Posted March 11, 2014 – One of the crazy things about our life on the road is that everything in our lives is done on the road! This includes basic things like getting groceries and doing laundry.
Gone are the days of knowing where all our favorite goodies are on the shelves of our local supermarket or following the weekly flyers for discounts. We’re happy just to find the local supermarket!
But every so often we find something much better.
While doing laundry the other day down at the “Fluff and Fold” laundromat where we’ve been going each week in Mesa, Arizona, we left the washing machines to do their thing while we went exploring in the area.
Just a few doors down, we discovered a fabulous little neighborhood strip mall grocery store called Superstition Ranch Market. After noticing that the parking lot was packed and that a steady stream of people was coming and going through the glass doors, we idly wandered inside, curious why it was so popular.
Suddenly we were swept up in a sea of seniors who were all stuffing their shopping carts with produce of every shape and description. And soon we knew why. The prices here were crazy cheap!
Right in front of us was a huge stack of big juicy ripe blackberries in plastic containers. Three 6-oz containers were just one dollar. What?! That’s less than a dolloar pound! Mark grabbed a few (he’s a huge berry lover).
Right behind the blackberries was a similar stack of plump red strawberries, three 1-lb. containers for a dollar. Wow! Yum! I snagged three.
We looked around some more, eyes popping.
— Pineapples were 99 cents apiece.
— 15 lbs. of russet potatoes, 99 cents.
— Grape tomatoes, 2 10-oz boxes, $1.
— Big slicing tomatoes, 69 cents/lb.
— Vine cluster tomatoes, 39 cents/lb.
How could this be?
I got chatting with a store clerk and learned that much of the produce comes from Mexico. Ahh…how we MISS the fresh veggies we found in certain ports while sailing Mexico!
The market also buys in bulk from local supermarkets that have overbought.
She told me the store has been here on Main Street in Mesa for forty-five years. Another shopper was evesdropping and chimed in, “Yeah and no one knew about it until last year when Daphne Munro (you know, the Smart Shopper TV talk show?) did a huge TV special about it. It’s been crazy here ever since!”
Long lines or not, what a boon for everyone in Mesa!
Most of the shoppers we saw were savvy seniors that live in the area or are snow-birding here, and it was an absolute zoo scene all around us.
Some five or six cashiers were frantically busy — and very cheery — as lines of shoppers six and eight deep kept forming in front of them, their carts overflowing with cauliflower, grapes, lettuce, peppers, mangoes and other things, all purchased for dimes on the dollar.
We braved the crowds and bought our share, murmuring along with a few others, “I wish I’d known about this place a long time ago!”
Just for kicks, on the way home, we stopped at Safeway.
— Strawberries were on sale, 2 one lb. boxes for $6.
— Pineapples were an “everyday” low price of $3.99 each.
— Grape tomatoes were $2.99 per 10 oz. container.
— Rusett potatoes were 99 cents a pound.
We don’t always come across great finds like this in our travels. Much of the time we end up paying a premium because we don’t know the best places to shop. But every so often we bump into something that is a true gold mine like this fun little grocery store on Main Street in Mesa.
Superstition Ranch Market is at 4755 E Main St, Mesa, AZ, (480) 832-3421.
They have a second store at 7 N 114th St., Apache Junction, AZ (480) 984-3568.
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