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How to Best Use Food Auctions and Food Liquidators


Food auctions are in the forefront as great money savers for people having a hard time making ends meet. Located in many states consumers find that buying groceries at an auction can be an excellent way to provide for the needs of their families.

Instead of expensive pieces of furniture or estate sales, paper products, frozen veggies and even meat products are among the items auctioned at a typical auction. Up to fifty percent of the typical food bill can be saved by the winning bidder.

By reading this guide carefully and following the appropriate links you will be able to determine if food auctions are right for you. Where available you will find links to food auction websites and location information.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you are a food auctioneer in the "comments" section below.Such comments will help to keep this guide updated and current.

States which regularly hold food auctions

  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Oklahoma
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • California
  • Maryland.

Auctioneers hope to clear $1,000.00 per auction. At a time when regularly auctioned items have tanked in sales, auctioneers are only happy to auction off spareribs or cheese curls in their place. One wife came to an auction with her husband, daughter, and two large coolers in tow. She put a nice sized ham in one of the coolers. Her winning bid was $12.00.


  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Food Stamps

Freezer Space

If you are able to attend an auction on a regular basis, you will probably be well-advised to have an extra freezer handy, to hold all your winning treasures.

Since your spare freezer will not only hold meat, fish, ice-cream, but also veggies, bread, even milk and cheese, extra storage space can really come in handy as you bid on and hopefully WIN surplus items at your area auction.



As good as it is to find a great deal, there's really no point in buying food you don't believe is fresh enough for your family. If you are squeamish about adhering strictly to BEST USED BY DATES, then you might not be too happy with some of the selections you'll be bidding on. If you believe some food purchases are safe to keep and store, even if you are close to the SELL BY date, then auctions will be no problem.

It is true that the bigger supermarket stores wish to rid themselves of items getting close to their due dates, but that is the case with many outlet stores of major food producers and is the concept of "day old bread" from a bakery. The food is often quite good, and I've unknowingly enjoyed many bakery items that were discounted because of the time they spent on the shelf. So undo concern may not be warranted on a lot of the items sold at auction.

The FDA does not prohibit the sale of foods close to their expiration date. Primarily the dates are for the best tastiness of the food items.


Although you'll find them to be priced very cheaply, processed food would not be the healthiest choice for your family. Frozen meat filled with additives and preservatives cause more problems as far as obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure is concerned.

Food Auction Websites and Search Site

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The future of food auctions seems bright. Since inflation levels are at a 20 year high, it would appear food auctions will only gain in popularity. A recent food auction in Pennsylvania, a state hard hit by lay-offs, had an attendance of 300 people happy to take advantage of low prices.

Of course it is wise to know your prices! At times a bidding war can develop and the winning bid is higher than the cost you would pay in a regular grocery store. That just defeats the purpose of attending an auction, when you are looking to save money.

In Southern Maryland

Auctioneer, Larry Forman regularly auctions off food at his auction hall located in St. Leonard, Maryland. His huge hall holds about 100 people who sit on folding chairs ready to auction on various food items. Items either ready to expire, damaged packaging, or over-stocked by distributors.

Items bid on include

  • hot dogs
  • cocktail wieners
  • bacon
  • 24- bottle soda crates
  • Huge vegetable oil containers
  • pork and beef

Quantities can be, shall we say extreme.

When asked what one family would do with 10 pounds of cocktail wieners. They answered, the wieners would be put in a crock pot with barbecue sauce and cooked for a party the couple was having. The winning bid was $10.00

Another husband said his family visits the auction for meat that lasts them several weeks at a time. Several months back he bought 10, ten-pound corn beef briskets, which his wife cooked up in various ways, as only a good cook can do.

Another bid was for 15, 1-pound boxexs of bacon.

The food supplier for the Chesapeake Auction House claimed that in the near future he would have 20 thousand pounds of ham available to sell.

