(02/23/12) - Six bags of Cheezits for $1, Duncan Heinz for 50 cents. Brand name and store brand groceries at anywhere from 50 to 75 percent off. But there's a catch -- all of these items have either passed or are about to pass their expiration dates.
"There's nothing wrong with it. Most of the stuff is just past the date, and it's definitely fine to eat," said Denny Loomis, owner of Denny's Market in Otisville.
Denny's Market in Otisville devotes 5,000 square feet to those products. You never know what you might find on the shelves in the Value Zone. New items roll in by the truckload almost every day from across the country.
"I have different wholesalers that call me, and a lot of time, we're bidding against other stores. I try to get the best price and pass it on to my customers," Loomis said.
Denny's goes through regular state inspections, and the staff checks the food as well. If they don't like what they see, it comes off the shelf, but Denny Loomis says expiration dates don't always tell the whole story.
"It is deceiving," he said. "You look at the package itself. If it looks wholesome, like on lunch meat, if the pry-back is nice and tight, that meat is fine."
Some of the deepest discounts can be found in the frozen and refrigerated section.
Sharon Coffer is a Denny's employee but, more importantly, she's a mom on a budget.
"Bacon for $1, regular $4.99. Cheese, four for $5. Tubs of turkey, 99 cents. Pepperoni sticks for $1, regular price is $6," said Denny's Market Employee Sharon Coffer. "Jones Soda regularly $6.49 for $1.49. We have our Snapple $6.99 for $1.99. We have our Diet Pepsi $4.89 for $1.50."
Coffer said she shops at Denny's every week, for a family of four. She says she saves "about $50 to $60 easy."
Another example: A bag of Totino's Pizza rolls is $2.99, normally $4.59. Expiration date, Jan. 27.
For the most part, all of the items at Denny's are one's that you would find in any big grocery store, but there are a few expired items that will never make it into the value zone.
"Gallons of milk, anything that's a very perishable, dairy items, we don't even deal with them," Loomis said.
And yes, Denny's has heard a few complaints over the years.
"We listen to our customers and react to it. I had a complaint once about some pickles, that they were soft, and that's something I've kind of stayed away from. Once they get too far past the expiration date, sometimes that happens, so I won't carry them," Loomis said.
The bottom line is this: Denny's Market claims that they won't sell any item that the owner wouldn't eat himself.
"If you come to my house, you're going to see all of that stuff in my cupboard too," Loomis said.
Just like most bigger grocery stores, Denny's Market does accept EBT, Wick and Bridgecard.
Coupons are accepted as well, but they won't be doubled for expired products in the Value Zone.
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