Thursday, May 17, 2018

Project Pantry - Part 2 (Uncoventional Stores)

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!!!!!!


  1. Great List. We also have a URM cash and carry type store down in the valley. I used to get all my syrups for those fancy Italian sodas there for a fraction of the cost at other places. I have also found great prices on produce and meats there as well.

    1. That sounds like a neat place. I love how we all have different things in our areas.
      Have a good day!

  2. Great list. I do shop at different types of store too. I love farmers markets or farm stands. Sometimes they cost a little more but the quality is worth it.

    1. Oh, I forgot about roadside stands. We don't have them much around here, but they sure a neat to visit.

  3. Ha ! I had to laugh as I mentally added one more place to 'shop' basement pantry! It really pays me well to check there before going on a restocking trip! We have a discount grocery over the mountain where the prices are well worth the gas money spent. It is Amish and Mennonite country also.

    1. You go girl - I didn't think about that! Of course we have that place to shop - it's wonderful isn't it?
      Love Amish/Mennonite stores - they have so many neat things.
      Have a good weekend

  4. LaurieSMay 18, 2018 at 5:48 AM
    Great list! I wish we had Amish stores out here. The closest thing to the Amish out here is Mennonite and they are about 1 1/2 hrs away from me. Some day when I'm adventurous.
    I just got my latest Imperfect Product box yesterday. I got 2 giant bunches of broccoli, 5 limes, 4 wonderful stalks of rhubarb and a butternut squash, going to try it never had one before. I'm excited about the rhubarb since it's so expensive around here and I don't have the room to grow one.
    Funny how little things can make you happy, haha.
    We started our garden yesterday, put in 10 tomato plants and one cucumber plant for salads. No pickling cucumber, I still have pickles from 2 years ago when I only had one plant. Going to be planting cabbages today or tomorrow.

    1. I guess there aren't any Amish living that far West! Yes, make an adventure trip some day and go visit. You will enjoy.

      I need to get busy and order from Imperfect. Sounds like you got a deal!

      Good going on all the garden work. I have about half of mine in now - hopefully the rest I the next couple days.
      Last year my cukes didn't do with a darn (I just wanted for salads as well). I will try again this year.
      Have a great one!

  5. I love these tips. I need to spend a little more time at the Dollar Store.... dried beans are getting expensive at the regular grocery store.

    1. Thanks.
      I hear ya. Everything is getting expensive at the regular stores - thus the reason we all need to explore NEW places!
      The Dollar store is so much fun.
      Have a good one.

  6. Asparagus in the can is about $3, depending on the day and the store. I love canned asparagus but buy about 2 can a year because of the price. I live in AL.

    1. Linda if you have Dollar Tree in AL you might give it a look. Their brand is really good. It is so expensive at regular stores. I won't pay that much.
      I love getting fresh in the early spring - it is usually cheaper then.
      Have a great weekend.

  7. This is a great ist, Cheryl. I have not heard of Imperfect Food, so I am going to check that out. We have a closeout store here called UGO, United Grocery OUtlet. Amy D talked about those in the TG. We get some good bargains there.

    1. I wish we still had an outlet around here. I guess Big Lots and Ollie's are kind of closeout stores - but not like I am thinking of.
      It should would be a business to start!!!!!
      Have a great one!

  8. The thing about Grocery Outlet is that what's there can be very, very inexpensive, but the next time, they don't have the same thing. So, it's an adventure. You can go thinking you need to buy lunch stuff, but you'd better not be more specific than that. We just get whatever is on the best sale when we get there, and that's what's for lunch that week.

    You also have to watch our Dollar Store a little bit here. There are wonderful bargains to be had, but also a few things that are more expensive than I can get on sale.

    Great list!

    1. I agree - it's kind of like that at Big Lots too. If you see something at a great price, you better get several, cause they will be gone later.

      Yep, there are some things that you can get cheaper with sales than at the Dollar store. I love them, but you need to know your prices.

      Thanks. Have a great day