Pictures of Col Kirk's Food Auction

    This is the link to the photo gallery of Col Kirk's auctions, found at

In Bucks County, Pennyslvania

Col Kirk, recently held an auction at the Warrington Township Firehouse, in Bucks County, PA. He has also had auctions in other parts of N.E. Pennsylvania, such as Wilks-Barre, New Albany and Pennsdale. They occur mostly in fire halls or social halls.

The auctions started in February and have occurred more than 30 times since then. Col. Kirk will continue holding auctions for those who need to save money by cutting down on their food bill.

The next scheduled auction will be in September, at Warwick Township.

See his list of future auctions at, .

More Examples of Purchased Goods

  • Family #1: 24-roll package of toilet paper. Winning bid: $10.00. 10-lb case of pepper bacon. Winning bid: $10.00 2-lb bag of mozzarella sticks. Winning bid: $7.00. Total spent on these items: $27.00
  • Family #2: Single mom of 3 sons, a nurse. Spends $500.00 every 3 weeks. Some items included, 14-lb bag of restaurant sized onion rings. Winning bid: $7.50. 12-jar case of peanut butter. Winning bid: $8.00. 2 10-lb boxes of beef hotdogs. Winning bid: $7.50 Total spent on these items: $187.00

Banana Boxes in Pennsylvania Tri-State Area

Wholesalers who have cornered the market in the Pennsylvania Tri-State area and nationwide are the Pennsylvania Amish, Mennonite, Quaker & Dutch. They are opening banana box wholesale discount salvage grocery outlet stores. They are incredibly successful.

Their stores sell

  • canned goods: fruit, soup, sauces
  • bulk products: flour, cereal, pasta

Banana boxes are just what the name implies, boxes filled with no not bananas, but food items. The Banana website lists what a typical box could contain. The bidder or consumer expects to receive some bent-and-dent items.

Banana boxes are sold in full truckloads, which would be 26 pallets per truck, 48 boxes per pallet. All together that would be 1,248 boxes. Or in smaller quantity which is worked out with the wholesaler.

They purchase from bankrupt grocers, or from chains wishing to decrease their stockpiles. Albertsons, Giant, Weis, Acme and Kroger are some of the chain stores dealing with Banana Boxes.

Whether you buy the items for your own outlet store or for your auction, places like Banana Box Wholesale are willing and able to supply your needs.


The jury is still out on whether food auctions will turn out to be good things or not. Some say they are great because money is tight and every cent saved is needed for families suffering economic hardships. Others make the point that people are now bidding on food that was once sent overseas and that some of the meat products are inferior cuts. Then there is the nutritional aspect of what people are bidding on as well. No doubt time will tell whether the good outweighs the bad, until then I suspect people will make the decision of whether to go to food auctions or not, based on their economic needs.

  • Bush Auction - North Rose, NY
    Bush Auctions is the latest addition to our growing list of auctioneers found across the U.S. A large selection is available with plenty of auction days posted for May and June.

In New York

Finger Lakes, NY Area

One of the comments pointed out the auctions held very regularly in the Finger Lakes, New York area. (Thank you very much for the lead, nancy!)

There is a link now available for Bush Auctions.

Auctions are held in the towns of

  • Seneca
  • Conquest
  • Addison
  • Newark

Please see the link for exact times and locations. Bush Auctions accepts cash or NY checks.

Plenty of good food is available, according to his web information

  • steaks
  • hams
  • turkey
  • cold cuts
  • TV dinners
  • snacks
  • candy

Hopefully anyone reading this article who has knowledge of an auction, will follow nancy's lead and let us know in the comment section. I'm sure there will be plenty of appreciative readers.

    Unfortunately, I could not locate an actual website for this auctioneer. The advertisements refer to Big Harry's as a food liquidator, which, means the auction will contain overstocked and near due date items, similar to other auction sites.

In South Jersey Area

Atco, NJ

Big Harry's Auction, run by Vince Iacono, is listed as an auctioneer who also has food items available.

