Bargains at the Grocery Outlet {REVIEW/GIVEAWAY}

I live in a pretty small(ish) town. It’s big, we have a mall, but we have a limited choice in grocery stores.

So you have to imagine that the grand opening of a discount grocery store that carries things I want to buy? That’s a pretty big deal. So I was REALLY thrilled when they contacted me to come check out the new digs.

Chuck and I headed down on Saturday morning and we were a little unprepared for the awesomeness of this store. I have been to a couple of other locations over the past few years (but not for a year or more) and was a bit underwhelmed by their selection, but man….has that changed.

So we walked in, and the first thing I see is a huge display of organic grape tomatoes.

I was stoked.

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Try not to judge the non-Whole30 in my cart. My kids like snacks.

So many things to gush about in this store.

First, the obvious. Shopping at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market can save you up to 60% on groceries (when compared to conventional retailers). They list the savings right on your receipt and often even shows you the other local retail prices on the tags on the shelves! You don’t have to wait for the sales. They are happening all day, every day.

Second, the stores are locally owned and operated. This particular store is owned by Larry Brown and his wife, who grew up in Ferndale. It created 40 jobs for our local economy.

Third, the friendliness of the employees. Chuck and I were in the store for about an hour, and about every 5 minutes, I either experienced or heard one of their kind employees ask if the shopper was finding everything ok. With the (obvious) exception of the box-guy on the ladder with his arms full of product, the customers were guided to the product by the employee, who walked with them to ensure they found the product.IMG_1440[1]

Fourth, the selecti0n. As I mentioned, I’ve mostly been underwhelmed with previous experiences with Grocery Outlet. Not the case with this excursion. They had brand name cosmetics, they had a great selection of pyrex-style glass storage containers, and a cool little silicone collapsible bento box (which we totally bought).

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Fifth, they have this cool signage throughout the store to mark their “NOSH” products. NOSH means:

Natural (minimally processed, no artificial ingredients or preservatives)

Organic (meets the USDA standards)

Specialty (gourmet, artisanal, etc)

Healthy (gluten free, dairy free or diabetic friendly)

This is now a store where I can find some good bargains on things I can actually use, and food I can eat even when paleo or Whole30. I saw (and bought!) a lot of choices that are compliant for either one, and brands I recognize.

I bought a jug of organic coconut oil that is literally the size of my head, people. FOR TEN DOLLARS.

And I’l have to go back and buy another one because I’m pretty sure I’ll blow through this pretty quickly.

 

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So for my $50 (plus a couple of pennies), I got:

  • one REALLY BIG rib eye steak
  • one Bobble filter bottle for Chuck (kind of like this one.…she likes to stay hydrated)
  • one enormo bag of Lay’s potato chips (bribery for Wolfgang)
  • three boxes of various flavors of Annie’s bunny crackers
  • 2 packages of San Marzano tomatoes, 1 pack of organic grape tomatoes
  • 1 pack of Otter-Pop-style popsicles
  • 1 pack of gluten free (and GMO free!) pretzels
  • 1 big bag of organic frozen veggies
  • 1 collectible tin of chocolate chips
  • one bento box container (silicone, collapsible and pretty awesome)
  • one box of 6 plumcots
  • one HUGENORMOUS container of coconut oil

And I saved $50, according to my receipt.

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So all in all, we will definitely be visiting this Grocery Outlet Bargain Market location again!

Want to check out the Grocery Outlet near you? (Check this map to see if there’s one near you!) Then enter NOW!! Giveaway ends Friday,8/7!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**I was provided with a gift card for shopping at this particular store’s opening and one to give away to my readers. I was also provided with a gift bag assortment of products. All opinions are mine, and were not otherwise influenced. 

There may be affiliate links in my posts, as that is what keeps the lights on here at Bruises in the Frosting.

Ketchup.

I have so much to do.

We are moving and packing and cleaning. And the kids are getting ready for school. Chuck is starting kindergarten and I have no clue how that happened because I’m pretty sure she’s still a wee tiny baby.

We are starting a new YouTube channel. And I’m fundraising for a run for Team Muscle Makers for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge (and don’t forget the HUGE GIVEAWAY that ends this weekend!) . I am planning a trip to Isreal next year. We have started the bare bones of an epic trip we want to take when Wolfgang graduates in 3 years.

Oh, and I’m the vice president of the band boosters, a Girl Scout troop leader, run this blog plus 3 instagram accounts, 2 twitter accounts and 2 Facebook fan pages.

Plus I have a “muggle job” that I love.

So sometimes I promise blog posts (like the recap for my Portland/Denver/Fitbloggin trip from a month ago, or the Seattle trip at the beginning of July…or the Disneyland trip the family took back in 2013), and I have every intention of posting them.

