A few weeks ago I described my bent and dent shopping experience. Because I’m saving so much money, I decided to write another article about the salvage food industry. I know there may be some of you who remain skeptical about the quality of food available at these establishments. Once again, I can assure you that your local health department would never allow a business to sell you food that would make you sick! How do I know that? I have worked in the health field for more than 20 years. In truth, you have more of a chance of getting sick from a restaurant buffet (think sneeze) than you do from bent and dent bargains.
Here are a few items I scored today:
*Two free packs of Orbit gum. I signed up to receive my local store’s emails, and as a reward, each time I go to the store, if I mention the latest email, they give me two packs at no charge.
*Hunt’s pasta sauce in dented cans – with no leaks or bulging seams – for .80 cents each.
*Two large boxes of Creamette pasta for .70 cents each.
*Del Monte corn, large can, for .50 cents.
*Light Progresso soups, $1.00 per can.
*Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (huge can) for .75 cents each.
In total, I spent $9.76 for items that I know would cost me at least $17.00 at the local grocery store. What a bargain, right?
Unfortunately, in the two years that my local store has been open, prices have slowly gone up. I used to spend at least $20.00 a week on bargains, but now the owners have several items marked at the same price as the regular grocery store. In a way, I feel sorry for those who don’t follow prices as closely as I do, as they don’t realize that not all items, even in a salvage store, are a good buy.
In addition, I will admit that I hesitate buying food that is more than a few months past the expiration date. From talking to my friend, a licensed health inspector, I know that expired food in cans, bottles, and boxes is still safe, it just may taste different. I also know in this economy, those expired foods are a godsend to people in my community who don’t have the income that I currently enjoy. It is a great option…for many people!
In truth, I am thankful for my little neighborhood bent and dent. I like saving money there, and I love going each Tuesday, delivery day, to see what unique and fun items have arrived. I also enjoy talking to the employees; one employee grew up with my mom, and three other employees have kids in the same school my child attends. The best part is they enjoy working at a store that helps so many people.
So, please consider going to your local salvage food store. I guarantee you will find a bargain, and you will probably make a new friend.