I caught a tantalizing waft of barbecued meat from my neighbor’s backyard last night, reminding me that those long, lazy days of grilling and outdoor parties are upon us. If you’re planning any large events this spring or summer, consider shopping at one of the stores in the area frequented by small restaurant owners. One of the best is Cash & Carry, which has an enormous chilled room filled with a dizzying variety of meats. The selections are packaged for restaurants, so the average hunk of meat is 13 to 15 pounds, but if you’re entertaining a lot of guests, you’ll find some great deals at Cash & Carry. On a recent visit I saw beef tri tip for $3.19 a pound (I made a few phone calls when I got home and discovered that Safeway sells its tri tip for $5.99 a pound; and Taylor’s Market sells it for $8.99 a pound); it also offered boneless beef ribeye for $5.24 a pound and New York strip for $4.76 a pound.
Customers will also find good prices on items like beverages, chips, dairy products, baking staples like flour and sugar, and paper goods (all in bulk, of course). And while these stores are technically set up to serve small businesses, regular folks like you and me can also shop in them – and in these dicey economic times it feels pretty darned terrific to pay less for groceries.
Cash & Carry, 1101 Richards Boulevard, Sacramento, (916) 441-1618
Smart & Final, 2431 28th Street, Sacramento, (916) 451-0416