lexi7December 15, 2008

A writer on another site mentioned they like the soup at Sav-a-lot and other people followed with a few positive comments about the chain grocery. Since others on this forum have asked about Aldi and Costco, I thought I would ask if anybody shops at Sav-a-lot and if they especially like anything the store carries. We have a Sav-a-lot store in our town, but I have only been there once and left with nothing. I am thinking of trying it again if I hear more good ratings about it. Do any of you find savings shopping Sav-a-lot, and if so, what products do you think are very good and what would you not buy again? Thanks

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Boby Huffard

When they first opened here about 10 years ago we laughed at the odd brand names (Mornin' Gems cereal, Pinos Spaghetti sauce (!), etc. I found it next to impossible back then to find healthy options: No skim milk, no fat free anything, poor produce, lots of high fat frozen food. But things have actually improved dramatically. One thing I especially like is that they charg the same for green, red and yellow peppers. Produce is much better and quite reasonable. Good prices on avocados, mangoes. Strawberries, apples, peaches were "so-so." Romano tomatoes were very good. They re great for stocking up on canned goods like kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, applesauce, hot peppers, canned beets. Soups were OK for use in sauces and casseroles. I think we made the tomato soup and it was fine. Spaghetti sauce was not good. For breads, there aren't any good whole grain options, so I skipped that. Very rarely bought their meat, but did once get an EXCELLENT ham from them. Frozen vegetables are limited variety, but as I recall that cauliflower, broccoli, carrot blend was fine. Cheese was nothing to brag about, and I also skip the lunch meat. We don't eat tripe, chitterlings or plantains, but they have them all. It is fun shopping there every once in a while because it is such and ethnic blend of people and usually it is a friendly place. Prices are excellent, you will be amazed how far 25 dollars can go there! Bring your own bags or buy them there (very cheap and the big ones are nice for reusing) or they provide boxes free.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:06PM
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We don't have Sav-A-Lot around here (at least not yet) but I looked at the website to see what it's about. Sounds similar to Aldi and Buy-n-Save which has since gone out of business around here. I like those stores. I like the size and though they probably aren't a place to get everything you need, you can save some money there. How much is debatable since it depends on what and how much you buy but as said, I'm usually impressed with how far the money goes at these stores when you compare them to the so-called discount or warehouse food stores.

I see they're owned by SuperValu so there's a substantial organization behind them. SuperValu owns CUB Foods in this area and they have a lot of "CUB" brand items and most are respectable quality so I'd venture a guess that the SAL brands would be made by the same supplier.

I'd give them a chance. Bring a notebook and jot down some prices, just be careful of unit pricing. Often they have smaller sizes at a lower price. For instance what might be a 16 oz can of something nationally is a 14oz there.

I'm curious about why you went to the store and left with nothing. Was it appearance? Not brands you were looking for? Prices? What turned you off?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Bobyoe thanks for giving me your personal experience with the store. I think I will give them another try.

Cynic thanks for looking up the information about the store on the net. Now why didn't I think of doing that? The reason I left with nothing was the odd brand names. The names were a turnoff for me. I almost bought a bag of oranges, but I could not get past the product names. With the information from you two, I am going to check them out again with paper and pen in hand. Thanks :)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 12:49PM
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This is OT, but this post reminded me of some things we used to buy at the generic stores.

If you are looking for an inexpensive gift and you have friends or family members that aren't easily offended, here's a fun thing to do with the generics. At the holidays, we'll buy Dr. Bob and other soft drinks and an assortment of other fun stuff for stocking stuffers. Anything with an odd name particularly if is someone else's name or a play on words is fair game.

Anyway, our gifts are sort of like the candy poem gifts where you make a sign or wite a note and fill in description with of someone with a candy. Here's an example of a candy poem.

Thank you, teachers!

You are all Sweet Tarts for everything you teach our children.
You deserve 100 Grand every PayDay.
We know sometimes our kids act like Air Heads and Nerds
or like theyre from somewhere beyond the MilkyWay. (Us parents, too!)
You bring the such Almond Joy when you teach
about the Whatchamacallit and ignore their Whoppers.
It must be hard to contain your Snickers
when those little Sugar Babies tell you Mounds of stories.
Sometimes it must seem that all you do is Skor papers.
Most days you probably want to make like Baby Ruth and just run home.
Thanks teachers! You are the Riesen our kids are Smarties instead of Dum Dums.
You are LifeSavers.
With Hugs and Kisses
-The PTA

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Adellabedella, Thanks for the laugh - bet the teacher loved that. It would not be hard to come up with a funny from the labels in Sav-a-lot. However, I did visit the store again, and it is very clean and open. I saw more name brands and their strange named brands. The produce was priced a little below the farmers market. They even carried packaged salad for $1.00 a bag. The meat looked good and was reasonably priced. I bought several things and bagged my own groceries.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Sorry Lexi. I can't take credit for the poem. I cut and pasted it as an example. Some of the labels we've found have been hilarious.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:55PM
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Portmann's Sweet & Saucy French Salad Dressing is the best I've ever had. We don't have a Sav-A-Lot near anymore, but when I'm travelling, if I see one, I stock up on the dressing for a year!

It reminds me of a House dressing from one of our best restaurants & I'm not kidding!

We also shop it when staying at a condo in Florida. Most of the grocery stores in the area are quite expensive, but we found a Sav-A-Lot & the frozen pizzas were delicious, not sure what brand they were, but very, very good! Better than the ones we bought at the more expensive grocery stores in Fla.