See the link for the address and time.

His next auction is Wednesday, June 3 and his auctions are held 3 days a week on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

No Auction In Your Area?

Haven't found an auction in your neck of the woods yet? Well keep checking back or get an RSS feed to see if an auction will be held in your area soon.

With food auctions growing in popularity, it is hard to imagine that there won't be more of them in the future.

This article will be continually updated with new food auction locations. If anyone finds out about an auction that has not been listed here, please contact me so that I may add it to the list, to help those who could benefit from the information.

The above add-ons will link to new articles featuring other alternatives to food auctions. They will also save money and allow better quality and cheaper prices. Just click the links to read the information.

© 2009 Jen's Solitude


Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 12, 2020:

Interesting :) Never knew food auctions exsisted. I dont think I have any where I live but we have salvage stores. Thank u for sharing :)

Tnwag31 on December 10, 2016:

My husband and I recently started going to auctions. There great we've always just went to the non food auctions. Recently we tried the food auctions in Albermarle North Carolina called Curt's variety every 3rd Saturday of every month they have one starting at 5 but you want to be there by 4:30 to get a good seat. They have everything as well we've saved tons of money on snacks and can goods. I'm not chancing the meat products only because I buy my meat at a local meat market called Cruzes meat market in Kannapolis North Carolina. Just thought I'd throw it out there that North Carolina has good auctions as well!

Suzy Joe on July 13, 2014:

Anyone know of an Food auction In Northern California .

Mary on June 18, 2014:

I was wondering do you do auctions in Texas Dallas I love to buy food have a large family if you do let me know so I can join y'all.

Johnd168 on April 29, 2014:

I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I've incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll. ddeefkgegcke

akshner on March 18, 2013:

"Ravenquille 2 years ago

90% of my shopping is done in Salvage or Outlet Grocery Stores. I went to 1 Grocery Auction ( Kirk's Auction, being held in Bethel, PA ). It was quite crowded, and I was dumbfounded by what people were buying, and what they were paying. In 4 hours, I saw only ONE bargain: a 25 lb case of chicken for 25 cents a pound ( a number of these were being offered ). Everything else I saw was much higher than I have ever seen the same products in a Salvage Grocery Store or Grocery Outlet; and, even, in quite a few cases, in a regular chain Grocery Store!

By all means, give them a try, more than once; but be prepared to possibly be disappointed."

Hello, Ravenquille,

I just want to correct you. We have never done a grocery auction in Bethel, PA. I am not sure who or which auction company you visited. But it was not us. You would know if you visited our auctions, as we have been running the grocery auctions the longest. We aim to please, everything we sell is cheaper than the grocery chains (any of them), and we NEVER handle salvage food products (banana or egg boxed goods).

I welcome you to come up and visit us, please take a look at our auction calendar to see when we are having one near you.

akshner on March 15, 2013:


My name is Josh. I am the General Manager with Col. Kirk's Auction Gallery, located in Eyersgrove, PA. We are part of the article above, and just so happened to stumble upon it.

We are the ones that started this whole Grocery Auction craze awhile back. We have also been picked up by a National TV Stations and newspapers all over the globe. There is even a Grocery Auction TV Series, that is in the works, please keep an eye out for that.

We have our grocery auction once a month at our Gallery in Northeastern PA. They are held on the Second Friday of every month. We also travel around through-out the month to different areas, as stated above in the article, to provide as many people as we can with Huge savings on their grocery bill. Typically saving the customer 45%-65% off the bill at the local grocery chain. Everyone is very happy when we come, they smile and wave as we drive through town to the local fire hall, or social hall.

We do not sell Salvage Food at any of our auctions, that is one of the main things that set us aside from the others that have popped up. We provide a high quality line of dry foods, drink and a huge line of Frozen Food.

