Sunday, August 23, 2015

How Does Smart and Final in Paso Robles Compare to the New Grocery Outlet?

Grocery Outlet Grand Opening, August 22, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
Saturday, August 22, was the Grand Opening of the new Paso Robles Grocery Outlet. I wanted to see if I could save money on products I have been buying somewhere else, so I decided to check out the new store. I made a list of what I would normally buy at Smart and Final and then went to see how I would fare with that list at Grocery Outlet. The plan was to see what I could find at Grocery outlet and pick up what wasn't there at Smart and Final, which was right on my way home. Pictured here is the Grocery Outlet entrance at 3 PM. I did not want to face the parking lot during the morning rush of people wanting freebies.

Grocery Outlet Produce Department, August 22, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
This is the produce department. That is normally the most  important part of the store for me. I was looking for fresh peaches, apples, bananas, blueberries, and vegetables. I bought some good looking mushrooms and some grapes. The bananas, peaches, and apples were packed in bags. I prefer to buy mine individually, so I passed on those. I found my favorite frozen pizza brand at a good price so I bought some, but they didn't have frozen broccoli cuts -- just flowers, and I like it cut up more. I could not find a good selection of yogurts. There was a very good selection of packaged gluten-free and organic products, though. There were also close-outs of brands I did not expect to find there, such as some Kirkland juice in two-packs of really large bottles that won't fit in my refrigerator. Click any photo to enlarge it for a closer view.

Full Cart at Grocery Outlet t, August 22, 2015, © B. Radisavljevic
This shows you most of what I bought at the Grocery Outlet. It's my cart contents ready to put in my car. Some of what I bought is covered by other items.

After I finished loading I went to Smart and Final  to get my bananas, a quart of plain Greek yogurt, avocados, peaches, frozen broccoli and large sizes of red and white vinegar -- all of which were on my list.

In conclusion, if you have a shopping list you may not find everything on it at the Grocery Outlet. It's a bit like Costco. They stock  what they get good buys on, and what you find  one day may not be there on your next visit, but you may find products you didn't even know existed at a lower price than elsewhere. On the other hand, you'd better know your prices and check the ads of other stores before you shop, because not everything is priced lower there. Smart and Final is reliable about carrying the same  brands consistently. It also has the bulk food department. They have a wider selection of  frozen, dairy, and deli foods. Fortunately the stores are so close together that you can find almost everything you need at one or the other.

Have you visited the new Grocery Outlet yet? Did you find what you wanted there?