado carries Hispanic foods, housewares and deli items. Shop here for plaintains, Mexican chocolate, queso blanco and other Latin goodies.
*TU Rincon Latino
6003 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230
(804) 285-5850

Here are three tiny bodegas that sell some tasty treats:
*Bodega Latina
9020 Quioccasin Road, Richmond, VA 23229
*Bodega Latina
12343 Gayton, Richmond, VA 23238
*Bodega Latina Llc
9042 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294

~The Richmond Farmer's Market sponsors a monthly 'Mercado' several months a year. The Saturday night Mercado features Latin music, dancing, foods, groceries and hand-crafts.

~Other available ethnic markets are Indian/Pakistani, Middle Eastern,African and Russian.
Although I've not patronized many of the stores, Southside is full of Latin markets and boasts a couple of Asian markets as well.
~The European Deli on West Broad Street and features a deli and Russian and other Eastern European canned and baked goods, meats, cheeses, beers and hand-crafts. Not particularly cheap but they carry food and items almost impossible to find elsewhere.
*Royal Europe Delicatessen
9026 West Broad St
Richmond, VA
346-8878~Three Middle-Eastern stores come to mind:

Danny's Grill is a small deli and carry-out with canned and deli counter foods. Very inexpensive & the deli food is scrumptious.
*Dannys Grill
8905 Patterson Ave
Richmond, VA

2M is a tiny shop with friendly service, great food and canned goods. They have a frequent customer and customer referral discount program!
*2M Mediterranean Market & Deli
Dumbarton Square Shopping Center
7103 Staples Mill Rd
Richmond, VA 23228

I haven't been to MB&D since its re-opening on Quioccasin Road but previous visits found superb food and baked goods. Best variety of Mediterranean foods in the area. They have a drive-thru window. The website is well-designed and includes some great recipes.
*Mediterranean Bakery &Deli
9004 Quioccasin Rd.
Richmond, VA
~ A selection of Indian/Pakistani stores:

*India Foods & Flavor Inc
2745 Hungary Spring Road, Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 346-8678
*Indo Pak Grocery Store
8101 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294
*Shreeji Supermarket
2757 Hungary Spring, Richmond, VA 23294
*Shreenali Spices
8410 Staples Mill Road, Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 266-4088 ngary Spring, Richmond, VA 23294

~An African market and variety store near VCU:
*African House
902 W Grace St
Richmond, VA 23220

Halal Market on North Meadow Street at West Broad Street.
I've only seen this market from the bus and don't know the days or hours or phone/exact address, but I can safely assume the market is closed on Friday evenings through Saturday. A Halal market is a Muslim market that has been blessed by an Imam/cleric and is similar in concept to a Jewish Kosher market.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Various discounts

Did you know that if you are a senior citizen (beginning age limit varies,) a member of the military or law enforcement, a state or federal employee or various other catagories, you may qualify for discounts and special rates at businesses?
Many businesses give AARP and/or AAA discounts.
For example, Kroger grocers gives a 5% discount to people over 55 on Tuesdays.
Local Goodwills give an over 55 discount on Sundays.
St. Mary's Golden Opportunity Shop gives an over 55 discount on Mondays.

NOTICE: GOODWILL discontinued all of its employee, senior, student, handicapped and military discounts as of August, 2006. Seems all the discounts were cutting into the profits that pay for its programs that benefit disabled and disadvantaged people. Since I only know one person besides me who knew of the discounts, I figure Goodwill employees must have been buying large quantities on discount or else like the Public Library sales, dealers come in on discount days and buy up quantites to resell on EBAY or in their second hand shops. What a shame. A few greedy sorts spoil the extra discounts for everyone. But since Goodwill is generally pretty cheap anyway, I will continue to patronize them.
And they do a good service for the community, so I hope discontinuing the extra discounts really does make a substantial difference in their bottom line.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Craigs List

Sell, trade, barter or give away your stuff for free!
Meet people through personal ads!
Advertise your business!
Run or reply to a classified employment ad!
Promote community events! Find missing persons!



Costco (and Sam's Club and BJ's) is a members-only discount store that has everything from food to eyewear to cars and furniture and electronics. Some Costco's have gas stations. 
I personally prefer Costco to the others. They have a larger selection and I like the way they treat their customers and their employees.Most of Costco's merchandise is sold in large lots.
You can get great deals at Costco if you comparision shop and can use the large quantities.
One idea is to split a membership and split quantities of merchandise.
Some things I've found that are great Costco deals:
~ limes and lemons - about $5.00-$6.00 a 5 pound bag. Always expensive at the grocery - but watch out! They can spoil before you use them up!
~ butter - 4 onepound boxes for $6.79. Cheapest I've seen outside of the very occasional sale at the grocery.
~ milk - 1 gallon around $2.20 - 

~ organic brown eggs - 2 dozen for $4.99! Those are just the deals that come to mind immediately.
Find the nearest Costco:


Two more frugal places to shop

Big!Lots and Dollar General Store can yield some very good deals.
Dollar General has deals in everyday canned and boxed foodstuffs and for personal and laundry cleaning products,especially in their own Dollar General brand. They have periodic sales and clearance sales on seasonal merchandise. You can find them even in very small towns in the rural South,
To find the nearest Dollar General store go to:http://www.dollargeneral.com/storelocator/default.aspx

Big!Lots has overstock and returned and seconds products.
They have good deals in foodstuffs (sometimes in foreign and exotic or natural foods!) and beverages and in personal and laundry products.
They also carry furniture, home decor, pet, kids, school and gardening products and clothing.
Those products can be very good values or they can be over-priced junk. Shop carefully!
Big!Lots discounts seasonal products at the end of the season.
Find the nearest Big!Lots: