[BIG 'N' TALL] From crates of Solo cups and popcorn bags to gallon jugs of ranch dressing and cases of corn dogs, this dirt-cheap grocery warehouse is a small-restaurant owner or budget party planner's best friend. This barebones spot's got satellite dish-size serving bowls and chafing dishes at the ready—plus bulk meat, condiments, coffee and a whole wall full of snow-cone syrups. There are walk-in fridges for dairy and produce, and a freezer colder than the Arctic just for ice cream (and ice-cream cakes). It's not fancy, and its goods are often neither local nor organic, but when you need chips and salsa for 25 people, it's time to swallow your pride and start pushing one of those monster rolling pallets the chain provides instead of grocery carts.

Grocery list: Forty pounds of top sirloin, a case of green peppers, a dozen salt-and-pepper shakers, 18-quart plastic