Bent 'n' dents have a TON of awesome deals. Most of what I bought was at least 50% off retail price, if not more. Here is what I got from last week's trip:
2 packages of napkins, 500ct- $1.50/each (these were $0.003 per napkin, as opposed to $0.005 per napkin at Walmart)
Avocado ranch dressing- $0.50
Key lime bars mix- $1.25
3 boxes caramel turtle brownies mix- $1.25/each
No bake jello cheesecake mix- $1.75 (If you do the math, sometimes buying dessert mixes on sale is cheaper than making them from scratch because you're not buying walnuts, cream cheese, key limes, etc. Plus they ALWAYS turn out tasty.)
2 packages of Stretch Island fruit leather, 20ct.- $0.50 each
Miracle whip- $0.75
Cheddar microwave popcorn 3 ct.- $1.00 (This was not a great deal because only half the popcorn popped. I guess that's why it was at the bent 'n' dent!)
3 boxes fruit pectin 2 ct.- $0.95/each
Goldfish crackers- $0.50
2 bags Cheez-It Crunch'd puffs- $0.75/each (I think this was a Cheez-it flop... it tasted like cheese-flavored cold cereal. LOL)
Dreamfields spaghetti pasta- $0.75
Chex mix muddy buddies- $0.50
Sweet n salty pretzels- $0.75
Tomato paste- $0.20
Brown sugar 1 lb.- $1.00 (This is actually not a good deal... you can get it cheaper at Walmart.)
4 Mccormick spice mix packets- $0.25 each
Italian herb spice grinder- $0.75 (Eventually I would love to replace all of my plastic spice jars with glass ones. I bought this just as much for the jar as for the spices in it.)
2 jars mulling spice mix- $1.50 each (I bought these because they have whole spices in them... whole spices are super expensive at the regular grocery store.)
3 packs Captain Wafers cheese cracker sandwiches- $0.20 each
10 Cliff-like energy bars- $0.20 each
6 packets ramen noodles- $0.15 each
Bandaids 30 ct. $1.75 (I'm not sure if this is a good deal or not. I bought one just in case it was.)
What to Buy at a Bent 'n' Dent
As you can see, a majority of my list is junk food. Bent 'n' dents are FULL of junk food. They are also good for non-perishables like baking supplies and mixes, spices, canned goods and pasta. As with any other store, you have to compare prices to make sure you are really getting a deal.
Here are some things I plan to buy from this store in the future:
1. Salad dressings
2. Baking mixes
4. Canned goods
5. Random baking supplies (sprinkles, nuts, etc.)
6. Paper products (after checking prices)
7. Junk food of all kinds
Hubs and I are generally healthy eaters, but we do enjoy junk food on the weekends sometimes or if we are going on a road trip. I'm constantly amazed at how expensive gas station food is. Last week we took a walk down to the corner store, and bought a snack. Our snacks and drinks (one snack and one drink for both of us) cost a total of $8.00. Crazy!
Other times we buy junk food are if we're having an at-home movie date or need something to take last-minute to a potluck. By purchasing these items ahead of time at the bent 'n' dent, I can avoid "impulse" buying and spend half as much on junk food.
Lastly, we LOVE buying tons of junk food on vacation. The next time we head out for a weekend getaway, I'm going to remember the little discount store. Instead of spending $60 on a junk food binge, we'll be able to do it for $20.
A Tool In the Kit
I don't think you should do all of your shopping at a bent 'n' dent. Nor do I think you should do all of your shopping at a bulk food store or a regular grocery store. However, each new way to save money is a tool in your bag of tricks. If I garden for free produce, butcher and barter for free meat, sell surplus for free eggs, coupon for free bananas, bulk-buy for beans and rice, and bent 'n' dent for steeply discounted processed food, my yearly grocery bill is going to be very, very small.
I'm hopeful this year that we can get our annual grocery bill for two people under $500 per person*. Last year we spent $1104 on groceries. The savings from shopping at the bent 'n' dent is about $2.50 per week (I normally spend $5 per week on junk food, pasta, dressings, misc., etc. and have the ability to cut that in HALF using the bent 'n' dent store).
$2.50/week x 39 weeks left in 2016 = $97.50 estimated savings
$1104.00 - $97.50 = $1006.50
And guess what... I'm only $6.50 away from my goal! I'd encourage you all to visit a bent 'n' dent if you want to save money on groceries.
Til next time,
*This doesn't include non-food items (shampoo, toilet paper, etc.), nor does it include eating out. We eat out 1-2 times per week, which is a lifestyle choice for us. I realize that this is technically a waste of money. However, I would rather save $25 gardening (enjoyable) and use that $25 to eat out (enjoyable), than NOT garden (*tear*) and not eat out (*sniffle*). Some people have the idea that frugality is awful because you never get to do anything. These people are the true cheapskates that (as Dave Ramsey says) "only come out on triple-coupon Thursday". Real frugality is fun and rewarding. It creates abundance, not lack of gain.