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Mt_Rider

Shopping at Markdown/Salvage Grocery Stores

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Anyone shop at such places? I frequent the "mark down" bins at the stores I go to but I keep hearing about the "salvage" type grocery stores now doing a booming business. My disability-related transportation limits are the only reason I haven't checked this out. Sounds like a Thrift Store for groceries. LOL

 

Precautions:

** But, I assume one would need to watch the expiration dates on the type of item for which that makes a difference.

 

** I'm definitely not too keen on dented cans either. [in full-on starving survival...I'd risk it, but not yet.]

 

**And know WHICH prices actually ARE a bargain.

 

**And not buy "bargains" just cuz they are cheap but not really necessary for your household. Wheeeeeeee! ;)

 

 

 

 

Any other tips?

 

 

 

MtRider [looking for 21st century survival techniques....]

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The only other things that come to mind might be...

 

Try a little and see if you like it before you buy a bunch.

 

And

 

Put it at the front of your rotation, using it before the stuff you may have bought a long time ago. These items may likely expire before the things you've purchased months ago.

 

 

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Are you talking about a store like Big Lots? I've bought stuff there with both good and bad results. I've bought food that was only sightly stale, some that was really good, and stuff that I had to throw away it was so old/stale/horrible stasting. I stay away from a lot of the box and celophane packaged foods like spaghetti, cookies, etc, unless the due by date is months off, then I will buy a little and try it. If it's good, I'll buy more, and store it. Canned stuff is generally okay.

 

One thing I've noticed lately is, the price of the stuff in our Big Lots has risen a lot. You used to be able to get a can of coffee for at least $3-4 dollars off the regular price, now it's pretty much equal with Walmart prices.

 

Mini

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We had two stores around me that was a salvage type grocery store. As far as the cans go they were all dented and most food was past the expiration date. I guess that's why they are called salvage grocery stores.

 

I stopped shopping there because i really like food that isn't expired, i don't mind a dent or two, but a big dent on both sides i just can't handle.

 

They both only lasted about a year in their locations.

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I shop at a local salvage store that has decent prices. I've been in several that had the prices too high and I didn't bother with them. I noticed none of those lasted long. I get a lot of #10 cans, mostly dented. We just use them first. I don't buy much packaged stuff from them since it is usually stale and we normally don't eat much, if any, of that stuff anyhow. I get a lot of dry beans, cocoa, coffee beans, jelly, peanut butter, etc from them though.

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Here in Quartzsite, AZ one has 3 choices for shopping

1- drive 20 miles one way to the Albertsons in Blythe, CA

2-pay wildly inflated prices at the local general type stores (4x walmart price)

3 shop the slvage stores-most are in tents, 1 in a structure--prices real high at that one.

 

Just have to try things before buying in bulk. We are in the middle of nowhere so one either drives (80 miles to Walmart) or pays.

Oh whoops I forgot about the Family Dollar that was built a few years ago here. I do as much shopping as possible there.

I guess that is 4 choices.

Oh well I am from FL and they said we couldn't count in the elections. :D either!

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I like the discount grocery stores. We have one about a half hour from us and go several times a year. They have something different each time we go. Lots of dented cans but most not seriously so and the prices are good on them, less than half the regular price on most. Lots of items are outdated but it depends on what they are before I will buy those.

 

This one is Amish run and has a great selection of fresh baked goods, gifts, books, and great cheese. The people are wonderful and helpful. They have it at their farm in the country but it's always busy. We've gone to several similar stores on our travels and they are like anyother store, some are great and some are not.

 

My favorite stores though are Amish run bulk food stores. I don't eat chocolate but my family does. The last one we went to they had 20 pound blocks (or bigger) of rich smelling chocolate. Sure wish I could have tasted it.

