Letter Re: Amish Bent, Dent & Expired Stores

Dear JWR;
When visiting relatives in Ohio Amish country, we always stop by two or three Amish “bent & dent” stores.  These stores purchase truckloads of goods that have just expired, are about to expire or are in some other way slightly flawed at very, very, very low prices, and sell them at very, very low prices.  Some examples:  Starbucks coffee in sealed, non-expired bags for $2.50 (used to be 75 cents, the owners have been raising the prices over time), normally $12.50 at the grocer.  Swiss Toblerone chocolate bars, normally $4 for 50 cents.  Feminine hygiene products at 20% of the normal price, presumably no expiration date.  Claritin allergy pills at 10 cents on the dollar, among other non-prescription items.  Indian cooking sauce (Patak’s), normally $4.50 a bottle for less than 50 cents per bottle, must not be very popular out in the country.  

There are lots of food items. We once found real San Marzano tomatoes, normally $5/can, for 75 cents per can.  Spices tend to be about 15 to 20 cents on the dollar compared to retail.  Very wide variety of other canned goods and cereals, including expensive yuppie food such as Kashi cereals at about 10 cents on the dollar.  Usually lots of olive oil & canned sauces.  Once in a while one of the cans is bad, the nose knows.  Great deals for those on a budget.  

Also:  We found canning jars (quart, pint & jam) at Big Lots this weekend for about $7 – $8 per dozen, with lids at $1.20 per dozen.  We got an additional 20% off due to a “frequent buyers” discount. – John M.