Salvage Grocery Stores—An Alternative to Food Auctions
Salvage grocery stores can be a great alternative to bidding at food auctions if an auction cannot be found in your area. Also known as surplus grocery stores, they can save you as much as 30-50 percent off your food bill.
Similar to items found at food auctions, their inventory consists of the following:
- overstocked items
- slightly damaged, bent, dented, ripped or torn packages or cans
- mislabeled or old labeled items
- items not selling well in regular chain stores and returned to warehouse
- near or at their sell-by or best-used-by dates
Also similar to items sold at food auctions is the guarantee by the USDA that such items pose no safety hazard or poisoning threat. Excluded from this list is baby food and formula. The sell by dates refer to a product's freshness, not its safety.
Some Stores To Search For In Your State
Here is a list of salvage grocery stores compiled thus far. Please note the separate link to Frugal Village as it has many more stores listed according to each State. Also pay close attention to the Salvage and Bulk Food Stores List, which is also linked, because it is a very comprehensive link which tries to stay updated and thoroughly researched.
The following list consists of salvage chain-store groceries first, followed by other stores found after a thorough search:
- Any major retailer's clearance aisle or rack
- Family Dollar
- Grocery Outlet
- Ameila's Sharpshopper So Low Grocery Outlet
- The Corner Cupboard
- 99 Cents Store
- 99 Cents Only
- The Dollar Store
- Dollar General
- Dents Grocery Store
- Dollar Tree
It is easy to forget that the major grocery store chain would rather sell their own bent & dent items. So don't forget to check and see if they have an entire aisle dedicated to selling b&d's or maybe they just have some racks set aside for that purpose.
It is suggested that you try to purchase all you can from salvage or surplus stores, then buy what you can't get from them, at your local grocer. Also don't forget to add coupons when you use the traditional grocer, just to add to your savings.
Carrying and Storage
While you are out saving money, don't forget you'll need a place to store all your good deals. Buying in bulk can be a problematic once you once you need to bring everything home. Don't forget to travel with a cooler, just in case you need to keep your cool items cool. You might need to bring your own boxes or bags with you to make loading and unloading easier, and last but not least make sure you have a place to put everything once you get it all home. We use an extra freezer in our basement and an extra cabinet with four shelves.
Frugal Village Forum Page
- Frugal Village
Links to a thread that gives a list of grocery outlets for each state in alphabetical order. You can sign up to be a member of the forum and receive all of its valuable information, if you would like.
Gnivas' Salvage and Bulk Food Stores List
- Salvage and Bulk Food Stores — Savings Havens
The site "gnivas.com" is actually the word "savings" spelled backwards. An excellent up-to-date list of all the salvage stores in the U.S. along with all relevant information available to the site, including hours of operation, reviews, how to pay.