According to the Department of Agriculture, Americans waste an astounding 30 to 40 percent of food production. This waste adds up to losses worth hundreds of billions, prevents food distribution to hungry people, and squanders such resources as water, land, energy, and people’s time. At the Frugal Pig, we’d like to do our part to reduce food waste by educating our readers about grocery salvage markets that help customers save money and ensure more perfectly edible food gets used the way it should.
What is a Grocery Salvage Market?
To understand grocery salvage, consider examples of edible food that gets discarded by many groceries and distributors. Discarded, edible food might include a slightly dented can of vegetables or box of rice, excess holiday treats after the holiday passes, slightly blemished or oddly shaped produce, and packaged food past or close to its best-buy date.
These examples demonstrate the kinds of food that salvage grocers sell at extreme discounts. Even more, these markets price food at 50 percent or less than it’s lovelier counterparts might cost at a regular grocery store, even a typical discount grocer.
In fact, most salvage groceries come from distributors or grocery stores that sell these unwanted products to specialized distributors who take them to salvage markets or food banks. Even better, salvage grocers obtain more than just food and may also have personal care products, beauty supplies, pet food, etc.
Where Can You Buy Grocery Salvage?
Sometimes, salvage markets don’t spend as much on advertising and marketing as traditional grocers, so you might have one in your town and not even know it. Here’s how to take advantage of this money-saving way to buy groceries:
- Start searching in the USA with this free salvage grocery market locator.
- The Flashfood app sends alerts about sales of meat and produce that’s nearing its best buy date in the USA and Canada.
- Search for community supported agriculture projects near you. These aren’t exactly the same as salvage markets, but they’re great for supporting local growers to reduce waste, help the local economy, and reduce transportation costs, fuel use, and emissions.
- To enjoy the luxury of having salvaged food delivered to your door, consider Misfits Market, Hungry Harvest, and Imperfect Foods. You can shop online, save money on food and other typical grocery store products, and support organizations that help reduce food waste.
Feel Proud to Help Reduce Wasted Food
Naturally, everybody can also help by shopping intentionally and trying to discard as little food as possible. Shopping lists, consuming leftovers, and keeping pantries and fridges organized can all help. Still, salvage groceries can help stem problems that occur before food ever makes it to households. It’s a crime to see food get wasted when some people go hungry and nobody wants to waste resources.
For more tips to save money and reduce waste, check out this article on buying high-quality, bargain groceries. If you have any suggestions, please register and leave your tips in the comments.