Earlier this month I casually entered The Non-Consumer Advocate Food Stamp Challenge. Katy has challenged her readers to keep their grocery budget to $101/person to mimic food assistance allowances in her home state of Oregon.
One of my favorite ways to save on groceries is shopping at a dented-can store near my parent’s home. I took a picture of all of the groceries purchased for only $20.25. This includes spaghetti sauce, canned beans, seasonings, and dry beans. I am especially excited for Starbucks coffee purchased for $2.25 (Which is normally $7) with a coupon on each for a free tall cup of brewed coffee. I bought packages of mini-candy bars to put in care packages for Spencer for $1.50 each.
I enjoy fresh produce but dented can stores are a great way to stock up on dry goods like rice, pasta, coffee, and personal products like toothpaste, deodorant, and soap. I can “splurge” on the convenience of canned beans for just $.25 for a can.
I would have bought many, many more groceries if I were shopping for Spencer. Cereal and granola bars were $1 or $2 per box and there was an excellent selection of bottled juice, juice pouches, snacks, and other items I usually hesitate about purchasing.
Most Extension services warn against eating food from dented cans as botulism can be introduced. You will notice that although purchased from a “dent” store, the cans I purchase are all in good shape. I check expiration dates on most of the food. I am lenient with cereal, pasta, and oatmeal. I do not purchase out-of-date canned tuna, canned vegetables, or salad dressings.
I have been very pleased with my experience shopping at dented-can stores and encourage you to give it a try.