An Exciting Scratch and Dent Grocery Store Discovery!

Yesterday I went to the scratch and dent store. As I went to pay the manager tells me that he hasn't seen me in a while. Ya, they know me at these types of stores. I'm one of the regulars and I buy stuff in bulk there. But the thing is, he's right. I haven't been there lately. I have all sorts of excuses why I haven't taken advantage of this option for cheap grocery shopping, like no time or energy to go out of my way especially with no car. But that simply isn't true and is just that, excuses.

I finally decided enough with the rationalizations, because as of now I go to the nearby city four days a week for various therapies (Yay life!) and one of those days I'm so close to one of these stores, like a 5 minute walk or less. So two days ago, when I was nearby, I made the short trek to the scratch and dent shop.

What I saw there delighted me and I knew would delight the kids.

My family, every last one of us, loves stuffed grape leaves. While I can make these myself and they are delicious, they also are a lot of work. However, they sell canned stuffed grape leaves in our local grocery stores, and they are the perfect thing to eat when you are out and don't have time to prepare a meal. It's also great at home when busy or you have no time or energy. Of course, if you eat gluten bread is always a quick option but as someone gluten free that isn't an easy option. Do stuffed grape leaves. They generally are $2.85 per can or more. Cheaper stores sell them for $2.55. Occasionally I can find them on sale for $1.97. This store was selling them for $1.28 each!

That was exciting for me, and I knew I'd be getting as many as I could fit in my backpack! I think I got something like 20 of them.

Since this was so fabulous I knew I'd be sharing this score with you here, but then I said to myself that just sharing one item that I bought seemed a little ridiculous to me, and I should have more frugal steals to share with you. So I took the bus to another scratch and dent store to see what I can find. (I love when this type of thing happens. When my desire to have a good post to write pushes me to do more frugal things that I otherwise might be lazy about.)

This store is one of the first scratch and dent stores I found out about, and is a favorite because of its large variety of frugal foods, and I never leave disappointed. Since I already had a full backpack I wanted to see if there was anything light to get that I could carry in bags, but if they only had heavier things, I'd get a cheap wagon to carry things home.

I saw they had gluten free lasagna noodles on sale, and my family loves lasagna, so that was perfect. But there were three different prices listed on the noodle boxes. $1.90, $1.42, and $0.95. I brought them to the checkout counter and asked them which was the real price, knowing that there was some obvious mislabeling there, and was told that they are $0.95 each! This is ridiculously cheap even for gluten lasagna noodles, normally $2.54 per box, and for gluten free it is even more spectacular. $3.77 is the normal price for gluten free lasagna, even $1.90 for gluten free lasagna noodles is a steal!

When I saw this, I knew I'd be taking as much stock as I could carry. This meant buying a wagon, which at $13 is worth it for me to buy if the sale is worth it enough that it offsets the cost of the wagon. And in this case it definitely was.

Now that I knew I had a wagon to take things home with, I could look at more heavy things, and knew I'd be getting canned goods. This store always has great prices for canned goods. 

I bought hearts of palm for $0.95 a can, which is a little more than a third of its usual price. And I got canned lychees, for $1.14, which is about half the going rate. Both of these are things my children absolutely love, which is why I got as many as I could fit in my wagon after transferring the stuffed grape leaf cans there (because why would I carry things in my backpack if I can put them in a wagon).

Last but not least, I bought 3 packages of gluten free all purpose flour mix. Yes, I can and do make my own, grinding my own rice flour for that, but this is convenient to have in a pinch.

When I came home and showed my kids the groceries I got, they were as excited as I thought they would be. And I'm so glad that shopping at scratch and dent stores allows me to give my kids things they love without needing to spend too much.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Congrats on another great shopping trip. Perhaps you should consider bringing the cart with you as a just in case even if it's cumbersome to tote around empty? I got a car so I can't even imagine what you have to deal with riding the bus and walking. So I'll shut my trap. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I've thought about doing that, but it is a big headache lugging around a cart with me everywhere...

  2. That's a great shopping trip! I wish they sold canned sarma here.

    What polarbyte suggests is what we usually do.

  3. Why not share the wealth, and let us know these stores' names, and where they are? It would be nice to be able to shop at them too, if I live in that area.

    1. I would be happy to, but I don't live in the US and don't share my location here. If you think you know where I live and that you're local to me, send me an email to and if you're a local I'm happy to send you the addresses!

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