They do have different things than Aldi, but other than those two things, I can't think of anything else that I can't also get an our Aldi.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 2:17AM
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About the weird brand names. My mother-in-law worked at the country's leading ketchup company. Her job was taking labels off the overstock, boxing and shipping it out to the generic named companies. Some of these weird name companies are subsidiaries of the major companies.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 12:14AM
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Save-A-Lot is one of my favorite stores for several items. If you enjoy Italian sausage, they have the best quality in our area. Their brownie mix is very good. I make the cake brownie (use three eggs) & mix in some of their chocolate pieces for a good chocolate brownie. Their frozen salmon is very affordable & good quality.
Paper plates etc. are very reasonable as are their off
brand chips.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:26PM
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I buy the basic stuff at our local Save a Lot. Tomato sauce, paste, canned tomatoes, soups, tuna and canned vegetables. I also buy some frozen foods, milk, eggs. I bought their meat occationally too but quit because the last time I bought ground beef it smelled rotten when I opened the package and took it back. I also don't like their produce, it's not as good as Krogers, which here in KY isn't that great to begin with. Lot of half rotten stuff sold everywhere here.

I like all their canned products, suger, flour, etc... are a lot cheaper than other stores, including Wal-Mart. I buy Kraft cheese so I go somewhere else. They do have some name brand items but not much.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 4:26PM
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i shop at sav a lot i buy the can food like green beans and corn ,peas they are alot cheaper and taste good i live in ky also the produce is good sometimes but that is like every store that we have you just have really look at every thing

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:34AM
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I saw this movie called "Mama" with Debbie Reynolds playing an elderly mom. Her middle-age single son (Albert Brooks) came for a visit. He looked in her refrigerator and found all kinds of odd store-brand items. My favorite was "Fro-Joy" ice cream!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 2:01PM
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We have a small Sav-A-Lot in town. I will buy the canned foods, pasta, soups and other similar products. But I will not touch the meats, cheese, milk, or cereals. When meat has a green cast, I say "no way."

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:47PM
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I havent ever been in a sav-a-lot,, but we have one here nearby. Green meats is what you see under some types of lighting. Light it up just right and you can turn poor looking meat into great looking stuff, as you can with most anything, even can labels.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 11:41PM
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We have several Save-A-Lot's in our area and I make one of them once a week. I like most of their canned good products, especially tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, etc.; also canned mushrooms. Frozen green butter beans, broccoli, garden medley, stir fry veggies are really good. I have purchased turkey and ham during the holidays and they are very good, also. I have also taken into consideration the fact that grocery stores may at some point have bare shelves in the future (read into that as you wish), but I have begun stocking up on some dry products and this is a good place to begin. Just pay attention to dates on the cans and rotate to use as needed. Keep what you can such as rice, dried beans, etc. in the freezer. Also, their fresh veggies and fruits are just as good as the big stores.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 2:30PM
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I shop at save a lot once in a while. I find the canned vegetables, tomatoes, etc are OK. I have purchased the chicken noodle soup and the tomato soup knock off versions of Campbell's there and they are pretty good. I stay clear of their meats and their produce. I have another discount store in town with better produce for the same price or even cheaper and it is just down the road from save a lot.

Their knock off chips and crackers are HORRIBLE. BLECH!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 7:20PM
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I hope we never have to do without our Save-A-Lot Store. I'm in a small town and only have 2 other grocery chains and they are a lot more.

When we first started shopping at SAL I only tried 1 or 2 things at a time. Now I buy nearly everything they have. Great savings.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 4:22PM
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Hardin, you just might be in my area... Green Meat (Green Eggs and Ham? NO... Green Ham and Eggs).. I've reported this to the manager several times, and the greenies were promptly pulled.

Canned goods.. Green Beans... Green Giant might have uniformaly cut beans,.. so you might get mismatched sizes at Sav-a=lot. Don't matter, price is waay cheaper.

Lustiing for some Tex-Mex? At my SaL, the primary "foreign" food is Mexican. Waaaaaay much cheaper than at Wally-World.

Chips, Pork Rinds, Pretzels... all good buys.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 2:38AM
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Just got back from Save-a-lot and it was worth the drive for me.
The store I went to in Naples, FL was clean and well stocked.
The produce section was a little small but most of the items were in good shape and the prices were low for our area.
They did have a few brand names items mixed in with the store brand but as someone else stated you need to watch the oz price as most packages of national brands were slightly smaller than normal.
Canned goods ran anywhere from .20 to .50 cents less per can less than other well known brands of comparable size. We don't eat a lot of canned vegetables but the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce were a bargain. I also bought ketchup, steaksauce, BBQ sauce, & canned beans. All at much less than at Publix or Sweetbay.
The frozen food again was mainly store brands but there were Ore Ida fries, Tyson chicken and Butterball Turkeys. All cost considerably less less than other stores in the area.
I did purchase chicken leg quarter and ground beef in family size packages and brought them home, broke them down and froze them. The meat was all in date with no off colors, etc.
If one wanted to "stock up" on basics this would be the place to do so. Baking goods were very inexpensive as were rice, dried beans and even spices. This store is not frou - frou and the staff were very nice.
I will go back even if it is a bit of a drive as the savings for me is considerable.
Hope this helps someone else a little.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 3:00PM
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I like our SAL. I love the french dressing, too! Buy some snacks for kids and canned goods. They have cream of celery, unlike aldi, which i use occasionally for a crockpot recipe

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 10:36AM
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