Some readers out here on the west coast – even moreso if you’re in Southern California – probably remember eating Thrifty Ice Cream at some point or another. The award winning ice cream was sold at Thrifty Drug Stores before the chain was bought out by Rite-Aid and it was incredibly inexpensive for the quality. I clearly remember getting scoops for 25 or 50 cents each at the regular price.
I shouldn’t say “scoops,” however, because Thifty didn’t scoop. They stacked. Using a tool that is similar to (or possibly the same as) the Cuisipro Ice Cream Scoop & Stack, they pulled out cylindrical stacks of ice cream and loaded them into your cone that way. From a consumer point of view, it always seemed like I got more ice cream with one of these stacks and they were always much more neatly done than scoops. From a user’s perspective, these can be much easier to use than a regular scoop. The gadget is pressed straight down into the ice cream, twisted and pulled out with a perfect stack of ice cream. The top handle is pressed in to release the ice cream, pushing it out of the scoop and into your cone.
By the way, Thrifty Ice Cream is still carried at many Rite-Aids in So. Cal. I can even think of a couple of locations that will scoop it out into cones (although it’s more than 25 cents/scoop these days) from the ice cream bar. Others sell it by the gallon. My favorite flavors were black cherry, rocky road and mint chocolate chip. Yum!
TiffanyMay 13, 2008
I love the Thrifty ice cream! Scoops are $1.19 now, I think, which is still considerably cheaper than your typical Baskin-Robbins fare. And the best flavor is without a doubt Chocolate Malted Krunch. Mmm-mm!
JessicaMay 13, 2008
I’m usually a lurker, not a commenter, but your post really brought me back! I live in CT now, not SoCal, but I am sad my daughter won’t ever know the joy of a spontaneous Thrifty cone after a long day at the beach.
VickiMay 13, 2008
While going to college I worked for Thrifty in Arizona and did my share of scooping ice cream. It doesn’t seem so long ago, but when I was scooping the price was 5 cents a scoop. The howl that went up from our customers when the price went up to 10 cents a scoop brought it back down to 5 cents, but not for long. We could never get over how many people wanted ice cream cones when it was cold and rainy. I enjoyed quite a few cones on my breaks. The Cuisipro is not the same tool Thrifty used. Thrifty’s scoop had a trigger and looked more like a “gun”. I developed quite a right handed grip from all the scooping.
MarisaMay 13, 2008
I remember getting Thrifty ice cream with my dad when I was six or seven. We both always got mint chocolate chip, and he’d make sure to get a huge stack of napkins, so that my mom wouldn’t know that he’d ruined my dinner with an afternoon scoop.
Thanks for triggering such a nice memory for me, Nicole!
ToddMay 13, 2008
When I was a kid, my dad would take all of us out for ice cream once a week. Ice cream was always at Thrifty and it did indeed cost 5 cents for a single, 10 cents for a double. Good times.
LucyMay 13, 2008
I haven’t thought about Thrifty ice cream in years! I LOVED chocolate malted crunch. I had a boyfriend in high school that worked at Thrifty as the Ice Cream Scooper of course, at the time I thought it was SO COOL! 🙂 I actually just got this ice cream scooper the other day and love it. My kids and husband got a kick out of it.
RobinMay 13, 2008
Mint chip, pistachio, butter pecan, and jamocha almond fudge were always my favorites. I don’t know if it was everywhere, but I loved the cones, the band around the top said EAT-IT-ALL.
KatieMay 13, 2008
Thrifty cones are one of my favorite things in the entire world. It tastes so much better stacked.
eMay 13, 2008
Thank you for bringing this memory back for me! I lived in California for only a couple of years as a kid, but I remember 50 cent 2 stack cones of chocolate malt ball crunch and wish I could have one right now. I may have to get this scoop and try to make a homemade version of the ice cream!
BradyMay 13, 2008
Ahhhh, Thrifty ice cream. I have to agree with Tiffany–chocolate malted crunch was the absolute best!
BlairMay 13, 2008
yup.. just in case it wasn’t clear from the above comments, thrifty ice cream still exists in the rite-aid stores, at least in all the ones I’ve been to. I do remember when it was thrifty and going there as a kid. it’s still delicious and cheap… and there’s still chocolate malted crunch!
Kredit ohne SchufaMay 14, 2008
Oh its delicious. I thing the chocolate one is the best And its size of looking is little and nice.
CatherineMay 14, 2008
Gotta love Thrifty/Rite-Aid! They underwent the transition when I was in middle school, & we had one like a block & a half away. Scoops were 39 cents, & chocolate malted crunch & mint chocolate chip were where it’s at!!! Unfortunately, I no longer live in SoCal to enjoy the ice cream cylinders…
RecipeGirlMay 15, 2008
We still go to our local Rite Aid and get scoops once in a while- it’s still quite cheap. Chocolate Malted Krunch rocks!
EmeraldusMay 15, 2008
Oh, my, do I remember Thrifty ice cream! Heck, I remember when you could get three scoops for a quarter lol. It wasn’t quite as good as Baskin Robbins but when you’re ten quantity wins out over quality lol.
Rachelle ~ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!"May 19, 2008
hahahaha! Oh good old Rite Aid. I gave 7 years of my life to Rite Aid, so I was able to taste each flavor of ice cream in the parlor. That’s 7 years worth of tasting. It’s been a good year since I’ve had any Thrifty ice cream, and I think I’m due for some. I think the only one I really disliked was the Black Walnut.
jMay 31, 2008
Wow. I just had a double not more than an hour ago. Mint chocolate chip and chocolate malted crunch. They sell em at a lot of the purified water places in az.
EBJune 4, 2008
We still have them up here in Nor Cal too! It was always the apricot mango sherbet for me. The one I went to (don’t know if this was normal) but the stack/scoop left a smiley face in the top of the ice cream!
StephanyJune 5, 2008
God the memories are rolling in right now of the squared ice cream I grew up eating in Stockton, CA in the 80’s. Ahhhh memories!
AnonymousJune 6, 2008
If I had a big (for a child) appetite, I would get apricot mango and pina colada double. Amazingly tasty and cheap enough that my mom would spring for it.
Sheryl SarpyAugust 8, 2008
I just finished eating some Thrifty Ice Cream ! I buy a pint of 1/2 Pistacho Nut and Mint Chip.yum yum. Over the years I have tired all the flavors … I have five siblings and when wer werer growing up – a quarter got each of us a scoop! Much cheaper than the competitor Savon Drugs at 10/15/25. I cannot believe a scoop is now $1.19 and a Pint is only $1.99 what deal! I had a aunt that would order the 5 gallon tub for all birthday parties.. Oh the memories =)
SmoothmovesAugust 17, 2008
Thrifty is big in Mexico, specifically in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). Sooooo good. My favorite; Choco Brownie! I asked the clerk if they sold the cylinder scoops, but she said no. I think I’ll buy the Cuisipro version.
pinballdorkSeptember 15, 2008
When I was a young kid in the mid to late ’70s a single scoop was 5cents, double 10 cents, triple 15 cents. It was sometimes a question, ‘Should I get a double or two singles’. But since I was usually riding my bike home, I would get the double. Mint n’ Chip and rocky road. thanks for the flash back!
newdawnnewdayDecember 23, 2010
omg, upon moving to portland, oregon, i was crushed to go into a rite aid and find they had no thrifty’s ice cream. i called every location within a reasonable distance and learned it just isn’t carried here. i would kill for some chocolate malted crunch!