Most of the brand names are very popular, and before their best buy dating. There are a few products that we will sell that are past the best buy date, which the state gives us 364 days safely to sell the product once the date has passed. These products are like water, crackers, canned goods, jelly, chocolate, etc. All of these products eat just fine. We have tried and taken home everything in our auctions, to our families. If we don't think its of good quality, then we don't order it in for you. (This bottle of water I have in my hand, is not going to turn green and go bad on its best buy of March 29th. And this jumbo pack of napkins will still be good after July 2013.)

We purchase all of our product, at the same places walmart, giant, wise, and more, get all of their food they sell you at marked up prices. They have to mark it up because of the overhead they have. We do not have that kind of overhead, and are able to sell the products at a much cheaper price. You can buy one, or take the whole case if you would like. Most of the time, if you take a whole case, the price drops more!

If anyone has any questions at all, on anything having to do with the Grocery Auctions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can find our contact information on our website, or

Also, you can do a search on for auctions in your area.

Thank you for a nice article, and I hope people will be able to find a Grocery Auction in their area. Please spread the word about the savings!

Josh -- General Manager, Col. Kirk's Auction Gallery

tomthegreek on February 12, 2013:

Check out the online food auction

jacky on October 03, 2012:

do you have any food auctions near lowville,ny?

Shan on August 29, 2012:

Is there a food auction in san antonio tx. ? We have a salvage store but his prices r higher than grocery stores

Eric on August 23, 2012:

Anyone know of any auctions in the New England area?

Becky on August 13, 2012:

Do you have food auctions anywhere close to Montana or in Montana? My family and I would love to go.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 10, 2012:

I was unaware that there were such things as food auctions. I don't think that we have such things in Texas. Day old bread places, yes, and one store that I know of has a section in the meat department where prices are slashed when it gets close to the expiration date...but that is about it. Thanks! Voted interesting and useful.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on February 08, 2012:

Thank you for letting others know about your auction in NY. It is also great that you take EBT which replaces the old food stamp program. I hope other auctions are also equipped to accept this type of payment.

O.C. MOWERS AUCTIONS on January 22, 2012:


O.C.MOWERS AUCTIONS on December 24, 2011:


RevSistuh on December 06, 2011:

Hello All Thanks for the tips. We don't have much in the philadelphia area that I am aware of yet. I am waiting. I did try Swann's Pantry in Delaware county and many of the prices were higher than in the market. Many of the items were organic. But not as much saving as I would've liked for a 2 hours trip. But a dollar saved is a $ saved. Happy saving.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on August 25, 2011:

Kirk's Auction was reportedly at Traver's auction barn in Dallas. That is the only info I could find and it dates back to 2009.

comfort on August 25, 2011:

Hi jan do you have food auction in Dallas.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on August 19, 2011:

Hi Lisa,

You could try to find a food auction/auction list and investigate where they purchase their inventory. Wholesale food sellers would be a good place to begin as well. Here is one such place, which has a long list of food auctions among its alphabetized listing. Perhaps you can something pertaining to your area in Illinois.

Lisa Bills on August 17, 2011:

Hi Jen, I have been looking for months a place in Illinois. A grocery auction would be fantastic in the chicagoland area. Perhaps if I knew how to start one I would be very inclined to begin an auction here. The people in this area would love that. Anyone who can help me?

ChristinCordle12 on May 24, 2011:

Great one, enjoyed to read this one.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on March 30, 2011:

I hope your auction is a huge success. Thanks for posting it here.

mike the food dude on March 29, 2011:

i have a all food auction 4/2/11 in lisle ny 6pm. huge load!!!

Ravenquille on November 16, 2010:

90% of my shopping is done in Salvage or Outlet Grocery Stores. I went to 1 Grocery Auction ( Kirk's Auction, being held in Bethel, PA ). It was quite crowded, and I was dumbfounded by what people were buying, and what they were paying. In 4 hours, I saw only ONE bargain: a 25 lb case of chicken for 25 cents a pound ( a number of these were being offered ). Everything else I saw was much higher than I have ever seen the same products in a Salvage Grocery Store or Grocery Outlet; and, even, in quite a few cases, in a regular chain Grocery Store!

