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With rising costs of everything these days, I am all about saving money wherever I can. And one big thing I’ve been trying to do in our house is cut back on the grocery bill for my family of four. Thankfully, there are a few discount grocery stores near me — like my beloved Aldi — that help me keep my wallet in check each week.

While discount grocery stores are nothing new, their popularity is on the rise. Why? Because you can save a pretty penny buying their generic store brands.

Another way to be thrifty with your family’s food budget is to shop at salvage (also known as bent-and-dent) grocery stores. Keep reading to find out how salvage grocery stores work, along with a list of discount grocery stores and independently-owned discount and salvage groceries.

And, of course, download the Krazy Coupon Lady app to see more daily deals and savings opportunities.

 

Koshi GO Lean cereal cups at Grocery Outlet.

Here’s the lowdown on salvage vs. discount grocery stores

A “salvage” grocery store is a store that salvages produce and packaged foods that would otherwise go to waste. Think things like leftover Halloween candy, a surplus of Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes after the holidays, and dented cans of corn from a damaged pallet. You may also find products bearing an old label design after a rebranding or items that are near or past a manufacturer’s “best by” date.

Discount grocery stores sell off-brand products. The groceries you’ll find at salvage stores are typically name-brand items purchased by third-party distributors. They are are then resold to those bent-and-dent outlets.

Amish communities have been practicing this idea for generations by operating bent-and-dent retail stores, open to the public. (Check out this hefty list of Amish-run salvage stores to see if there’s one near you.)

Is food from a salvage grocery store safe?

Yes, the food items sold at salvage grocery stores are safe to eat! According to the Food & Drug Administration, the only product that requires a “use-by” date is infant formula. So all the best-by, freeze-by, and sell-by dates that you see marked on packages of bread and packages of meat are actually freshness recommendations by the manufacturer.

You can also slash your grocery bill shopping at stores offering “ugly” produce for cheap.

If you don’t mind crooked cucumbers or not-so-round apples, then check into grocery delivery services partnering directly with growers to save misshapen produce. These are products that don’t otherwise meet a visual buying standard. In addition to selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables, both Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods offer pantry staples, dairy, and meat items to customers.

Related: Check out these quirky ideas for saving money online grocery shopping.

 

 

These discount grocery stores operate in multiple states.

 

Make the most of large discount grocery stores with money-saving tips.

Don’t head into discount grocery stores blind. Use these simple suggestions to maximize your savings and grocery haul.

1. Shop ALDI’s Weekly Ad and save big.

A person holding an ALDI advertisement over a shopping cart inside an ALDI store.

ALDI is a German supermarket chain that has no problem keeping it simple. This is paying off with shoppers, as it’s the fastest growing supermarket chain in the U.S. ALDI stores are generally small and they strip away the towering shelves and fancy signage that define the national brands we all know.

Set ALDI as a favorite in the KCL app and look for ALDI deals each week (find an ALDI near you) and check out the ALDI Finds or ALDI Savers sections. I found a six-count bag of L’oven Plain Fresh bagels (reg. $1.45) for $1.19.

Great Value’s six-count pre-sliced plain bagels go for $1.50 — that’s $0.31 in savings! You’ll find tons of marked-down products like this if you shop their weekly ads and save big.

Related: Ways to Spend Even Less at ALDI

 

2. Buy exotic wines from Lidl for bargain prices.

Wine on a shelf at Lidl

If you fancy yourself a sommelier, you’re in luck: Lidl, an east-coast-based chain of discount grocery stores, offers around 80 wines in store at any given time, and Lidl’s wine selection has won over 200 industry awards.

They have a wide variety of wines, like reds imported from both Spain and California, at a great price point. For instance, I found this 1790 cabernet sauvignon Paso Robles for just $8.99, which, according to Vivino, normally goes for around $13.99 — about $5 in savings.

 

3. Clip Smart & Final coupons and shop their weekly circular.

Smart & Final extra store front.

To shop Smart & Final and get the best deals, check out Smart & Final weekly ads and clip Smart & Final coupons online (or print them out for in-store shopping). You can find great deals at a Smart & Final near you, like save $1.50 on any four SMART ONES products or save $1.00 on Welch’s Fruit Snacks.

 

4. Check out Market Basket for deals on grocery items and produce.

Produce section at Market Basket

Market Basket, a small grocery chain based in southern Texas and Louisiana, will inspire you to take a southern road trip just for the savings.

For the best deals, check out Market Basket’s Weekly Flyer, where you’ll find groceries, produce, and other products with crazy price cuts. In August 2020, Market Basket had a deal selling five 16-ounce Barilla pastas for $5 ($0.06/ounce) and family-sized Cheerios from General Mills two for $6.

On Walmart.com, a four pack of 16-ounce Barilla pasta goes for $5.12 ($0.08/ounce) and a single box of family-sized Cheerios runs at $3.64 per box — that’s $1.28 in savings if you took up Market Basket’s deal on two boxes of Cheerios.

