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HOLMBERG: Expired food is good for you and your wallet

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In recent weeks, there have been news reports around the world about a plan by Doug Rauch, formerly the president and driving force behind Trader Joe’s, to open stores selling expired food – groceries perfectly safe to eat that have previously been thrown out because of overly cautious expiration labels.

This much-cheaper source for groceries could bring healthier food to poor people, and stop the waste.

Great idea?

For sure.

Only it’s been happening for years . . . eight years for the Fresh to Frozen family owned “grocery salvage” now located in a former Ukrops building on Midlothian Turnpike.

The big misconception for most Americans is that it’s illegal to sell expired food. But except for milk and baby food, it’s perfectly legal. It’s up to you to decide what’s good for you.

But the expired food is only part of what is sold at this  famously friendly and diverse store where folks from all walks of life like saving as much as half and more.

Join me on our journey inside this unusual business that may become a little more common as this recession continues and people keep finding themselves  just barely getting by.

We can no longer afford to throw away nearly half of our food – particularly good, healthy food.

Click on the video for Mark Holmberg's full report.


  • WorkingMan

    Well, it’s safe to eat — but doesn’t taste as good. That’s a fact. Get a loaf of bread about to expire, open it and get a couple of slices out. Re-close the bag. The next time you open it the bread will be hard and crumbly with no taste.

  • Rachel DeWald Shirey

    I’ve been shopping Fresh to Frozen since I found out about it a few years ago, I find awesome in date deals all the time. I recently bought organic milk 3 weeks before best buy date for $1.50/gallon! Bananas can often be found for $0.10/lb, you can’t beat their price on yogurt! I have family from out of town and out of state call to ask me about the deals a week before a planned get together so they can cash in on the too. Just bought 25 dented 28oz cans of diced tomatoes for $0.40. I rarely go to Walmart or any other grocery, they just can’t price match these deals. Thanks Fresh to Frozen

  • Jamie

    I used to shop at the Salvage Barn agaes & ages ago before it was run into the ground. I had no problem then I’d have no problem now. The only problem is I live near the airport & that’s a bit far for me to drive. N&W Salvage out here doesn’t do it for me. I think the Fresh to Frozen is a fabulous idea!!!!! I just wish they were closer.

  • Kathie Teal

    When we lived in Missouri every town, big and small had several salvage stores. That was nearly 20 years ago! They are a life saver for low income and a great way to buy high end foods much cheaper.

  • Louise Thomas

    I live in Charlottesville, we sometimes drive to Waynesboro or Harrisonburg to smart shoppers which is a salvage store…great deals

  • Daniel Beasley

    Fresh and Frozen went up approx. 30% in prices when they moved to the midlothian location, and they dont have as much variety, and I have found that if you really look for bargains in the regular grocery store you will come out about even in prices. It will probably go he way of the Salvage Barn. I no longer live in Richmond, so I havent been there in a long time, and don’t plant to go back.

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