I just got back from one of my favorite stores.....now this store is NOT pretty, doesn't really feel all that clean, BUT the money I save there makes up for all that! What am I talking about? A salvage grocery store!! I'd never known these stores existed (other than the dented and discounted racks at big grocery stores) until I moved here to Utah. I was actually warned not to go into this store.....but I didn't listen! I just had to check it out! And now it is the first place I try to get to on grocery shopping day!
The one here near me is called Carl's Super Saver and they carry lots and lots of things. My great deals for the day were bell peppers for 10 cents each; tomatoes for 20 cents each; plus size tights for $2.99, and a couple pairs of fun/funky earrings for 99 cents each!
Now, having said that, I also want to share some tips with you if you want to give this a shot and it's your first time dealing with "salvaged goods"
- The vegetables.....may not be perfect, there may be a bad spot or two you have to cut out, or a couple berries or something that are moldy....that's not the exception, that's the NORM! These peppers I bought today are just on the verge of getting soft, so I am going to chop them up and freeze them for later use, thus stopping the aging process.
- Look at dates and consider the product....I wouldn't hesitate to use outdated soap or something, but very outdated food (I'm talking years), I'd be careful about.
- Things to watch out for with canned goods (and I'm going to just assume they're outdated, so don't even worry about that): dented is okay, but rusted is NOT good; puffed up tops are NOT good; super dented (as in un-openable) isn't a good idea
- You also need to be somewhat aware of regular store prices for the items. For example, today I saw some dish soap, the kind with the air freshener on the bottom, for $2.49. Now I know I can get a bigger bottle for about that price or less at a regular store, so why bother.
- Brand loyalty.....I am brand loyal on some things (shampoo, toothpaste for me) but other things I don't mind generic or off brands (diced tomatoes are diced tomatoes, ya know?) So you have to decide what things you're willing to be lenient on.
I think that's all the warnings I need to share. If you think of anything else, or have questions, feel free to post them in the comments. You do have to use your best judgement, but if you're careful, I think this is an awesome way to save money and be green (well, they would be throwing this stuff out if nobody bought it, as regular stores can't sell it)
So, check out the yellow pages or online, see what's in your area, and start saving!!!