I went to the NPS Store on Saturday- what a zoo! I have to say though, even though it was crazy, it was a lot of fun as well! My friend Shantell and I went to see what great deals we could find and I think we did pretty well!
The NPS Store is a company that sells food that is about to expire or has been damaged in some way. It looks much like a regular grocery store in that it has a wide variety of items and is laid out very similarly. That's where the similarities end! The prices are drastically lower because of the expiration dates and/or condition of the packages.
We went to the food section, toiletry section and the Industrial section across the parking lot. I was most impressed with the food. The toiletries were really old and I saw many damaged items. You can get cheap toiletries so easily using coupons at regular stores, I don't really see the need to get them at NPS, unless of course you're completely out of something and don't want to pay full price! I was most disappointed with the industrial section. Most of the items were way overpriced! The store was so cluttered and unorganized, I'm sure if I had several hours to spare, I might find a few good deals, but it just wasn't worth it! So we went back to the food section!
A few highlights of our trip:
- Large boxes of Rice Cereal for .25 each (exp July 2009)
- 2-pack containers of baby food for .33 each (exp July 2009)
- Cottage cheese for .33 each
- Boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts for $1.33/lb
- 5 lb Bag of Fugi apples for $1.99
- packages of Pampers for $6.99 (use $2/1 coupon from 7/5 to get these for $4.99!)
- Huggies Sunscreen for $1.19
- Bag of fresh mixed veggies in steamer bag for .69
My tips for getting the most out of the NPS Store:
- Leave the kids at home. The store was crowded, the aisles were narrow and the carts were wide. I can't imagine trying to corral my kids through and get any decent shopping done!
- Go first thing in the morning. We went on a Saturday afternoon- bad idea! Although their hours aren't really conducive to anything else, so the only way we could have done better was to go first thing Saturday morning.
- Stick to the perimeter of the food store. Focus on items that you don't often have coupons for: fresh produce, meat, dairy, etc. I wasn't too impressed with the dry goods section. Again, like the toiletries, it's very easy to find amazing deals on dry, packaged goods.
- Bring your coupons but don't expect to use a lot of them. NPS accepts coupons but they do it in a very archaic way- no scanning, you have to place the coupon ON the item when checking out, etc. Also, they don't do overages! I had a coupon for .75/2 Gerber Rice cereal, but since the item was only .25, I wasn't able to use it.
- Expect to use your items within a week or freeze them! Most of the items I purchased are nearing their expiration date. I'm okay with this as I have a family that eats a lot of food and a big freezer! Remember too: in most cases, you can use something several days beyond its expiration date, if not more!
I hope this helps! I really encourage those of you who live within a manageable distance to try it out at least once. It's a fun store where you can most definitely save some money! For address and directions, go here.