Time for me to take a brief break from yard work and laundry. So I guess I will chat awhile about supplying our pantries from unconventional stores and retailers.
There is no ONE place to shop and there may be options that some haven't thought of.
My favorite is DOLLAR TREE. There are other Dollar stores - but I must admit, I don't go to those very often at all.
Dollar Tree or ,99 Store that others have are wonderful resources for all kinds of things. Remember a well stocked pantry IS MORE than food!
You can get lots of health and beauty items, cleaning supplies, stationary and school supplies, candles, disposable kitchen ware, and food!
Our store is now selling a lot of brand name food items. I see Campbell's, McCormick, French's, Chunky soups - all sorts of things. They are also taking manufacturer coupons.
I have purchased 28 oz. can of baked beans there for a $1 - add a few extra seasonings and they are yum.
I LOVE their canned asparagus - 12.5 oz. can (enough for a side for 2) for $1. I am not sure about where you live - but canned asparagus can't be touched here for less than $3 a can. This is young and tender shoots!!!
Pie fillings are nice to have on hand as well. Snacks can be had as well as 3 liter bottles of Pop all for $1.
2 lb. bags of dried pinto beans are $1, as well as bags of rice and other types of beans.
ETHNIC STORES are fun to shop. If you have never been, you need to make a special adventure by going. Oh, the things you will find. I have seen 50 lb. bags of fresh yellow onions for $7! I get 25 lb. bags/boxes of rice for next to nothing. Spices galore! Every kind of dried bean and pea you can think of - and some you have never heard of!!!
Fresh fruits and veggies - the likes of which I have never experienced. It is a great way to try new items in your diet!
DRUG STORES - often have advertised and sometimes unadvertised grocery items for great prices. I just read this morning that a gal purchased eggs at the drug store for half the price they are selling for at the grocery.
AMISH MARKETS - some folks are lucky to be close to Amish markets - I LOVE THEM. They buy most everything in bulk and then re-package it in smaller packs. That makes their prices really good. I love the markets for any type of baking products, and most all have an area of scratch and dent items. Oh, and then there are the special home baked goods you can buy if you so desire!! Mmmmm - YUM!!
SALVAGE STORES - These are fun if you can find one in your area. We had one here, until this past summer. All kinds of scratch and dent items, and some items, that just didn't sell well at other stores. You have to watch, as some things are really past 'best by' date - but they are still good. (Google salvage store by state - and you should find a list available)
BIG LOT'S or OLLIES - they sell surplus that doesn't sell at other stores and they often buy out retailers that are going out of business. They have all kinds of goods - food, H&B, cleaning, decorating, etc. Ollie's is a wonderful place to buy books!!!!!! They have the best prices I have ever seen on them!
RURAL KING - I love that store. Not only do I get a lot of my pet food there (really cheaply), they have canning supplies, prepper supplies, food, clothes, farm supplies, garden seeds, feed, etc. This is becoming one of my favorite places to shop. I can get great snack items in really large containers for pennies compared to other stores. I buy Jerky seasoning there, and I can buy gifts................
DON'T FORGET YARD SALES AND FLEA MARKETS there are a lot of couponing queens still out there, that get stuff for pennies, and then sell it at cheaper than normal prices to make money. I have purchased food like cheese dip and greens beans in #10 cans before for like 1 $1 a can!!! All well within date! I have purchased laundry and dish soap for 1/4 of the retail price, and bath items like soap and new lotions for .25 and .50 a bottle.
Make sure there is no rust, the dates are good, and that they haven't been opened and you are good to go!
REMEMBER TOO - there are people out there that have more cents than sense (obviously) that buy things to be buying them. No one likes it or wants it, and they sell it for pennies at yard sales. CRAZY - but it sure can benefit us!
THRIFT STORES generally aren't going to give you any groceries - but boy can you get other things for your extended pantry. Clothes, toys, books, pretties, bedding, etc. I know folks that get all kinds of neat stuff at thrift stores. Ours around here aren't that great any more - but I do like to look.
If purchasing bedding or clothes - you might want to bag up in black trash bags and leave in the car for a day or so - then launder. You will kill any trace of bedbugs that way - you just never know.
I have purchased items for my gift pantry, cards, candles, towels, etc.
BIG BOX STORES - Sam's ad Costco. I tend to go to Sam's once - maybe twice a year. There are just some items we like to buy in bulk that I can't get as cheaply any where else. I get a year's supply and I lessen the temptation of going to often. It is best if you can split the membership with someone else - that makes it cost effective.
FARM MARKETS - CO-OPS, and FARM SURPLUS stores. Farm markets may not be the cheapest places to buy groceries, but they generally sell really nutritious items. Co-ops often sell at good prices, and members often get a great discount. I have heard of some gals that have farm surplus warehouses that they get crazy cheap produce at. Like bushels for pennies on the dollar.
ORCHARDS - are great places for lot of fresh fruit. (ask for seconds - often cheaper)
There are now companies selling products that you order on-line and they deliver on a specific day. IMPERFECT FOOD is one. It is fresh produce that grocery stores won't take, because it isn't as 'pretty' as it should be. This started in our state at the end of April - I have not yet ordered, but plan too.
I know one of our followers here, uses it and really likes it and what she gets. She told me about it.
WHY should food that isn't 'perfect' be wasted when there is so much hunger every where?
What a fantastic concept - I wish I had thought of it!!!!!!
So as you can see, there are a lot of UNCONVENTIONAL ways to shop for our pantries. Think outside the box. Try new places and new things.
You may be amazed at what wonderful things and prices you may find.
DO YOU have any UNCONVENTIONAL place you like to shop? Please tell us - as I am sure I have missed some.
Happy pantry stocking!!!!!!