Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our Trip to the Trading Post

I'm always on the lookout for a great grocery deal.
Image by digitalart

Grocery prices keep rising, so finding the best deals on food has been a real challenge.  We usually shop at Fred Meyer, watching the ads and planning our meals around any good deals we can find.  Some weeks, we can score a great deal, while other weeks we fall flat.  I hate paying more than 1.99 a pound for any kind of meat, and I can’t figure out when ground beef, originally the staple of most cheapo diets suddenly became just as expensive as most cuts of steak.

While at a dinner this week held by Wraparound (a service that helps us coordinate care for our son), we were told about a special deal going on at a local store called the Tukwila Trading Post.  I vaguely knew where they were, but I had never checked them out.  The deal was pretty good:  For twenty bucks, you got a 4 lb. boneless ham, a 3 lb. boneless turkey breast, gravy, a can of corn, a pack of biscuits, 5 lb. of potatoes, and 1 lb. of carrots.  That’s enough ham and turkey for several soup and casserole recipes. 

Something I noticed when I worked it out though – it was a good deal, but not a “OMG THAT’S INSANE” deal. The way the show it in the ad, it’s buy the ham for $20 and the rest is free.  Okay, but it’s a 4 lb. ham.  That $5 a lb. and I wouldn’t spend that much on meat.  Once you subtract the regular prices from the $20, you get about $14 for the meat, which works out to about $2 a lb.  About what I normally aim for. 

They did have some pretty decent sales.  I scored a ton of pork loin, also at 1.99 a lb. and I’m going to get a bunch of meals out of that.  But the rest of their prices were, for the most part, higher than Fred Meyer.  The ad had a number of one-day deals, for example, if I had gone on Thursday I could have scored boneless, skinless chicken breasts for 1.49 per lb. as long as I got more than 10 lbs.  We would definitely go through 10 lbs. of chicken breasts, and that’s about the lowest price I’ve ever seen them at, so I wish I could have caught that deal. 

I think the trick with this place is going to be to keep an eye on the ad and just make a special trip for the super good deals.  The meat all looked like it was in pretty good shape, but some of the produce was kind of funky.  The apples that were on sale were a bit mushy (except for the Fujis, those were in pretty good shape), and some of the kiwis had mold.  Considering that it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, I was actually surprised by how empty the store was.  Maybe everyone else got their cheap stuff and left already.

EDIT:  Please see this post to see why I will never be shopping here again.....


  1. We started using steak cut into cubes (stew meat) for putting in the crockpot for chili or spegetti sauce, not only is it sometimes cheaper than hamburger but you dont have the grease to deal with.

  2. I'm still completely mind boggled that steak is cheaper than hamburger. I'm honestly trying to figure out the food economics that make that possible. I'm smelling some investigative reporting waiting to happen! We had a taco soup last night that was so thick it was almost more like a chili and it used chicken. Really tasty! I might post the recipe.