Single Mom’s tip – week 11

Shopping at salvage and “scratch and dent” stores.

The definition of salvage is basically “the act of saving”.  Salvage stores and scratch and dent stores offer dented, somewhat crushed, out of date and sometimes in perfect condition and within date grocery items at a discount.  Many times it is an incredible discount.  Everyday, name brand items.  Organic and all-natural too.  Many of these items that can be bought cheaper than you can find in a traditional grocery store with a coupon. 

The process is this:  when an item is discontinued, crushed, dented, scratched or goes out of date the mainstream grocery store takes it off the shelf.  It’s not because they are deemed unsafe but simply because they aren’t perfect.  Instead of tossing them the items go to a warehouse where salvage stores purchase them and in turn sell them at a discount. 

No worries about the out of code date on most items unless they spoil quickly like dairy.  In most cases code dates are PURELY guidelines and generally indicate “best if sold by” dates.


The Friday Store is a salvage store in Arvada located at 5636 Newland Way just east of Wadsworth and 56th.  They are open on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  

When I introduced myself to a lady stocking shelves, tagging items and working the counter at The Friday Store she told me she was Jo, co-owner of store, and was gracious and kind enough to give me all of her time that I wanted.   She answered all of my questions and even tracked me down in the store to let me know that if anyone ever has an issue with any of their items to let them know because they “want to make it right”.  WOW!

“If you look in the dictionary under mom and pop you will find our picture” said Jo.  After spending about an hour in the store I believe her.  Martin and Jo Palumbo have owned the store for 12 years.

Martin & Jo Palumbo

They pride themselves on offering a wide variety of organic and all-natural foods.  “We like to offer food that we eat ourselves,” Jo explained.  And, indeed, there is an abundance of oranic and all-natural offerings.  I can almost say with certainty that they offer more organic and all-natural than my local grocery store.  The quinoa is 100% USDA certified organic!  The price, $2 per lb.  Organic semolina is $.75 per lb., organic wheat bran $.75 per lb. and organic SuCaNat $1 per lb.

The Friday store is six aisles wide, which I absolutely LOVE, and they have one rule, THE RULE…

That rule is posted more than once and is a rule to be heeded.   I gather it is kind of like Tom Hanks’ line in the movie Forrest Gump “you never know what you’re gonna get.”  As Jo explained it, item offering can vary from week to week so they really don’t know what they’re gonna get.  If they have a particular item you like you better get it because it may not be available the next week.  To quote another famous line “get while the gettin’s good.”

Last week they had buffalo at $3 per lb and buffalo hot dogs for $2.50 per lb! This is not an item you can count on to be there so heed THE RULE.

Here are a few other items I found that were noteworthy in my book.  Some of it I cross-priced with my current King Soopers pricing:

  • All-natural Coleman boneless skinless chicken breasts – $1.50 per lb!
  • Baby back ribs – $2.00 per lb.
  • Organic chai – $2.75.  Kings – $3.99.
  • Seneca 46 oz. apple juice – $1.00.  Kings – $3.09.
  • Weber package marinade – $.50.  Kings – $1.29.
  • Nutty Guys nuts and candies – 1/2 off retail!!!
  • Note: all package seasonings, mixes and sauces are $.50 each
  • Celestial Seasonings tea – $2.00.  Kings – $2.99
  • Wheat Thins – $1.00.  Kings – $2.49 on sale.
  • Starbucks 12 oz grounds – $5.00.  Kings – $6.99
  • 24 ct. Chicken bouillon cubes – $1.00.  Kings – $3.39
  • NyQuil (Safeway brand) – $1.99.  Kings – $5.99 – $7.99
  • Puppy Chow 4.4lb bag – $1.00.  Kings 8.8lb bag – $10.69.  82% savings!!!
  • Top Ramen – $.10 each.  Kings – $.33 each on sale.

In addition, I saw this sign in the front window.  I asked Jo about it and she said that they will, indeed, match any advertised price if you bring them the ad.  I asked her if they accept coupons, and they do not because the items are already at a significant mark down. 

They do, however, accept food stamps via the  Colorado Food Assistance Program!  As she explained it food stamp users are allotted x amount of dollars each month and those on assistance can get much more for x amount of dollars at their store.  It makes perfect sense.

If you are in Colorado you need to check out The Friday Store in Arvada.  It is the only store of its kind in the Denver metro area.  Chances are “Mom or Pop” will be ringing up your purchase at checkout. 

If you are not in the state of Colorado I HIGHLY recommend that you locate your nearest salvage store and check it out. 


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