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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Budget Prepping: A Quick Guide to Scratch and Dent Shopping

Shopping at your local scratch-and-dent grocery store is an excellent way to stretch a buck here and there. They are also a lot of fun to shop at because you never really know what treasures you'll find because they don't keep the same items and brands stocked consistently. If you know what to watch for, you can minimize waste and save a ton of money in the process.

Watch expiration dates

Just because something is past its best-buy date doesn't mean it's spoiled. Many canned goods are fresh for up to 5 years past the best-buy date if they aren't damaged. Typically dent and bent items are better consumed sooner than later. However, they still help build your overall survival stash on a budget.

Check for damaged goods.

Scratch and dents are damaged goods, but sometimes the package can be damaged, so the food is unsafe to eat. Check for bulging cans, any signs of leakage, and even bugs. Damaged cans may still be safe to eat if they have a small dent, but they should still be consumed sooner than later.

Organic food

In my experience, organic food is only fresh for a short time after expiration. This primarily applies to boxed goods like cereal and crackers.

Pantry bugs

Pantry bugs can get into food no matter where you buy it but look for signs of these.

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