"Hi, My name's Barb and I'm a salvage grocery shopper."
"It's funny that I don't even remember exactly how it started. I know it was several years ago and I think my first salvage grocery was in Hartsville, TN. I'd heard about it from a number of friends of mine. It was a weird, disorganized store, I can't even remember what they called it, and I found some pretty good deals there. Some interesting sauces and maybe some organic cereals that were barely past sale date were about all I found that day.
I didn't go back frequently because, thankfully, the store was way out of my way.
Then, when I started going to school in Cookeville, TN, I drove past the Wounded Bean every time I went to and from school. In the beginning the Bean was good to me. I could fairly reliably come up with good granola bars, interesting cookies, and various other items. Then they started falling off. I don't know if they stopped receiving shipments or weren't willing to pay for good shipments or what, but I found their stock falling further and further out of date. It came to where almost everything I picked up was either full of pantry moths or was rancid.
Yes, the Bean both made and nearly broke my habit all in the matter of a couple of years."
"Then what happened, Barb?" (In hushed tones, "Do you need a tissue?")
"Well, now, you know, I work at the Great Mammoth Cave, which is quite close to Glasgow, KY. We have to drive through Glasgow to get to work. For the first year we were fine, then one day a friend told us that on a lonely little back street in town there was a store called Pa's Pantry that could exceed all of our previous salvage grocery dreams. So one day on our way home from the park we took a chance and stopped in. Oh Em Gee! It was incredible! It was the tiniest salvage store we'd seen but it was neat as a pin, the shelves were well stocked, and most of their goods weren't even past sale date yet!!!
The gates were open and we hungrily filled our cart. Time and time again we found ourselves back on Pa's doorstep to fulfill all of those repressed desires for slightly marred bars of expensive chocolates, curry sauces, and high quality jams. We probably have fifty jars of jam in the house. But who can resist buying ten more jars of jam that would normally cost 3-5 dollars when they only cost $1.50? Nobody right?"
(several assenting gestures and grunts)
Last week we went to Pa's on a different day than usual and it was packed. At first we couldn't even find a cart! The shelves were more full than usual, and when we went into aisle two we almost fainted! The bottom shelf was packed with bags of Lundberg rices. Rice mixes, brown rice, wild rice and even arborio rice for making risotto. The arborio rice was selling for only $1.50 per two pound bag! We were in heaven! We loaded the cart very heavily and when we were at the register, Joe went back to the shelf to get more rice!
When we got home we tallied the damages. He removed all of the high dollar cookies ($0.50 each), the candies, and crackers. Weighed in all of the rice, coffee, flour and other staples and concluded that by going prices, although we had spent a record $75 on this haul, we had saved almost $200 dollars!!! This means that on top of that $200, all of the candy, etc was free!!!"
"Calm down now sister, we aren't trying to encourage anyone to move down this disastrous path."
"O.K., O.K. Well, I probably wouldn't have come tonight if I weren't really worried."
"Well, all of this isn't the worst."
(Many shocked gasps)
"I've been told, by the same friend that turned me on to Pa's that there is a store a ways north of Glasgow that is much larger and incorporates a wholesale grocery WITH a salvage grocery. They want to take me there soon. . . ; I don't know what to do . . . does anyone have any advice? . . . can somebody out there help me???