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Big Lots - where ghosts of discontinued food products live

Cathy2 | Apr 13, 200312:06 PM


Once again we return to beautiful Waukegan, where shopping opportunities reside, to visit an old faithful: Big Lots. Depending on where you are in the country, it can also be called Odd Lots. This is astore in the TJ Maxx mode: we take your discontinueds, your product which received no disapointed fanfare when it disapeered from the shelves.

They sell furniture, knick knacks, cleaning materials, toys and seasonal products. I almost bought a Harry Potter Broom last year for a friend's daughter, then bought dress up stuff instead. Later, I read where the Harry Potter Broom was discontinued because it had a vibrating feature. Alarmed parents complained to the manufacturer about the effect the vibrator was having on their children. Only then I understood why it ended up at Big Lots so early in the merchadising cycle.

What I enjoy is the food department. I have bought cornflakes destined for the middle east. The entire package was in arabic except for the corporate logo and a label slapped on to meet USDA requirements. At the price of $0.99 I bought several boxes. Enjoyed the pleasure of persian flakes for weeks to come.

On another occasion, we bought a creamy tropical fruit dessert destined for Brazil with all information in portugese. Again, a hasty label was slapped on with instructions and ingrediants. Too bad I bought only one example because it really was good. ("... and I'll never have that recipe again! Oh Nooooo! OOOOOh NOooo!")

Yesterday was another fine day to tour their shelves for life's wants rather than needs! We took home from Bulgaria "Fried Eggplant Rings & Pepper Strips" for $2.49 and "Vegetable Spread (Macedonian Lutenitza)" for $1.99. Cranberry Jam from Canada for $1.29. Ziti 1 pound for $0.49. Kuhne Sauerkraut with Rhine Wine, 28 oz for $0.99. Not everything is an off brand: Heinz "Perfect Squeeze" Ketchup 28 oz for $1.29 and "EZ Squirt" pink-orange-teal ketchup 19 oz for $1.49 (destined as a gift to Europe).

Last year, we bought every can we could find of a Green Olive-Sweet Green Pepper Tapenade, 29 oz for $2.99. WE had it on bread, pasta, eggs. Had we only known, we would have been their most faithful customer! We're down to the last can, sniff!

During canning season, I buy my lids and jelly jars at Big Lots.

Big Lots are scattered around the Chicago area. No need to make Waukegan your destination for Big Lots.



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