 

:bighug2:

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We have a "bent and dent" store a few miles away, but their prices are way too high. Now, lately, though, we've had 3 or 4 new ones pop up in the Amish community around here. One of them especially is great, really, really good buys (that is, if you can get down their 1/4 mile snowy driveway in the middle of winter, lol! We grow most of our own food, so we don't really buy much food there, but I got a great deal on rubbermaid containers, and 20lb. of rice for $5.00! :D

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There is a Salvage store close to us, and I go often. Ours has quite a selection of fresh frut and veggies (probably refused by the produce manager of one of their regular stores. Onions with some mildew that can be cut off before dehydrating, avacados ready to eat tonight, sometimes just things that are not selling like stuffed mushroom caps. They also sell the restaraunt supplies like #10 cans and cases of cups. Not too many dented cans on the shelves. You are right - check the expiration dates and prices. We buy a lot of frozen bacon and Lil Sizzlers. DS lives on Hot Pockets and they are 79 cents rather than a dollar each.

Dora

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I have a very important concern; I was given about a dozen jars of Prego Organic Pasta sauce by a neighbor who was moving out and did not want to carry them. I took them before I looked at the expiration date. They are in jars with metal lids and have the "button" on top (like a baby food jar) that is still depressed to show the seal is not broken. The expiration date is March 7, 2007. It is not Feb. 2009 and I don't want to use them if they are unsafe but, don't want to throw away food that is still safe, either. Does anyone have any input?

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As long as the seal in intact and no signs of spoilage, I would say it is more of a quality issue, not a safety issue. They can lose flavor and nutrients. I would use them up soon, though. Boil them before tasting and you should be fine.

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I shop at them all the time. I get teas, rice, salt, gluten free cereals and treats, maple syrup, feminine products, canned goods, cereal. I avoid nuts, oils and anything to dated. I will get salad dressing, but only if it has a sell by date of within the last year. I have never had anything but nuts be bad. I have also saved money. Last year I stocked up a years worth of canned fruits and beans for under $300. It turned out to be closer to two years worth as we are just starting to see a dent in it, but right now we supplement heavily with fresh, in a EOTW situation, it would go faster. We have not had anything be bad.

Edited by SDBookMom

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I don't know what I'd do without the "bump and dent" stores around here.

With six people (four of whom are boys who eat incessantly) in our family, we go through a lot of everything! Even a quick trip to the store can easily become a $100-plus bill if everybody suddenly realizes we're out of this or that--which seems to be epidemic lately. I wonder if my grocery lists wandered away.... :P

 

I was a little skeptical the first couple of times I shopped at the Amish one with my SIL years ago before I was married with kids. But I will be forever grateful to her for introducing me to that one particular little place, because they always have great prices and a fabulous selection. (And it's still in business almost 20 years later.) I have noticed that traffic has been on a marked increase though, and it's very out-of-the-way.

 

Then they opened a "warehouse" right down the road. Oh the deals they had! Unfortunately they are becoming more and more like a regular store as they get more traffic due to economic stress. But I can still find a good deal or two if I stop in once or twice a week (which is still convenient since I pass the place everyday on the way to and from work).

 

The key to shopping at these places to check over the cans and packages. If they're bumped and dented but not bulging or oozing, the food should still be good and okay. (Boil first if you're worried.) Check your expiration dates and don't get anything that's going to be 'way outdated' before you use it. I figure I'd rather toss a 55-cent can of mandarin oranges if it's suspicious rather than the $1.50 one from Walmart.

 

I can honestly say that all of my guys know to check the stuff over before it goes in the cart, check it again before eating....and I don't think we've had but maybe one or two suspect items in the last five years.

 

Oh--and don't think that the stuff at the stores is all out-dated. Most of it ends up there 'cause it fell off a skid or something and maybe a box or two got smushed...and now it's not 'fit' for a regular store. I've found plenty of items that are marked way down, and there wasn't a thing wrong with them. Just take the time to dig through the shelves. It's definitely been worth my time.

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I wasn't aware we had a dent & ding store here until a few weeks ago.

 

You do have to check the dents, dates, and quality. I wasn't that impressed for I can all of our tomatoes, etc. DH did find a sale on some chowder for his desk drawer at work.

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Can I ask, what are the ding and dent stores? The only thing I have around here that comes halfway close is Big Lots and Surplus City, but both of them carry a lot more than grocery items. Are you talking about stores that carry nothing but food stuffs?

 

Mini

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