Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fresh to Frozen

On the way home Sunday night, I noticed a new store open in an old Ukrop's building.  After I got over the annoyance at myself that I hadn't noticed it and it's already open, I processed the name of it...Fresh to Frozen Grocery Salvage.  Hmmmm.  Never heard of that before, so once I got home I got to googling.  After reading the website, I get it.  They get shipments from grocery chains whenever items are either damaged, about to expire, or overstocked.

I remember hearding a similar concept last time we were in Paradise, PA.  I was asking Marian, the owner of the B&B where we stay, what kind of day she had planned for herself, and she said she was going to some scratch and dent store.  I assumed she meant appliances, but she said it was a food store.  She told us the owner gets items from local stores when they order too much of one item, or if an item's packaging is about to change.  Also, she said tons of people from all around the area will call him when they notice a food delivery truck/van/hauler is broken down or overturned, and he rushes out to salvage any cans or loaves of bread that have escaped the accident unharmed.  Then he brings them to his store and sells them for pennies on the dollar.

On the way home from work, I decided to check this place out.  I set some rules for myself (and Dave set some) before I went in:
  • No refrigerated items, especially meats or cheeses - too much danger of spoilage before it got there
  • No produce
  • No expired items, and only items that are about to expire if I know I will use them before their date
When I walked in, I was surprised at how much it looked like a grocery store.  From the website, I was expecting more of a warehouse feel, like Costco.  I walked up and down every aisle, and saw some awesome deals along with some items that I wouldn't feel comfortable buying.  I ended up spending only $40 for everything I got, which is way less than what I would have paid at even Food Lion for the same items.

Firs stop was the bread section - all loaves, no matter what brand or size, were $1.19.  Good price, but most of them were expiring either tomorrow or the day after.  With just the 2 of us, there's no way we could eat enough sammiches to use a whole loaf of bread that quickly.  For a family, that'd be a great deal.  This one had an unidentifiable black stain on it:

Next was the produce - 10 lb. bag of Russet potatoes for about $4...I could never use that many potatoes.  Then I saw an aisle of holiday stuff - Easter candy, I kind of understand since that was pretty recently, but they had a whole section of Valentine's candy:

On the baking aisle, they had boxes of cake mixes, most of which were current and looked fine except for a dent in the box.  Some were expired though:

This pudding would be fine to buy, with just a couple dings in the cup, but they were more expensive than Costco.

They had a ton of packets of taco seasoning, alfredo sauce, chili seasoning, and dip mixes for 3 for $1.  Some of the alfredo packets were scratched and looked like they might have holes, so I stayed away from them.

Here's how I spent my $40:
  • 3 packets of taco seasoning
  • 3 packets of Ranch dip mix
  • 2 cans each of mixed vegetables, peas, green beans, Chef Boyardee lasagna, Hormel chili for crock pot queso, and sweetened condensed milk
  • cat food - $2 less than Target's price (!)
  • 2 boxes of blueberry muffin mix
  • 1 box of apple cinnamon muffin mix
  • huge jar of applesauce
  • 2 bags of peanut butter/chocolate swirl morsels
  • bag of spaghetti noodles
  • sugar and cinnamon
I will definitely be back, but since their inventory varies based on what truck turns over or who rams a forklift into a pallet of peaches, it won't be the kind of place I could go with a list.  But when my canned goods supply gets low, I know where I'm going!  66 cents per can instead of 89?  Yes, please.


  1. So those cake mixes years ago from Giant that were supposed to be WHITE not WIHTE should be sold at this salvage place. LOL

    Looks pretty cool....good thing you had rules before you went in. :) Looks like you got a lot for $40. That's awesome!! :)

  2. totally - the website said misspelled items would be there too, but i didn't see any.