Manna Unlimited, 3847 34th St., Mt. Ranier. Open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 927-1113.
Manna Unlimited is probably the ugliest food store in the Washington area. Not only are the unsightly metal shelves crammed into two small rooms with skimpy aisle space, they are stacked with dog-eared packages of food. But that is the way Manna is meant to be. Its very homeliness saves you money. They buy imperfect packages, seconds, rejects, squashed boxes, misprinted labels, whatever makes a food unfit to sell in a pristine supermarket but does not affect its quality. Not everything they sell is discounted - they try to keep a balance of merchandise so you don't have to fill in from other stores - but everything discounted is at least fifteen per cent off supermarket prices. One day's browse found dented boxes of Jello-gelatin and puddings at fifteen cents (supermarket prices at least twenty-four cents each), peanut butter sixty-nine cents (same brand ninety-nine cents at supermarket), mayonnaise seventy-nine cents ($1.09 at supermarker). Nuts were twenty per cent off printed price. Single serving juices were fifteen cents. Spaghetti was as low as three pounds for $1.05. Cereals - all within pull dates - were about fifteen cents off. Some of the best buys are in paper goods and pet foods. Name-brand toilet paper and paper towels were one-third to one-half off, depending on whether they were wrapped. Pet food was nineteen cents a can, dry food as little as nineteen cents a pound for dog food, thirty-seven cents a pound for cat food in thirty-five-pound bags. When you shop at Manna, check to see which items are discounted, and don't miss the back room, where ribbons and zippers are half-price, along with whatever odds and ends might show up - like a box of size seven shoes for $4.50 a pair.ay through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 927-1113.