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.
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 chains would rather sell their own bent and dent (b&d) 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 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. 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.
Aldi Foods has been around for a good while has modernized and opened in many new locations. The upgrades make it comparable to grocery store chains.
Aldi even has more name brand items, something unheard of in the past.
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.