The Most Surprising Thing I Always Get at HomeGoods

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Ken Wolter)

I first started haunting HomeGoods for the cookware. After nabbing a Staub cast iron grill pan for half price, I was hooked. I’d start planning my routes around town to pass by the store so that I had an excuse to run in and check the current selection.

Eventually, I also discovered the other departments, particularly the food section, and now the discount housewares store is actually one of my favorite grocery shops. My pantry is filled with flavor-packed finds — things like walnut oil, smoked paprika, saffron, and protein powders, all for far cheaper than what I’d pay in the grocery stores or fancy markets where these items are usually found. The one thing I buy the most, and that I never leave the store without? Imported pasta.

(Image credit: Danielle Centoni)

Why I Always Buy Homegoods’ Imported Pasta

At an average of $3 to $4 a pound, the artisan imported pasta at HomeGoods costs a bit more than the $1.80 boxes of Barilla at my local supermarket, but these are far more luxe. They’re also far cheaper than the nearly identical options sold at my local gourmet market for upwards of $8 a pound. Like those pricey picks, the HomeGoods pasta is almost always from small Italian producers who still extrude the pasta through antique bronze dies, which gives it a better texture for soaking up sauce. And the pasta is slowly dried at low temps to retain more of the wheat’s hearty flavor. It often comes in more interesting shapes, too.

(Image credit: Danielle Centoni)

A Note on Freshness and Availability

You might think that the foodstuffs at HomeGoods are all passed-over, ready-to-expire oddities from other stores’ clearance racks. After all, there’s usually just a couple of each item and there’s always one or two battered packages hanging around. But it’s actually all really legit stuff. The company buys a lot of its inventory directly from the actual producers, usually in small amounts and mixed cases to ensure they run out. Sounds crazy, right? Turns out there’s a method to this madness: The scarcity and the random, ever-changing selection is how the company keeps people coming back on the regular to see what’s new — because there’s always something new.

According to the site: “The average HomeGoods store receives several deliveries per week, with each delivery containing thousands of items. Our rapidly changing assortments create that ‘treasure hunt’ shopping experience that our customers love. If you love it, grab it! We don’t hold replenishment stock in our back rooms and often, the store managers don’t even know what’s coming until they throw open the delivery truck doors! The amount we buy from each brand varies greatly — sometimes we buy a little and at other times, we may buy a lot.”

So if you fall in love with a particular product, enjoy it while you can. There’s a good chance you’ll never see it again. But just like the rest of the store’s merchandise, even though the items change the categories stay the same. There are always be throw pillows — and there will always be good imported pasta.

Have you gotten pasta at HomeGoods before? What’d you think? Tell us in the comments below.