Salvage grocers are stores that stock all the dented, crushed, slightly past their “best by” date products that consumers have been trained to avoid. Because of this, they’re the Dollar General or Big Lots of supermarkets, with prices up to half off regular store prices, says the Associated Press.
Amid the rows of crumpled cereal boxes and past-prime meat, customers may stumble upon everything from gourmet cheese to rattlesnake sausage. It all depends on what Palumbo’s broker ships him – some of which must be thrown out because it’s stale or the packaging is opened.
“I haven’t brought my older son here – he’d probably frown on it,” said Stacey McQuown, a Friday customer who recently walked out with a box of crackers, energy drinks, frozen beef and ice cream toppings.
—which she promptly made into a casserole, we hope. After all, that’s the only way to truly honor the anything-goes spirit of a salvage grocer.
The article also notes that as they grow more popular with budget-minded shoppers, prices are creeping up.
As salvage stores seek more product to meet rising demand, some items have become more expensive, said Evangeline Anderson, who opened Anderson’s Country Market last year. Palumbo said he has had to raise prices, but tries to keep them lower than bigger grocery stores by monitoring their weekly newspaper specials.
Here are a couple of links from the Associated Press article to help you find a salvage grocer near you.
Update: Check out this video on expiration and sell by dates.