When it comes to produce, I found a Weekly Ad selling seedless watermelon for $0.49/pound. At Walmart, you’ll find seedless watermelon going for $8.78 for just over two pounds.

 

5. Look for green price tags at WinCo Foods for sales, and apply store coupons for steeper savings.

Cheerios cereal with an Extra Savings green price tag in front of them.

You’ll find WinCo Foods scattered up and down the West coast and peppered throughout the Midwest and parts of Texas.

Unfortunately, you can’t shop online right now. So, you’ll have to settle for in-store shopping.

When perusing the aisles, though, you’ll want to look out for green label tags, as these mark their sales items.

For a bigger discount, you can also apply one coupon per item — including sales items — be it a WinCo coupon or a manufacturer coupon.

Related: WinCo Shopping Strategies That’ll Save You Hundreds

 

 

6. Grab personal care products at Food 4 Less cheaper than you’d find at Walmart.

Food 4 Less Ad

Food 4 Less is located mostly on the West coast and is owned by Kroger Co, so you may find Kroger brand products on their shelves.

The biggest savings I could find was on personal care products. For example, I found a 12-ounce bottle of Dove Coconut and Hydration shampoo for just $3.49; the same bottle of Dove Hydration shampoo at Walmart went for $13.40!

 

7. Check Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page for great deals.

Grocery outlet facebook page screenshot

You can’t see what Grocery Outlet carries online since they don’t offer online shopping right now, but I found this insane deal on Sour Patch kids the other day on Grocery Outlet’s Facebook page where you could buy three five-ounce bags of Sour Patch kids for just $1. (That’s $0.06 an ounce!)

Compare this to Amazon where you’ll find same-size Sour Patch kids bags for $0.20/ounce.

Also worth noting is Grocery Outlet’s legendary wine deals. Again, you’ll have to pay attention to their social media posts, as this journalist for Oregon Live discovered. He found bottles from well-known wine producers discounted by as much as 70%!

 

8. Shop H-E-B for great prices on produce and store brands.

Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B has great deals on their store brands and produce. I found a 12.5-ounce bag of H-E-B Southwest chopped salad for just $3.74, which rivals Amazon’s own 11.5-ounce 365 Everyday Value Southwest salad kit for $3.99.

 

9. Find great deals on snack foods at Family Dollar.

Mug rootbeer, Crush Grape soda and Mountain Dew.

Family Dollar is owned by Dollar Tree, and they offer products at a similar price range. Like many stores, you can peruse Family Dollar’s Weekly Ads for sweet deals on a broad range of products, from back-to-school essentials to snack foods for your kids’ lunches and more.

In August 2020, I found a coupon in their Weekly Ad offering three two-liter bottles of Crush, Mug Root Beer, or Sierra Mist for just $3. A two-liter bottle of Crush orange soda at Walmart runs at $1.25 a bottle — that’s $0.75 in savings if you bought three bottles.

Family Dollar also has a $1 WOW section on their Weekly Ads where you’ll find select items for $1 or less in store, like Mike & Ike chewy candies, Wise brand Honey BBQ chips, bags of Top Ramen, and more. Check the ads regularly to get the best deals on these pantry staples.

 

Here’s a list of salvage and discount grocery stores in every state.

People checking out at a Grocery Outlet store

It’s always smart to contact the store ahead of time yourself to make sure they are still open!

Alabama

Alaska

  • Sav-U-More, 43531 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna (with another location in Homer)

Arizona

Arkansas

California

  • Better Buy Discount Groceries, 2950 Myers Street, Oroville
  • C&C Discount Grocery, 5829 Feather River Blvd, Olivehurst
  • Cost Less Food Company, 555 South Highway 49, Jackson (with additional locations in Oakdale, Modesto, Ceres, Turlock, Hanford, and Corcoran)
  • Discount Groceries, 410 Coffee Road, Modesto
  • Hayfork Discount Groceries, Highway 3 & Forest Ave., Hayfork
  • Overstock Foods, 55 West Tehachapi Boulevard, Tehachapi
  • Palace Surplus, 11312 South Prairie Ave., Inglewood
  • Smart & Final, multiple locations throughout the state

Colorado

  • Esh’s Grocery, 375 West 71st Street, Loveland (with another location in Dacono)
  • My BargainMart, 2841 East Fountain Road, Colorado Springs
  • Sunshine Salvage Amish Discount Grocery, 10978 South County Road 5 East, Monte Vista

Connecticut

  • The Outlet, 220 Albany Avenue, Canton (with another location in Southington)

Delaware

  • Byler’s Grocery Outlet, 1368 Rose Valley School Road, Dover (with another location in Harrington)
  • Super G Discount Food & Drug, 4301 Concord Pike, Wilmington (with another location in Bear, and more to come)

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

 

 

North Carolina

North Dakota

  • Cash Wise, multiple locations throughout North Dakota and Minnesota
  • D & K Grocery, 182 W. Stutsman St., Pembina

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

 

Discount Grocery Stores in Every State to Help Save Money on Groceries