Today’s economy has caused many people to try to cut their grocery bill. Dented can stores can be an excellent way to save money on your food bill. However, far too many people do not take advantage of these stores because of mistaken ideas about just what a dented can store is like. Dented can stores are not just shabby little stores in the bad part of town with rows and rows of damaged goods. They sell a variety of items at greatly reduced prices as a way to significantly stretch your food dollar. You can expect savings of 50% to 90% off the retail grocery store price.
Dented can stores are also referred to as grocery salvage stores and grocery surplus stores. This fact is very important since it explains the differences between individual stores, their variety of inventory and the multiple ways they receive products to sell. This is also the first rule for saving the most when shopping at a dented can store. They are not all the same. There are differences between individual retail grocery stores and there will be differences between one salvage store and another.
Salvage stores receive their merchandise for three distinct reasons. Obviously they sell items that have been damaged in transit, storage or at a retail grocery store. They also sell products that have passed or are about to pass their expiration dates. They may sell items that the super market chains no longer wish to stock but are not damaged or out of date.
It is important to remember that neither the retail store nor the salvage store would knowingly sell items which could harm the consumer. They make every effort to make sure they only sell safe items. Dented can stores are inspected by local authorities just like any retail grocery store. They are required to meet the same strict sanitation standards.
The contents of cans are still good even if they are dented or have damaged labels. A can is good if the ends of the can do not flex when squeezed or pressed. Things which are sold in boxes are usually also protected with an inner plastic or wax paper lining. The outer box may be stained or crumpled but the food is safe if the inner lining is intact. A prudent shopper should obviously check the item to be sure of its safety but a savings of 50% to 90% is well worth the little effort.
Surplus stores also sell items that are out of date or about to become out of date but are not damaged in any way. Expiration dates are assigned by the food manufacturer to insure that the item is sold at its very peak of freshness. They always err on the side of caution. Most packaging has a phrase like ‘Best if used by …’ printed on the packaging. This means that an item past this date is not bad or of poor quality. It is still safe but has been on the shelf longer than the manufacturer would like.
Manufacturers sometimes change packaging or discontinue a product. Often they will tell the retail stores that these items are to be removed from their shelves completely and replaced with the new product. The old items are then declared surplus and sent to surplus stores for sale. They are not damaged or even out of date. They have been removed from the retail store only at the request of the manufacturer.
Retail stores may declare items to be surplus because they do not sell well enough. Shelf space at a retail store is a very important profit factor. An item has to generate enough sales to be kept on the shelf. If sales are too low the item is removed and replaced with an item that generates more revenue. These items end up at the surplus store at a deep discount. They are there because of their unpopularity not their condition. However, a thrifty shopper may find them to be just what they needed.
Besides this variety of damaged and undamaged goods, a salvage grocery store may carry other items besides canned goods. Each store will have access to different retail stores and wholesalers. This variety will be reflected in the inventory an individual store may carry. Some stores may also carry surplus health and beauty items while another may stock dairy and fresh produce items. A shopper hunting for bargains should investigate all the salvage stores in their area to find those that best fit their individual needs. This may require a little effort. Unlike retail grocery stores, dented can stores are not on high traffic corners plus they rarely advertise in order to keep their overhead costs down. Locate a surplus store in the telephone book, an online search engine or by talking to friends and neighbors. The money saved can be well worth the time.
A slight change in your shopping habits will maximize your savings at a grocery salvage store. A dented can store is not really meant to replace your local retail grocery store but rather to supplement it. Try shopping at a dented can store first with your regular shopping list. Purchase those items you can and use your retail grocery store for the items left on your list. You do not have to visit the dented can store on each shopping trip. Many people find that one trip a month allows them to stock up with a month’s supply of canned and boxed goods. They then go to their retail grocery store as usual for perishable and specialty items. This method saves gas and time but still can cut your overall food bill by 25% to 50%.
Remember that most grocery surplus stores are locally owned unlike most retail grocery stores. This means that you can often negotiate prices. Prices are set by the on site owner rather than a corporate computer many miles or even several states away. If you notice an item has not been selling, then offer to purchase some at the price of your choosing. Do not hesitate to ask about case or box discounts. A 10% discount on an item that is already half off can make your whole shopping trip worthwhile.
Grocery salvage stores are not like some other stores or schemes that claim to help with your grocery bills. They are not like warehouse clubs that require a membership fee and sell only in large quantities. They do not require monthly minimums or advertise bait and switch deals. At a dented can store, what you see is what you get.
Do not close your mind to the opportunity that a surplus or salvage grocery store offers to the thrifty shopper. Take the time to investigate the ones in your area and see what they have to offer. The savings can be substantial and help your family make it through these tough economic times.