Want to lower your grocery bill? These guys want to help.
IDAHO FALLS – Discount food stores are a dime a dozen in other states and communities, but until a few years ago, there wasn’t a discount food store in Idaho Falls.
Jacob Johnson opened Johnson’s Discount Foods about four and a half years ago.
“I grew up in California. For a while, I worked for a guy who had a store like this. I have a degree in political science, so it was just natural to go into the grocery business with that,” Johnson jokes.
The majority of Johnson’s inventory are items pulled off the shelves of other grocery stores. They sell a wide variety of items that are expired, damaged or discontinued.
“I’m always surprised at the different products that come in,” says Johnson. “They come in unsorted boxes. We sort through those and we see items we’ve never seen before.”
Some of those unique items include Marmite Yeast Extract and raisin brown bread in a can. Johnson says he’s also seen Jewish products used during Passover and a British drink called Elder Flower Juice. But the vast majority of products are the run-of-the-mill items you would expect to see at any grocery store.
Since these products come from other stores, Johnson can sell them for a much lower price.
“If one of our competitors prices a certain item lower than us, it always surprises me. It’s pretty rare that we find that to be the case, but if we do, we lower our price because we’re doing something wrong,” he says.
Johnson says their products are often more than 50 percent below the retail price of other stores. He doesn’t guarantee they will have everything a customer is looking for, but if they do, it will be a lower price than anywhere else, says Johnson.
“A lot of customers leave with a happy face knowing that they saved a lot more money than they would have saved (by shopping at another store),” employee Spencer Palmer says.
“I’ve always been a bargain shopper,” says Johnson. “It’s kinda nice to pass that on to other people.”
Johnson says business growth has been steady over the years. They are currently located at 1570 N. Woodruff in Idaho Falls inside the old Eddy’s Bread store and hope to one day expand the size of their store.
“We’re not for everybody, but it’s worth seeing if you can bring the grocery bill down,” Johnson says.
Johnson’s Discount Foods is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.