Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FAQ's - Grocery Outlet Stores

One of the most frequently asked questions that arrives in my inbox is some form of...

"How do I find a Grocery Liquidator/Salvage/Surplus/Outlet store in my area?"

Without one of these stores to shop at I wouldn't be able to get the bargains that I do, stick to my budget, or avoid the need to spend countless hours clipping and researching coupons. These types of stores save my hiney when it comes to shopping.

Just in case you don't know what these are, these are stores that sell off products sent back to the grocery warehouse by a store OR excess inventory sold to a liquidator by a manufacturer. It can range from items that are close to the sell-by date, cans that have been dented during transport or display, seasonal items that didn't sell in time and need to be cleared off the regular retail shelves, new products that didn't sell well in the mass market, or items with labels that have misprints. There are untold treasures to be found.

These stores are also regulated and inspected by the USDA. So if you are concerned that you might be purchasing items that have gone bad or could be harmful you aren't at any more risk than if you were buying from your local chain store.

Another point of note is that Best If Used By dates are the date that the manufacturer would like their item kept on display but many items are good well past this date. It is not the date that the item becomes rotten or inedible. Even milk is still good days after the Sell By date. The only foods required to have an actual expiration date are baby foods and formulas.

Some times these types of stores are well organized and clean and other times they are grubby and the items are piled in bins. But don't let that determine whether you shop there or not. One of the cheapest stores I shop at feels like I need to apply hand sanitizer when I leave but it's also the place where I find cans of tomatoes and veggies for 39 cents each...sometimes 3 or 4 for a dollar.

Another thing to keep in mind is that these stores don't always have the same items available. If you see something, grab it. It might sell out by next week and be replaced by a completely different item. The store owners are never quite sure what will be on their shelves each month.

So if you are interested in adding one of these stores to your shopping routine, I have a few web sites that may be able to help you locate one in your neck of the woods.

Grocery Outlet's website has locations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada

United Grocery Outlet has locations in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia

gnivas.com has a list of stores all across the U.S. as well as hours and websites.

Anderson Country Market has a directory also.

None of these lists are exhaustive. Several of my local stores were missing but it's a great place to start.

30 comments:

Blissful Nikki said...

these are great! I dont see any where I live though :( But I am doing pretty good on sticking to my $60 but its getting harder and harder each week because Walmart (the cheapest store around here) is getting rid of a lot of it's own brand of products! :(

Monkey Momma said...

There aren't any where I live either, in DFW, which is really frustrating. I see your grocery list every week and there is just no possible way I can do that, even at Target and Wal-Mart, which are the cheapest places around here. :-(

rachelg said...

I love our Liquidator stores!! I get all of my cereal there for less than $1.50 a box. Its not expired there are usually a little tear in the box or a corner has been smashed. I have also been buying the prepackaged Starbucks ground coffee for $4 a bag not a thing wrong with it!

Christina said...

Monkey Momma: Just an FYI, depending on where you live in DFW there are several locations for Save-a-Lot. They have really good prices.

Here's the link to their DFW locations

Terri and Bob said...

I don't think I have those kinds of stores in our area... but I do have discount stores for day old bread and etc...

Lisa F. said...

I don't get to my outlet as often as I wish, sort of out of the way for general weekly shopping. but when I do...yippee...always great beauty/hair products at great prices, usually b/c the manu changed the packaging. Cheaper than sale prices at drug stores.

Steve said...

I didn't realize but one of these stores have just located in my hometown. It is about 45 minutes from where I live now butI will defintely be going when I make visits home to see the family. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I had no clue that was what that store was!
Cheryl

April said...

Here's one in Dallas: gricert clearance center . I haven't been there, so I can't vouch for it. But it's there. That's from the Anderson County Link.

beth said...

I just found one near me and I had no idea! I had searched for one a while back, but found nothing, so I gave up. I'm so excited and will be checking it out soon! Thank you so much!!!

Lynn said...

Grocery outlet in the NW is great. I grew up out there and my mom shops there all the time. We have nothing like it here in OK. I wish we did. It would save me a lot of money.

newlyweds said...

great list, unfortunately I don't live where I could take advantage of these great deals. So coupons for me is how I can get the best deals.

Gayle said...