And then life happens, as it tends to do.

So stay tuned. I’ve got a lot on my plate to dish out to you :)

Because You Gotta Have Faith.

Sometimes, life is stupid.

You look back, which you shouldn’t do because you are not going that way.

When you look back, all you see is a trail of failures. You stand there and allow all the ways you’ve failed to swallow you whole and eat you alive. You probably end up chin deep in a tub of ice cream or bawling while wrapped in a big blanket on your couch or whatever your soothing mechanism is.

But that doesn’t help you.

What does help you is positive thinking, followed by lots and lots of action. What helps is getting up out of bed in the morning and doing WERK.

What helps is stop what you have been doing previously, because it’s not working. Then try a different angle.

The couch is not your friend, my dears. Whether you are trying to lose weight, kick smoking, stop yelling at your kids, or just mark one small thing off your bucket list.

I’ll say it again: THE COUCH IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. (and neither is Netflix.)

So get up and stop feeling sorry for yourself and go out and be awesome. You know you have it in you.

I’ll just leave this here, because you know you have it stuck in your head now.

Time for the Big Raffle!

So I got involved with Team Muscle Makers for Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (UCMD) for my run for the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge because I had a kid who briefly had a very large medical problem when he was small. I was mortified. I had no idea what to do.

The mom behind Team Muscle Makers had a kiddo with a medical issue and took their battle to a new level. She combined her love of running with her love for her boy, who has Muscular Dystrophy, to form Team Muscle Makers. She took her frown and turned it all the way upside down.

Help me support Team Muscle Makers by donating to my fundraiser and get your name entered into a pretty amazing raffle.

PLUS – if we reach the first goal of $300, I have an extra special giveaway item to add!

WE HAVE REACHED THE FIRST GOAL! I am adding an ENTRY TO ANY SPARTAN RACE IN NORTH AMERICA TO THE DRAWING!!

So I signed up with Team Muscle Makers to raise some money for their fabulous charity (which you can read more about here).

I’ve been hinting at this on my Facebook page for WEEKS, but in all the travel and running around we have been doing…I finally sat down and catalogued all of the items.

And  I ended up with 2 HUGE bags full of swag and one extra bonus prize!

So without further ado, here’s what you can win (followed by directions on how to win!)IMG_7968

 

PRIZE NUMBER ONE

  • 2 pks of preworkout, 2 pks of ISO protein powder, 1 pk of plant based protein powder, 2 pks hemp based protein powder, one full box of Propel, one about time
  • 1 full sized package of turkey jerky
  • 1 sample pack of KT Tape
  • 1 branded “Buff”
  • 1 set of headphones and a headphone wrap
  • 2 water bottles
  • 2 rubber bracelet
  • 1 raver-style mouth light
  • 1 luggage grip
  • 1 pair of Sweatpink laces
  • Oikos coupons
  • 1 Under Armour hat
  • 1 pack of six Under Armour headbands
  • 2 reusable shopping bagsIMG_7970

 

PRIZE NUMBER TWO

  • 2 liqui protein shakes
  • 1 pedometer
  • 1 portable whey protein portable shake
  • 1 full-sized package of Hemp Hearts
  • 1 full sized package of oatmeal with add-ins
  • A package of various granola bars
  • 1 running “fanny pack”
  • 1 teeshirt
  • 2 lipbalms
  • 1 wristband/key holder (super handy for running!)
  • 1 stretchy exercise band
  • 1 clip light
  • 1 sweat towel

PRIZE NUMBER THREE

  • ONE FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO REEBOK.COM. Yup.

 

So here’s how you get involved. Go to my Active Giving site and make a donation. We will do it this way (for math’s sake, and my sanity!) and for every $1 you donate, you get one entry.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Donate $5 (in one fail swoop), get one extra entry. Donate $10 (in one donation), get TWO extra entries.

I’ll accept entries through Friday July 31st, and then I’ll draw the three names and announce on my Facebook! Has to be USA-based, winner has to respond within 24 hours.

**None of these companies is sponsoring this raffle in an official capacity. I have received various forms of SWAG from them at conferences and compiled it on my own. Their swag in my giveaway does not imply their participation or backing of my fundraiser or Team Muscle Makers. Though that would be cool.

Driving the Kia Sedona

IMG_0635This is the fifth car in the Driving Miss Cupcake series, where we are lucky enough to get some extended test-driving in on several of the new models of cars out there. (you can see the other posts in this series here!)

And this time, we got the Kia Sedona.

Now I have said in the past that I would never drive a minivan because it is impossible to be awesome in a minivan.

Let me be the first to say: I WAS WRONG.

I could easily be awesome in this minivan. Easily.

