My Visit to Valley Liquidation Grocery (Tacoma)

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Valley Liquidation Tacoma

For months now, I’ve had family members and readers alike telling me I pretty much needed to check out Valley Liquidation in Tacoma. In fact, it’s gotten kind of annoying so I figured I better go visit so everyone could shut up already. (That’s meant in the nicest way possible, of course!) 😉

In all seriousness, I truly DO enjoy checking out all kinds of grocery stores – from high-end boutique type shops to hardcore bargain holes-in-the-walls. Knowing about all the stores in your area can really help you save money – and I’m guessing that’s the reason you’re here today! So whether or not you live in my neck of the woods, I hope today’s post will encourage you to scout out some “off the beaten path” grocery options in your neighborhood.

This store is located at 9813 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, just past 96th Street & Pacific. It’s also kind of hard to miss with the bright yellow building!

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I found the owner stocking the produce section, so I had the opportunity to introduce myself and learn more about the way Valley Liquidation works. The model is very similar to Grocery Outlet, for those of you familiar with them.  As I suspected, Valley Liquidation does not accept manufacturer coupons. However, the offer many items on deep discount that have been discontinued, are past “best by” dates, or other such food that other stores aren’t inclined to carry.

He immediately took me to this wall of Pacific Foods Broth and told me it’s the best deal they have in stock right now. The 32 oz containers of organic free range chicken broth? Are currently 2 for $1! Crazy, right? I did notice that the “best by” dates were this week, but he assured me that many of these foods are still fine to consume long past that. If you wanted to take advantage of this deal but weren’t sure about the expiration dates, I don’t see why you couldn’t use some of these broths to make big batches of soup you could then freeze. Or hey, just pour the broth into freezer bags for later!

DSCN2299 (800x600)I found lots of options down the coffee aisle, including these Green Mountain K Cups for $3.99

DSCN2300 (800x600) (2)Lipton Pomegranate Blueberry Iced Tea for $0.99.

DSCN2304 (800x600)I was pleased by the selection of Gluten-free items in the store. These Gluten-free, dairy-free ginger snap cookies were $0.99.

DSCN2305 (600x800)Organic, gluten-free pasta for $0.99. The expiration on this was about a year out, I believe.

DSCN2310 (800x600)The store is on the small side, but it has kind of a fun vibe you’d expect from an independently-owned business.

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I had particularly fun snapping pictures of all the signs throughout the store! I loved the one that stated the ladder by the staircase was “not for sale” and a bell with a “please ring bell ONCE for service” sign sitting next to it. Awesome.

DSCN2315 (800x600)They also had a few random items that caught my eye – like these portable vomit bags for $0.99. (Don’t worry, vomit not included.) Actually, considering that I have a kid that gets sick in the car about once every 6-8 months, I’m thinking I should have bought a couple now!

DSCN2313 (800x600)In all seriousness, poke around! I was surprised by some of the brands and prices I found. Check out this Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid for $1.99!

DSCN2311 (800x600)I found a 7-pack of Starbucks Vanilla Via for $1.49. Granted, this was a few months past the “best buy” date. But if you’re willing to get past that, you’ve got a cheap cup of coffee!

DSCN2321 (800x600)Without a doubt, I’m going to say the best values I found today were in the produce section.

DSCN2322 (600x800)Raspberries for $0.99 and blackberries for $0.50?! Hello! The blackberries read “as is,” but upon closer inspection, they looked pretty decent to me!

DSCN2336 (599x800)They also were selling entire flats of Strawberries “as is” for $1.99. The owner mentioned that a few in the flat may well be moldy. But again, if you don’t mind sorting them out, you can get a great deal here!

DSCN2328 (800x600)$0.69/lb for honeycrisp apples – that’s a great price for this variety!

DSCN2329 (800x600)These beautiful orange peppers were only $0.33 each! I don’t think I’ve ever found a better deal that that. The red peppers just to the right were selling for $0.50 each.

DSCN2332 (800x607)Whole Pineapples for $1.49. Not bad!

pumpkinsIf you still need some pumpkins for Halloween? They had all varieties priced at just $0.19/lb. This includes the smaller, “sugar” varieties that are good for pie making.

DSCN2333 (800x600)I think this would have to be my favorite deal today! These Pumpkin Patch Pal Kits were just $0.99/bag. I believe each bag contained 6 miniature pumpkins AND a paint kit! I think this would be a fun and cheap family activity!

Overall, I thought this place was a fun visit. The vibe was friendly and the produce deals in particular were strong and make it worth checking out. If you don’t have hang-ups about “best by” dates, you can score some screaming deals on many non-perishables in the store like soups, snacks, pasta, and specialty items. There is also a section of household goods that’s worth perusing.

If you shop here, I’d love to hear what additional deals you’ve been able to score and if you have any tips for other shoppers? Make sure to check out the Valley Liquidation Facebook page. From what I’ve observed, it tends to be active and they are good about posting new hot deals as they become available.

Looking for other lesser-talked about stores in Puget Sound? Check out these posts:

If you know of a great, not-talked-much-about grocery store in the greater Puget Sound area? Please leave a comment or email me at [email protected] so I can check it out!

13 thoughts on “My Visit to Valley Liquidation Grocery (Tacoma)”

  1. I shop here about every week. Love their produce super cheap. We juice so this is a great place. Ive had my cart completely full and never pass $60. Plus all the awesome daily discounts they offer Monday 10% off military, seniors 10%off,they Wednesday punch card 15% when full etc. I’ve bought green peppers5/$1, romaine hearts organic 3/1$, spinach bunch 3/$1, organic purple carrots 3/&1, kale2/$1 and so many awesome deal. I’m super blessed to have found this place. Love it.

    • WOW! Those are some terrific deals. Thanks so much for sharing your experience – and the tips about the additional discounts!

  2. I can notice a difference in ground coffee and coffee beans past the expiration but not the Via. I buy it ANYTIME I see it discounted. It’s possible the flavored, such as vanilla might be more effected but the Italian Roast Via can go a year out of date and I can’t tell a difference. That is my “good coffee” security blanket. I usually have some in my purse. It’s much easier to find hot water than a good cup of coffee.

  3. Chicken broth freezes well in ice cube trays, too. I do it all the time with home made and boxed. When I have some leftover I just pour in the tray, freeze, then transfer to a ziploc bag. It’s quick & easy to defrost or pop in microwave next time you need it. Thanks for this post, I might to check it out!

  4. In August, they also had an entire flat or Strawberries for $1.99. They were better than the berries purchased at Safeway the week before. They also had Blueberries for the same price, but some were rather moldy. Out of the six packages I had to toss out a total of one after picking out the bad ones…not bad, five for $1.99. They froze very nicely and were delicious in pancakes.

  5. I shop at Valley Harvest before going to the grocery store. The produce is very reasonably priced. AND Franz has an outlet store just down the road.

  6. In regards to the “best by” date; NBC News did a segment recently regarding non-perishable foodstuffs and the dates on them or the “best by”. They interviewed an official from the Center for Disease Control, which keeps track of incidents of botulism, salmonella, etc and she said there has not been even a single case recorded of someone getting sick because of eating food that was past the “best by” date. As in any foods, use common sense and if something seems bad, discard it.

  7. Love this place!!! I’ve been going for years and just love the staff. I have gluten free kids at my house and find the best deals there on gf foods. The produce is always a good deal. I froze organic strawberries, $1.99 a FLAT all summer. With their stock changing all the time, it is always an adventure to visit.

  8. Thank you for posting this about VL~! It is now my family’s first stop for produce! I also want to find that NBC link, interesting….

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