Ranch Market in Phoenix: What We Bought, What We Skipped, and What We're Still Lusting Over

The Spot: Ranch Market, Open daily from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.

See Also: - Singh Farms Farmer's Market in Scottsdale: What We Bought, What We Skipped, and What We're Still Lusting Over - 5 Recipes for DIY Agua Frescas - Ten Favorite International Markets in Phoenix

What We Bought: With seven Valley locations, cheap prices, and specialty Mexican ingredients, Pro's Ranch Market is a great place for grocery shopping on the cheap. The first stop of any trip for us is usually the spice aisle because the packets are generally only $1. If you cook a lot, you know that little spice jars are usually insanely pricey, so we typically buy one for the jar and refill it with these packets to save some dough.

The produce section is full of unique Hispanic staples like tamarind, jamaica, different varieties of chiles, and even chayote squash. We stocked up on key limes, which were only 99 cents per pound, to make oodles of desserts in the future. We also grabbed a $6 citrus juicer, which is a great deal and will make our key lime endeavors way easier.

Out front, chiles are roasted all the time and they go fast at $1.79 per pound. Freshly made tortillas (price varies based on size and kind) and bolillos (4 for $1) are a welcome change to mix up our usual carb routines. The freshly made ceviche, salsas, rice pudding, and chorizo all called our name, too.

The $6 whole roasted chickens smelled so great that we had to snag one of those before we left. It's really hard to say just what to buy at Ranch Market because they have so much to choose from, but a good rule of thumb is to stick with what they make because it's usually super-tasty and fresh.

What We Skipped: Maybe we're just being babies, but we had flashbacks to our visit to Lee Lee's in the fresh fish aisle. That smell. We just can't. Sorry. Other than that, we decided to grab a small Tapatio for only 59 cents in lieu of the gallon jug, which was still reasonably priced at $9.

What We're Still Lusting Over: With prices as low as they are at Ranch Market, there isn't anything unattainable in its selection. However, the aguas frescas bar with different juices made fresh is a must for hot summer days. We see many horchatas in our future, which are only $2 for the medium size. We'll also be back for more of those freshly roasted chiles because we've already used our whole bag.

We also plan on ordering one of the beautiful, festive cakes for our next big shindig. The colorful cakes come in all different flavors and styles with fruit and treats as a garnish, rather than plastic toys.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch