SECRETS OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY: Two For One post!

Oh boy oh boy! This post has two parts, and both are exciting and related, so get on your prettiest mermaid fin ’cause we’re diving right in:

The first is to announce VEGAN LEHIGH VALLEY, a brand new Facebook group started by wonderful Alison Leigh (of Eskandalo! and Wink Magazine and the DBA and a trillion other wonderful things).  Go click on the link right now! Then come back.

 The main focus of this group is for members to post vegan-friendly establishments (this will likely focus on food, but other stuff is welcome!). Ever gone out to eat and had a menu item “veganized”, and it was delicious, and you want to share that with other people? This is the place. Is there a little best kept secret of a lunch spot you found with great food options? Tell everyone!

This group will help to accomplish two things:

First, by posting POSITIVE things and sharing ideas, we will all be made more aware of the many options that are available to us here. This is not the place to say “I went to XYZ Restaurant and couldn’t eat anything, grumble grumble”. Instead, let’s make this a resource of places that DO cater to vegan and vegetarians.

Second, hopefully restaurants will take notice that this is important, and by simply offering two or three vegan options (that taste good!) on a menu, they will draw more business. Tom P of Bird Apartment Designs said it best:

“Here is an open message to all Lehigh Valley restaurants: If you put a vegan option on your menu, and it tastes decent, the vegans will spread the word and will frequent your establishment. If you add something like vegan cheese or fake meats to your menu, the vegans will form a mob and stampede through your door. It’s that easy, and it doesn’t cost that much money. All we talk about is food, and we will talk about you.”

GO HERE RIGHT NOW AND “LIKE” THE FACEBOOK PAGE AND START POSTING!

The second part of this post ties in, because I’m sharing with you a totally unexpected, unintentionally-secret place to get some vegan groceries.

*Let me preface this by saying many of these items can be found at your local health food store, and it’s always implied that shopping local and supporting small businesses is the best choice.

No, seriously, stay with me...

Who would have ever thought the store Big Lots! would have a wealth of organic and vegan food items? Well, they do. All the time. And they have for years.

I’ve found they always have wonderful prices on staple items like cereal and shelf-stable soy or rice milks. Every time I go, I discover a new treat tucked in the shelves, and feel like I’m doing something sneaky by buying it. (Good or bad sneaky is not determined.)

I just went yesterday and wanted to share some of the items I found:

They usually have different flavors of cereals from these and other brands. They are usually vegan (except for honey if you don't eat that). Read labels. Half the price of Wegman's.

Every single kind of Wasa Crackers.

SNACKS! Pita Chips about 1/3rd of the price from Wegmans.

Stock up on shelf stable milks!

Pretty sure this stuff costs about $2 at a gas station.

Multiple flavors of organic teas. Beautiful packaging.

BONUS: Inspiring packaging, too! Thank you, beverage.

Great place to stock up on lunch box supplies.

(big) LOTS of Bob's Red Mill foods: rolled oats, soup mixes, cereals, flours and also GLUTEN FREE flours.

And a few goodies from the beauty products aisle:

WOW! Most unexpected and awesome find! Sula Nail Polish, $2!

This nail polish was such a nice surprise! Sula Nail Polish is one of the ONLY truly vegan/eco friendly/not-crappy-for-you  nail polishes on the market. Usually a bottle costs $10, but at Big Lots they are only TWO DOLLARS. They only had the dark gray color, but what the heck, that’s pretty right? Did I mention two dollars? (Read more about Sula HERE.)

Various Eco Tools supplies.

Also found a few products from the Eco Tools line, endorsed by our girl Alicia Silverstone. Eco tools are made from sustainable bamboo and all makeup brushes are vegan.

*This shopping trip was done at the Big Lots! at the location 2184 West Union Blvd. in Bethlehem – right behind the Giant/Marshall’s/Dan Shantz shopping center.

10 thoughts on “SECRETS OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY: Two For One post!

    • Andy isn’t it NUTS!? Big Lots, of all places! Ryan loves this Pecan cereal that is almost $5 at other stories and there it’s, like, $2. They have just enough stuff to keep you stocked up, but not so much that you do ALL your shopping there and miss out on things at other (better to patronize) places. I am okay with the fact that I can get cereal there, and have more money to spend at Queen’s Health Foods on veganaise and rice dream “ice cream” sandwiches, ha. A year ago I went there and they had this mass quantity of vegan chicken noodle soup. It makes me look around as if to say “Do you see this?? Seriously, is this real?” Haha.

  1. I rarely get to Big Lots but when I do, I’m always amazed at the random things they carry. Nice finds on the vegan foods – those prices are unbelievable.

  2. I love the idea of a Facebook group to discuss great eateries that offer vegan options. The one thing that is a bummer (which is totally Facebook’s fault, and not the fault of the person who made the group) is that there is no way to archive the ideas. So, even if someone makes a great suggestion, there’s no way to search for it later without digging through every post made.

    I’m a member of a few groups over on Facebook, and I hate having to dig for an article a friend may have shared. They need to introduce a tagging system!

    • This is true, ugh, it’s a pain in the butt! But hopefully it can serve as mental/physical notes, at least! It would be great if they change this feature. If anyone finds a way to keep a well-organized list, let us know! (Maybe as a “note” and list things by city? It would just take updating, but it’s doable…)

  3. Nice! Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t been there in awhile, but the last few times I was, Ollie’s off Airport Rd. also carried organic and vegan products similar to these, for similar prices (and it’s on my route to Queen’s🙂 ). I’ve also seen organic spices there for $.99!

    • Megan that’s awesome, thanks for sharing! Ollie’s isn’t too far from me either… I like going there and picking through the book section, among other things. Haven’t checked out their food much but now I will have to. This is great, maybe I’ll run into you there some time, haha!

  4. I totally bought a rewards card from there and there is one on Lehigh Street so I will be going… I cannot believe this. like all Big Lots?!?! Wowza. 2 DOLLARS?! 70 cent honest teas!? I’m at a loss for words..

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