Hello! If you want to save money, see unique items on grocery store shelves, eat healthily, or eat unhealthily, then Amish grocery stores are for you.
I know they're for me, but then again, I used to live an hour east of a couple of Amish settlements - first, near Lancaster County, PA and then near Arthur, IL. I currently live a little over 2 hours from another Amish settlement, Shipshewana, IN, but due to that distance and the fact that gas had gotten quite high for awhile, I haven't been there very often.
I discovered Amish grocery stores during excursions to these settlements. The store near Arthur, IL, Beachy's Bulk Foods, became especially important because we'd moved to a town with little options for buying ingredients with healthy cooking in mind. Beachy's became my go-to place for whole wheat flours, herbs and spices. But as the Amish are known for their baking, I would purchase unhealthy items like cake/cookie sprinkles in just about every shape imaginable, plus darker versions of cocoa and brown sugar than what are typically found in grocery stores.
The "bulk shopping" at Beachy's and other, similar Amish businesses means that the store buys the foods in large amounts and then repackages them for sale. This is what the health food store in my current town does, but there's no comparison in price, as seen here:
Citric acid from the local health food store, $4.85/lb. This store cuts the price per pound a bit for larger amounts, but when I was there that half-pound size was the biggest they offered.
The same product, $2.15/lb at Beachy's.
Alas, I live a good ways north of Arthur, IL now. But when we made a trip to southern IL at the beginning of the summer, I requested a stop at Beachy's. There was very little room in the car (we were taking our daughter and her stuff to her summer job), so I couldn't buy much. This was a big disappointment to me, but I bought what literally could fit in a small box on my lap: the citric acid, some herbs and spices, pink Himalayan salt, some more of that very dark brown sugar, and a few other things. There was so much more I could have bought; with such good prices it was a shame I couldn't do more shopping.
In my next post I'll explain why I bought citric acid.
Note: E & S Sales in Shipshewana is a similar business.