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But before I launch into how awesome this minivan is, let’s satisfy our car geek friends with a couple of stats. (These are straight off the Marconi sheet for the 2015 Kia Sedona SXL. You can find information on all trim levels here.)

3.3L DOHC GDI CVVT V6 engine (and if you know what all that stands for, you rock)

6-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic (apparently means auto shifting and won’t allow red-lining)

Dual front Advance airbags, front seat-mounted airbags, full-length side curtain airbags for all 3 rows (so basically, the entire car turns into an airbag in case of accident)

Tri-zone Automatic Climate control (which, for the uninitiated, means that each row controls their own temps, which is pretty sweet. There’s dual climate control in the front too! AND rear air conditioning.)

Smart power tailgate and sliding doors

Dual sunroof

10 year/100k mile limited powertrain warranty

5 uer/60k mile limited basic warranty

5 year/60k mile roadside assistance

So as I do with each of the cars (except the Outlander, I was sick as a dog and mostly watched it sitting in my driveway…SAD) I let the kids pick one place we could go for the weekend, and FOR ONCE…they agreed on camping at the Deming Log Show.

Now, we have never gone camping as a family ever. EVER. So we threw way more clothes than we would ever need for a WEEK of camping, toys (that was Chuck) and all the camping chairs we own and the new tent we bought….and off we went.

Oh, and we bought s’mores stuff. Because camping.

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First thing when we got to the campground, we tested the “fort abilities” of the van. It was not raining (and there was 0% chance of rain), but Chuck and her little friend A decided that they needed to prepare just in case and push all of the buttons and see what happens when they all hide in the blankets.

They both gave the van two thumbs way up.

Chuck would like me to point out that the middle row of seats are also captain’s chairs. They move forward and backwards, but they also move side to side.

You read that right, they slide to the side to make more or less room between them. What? I know.

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

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Do you see Chuck’s right foot? The one that is ON A FOOTREST? There are footrests on the middle row of seats.

I took a bunch of people the first night to get ice cream and they played rock/paper/scissors to see who would get to sit in the middle seat.

The teenagers lost.

So this car also has two sunroofs. (which the kids tried to convince me to let them do the “Tom Hanks in the limo in Big where he sticks his head out the sunroof thing” while I was driving out to Deming. I let them do it when I parked the car.

Compromise, y’all. Plus, when Chuck and Wolfgang giggle together and agree on something, you make that ish happen.

So it was just a mini road trip, and actually not far from the house (enough so that we went back into town and picked up our CSA box!), but we had such a good time. It was quite warm, but our campsite was right under the trees so we had tons of shade to relax in when the arena got too hot.IMG_0722

And just an aside, since this is supposed to be a car post, if you like beards and people doing burly stuff, logging shows are your jam. For real. I sat and watched this dude strip bark off a log for thirty minutes. Chuck and I were fascinated.

Ahem. back to the car.

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Seriously, this van would make me reverse my “No Minivans Ever” supreme-court-style decision I made when I was 16. There are tons of places to stash your stuff (like this little pocket, pictured above, that fits an iPad and has a cigarette-style charger spot) ,thre are THREE USB ports in the car PLUS!! (yes, there is a plus) an actual wall-type charger spot in the back and the middle console where you can charge your….well, whatever you want!

So all in all, this car would be the best BEST BEST on a road trip (ask my BFF Angela, she’s on a road trip from Orange County to Las Vegas with all of  her kids in one right now!) and would probably be one of the better vehicles you could take camping, since it makes an excellent fort. Also, all of the other amenities are ok too!

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CUPCAKE NEW CAR STANDARDS: 

  1. Gas mileage. 17 city, 22 highway. 19 overall. Not super pleased with those numbers, but they’re better than most!
  2. Size/space. Huge. Absolutely enormous. Ridiculously huge. I could comfortably fit 5 people in the van, plus all of our gear for a week.
  3. Radio. Sound system is awesome on this one. Sounds reaches all the way to the back and
  4. Good safety rating. No government 5-star safety rating for this one, but with the multiple airbags and other safety features, I would feel comfortable saying this car would keep my family secure in case of (GOD FORBID) a crash.
  5. Price point. At $43k (before taxes and such) for this particular model, it’s on the REALLY high end of what I would want to spend on a car.

VERDICT: This is actually #2 on my list behind the Mazda CX5, and only because of the MPG and the price point. If I have any more kids (which is not in “the big plan” for me, and that’s totally ok because I lucked out with my two), I will *HAVE* to take the minivan plunge, but right now, this one is beautiful and awesome, but just too far outside of my price range.

Kia is a fantastic company though, and stay tuned for a post about my trip to play with the Kia Soul EV, coming up next week!

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the use of the vehicle and fuel for week in exchange for my opinion. I was provided no other compensation.