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MailTribune.com
  • Find delicious gifts at discount store

  • With just a click of the computer's mouse, you can order pasta from Italy, olive oil from Spain, chocolates from Belgium — or you can run by your neighborhood Home Goods or Big Lots stores.
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  • With just a click of the computer's mouse, you can order pasta from Italy, olive oil from Spain, chocolates from Belgium — or you can run by your neighborhood Home Goods or Big Lots stores.
    The gourmet food aisles at these types of stores double or triple in size this time of year. It's worth a visit to check out what unique food items are available. You can stumble on some special gifts for the foodie on your list, as well as snag a great deal.
    During a recent visit to Home Goods (which offers high-end designer goods found in department stores and specialty stores at lower prices), we found gifts perfect for cooks. If you're concerned that the food products may be outdated or not flavorful, rest assured that food items often make their way to these stores because package design or size has changed, or certain flavors are no longer produced. Many of the items have expiration dates on them so be sure to check before you purchase.
    At Big Lots, the food aisles feature everything from potato chips to cookies, some well-known brands, some not. You can always find a nice selection of chocolates.
    Classic Wheels Belgian chocolate is more about the packaging. Each box has unique illustrations, some with vintage grand prix racers, others with American cars of the 1950s, and European cars from the same era.
    The chocolates are made with 100 percent pure cocoa butter-based chocolate, with no artificial coloring agents or preservatives. The producers use only real Belgian chocolate and have signed "The Belgian Chocolate Code" which says it is forbidden to use anything other than Belgian Chocolate. Cost is $7. Go to Classic-wheels.be.
    The name Godiva means great chocolate and when you find a Chocolatier dark chocolate with orange bar at $2.50, it's a bargain. Suggested retail for the 50 percent cacao with orange flavoring is $5.99.
    GBS chocolate seashells are marbled in white, milk and dark chocolate and filled with hazelnut praline filling. They're made in Belgium and are $3.50 for an 8.82 ounce package.
    Hageland premium Belgian chocolate is made in the Hageland region of Belgium. We found a 10.5-ounce bar of 53 percent cacao dark chocolate for $3.50.
    A variety of nuts are available at Big Lots. We bought a 19-ounce bag of extra large premium California pistachios for $9. The Setton Farms pistachios are grown in the Central Valley of California, and you can buy them in specialty bags that are made of 100 percent reusable cotton and feature a sealed, inner bag of clear film, which guarantees that the pistachios inside remain fresh. Go to Settonfarms.com.
    While searching for Christmas gifts, it's fun to find an item that your family and friends won't find at the local supermarket. When you do, go to the company website to learn some interesting facts about the product or how it's made. That will make the gift even better.
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