By all means, give them a try, more than once; but be prepared to possibly be disappointed.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on August 09, 2010:

Thanks Jaggedfrost! Glad you enjoyed the hub and that you have been successful here on Hubpages.

Jaggedfrost on August 09, 2010:

I never got around to thanking you for welcoming me and being amongst the first to read my hubs that I had at the time. I will fix that now. thank you. This was a very well laid out hub and it is a wonderful resource.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on August 03, 2010:

Interesting Val, I read they were supposed to begin spreading across the US, but they still haven't reached Georgia yet? Maybe I should do a little digging to just to see what the South has to offer. Thanks for pointing this out.

valeriebelew from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA on August 03, 2010:

This was an interesting hub, though I noted they don't have them in Georgia. As someone who has been underemployed for many months, I constantly look for low prices in order to make ends meet. Good resource for those up north who are lucky enough to have them. Good work! (:v

bushauctions on June 01, 2010:


Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on May 25, 2010:

Glad you enjoyed it susanlang, thanks for leaving a comment.

susanlang on May 25, 2010:

Food Auctions is an interesting topic I will be reading more about.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on May 25, 2010:

rich, if ca is short for Canada, I don't have any listings for that area, sorry.

rich on May 25, 2010:

where are food Auctions n ca or s or

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on April 01, 2010:

I hope they grow in popularity soon Property-Invest, I imagine the UK would enjoy saving money too!

Property-Invest from London on April 01, 2010:

Hi Jen, thanks for the great hub on Food auction. We have them hear in the UK, but it's not that popular yet. Catching on though!

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on February 03, 2010:

Hi Scott, Thanks for posting your upcoming opening, please stop back when you are up and running to let our readers know your exact location and times of operation.

scott olds auctioneer on February 03, 2010:

My name is Scott Olds, Auctioneer, I live in Fallsburg, Ohio. My wife and I are looking into starting up a food auction business of our own. We have found the place to buy the food and are waiting on responses from the Licking County. I hope to be able to do this real soon. Thank You.

hossamreffat on January 23, 2010:

Thank you nancy! Appreciate the info and have linked the website. He really seems to have plenty of items to offer for a very long time. I hope others in your area are able to take advantage of such good deals. You sure got some great deals, wish he was in my neck of the woods

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on December 30, 2009:

fastfreta, perhaps if a reader knows about an auction in your neck of the woods, they will post its location. Thanks for your comment.

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on December 30, 2009:

Food auctions, now I've heard it all, sounds like a good idea. Wish we had some here in So. Cal. Another one, Jen, very good. Will be reading more.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on December 01, 2009:

Hi Jan, I wish to thank you for leaving such an enthusiastic comment! I have been wondering if these auctions are found in other countries if you locate one I hope you come back and post it here as this hub receives a lot of traffic from other countries using google.

Have a great day and thanks again!

Jan Thompson from London, England on December 01, 2009:

Hi Jen,

You're my S/Hero - this piece is amazing - I live in London, England and until I came across your article I had never heard or even conceived of such a thing!

These auctions are an excellent idea - I can imagine this way of selling food, crossing the Atlantic to the UK. I just love it and in these days when every penny counts, why shouldn't those with poor pockets be able to get good quality food at reasonable prices.

Thanks for this piece, it's raised my spirits :-)


Angela on November 29, 2009:

There is an article online about a Grocery Auction in Calera, Alabama. Could have sworn I found another one in Alabama too. Just gotta keep looking. Hope this helps those in the South. North Carolina also has one in Monroe NC. But you have to know the auctioneers schedule to know when he holds his food auction.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on November 11, 2009:

Heather, thank you for listing the Manheim, PA auction. I look forward to more posts from areas discovered by the readers of this hub.

