Stores that sell a little bit of everything can be classified as ‘Supercenters, Warehouse and, or Convenience (Discount) Stores’ and have advantages over local Grocers when it comes to varieties, however…you can find expired products more often than not, at these larger stores. On a recent trip to a Walmart I couldn’t help but notice some ‘rusty’ lids on some of their canned goods; yes they were expired. Then there are stores like Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar which usually offer larger discounts on their perishable items, but know that this is their business.
Salvage Grocery Stores are popping up everywhere; these kinds of stores collect expired or close to expiration dates on many perishable items today, including seasonal (holiday) foods that didn’t sell. There are also items that don’t meet certain criterial, like whether shapes or sizes met the sellers expectations and, or FDA approval, calling them ‘less-than-perfect’ and, or something that never made it to store shelves. There are places you can go to in order to do your shopping on a frugal budget, as long as you don’t mind the dates on packaging; https://www.buysalvagefood.com/salvage-grocer-map.html . Some may come in bulk, but for the most part…it’s an option for bigger families (including shelters) that need some assistance when it comes to basic essentials. They sell items below the market price, and you can check out the USDA site for further help at https://www.fns.usda.gov/cnpp/usda-food-plans-cost-food-reports-monthly-reports .
As far as dented perishable items, meaning canned goods are not always a great deal. I recently read that if the dent is small it should be fine, but for those that have bigger dents (where opening lids can be problematic), can actually be a risky purchase. If the can looks like its budging and denting is large or along seem of can, this poses a risk for ‘botulism’ and can cause an illness such as food poisoning or worse.
Things you should consider before shopping at a salvage store would be your personal finances, as most of these types of places accept cash only. Next, take into consideration your timeline for eating what you purchase; you’re likely buying out-of-date items or at least close to those expired dates, so planning is important. Another place you can shop for grocery items that may be discontinued or just don’t sell, you can find here at https://www.closeoutcentral.com/Food-and-Grocery.html . Prices aren’t bad and are constantly updated.
Whatever or wherever you do your shopping, know that there are some great options for budget minded folks. If you experience bad food (food-born-illness) anywhere you should report it, and may do so here https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/food-and-drug-administration . No one should go hungry, and as the country continues to grow, so does the needs of others. Be safe and reach out, as ‘Hunger’ has no face.
Make your week count.