Amarillo’s Panhandle Salvage – A Shopper’s “Paradise” – sort of

– L. Arthalia Cravin

I’m not sure exactly who it was that told me about Panhandle Salvage now located at 58th and Western just off the Canyon E-Way. I’ve been shopping there for almost two years and I would again like to thank whoever told me to go there.

This past week I made two visits to my now “ favorite store,” and again found bargains galore. The only problem with Panhandle Salvage is its “Forest Gump” way of doing business—that is “you never know what you will get” when you go there. From day to day, even during different times of the same day you never know when the trucks will come in and what surplus produce or other items they may be unloading. But this is part of the fun of going to Panhandle Salvage.

Last week Panhandle Salvage had mixed nuts for .79 cents a pound. Wal-Mart sells mixed nuts for about $3.57 a pound. Last week one large Panhandle Salvage bin was filled with big soft-shelled pecans and English walnuts–.79 cents a pound compared to over $7.00 a pound and higher for pecans anywhere else. I went back for more—gone. But I found other bargains-yams .49 a pound, grapefruit 5 for a dollar; onions .49 a pound, bananas .49 cents a pound, oranges .69 cents a pound, pineapple, $1.49 each, red peppers .79 each—much higher elsewhere. Panhandle Salvage is the best place to buy bulk bird seed-$4.49 for a 16 pound bag compared to almost twice as much anywhere else in town.

For a while Panhandle Salvage did not accept debit cards—just cash and checks. They now accept debit cards but not the Lone Star or WIC. Still, this place has bargains. Ranch Style beans that sell for $1.29 or more at Fiesta Market, .99 at United, and .85 at Walmart, sell for .79 at Panhandle Salvage—all the time. The aisles are well stocked with a range of other canned and dry goods. Their “Dollar Sense” aisle is the largest around, even jams, jellies, and a wide range of foods for a buck. The far north wall has its “ShureSavings” where you can buy the Shurfine brand of foods. Anything you want you can find against this wall, from sugar to a broom. There is also the “bulk” size aisle if you are planning to cook for an army. There are also several aisles of frozen foods including packaged meats in quantity. The store has also expanded its cold cuts, bacon, ham and other packaged meat section where the prices are so much less than other stores. They do not have fresh meat, instead, if you want chicken, whole or already cut up, it already frozen. Periodically they will bring in a shipment of ice cream—all flavors, many different brands–.99 for a half gallon. You have to be ready to use your elbows when this shipment comes in.

I have never been disappointed while shopping at Panhandle Salvage. I’ve come away with a basket full of foods and paid less than $30 when I would have paid twice as much anywhere else. I have always been pleasantly surprised at how low the final tab has been for a basket full of food. And I am not alone. Outside in the parking lot you can see scores of people pulling two and three baskets of food and loading up their cars. They are not open on Sunday and close at 3 on Saturday. Any time you decide to go you will be pleasantly surprised at the bargains you can find.

Copyright 2012 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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