Reduce Food Waste By Shopping at Salvage Stores

July 30, 2018 at 7:06 pm

Reduce food waste and fatten your wallet by shopping at salvage grocery stores


Nearly half of the food produced in this country is wasted. A good chunk of that waste happens at the grocery store when food is approaching it’s expiration date or cosmetically imperfect.

Up to 40 percent of produce is wasted before it even reaches the store because it’s not “pretty” enough, according to the Ugly Food and Veg Campaign.

Enter “discount” or “salvage” grocery stores. Like TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls are to the mall, “outlet” grocery stores are to regular grocery stores. They buy up what doesn’t sell and sell it at deep discounts, typically 50 to 75 percent off, or more.

Credit: Corinne Gompf via Mother Earth News

Items sold at salvage grocery stores include:

  • Food that is near or past its expiration
  • Items in dented or torn packaging
  • Items in seasonal or otherwise-dated packaging
  • Store closeouts
  • Manufacturer overstock
  • Salvage from truck wrecks

The one downside of a salvage grocery store is it’s not a one-stop-shop. Unlike a conventional grocery store, which stocks the same items each week, salvage stores won’t have everything on your grocery list and their inventory is constantly changing.

You might find a great deal on grass-fed butter one week, and organic blueberries or super cheap kombucha the next, but don’t expect to ever find the same thing twice.

If you have a salvage grocery store nearby — check this directory to find out — it could save you a ton of money to stop on your way to the regular grocery store.

Salvage grocery stores are inspected and regulated by the government just like regular grocery stores. As long as you follow a few rules of thumb, the food is just as safe:

  1. Frozen foods are still safe after their expiration date as long as they’ve been kept frozen.
  2. Sell-by, use-by, and best-buy datesĀ all mean different things. Educate yourself on the difference here.
  3. Never buy expired baby formula and baby food. It’s the only food product that the federal government requires dating on.
  4. Avoid expired over-the-counter drugs. They may lose their potency or undergo an adverse chemical change after expiration.
  5. Dented cans aren’t always safe to buy. A small dent is fine, but cans with big dents or any dent along the top or side seam could be a botulism risk.

France Forces Supermarkets to Donate Food Rather than Dump It, So Should U.S.

June 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm




France recently made it illegal for grocery stores to dump or destroy good food. Instead of letting 1 in 8 Americans go hungry, maybe we should do this too.

British Grocery Store First in World to Go Plastic-Free

March 12, 2018 at 12:35 am





A major British grocery chain shows the world it’s possible sell food without plastic

The British grocery retailer “Iceland” recently pledged to eliminate plastic packaging from all its store-brand products by 2023.