Salvage grocery offers closeout food

July 20, 2009 10:23:33 AM PDT
Harry Wright of Malvern makes regular trips to Swann's Pantry.

Wright says, "The prices here are half of what you'd pay in a supermarket." And he points out some Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice priced at $.99.

Swann's is what's known as a salvage -- or discount, closeout -- grocery.

The items here may be in packaging that has changed... Or they might be very close to, or in some cases, even slightly past, their "best when used by" dates.

But owner Francis Swann says the food is all good, and the savings outstanding. "With the preservatives they put in products now, they last a long, long time," Swann explains. "For example, salad dressings, a good two years (unopened) and eight months after you open them."

You'll also find things like Sweet'N'Low packets, along with other spices, nuts, and candies, that have been re-packaged from bulk purchases. The sweeteners sell for $5.79 a pound.

"We buy in large quantities -- 50 or 100-pound packages -- and we re-package that in consumer size for our customers," Swann explains.

Here's a sample of the some of the other savings:
A box of Rice Krispies for $2.49
A family-pack of Tastykakes for $1.
Keebler cookies for $1.29
Healthy Choice panini for $1.09
And Breyers yogurt for 20-cents each.

Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits were a great deal at $2.99, but they were had a use by date that was about three weeks before the day we visited.

The store does have produce, but no in-store bakery or butcher. And they don't take coupons.

There are two Swann's Pantry locations: 39 Marchwood Drive in Exton, Pa., and 240 S West End Blvd, #7, in Quakertown, Pa.

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