Deals and Steals brings good food to poor students

By Acacia DiCiaccio

Being a poor college student means that most meals won’t consist of more nutrients than whatever is provided in a package of ramen or Easy Mac, right?

Wrong. The misconception that healthy food is always more expensive has been misproven, thanks to the Northampton organic grocery store Deals and Steals.

This wholesale organic grocery store is a cheaper alternative to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and even regular supermarkets. The food store is located on 7 Pearl Street, in Northampton, with plenty of parking and bus stops nearby for easy accessibility. Deals and Steals also has a store that sells discounted brand name clothing and footwear, which is located on 76 Pleasant Street in Northampton.

At first, shoppers will be overwhelmed by the low prices and be tempted to buy just about everything. But according to their website, “your dollar goes two to four times further at Deals and Steals.” With most food items priced at $1.99 or below, just about everything is a deal. It is often the buy-one-get-one-free stickers that truly make the trip worthwhile, with this discount offered on a variety of an ever changing assortment of products. One thing shoppers should look out for, however, is the expiration date. This store seems to ignore the need to take expired food off the shelves, though since most of the goods are canned or dried, some extra age probably will not hurt.

Deals and Steals is the perfect local location for those with food allergies. An entire section of the store is devoted to gluten-free products. Because all of their food is organic or natural, it makes for a much better chance in finding allergen-free foodstuffs.

Any type of non-refrigerated item one can think up is most likely be on the shelves at Deals and Steals. From a huge selection of teas, to spices, drink mixers and microwave meals, this store has many choices that are healthier and cheaper than regular supermarket shopping. The store even carries 365 brand, the Whole Foods store brand, but at a lower cost. The inventory changes daily, making for a great selection of products.

Deals and Steals also carries organic dog and cat food and toys. There are also sections dedicated to natural health and beauty, cleaning supplies, as well as vitamins and supplements.

The one drawback of the store is that it does not carry fresh items, like fruits, vegetables, milk or eggs (though they do carry lactose-free and soy milk). Though this grocery store probably cannot take the place of all your dietary needs, the items that it does carry are well worth it. For the refrigerated section, the store does carry a variety of brand name organic drinks that one would likely find at Greeno Sub Shop, including Jones soda, Izze and Naked Juice, for under a dollar each.

Don’t forget to grab some chewing gum on your way to the register, with Wrigley brands like 5 Gum and Orbit going for 50 cents a pack.

Hardcore organic foodies and those merely interested in improving the college diet will be delighted to learn that with just one visit to Deals and Steals, they will be saving money by purchasing wholesale as well as eating more natural foods. This store has been a secret from most University of Massachusetts students for far too long.

Acacia DiCiaccio can be reached at [email protected]