A belated thank you for listing another auction, Jim. I hope the folks near Geneva, NY will enjoy attending one of your auctions and find plenty of savings.

BUSHAUCTION:new york on October 30, 2009:

just put one more on our list oaks corners new york.near geneva new york.saving many bucks to lot of people.thnxs and see you at the auctions,jim

Heather on October 28, 2009:

Manheim PA has a Food Auction every Tuesday - Roots Market.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on July 28, 2009:

Thank you Van's Auction. Would love a website in order to add you to the list of sites in this article. Michigan auctions haven't been represented yet.


Van's Auction on July 28, 2009:

We are doing Food Auctions in Michigan each week,

and have been doing them for some time. So far all

of our Buyers have been very happy with the products

and prices.In Michigan we have to have 2 Lis.and we

get inspected.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on July 04, 2009:

Thanks BkCreative. They do exist in your neck of the woods too. Some buy Banana Boxes for resale, you might want to check them out.

Thanks for becoming a fan as well. I will check out your profile page in return.


BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on July 04, 2009:

Hi Jen's Solitude!

I had absolutely no idea such a thing existed. I thought we knew every hustle here in the NYC. This might be a good idea if you can buy quantities cheaply enough and then resell cheaply but make a profit.

Thanks for the info - your hubs are intriguing! Will join your fan club!

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on June 14, 2009:

Thanks for the added info Jerilee Wei. I think we stopped considering options to food shopping until the prices shot up so rapidly. I have an article ready to go that will be a part of this subject and ties in with the surplus grocery stores, just have to get the energy to compose the hub. Have you written anything about the livestock auction? Sounds interesting. ~Jen

Jerilee Wei from United States on June 14, 2009:

Good reminder to people who aren't aware that these have gone on for decades. Most communities, even more urban ones have such things as a weekly livestock auction, where almost all also auction food stuffs.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on June 14, 2009:

Hi Nicole. I agree we are interested too. Unfortunately we missed the auction in our area. By the time I saw the advertisement, we ended up being a week too late. We're hoping to get to one soon though. Like you said, portion control and freezer space is crucial. The alternatives to actual auctions are good too. Maybe there is a surplus grocery store in your area?

Thanks for posting your thoughts.


Nicole A. Winter from Chicago, IL on June 14, 2009:

Wow, I'd never heard of this before, what an interesting idea! I'm sure the key here is portion control and freezer space. Sure, hotdogs and bacon aren't the best food around, but the kids like it and as long as it isn't *all* they are eating it sounds like this would be a fantastic way to save money on some of the basics.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on May 24, 2009:

Thank you nancy! Appreciate the info and have linked the website. He really seems to have plenty of items to offer for a very long time. I hope others in your area are able to take advantage of such good deals. You sure got some great deals, wish he was in my neck of the woods. :D

nancy on May 24, 2009:

there is a food auction allmost every night in the finger lakes in new york by bushauctions we found it in auction zip auctioneer #4829.these guys are so fair and we save big bucks hams for 12 bucks bacon 2.00 pound hot dogs for a 1.00

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on May 17, 2009:

Hi mimi, The auctioneers say they will be expanding to other states in the future. I'll keep track of any additions and post them to this article. I can't see why they wouldn't go to the south, if at all possible. Thanks for the comment!

mimi on May 16, 2009:

I hope these food auctions come to the south as in Alabama.

Jen's Solitude (author) from Delaware on May 14, 2009:

Hi Charlotte Anne.

You know I remember a small auction type place like the ones in the article, that my husband found and I was intrigued too. :) That was years ago, however.

I think people are really hunting for them now, given the traffic this hub is receiving.

We want to check out the ones closest to us in Pennsylvania just to see what they are like.

Thank you for leaving a comment.

Charlotte Anne from Iowa, USA on May 14, 2009:

Very intriguing. I never imagined there was even such a thing as a food auction.

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