Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What does "salvage" grocery shopping trip look like?

For many of you who have read my blog, you know that I'm not your average frugal shopper. I see Pinterest images of shopping trips to major stores, to discount stores, Dollar Tree and bulk grocery stores. So today, I'm going to change your perception of "salvage" grocery dealers or at least I hope to expand your horizons for another frugal adventure.

Well, first, let's define what "salvage" groceries are and are not. They ARE leftovers from grocery warehouses because demand for these products may not have been what was expected. They ARE stock from a truckload where the truck may have been in an accident and the store refused the products. However, the truckload itself may have not undergone any damage due to packaging! They ARE sometimes out of date items. They ARE sometimes spilled products on perfectly good products - but has residue of the spilled product on the packaging. (This happens in organic drinks that are packaged in glass bottles where one bottle in the case is broken, but the rest just need to be cleaned.)

So here is a picture of my salvage groceries:

In the picture above, you see a sampling of "pantry" goods that I am able to get from my local dealer. He sold me a box of toilet paper (96 rolls) for $24! We bought the case and it has lasted our family of four about six months now!! I was also able to buy boxes of Family sized tea bags for $1.50 each box. In the stores, the Decaf is at least that much on a good buy one get one sale. Below the tea box are a sample of the Dixie white corn meal I bought. I purchased 11 bags for just $6! The potato chips (Kettle brands) run about $1 a bag and they usually get in a variety of flavors. The condiments are $1.50 each and in this trip, I was able to snag some Panda Express Orange Chicken sauce, an organic apple butter, and a bottle of Stubb's BBQ sauce which contains no high fructose corn syrup. Oh, and don't forget the lemon cookies. I pay $1.50 a box for what ever variety I can find. This is just a sampling though of some of the products I am able to afford for my family at a fraction of the real cost of groceries. Below is a refrigerated sample.

In this picture, you see my half gallon of whole organic milk which I buy for $2 each. I usually buy the case, so yes, I have 5 more in the fridge at this moment! At my local grocery stores, these are at least $4 each, if not $5. In the past, I have also found half n half, whipping cream and even goat milk. These products are all organic, making them a really great deal when I can find them. In the picture you can also see organic brown eggs. The store sells them by the dozen (these just happen to break apart) and on last visit I bought a case to split with relatives. We pay $2.00 a dozen. Again, these are organic and the price is always rising at whole foods. There is also a can of dried/powdered buttermilk, which I like to use in mixes and doughs. It was $1.50 along with the cream cheese!

So what do you think? Not as bad as you thought huh? I have friends that pay for all this organic stuff and when I tell them where I go, it's like "What? You go WHERE?" as if they couldn't "lower" themselves to go into a salvage dealer. But you really need to try it sometime! Mine is a cleaner facility and I have shopped there for four years. They know me and my entire family. We pack their empty boxes with the groceries we need and they even bring them to the vehicle! (I have supermarkets saying they will save you money but they won't walk you to the car!!) OK, I know it's not all sunshine and rainbows, so I will tell you a few other things.

I live in Florida - closer to the tropics then I would like! We have two seasons, hot and VERY hot. This is not good for food storage. So I am very careful during the summer as to what I buy and when I buy it. Because Jesus, Germs, and BUGS are everywhere in Florida!!! LOL. I refuse to buy cereals, pasta and grains unless they are off the truck when I get there. Because if it's been sitting in the hot warehouse, it's prone to bugs. And when I do buy certain products, I wrap them up in ziplocs as soon as I get home. I also toss ALL boxes that store the cases. I have found this works for me and (knock on wood) I haven't had a bug for several years.

Going to a salvage dealer also means that their stock varies. I have arrived in hopes of getting milk or eggs and the shipment won't be in for another week. Sometimes they have chips and sometimes they don't. I try to go at least once a month with a budget to see what I can find for a deal. If they have milk, I stock up. If they have toilet paper and I need it, I buy it. I can't wait because they may not have it tomorrow. And then sometimes, I have to come back to see if they have it next week. (Or I call them.)

I hope this gives you a good idea of another way to save your family money. Go on an adventure, find a salvage store near you and visit. Go online and find reviews of the place if you can. If the store is messy, has REALLY out of date food, smells wrong or has signs of pests, then run the other way fast!! But keep looking...because you never know unless you get out there....and it might just be that needle in a haystack that helps you save more money on your grocery bill!! Thanks for reading and come back....Sew Hungry For More! AH