October 18, 2017

Salvage Stores: When You Want to Buy New Stuff at Thrift Store Prices

Thrift stores offer amazing buys, but there are drawbacks.  For one thing, this stuff is used and lots of people are wary about buying used merchandise.  Repairs may be needed.  Some fixes are obvious, mending a hem or sewing on a button.  Others are not, like faulty wiring.  

Shopping at a Thrift Store

Then there’s the thrift store experience.  The inventory turns over rapidly, and their stuff isn’t placed prettily on the shelves.  Stuff is stacked, clothes are shoved onto racks.  You have to search through lots of things to find your treasures in a thrift store.  Dig through bins.  Look through the dishware stacks on the lower shelves. 

But the prices!  Thrift store finds can be amazing, especially for savvy shoppers with experience in thrifting. 

So, what if you want that thrift store price but you want new stuff?  You want things from nice stores, no previous owner, and still in their packaging – for pennies on the dollar?

Well, then you may want to investigate salvage stores in your area….

New Stuff for Sale at Salvage Stores

There are different kinds of salvage stores.  Here in San Antonio, for instance, we have more than one salvage store that sells “architectural salvage.”  That’s not what you want. 

You’re looking for stores like these, some selling merchandise and some selling food items:

1. New Merchandise at Thrift Store Prices


Some salvage stores sell stuff.  New stuff; good stuff.  You’re still going to have to sort through the inventory, but you are looking at new products. 

Example:  Dirt Cheap

The Dirt Cheap chain has stores in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee.  They are closed on Sunday.

How do they explain their store?  From their site:

“With over 90 locations across eight states, Dirt Cheap is a bargain hunter's paradise.  We offer leading private label and name brand merchandise for as much as 30-90% off regular retail prices.  …  We purchase our merchandise from retailers all over the country, so we may carry items that you would not usually find in your region.  Our merchandise changes weekly, and sometimes daily, so it pays to stop in often!"

2. Food Bargains at Salvage Stores

There are also salvage stores that sell food.  Groceries at really low prices (like a quarter for a soda).

Example:  AAA Freight Salvage

 This is a local salvage store with all sorts of online five-star ratings.  Surf the web for similar locally-operated salvage stores in your area. 

Here’s the thing: it’s a food salvage store.  One Facebook reviewer describes it as the T.J. Maxx and Marshall's for groceries.  

Test the Waters with YouTube Hauls

If you want to get the feel for shopping at a salvage store before venturing forth, then check out “Dirt Cheap Store Hauls” on YouTube. 

Shoppers there will take you on tours of their stores, as well as share their bargain finds. Here’s one for you:

September 29, 2017

Walmart vs H-E-B Price Comparison: Guess Who Wins?

Where does your food budget dollar get the most bang for its buck?  Well, here in San Antonio, you're gonna find better prices at Walmart for most everything.  

I was surprised by this but after surfing around both their sites for my own grocery list as well as some products that just popped into my head (like Nutella; I never buy it), Walmart beat my local H-E-B chain hands down.  Wow.  Here's what I found:

Prices are from the online websites for Walmart Grocery and H-E-B Curbside Pickup as of September 28, 2017.  I started checking Amazon Prime as well, but it got ridiculous.  There’s no comparison (yet) on grocery prices between your local grocery chain and Amazon’s online service.  Amazon is WAY higher.

Fifteen products are listed.  Prices for each product appear from lowest price to highest price.  Only edible items are included here (no aluminum foil or parchment paper or toilet paper comparisons). 

Winner:  Walmart.  No contest.  

1.  Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) 32 oz.

  •  Walmart  $5.98
  •   H-E-B  $6.16

2.  Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Mixed Berry Four Pack

  • ·         Walmart $3.47 
  • ·         H-E-B $3.57

3.  Nabisco Triscuit Crackers Reduced Fat 8.0 oz.

  • ·         Walmart $2.56
  • ·         H-E-B $2.64

4.  Seedless Red Grapes, 1 Lb.

  • ·         H-E-B  0.87 per pound
  • ·         Walmart 1.88 per pound

5.  Dole Salad Spring Mix, 10.0 OZ (Clamshell Container)

  • ·         Walmart $4.68
  • ·         H-E-B $5.13

6.  Chicken of the Sea Chunk Style Pink Salmon In Water,5 oz

  • ·         Walmart $1.22
  • ·         H-E-B $1.26

7.  Smartfood Popcorn, Variety Pack, 0.5 Oz, 20 Ct

  • ·         H-E-B $6.16
  • ·         Walmart $6.98

8. DiGiorno Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza, 27.5 oz

  • ·         H-E-B $5.47 and Walmart $5.47

9.  Stevia in the Raw Zero Calorie Sweetener Packets, 50 each

  • ·         Walmart $2.77
  • ·         H-E-B $2.85

10.  Sara Lee Delightful 45 Calories Healthy Multi-Grain Bread

  • ·         Walmart $2.84
  • ·         H-E-B $2.93

11.  Lactaid Reduced Fat 2% Milkfat Milk, 96 oz

  • ·         H-E-B $5.84 and Walmart $5.84

12. General Mills Multi-Grain Cheerios, 18 oz

  • ·         Walmart $3.28
  • ·         H-E-B $3.48

13.   Nutella Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk & Cocoa, 13 oz

  • ·         Walmart $3.48
  • ·         H-E-B $3.58

14.  Oreo Sandwich Cookies, Chocolate, 14.3 Oz

  • ·         Walmart $2.98
  • ·         H-E-B $3.07

15.  Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce,24 oz

  • ·         Walmart $1.84
  • ·         H-E-B $1.90