I know what you’re thinking. I do – you’re wondering what kind of hack chef tells people about cheap products from Big Lots and calls them gourmet? THIS hack chef, that’s who! I may make fabulous meals every day for well-to-do foodies, but I live on a budget. A pretty tight one, too, which makes discount stores helpful. Recent trips to the St. Matthews Big Lots for bargain toilet paper and legal pads have led me to discover some rather delicious and high-quality products for pretty prices. And I’d like to share them with you now, because, well, I like you!
I will admit that I have to look hard to find items that are great here, but every now and then, I discover a real gem hiding innocently on a shelf. The catch is that when the product is gone, it’s gone! So, go buy these items while you can. Please. Otherwise, I’ll be here with 30 chocolate bars and enough olive oil to take a bath in. Hmm… an olive oil bath doesn’t sound like a bad idea! I’d be REALLY soft and Italian guys would probably like me more… You had better beat me to the store. :)
+ Chocolate Santander – This is Colombian single origin chocolate. Creamy and smooth, with a hint of vanilla to sweeten the deal, it has won prestigious awards for fine quality and taste in European chocolate competitions. Plus, the company is devoted to fair trade and assisting in/promoting ethical treatment of cacao farmers in South America. It’s responsibly-made and a steal at Big Lots for only $1.50 per bar.
+ Perugina Chocolate Bars – I mentioned these for full price at Lotsa Pasta in my first Louisville.com article. At Big Lots, when available, they’re only $1.50! It is truly remarkable Italian chocolate.
+ Hojiblanca Olive Oil – Fruity, well-rounded, and very different from the other “extra virgin” olive oils that roll through Big Lots, this is the real thing from a popular Spanish company that is truly committed to producing 100% extra virgin olive oil. At the store, I did research on my phone and was impressed by the information I found. I’ve cooked with it several times, and the quality is fantastic. It smells incredible and tastes even better. I don’t know how it got into Big Lots for only $6.50 per 750 ml. bottle, but I’m not whining. My only complaint is that the bottle is clear, which causes olive oil to go rancid more quickly. Once you get it home, simply transfer it to a dark bottle and store it in a cool, dry place for a longer shelf life.
+ Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Butter Popcorn Mini Bags – It’s 94% fat free, 100 calories per satisfying bag, and a great snack in between meals when watching weight. You get 12 bags of crunchy goodness for $3.49! These keep me from eating all those chocolate bars when I get hungry…
Big Lots – St. Matthews
4121 Shelbyville Rd.
M-S from 9 to 9
Sunday from 10 to 7