Salvage grocery stores are also known as bent and dent stores or discount grocery stores. They receive new inventory frequently from other stores that consists of products that are less than perfect, past the "best by" date, or seasonal items. So they might have dented cans or boxes, pasta noodles or candy that are a month or two past their prime, day old bread, or even toilet paper or paper towels that isn't in its packaging. Here is a list of stores by state. I had read about them in a blog post called "The Dark Side of Shopping at Salvage Grocery Stores." It had my husband's name written all over it, and when you get married you start to become more like your spouse whether you like it or not. So I found myself searching through dented cans checking expiration dates despite reading about the bad things about them. I guess I wanted to give them a fair shot because that is just one person's experience & I remember the Duggars (19 Kids & Counting) do a lot of their shopping at those types of stores.
This is all my loot from the store! It was so fun! The only electricity they had in the store was the register and a small freezer which was probably powered by a generator. They had gas lights and it was pretty stuffy, but it was pretty clean in my opinion. No yucky bugs
|$2.25 for 5 pounds|
|$5.50 per case of organic, unexpired baby food|
|10 for $1 (I just bought ONE pack at the gas station for $1.39!!)|
|$2 for 43 oz|
|$1 for my favorite scent & $2.50 each for my face wash!|
|$0.35 each slightly imperfect or just fine cans|
|$0.50 buns that are about to go stale|
|$2 each dog food|
I found some really good deals! It was a lot more work than just going to a regular store because you had to check the expiration date, find things that weren't so damaged it could potentially compromise the food safety, and decide if it was worth the risk or if it would go bad too quickly. I had read not to get pasta that was just in the box without a wrapper so I was happy to find a sealed gigantic bag of spaghetti noodles at such a steal. I still have NO idea why the baby food was there other than perhaps some store bought way too much because there were a ton of cases of baby food. It is unexpired, unopened, and perfect. I make most of my baby food so I didn't buy a ton, but it is nice to have jars for when I travel places so I gladly snatched up one case. They had my FAVORITE fiber bars that were just past their best by date which we buy every week anyway. My face wash that my derm recommended was probably my second best steal because I paid almost $10 with a coupon for a bottle the last time and I got 2 for $5 & it lasts a long time! They were just missing the cap thing. The giant bag of cereal is also just past the best buy date, but I had some this morning and it's not even stale. The cans are all unexpired, but with small dents. I put the hamburger buns in the freezer so they don't go stale. And the dog food is a pretty good brand that we sold at my pet store that is unexpired. Also a great price--perhaps my best. I also got a couple bottles of spices and a pair of panty hose.
Other things they had were tons of candy with Valentines and Easter labels, dressings, sauces, mayonnaise, tortillas, donuts, cough and cold medicines, boxed cereal, juice, soda, water, unwrapped and wrapped toilet paper and paper towels, baby wipes, boxed pasta, salsas, bug spray, band aids, books, spices, detergent, soaps and shampoos, and so much more.
After going here, I had heard that there was a store that sold fresh cheese just up the road. So I went to Stringtown Grocery which is not the cheese place, but is an Amish grocery store with lots of delicious looking foods. They had Amish noodles, Amish breads, Amish spices, Amish oats, Amish jams and jellies, etc, etc. I think they are Amish because they're not made by the English, but the homemade labels and all made everything look so much better. They had spices in bulk at great prices so I got a few.
After visiting the Amish grocery store, I didn't have enough cash to buy cheese so I didn't go to the cheese place which I saw right after the grocery store. That is something to keep in mind, these places don't take Visa, Discover, or Mastercard so bring enough cash. I underestimated how many good deals I'd find which may be a good thing I guess.
Overall, I had fun visiting the country life, seeing some horse and buggies, and searching for some money saving deals. If I can keep up the frugal stuff and my husband can keep up with the extreme budgeting, we'll be debt free in no time!