I am a frugal shopper and am stocking a personal pantry. I would like to know of the bent and dent grocers within a 50 mile radius of my location. I already use T & W Salvage and would like to find other ways to stretch my budget.
The best way to stretch your budget is to buy an ample supply of something you use when it's on sale. Especially if they are non-perishables or items that last a long time.
I also buy some items in the bulk foods section. We eat healthy so we get oat bran, oats, barley, nuts, etc in bulk. It's also GREAT for things you don't need a lot of like if you're trying a new spice. You can buy as little as you like so there's no waste.
I also educated myself on good/healthy food substitutions in recipes. A recipe calls for cream? Use blended fat free cottage cheese with a little fat free milk to the right thickness. You'll never know the difference! And don't be afraid to make substitutions based on your likes or what you have on hand. Prefer apples to bananas? Chop the apple fine and use in place of banana in baking. You get the idea.
After you get into that routine; you'll find you seldom need to run to the store for anything. You spend less time making lists and less time in the actual store.
Stay away from convenience foods. They're loaded with sodium, fat and preservatives and will cost you a lot more in the long run.
Familiarize yourself with how some of your favorite fruits and veggies can be stored so you can buy in bulk when there are sales. We make a banana protein oat bran bread that's really good even without sugar or added fats. When bananas are on sale or marked down but nice I buy a lot and freeze. If you make soups; learn about dehydrating your veggies.
Forget about the tv shows telling you how to organize your kitchen and what you need. It's just a sales pitch. It's amazing how people think they need canned soup or whatever people tell them are "staples". Staples are what you use frequently and will eat when your cupboard gets low. Also, don't overstock your cupboards. People often end up keeping food for years just because it's in the back of the shelf. that's a waste altogether.
Another way to stretch your budget is to put a good sturdy basket on your bicycle and ride to the store. It helps you limit the junk you might be tempted to buy, gets you great exercise, saves on gas and still you have plently of room for things you need.
I've heard of these stores but dented cans/outdated foods are not really safe and especially if they might be sitting in a pantry for a few more months ... I am not sure it's worth risking health/life for a bit of savings :-(
Perhaps start watching the various local market flyers instead (they come in the mail, are at the entrance of each store and all locals compete weekly in the Sunday paper). Most have such sales as: '10 for $10.00' on items that usually cost two times as much or 'buy three get two free', etc., plus coupons are still deductible from these sale items ...
And I can't help but mention the cost of gas going as far as 50 miles away ...
You most likely will save just as much money, if not more, waiting for those sales and have a better chance of safe food items ...
Bent cans may be a good source of food poisoning, as well as Botulism, especially if there is a minute opening in the can to allow air in, but not large enough to let the canned liquid escape.. STAY AWAY from consumables in bent cans !!!!!!
Seriously, the best way to reduce your grocery bill is to go back to the way we used to eat. Make your own bread. Make your own soup. Soup can go a long way to stretch your budget. Grow a garden. Even apartment dwellers can grow stuff in pots. Learn how to can and freeze your produce. Do not by packaged food. Make a list and stick to it. Eat less meat and cheese. Eat more lentils, veggies, etc. Instead of buying canned beans, buy dried and soak your own.
Your grocery bill will reduce and your health will improve.
I am near you, and there's a new store in Delta called Morrison's and between Lineville and Ashland there's the Bargain Barn. I go there sometimes, but you have to really be careful about the dates. Make sure you look at everything closely. My parents also use an organization called Helping Hands. They distribute food for $5.00 once or twice a month. They sometimes have good stuff and I've never gotten anything that was bad there. It is located at the old Folsom school. I think it's a pre-school now. You don't get to choose, you take what they have. I work in Atlanta and am here 2 weeks out of the month. I buy here when things are on sale only. Kroger and Publix and some of the smaller stores near where I stay here have great buys when things are on sale. I have a Kroger Plus card (free) and I bought $70 worth of groceries this week for $46. You have to watch those sales in the weekly papers.
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