Newlyweds,

Coupons would be a great way to go then.

Monkey Momma said...

April, I don't recommend driving in that neighborhood unless you have a large mean husband, body guard or are personally armed.

Outside of the fact that it's about a 45 minute drive from where I'm at in DFW, I don't think I'll be going there. But thanks for looking. LOL! :-D

Gloria said...

http://www.atlanticspice.com/about_us.asp

You may want to check out this wholesaler in MA ...you can order online.

Gardner Family said...

Thanks for the links to the websites. That makes it so easy for me to get going! I shop in Olympia, so this post was very helpful. I just love your site. I am turning all my friends onto this kind of shopping. Thanks a ton!

cddwil said...

Thank you Monkey Momma, you did my homework for me. I wish we had some of the great outlet stores in our area.
I wish sometimes that i could keep to a budget.I wouldn't be so consumed by coupons. I think in a way I am addicted to them..I think what you do is great and feel inspired by reading your blog!!

Patti said...

I live in Indianapolis and @ our Wallmart they will price mark what ever the other local stores are priced. All i do is get all the sale ads and mark everything i need,then i write on paper the store who has the best price and they will match it. You have to take the sale ads with u so they can see the prices. You can save alot that way and you dont have to run all over town. It`s just me and my mother taught me how to stretch a dollar and i use cpns. From wensday to Saturday K-Mart is doubbling manufacturers cpns up to and including 2.00 What a deal there. They will not take internet cpns though. My daughter said alot of stores our refusing them. That`s not fair.

Gayle said...

What a great tip, patti! I bet a ton of use can use this one.

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great info - thanks! I need to be more committed to making a few different trips while shopping.

bqmother said...

How about Aldi's? Great prices; regularly stocked items limited to mostly basic groceries, but includes produce, dairy, canned and frozen goods. Special purchases of nonfood items are also offered at amazingly low prices. Their stores are in Michigan. I don't know where else.

bqmother said...

For the first time in years, I'll be able to have a vegetable garden starting this spring. I've been setting up a grow light apparatus for starting seeds. Can't really plant much outside before April here.

I'm counting on my garden to offset some food costs.

N. said...

Oh how I wish we had bulk bins here!!!

In response to the ad-matching issue at Wal-Mart, here is a link to a website that pulls all of the "deals" for the stores in your area. Then you can just tell the cashier at Wal-Mart and they'll give you that price. The great thing about our Wal-Mart is that they typically don't make you show a paper ad and a lot of the cashiers will give you ad-match discounts they know about without you having to tell them. I've even gotten some deals I didn't know about.

Julie said...

Thank you for this list.
I wish I had a store like these near me in Pennsylvania, but the closest one on these lists is about an hour away.

Patti said...

Yes Walmart will honor Aldis also any store as long as u bring their ad with u so they can match the price. That saves alot of stops. One shop stopping is what i`m talking about..

Terri said...

do you buy dented cans...thoughts on these?

Gayle said...

I've been buying dented cans for years and haven't had any problems with finding one that had gone bad or getting sick but you have to know what to look for. If the cans is swollen or rusty walk away. If it's a dent along the seal leave it on the shelf. If it's just a small dent in the side of the can I buy it.

Anne said...

Thank you for posting this! I wasn't aware that we had a store like this in my area (Fort Worth, Monkey Momma, if you're still watching!) from the gnivas.com link. I went there today and got a bunch of great deals! It seems like it will be a little bit "hit or miss" but I think I have new favorite store!

Again, THANK YOU for this post!

Honey said...

I live in Knoxville, TN. You mentioned United Grocery Outlet or UGO. I have one within spittin' distance of my house. In a town called Alcoa (between Knoxville and Maryville) there is a store called DRS Outlet. It has the best deals on paper goods! I don't know if this is a chain, but it wouldn't hurt for others to google this store as well. It's nice to have a list to check your city/state against!

Honey said...

Oh, forgot to say we just got Aldi in Knoxville, too.

Tasha said...

I live in Los Angeles, and so far haven't been able to find any grocery outlet stores. Any ideas? Does anyone know what an Alta Dena store is? I know they make milk, and I've seen their stores a few times wondering if maybe that was a discount store. The 99 cent store does help a lot, which is every where.