Discount Grocery Stores

Discount grocery stores are becoming more popular due to rising food costs and a declining economy.

In this article we will cover the top 6 tips of this store and the pros and cons of these types of stores.

Some store owners are saying that business has increased up to 40%, and more and more people are discovering the huge savings that can be found at discount food shops.

Founders note: Question, are you serious about cutting your grocery bill in HALF?

If you are truly determined and want to save about $300 per month consider using our free software to compare food prices here

Grocers stuffing mix mainly Stove Top on shelf's.
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What is a Discount Grocery Store?

“Salvage" or Discount grocery stores sell products that regular supermarkets no longer want or need on their shelves. Items are also received from large manufacturers who wish to get rid of their excess or out-of-date inventory.

These goods are sent to a warehouse and, eventually, sold to a discount store. Since the salvage stores are able to purchase items at rock-bottom prices, they can pass these savings on to the consumer.

Although many good deals can be found, it is important to keep in mind that these products were returned or unused by the larger grocery stores and manufacturers for a reason.

Goods carried at discount grocery stores consist of:

• Products that have damaged packaging such as dented cans or torn boxes.

• Seasonal items.

• Products that have been incorrectly labelled.

• Packaging with expired promotions such as advertisements for an upcoming sporting event (ie. Olympics, Super Bowl, etc.) or manufacturer-run contests.

• Products that have undergone a label or packaging change and manufacturers do not want the items with the “old” label to remain on shelves.

• Products that come from stores or warehouses that have closed down or gone out of business.

• Products that are near or past their expiry dates.

• New or “test” products that were not successful.

Boxed groceries 10 for $10.00.
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Advantages of Discount Food Stores

Save Money: The standard savings is between 25-60%, but some people have been able to purchase products at up to 90% off the regular supermarket price.

And, some store owners are willing to negotiate if you are buying a large amount of a particular product. For example, a bottle of salad dressing may be marked down to $0.75, but you may save even more if you ask about purchasing the entire case or every bottle that is on the shelf.

If you are getting a can of soup for $0.10 or a box of cereal for $1.00, does it really matter if the label is torn or the box is a little crumpled? As long as the food inside is fine, you can save a lot of money on products that you normally buy.

Try Something New: Discount stores have a very quick turn over of products and stock different items all the time. Since prices are so low, this is a good way to try something new.

So, if you are walking the aisles and notice something that you have always wanted to sample, give it a try! If you don't like it, you won't be out a lot of money; but, you might discover something very tasty!

Manufacturer Coupons: Some discount stores will accept manufacturer's coupons, so you will be able to save even more money.

Imagine finding a can of tomato sauce marked down to $0.50 and then being able to use your $0.25 manufacturer's coupon? You will pay $0.25 for a product that sells for almost $2.00 in the supermarket.

Brand Names: Most salvage stores stock brand name products, although some will also carry generic items. So, not only are you saving on your pantry staples, but you will be stocking your cupboards with popular brands that your family will love.

Less Crowded: Although discount stores are becoming more popular, they are still typically less busy than regular grocery stores, so you will be able browse the aisles and cruise through the check out without having to deal with large crowds or long lines.

Fun! Some people simply enjoy walking through a discount store to see what treasures they can find. Discovering a good deal, finding a new product to try, or stocking your pantry at a ridiculously low price can be fun.

You never know what you might find. And, who doesn't like saving money?

Home food storage pantry, the shelving is from Lowe's good and sturdy.
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Disadvantages of Discount Grocery Stores

Selection: Most discount stores have a smaller selection than larger supermarkets and many do not offer all the departments available at other grocery stores such as a bakery, pharmacy, or in-store butcher.

Most will carry the basics including produce, dairy, canned foods, frozen veggies, and personal hygiene products like shampoo and soap. However, you will not be able to get everything on your list at a salvage store, so you will also need to make a stop at another supermarket.

Expiry Dates: Most of the items stocked at a discount store are near or past their expiry dates. For some items this matters, but many products are still fine long past their “sell-by” date.

According to the FDA, expiry dates are simply guidelines for optimal freshness; however, shelf stable goods such as soups, pasta sauces, and canned vegetables are safe to eat years after the date indicated.

So, if expiry dates do not bother you, then this is a great place to find exceptional deals on pantry staples. If you can buy two loaves of bread for $1.00, it doesn't matter if they expire in two days because you can freeze them then simply pull it out of the freezer.

Beware of: certain items such as fresh dairy or meats, as Best Before dates are more important for these products.

It is important that you check expiry dates and decide what you are willing to live with. If a box of cereal is only one week away from its expiration date but you plan on eating it right away, then the discounted price is a good deal.

However, if you are stocking your pantry with items that you might not eat for a year, then you will want to be more diligent about checking dates. Know which products are fine after expiration and which ones you have to watch carefully.

Changing Stock: Since Salvage stores take what is available from supermarkets and manufacturers, they do not always stock the same items.

So, if you found a good deal on macaroni and cheese today, don't assume that you will find the same deal next week. You never know what will be available so you can't plan your grocery list around your visit to the discount store.

Time Consuming: You will have to allow for more time when shopping at discount grocery stores because you will need to walk down the aisles carefully to see what they have available each time you visit.

Credit Cards: Not all discount stores accept credit cards, so you will need to be prepared to pay cash. If you collect cash back or reward points, then this may be a disadvantage.

Hours of Operation: Many salvage stores are not open as late as regular supermarkets so you will have to plan your shopping accordingly.

You won't be able to shop at midnight or six in the morning, so if you have a busy schedule, convenience may be a factor.

Atmosphere: Discount stores are not fancy, so you will not find an aesthetic environment with nice signs, fancy packaging, and an in-store coffee shop.

Salvage grocery stores will help your bottom line.
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Tips for Shopping at Discount
Grocery Stores

  1. Know your prices. While you can find some exceptional deals at discount stores, not everything is the promised “rock-bottom” price. Some items may be more expensive than other stores, especially if you can find the product on sale.
  2. Stock up. If you find something that you use regularly, stock up because it may not be there the next time you visit the store. Take advantage of great deals when you find them – it may be months before they stock your favorite brand of cookies or pasta sauce again.
  3. Visit the discount grocery store first. Since you don't know what will be available from week to week, make your grocery list and then stop at the salvage store first to see what they have. That way, you only have to buy the remaining items elsewhere.
  4. Shop when you have time. Discount grocery stores will not usually have signs pointing you in the right direction so you will have to take the time to explore, check expiry dates, and examine packaging to make sure there is not rust, broken seals, or ripped bags and boxes that expose food to the air and contaminants. After expiry dates, some products are fine while others may be stale. If you find a good deal on crackers, cereal, or snack foods, purchase only one package and then sample it once you leave the store.
  5. If it tastes good, you can go back in a stock up on additional packages. But, if it happens to be stale, you are only out the cost of one bag or box.
  6. Discount grocery stores are a great way to save money on your food bill. However be careful about expiry dates and packaging conditions. Realize you might not always find what you are looking for.

If you don't care about fancy atmosphere or constantly changing selection, then making discount stores a regular stop on your shopping route can really slash your monthly grocery expense.

Money Saving Tips

  1. Top of this Discount Grocery Stores page.
  2. How to Store Food article.
  3. Online grocery stores for home delivery.
  4. Best way to save money on groceries.

Packaged steaks in a discount grocery store.
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