Bent, Dent and Cheap

In an era when food prices are spiking — and the country's massive food waste is poised to become a national scandal — it's nice to know that there are still places where you can get seriously discounted groceries.

If you're up for a roadtrip, visit the little-publicized Amish pocket around Granton and Neillsville, WI on Highway 10, just past Eau Claire. The farms are picture-perfect, the cows are plentiful, buggies clatter along peacefully on the side of the road, and food is available for wicked cheap prices at The Farmer's Pantry.

The store is all about bent, dented and otherwise slightly damaged but perfectly good foodstuffs. The crazy thing is this: The quality of food ranges from Kraft Mac-n-Cheese all the way up to Lindt gourmet chocolate (75 percent off) and Kodiak Big Bear brownies ($1.25 for a box; normally about $5.) Stocking up for the coming apocalypse? Luna Bars are only $.30 a pop. Thirty cents! That leaves plenty of money for ammunition and barbed wire. And they've got Oregon Chai mix, soy-based crap, couscous Kagome fruit juices... etc. etc.

All the action takes place at W3024 Starr Rd., just off of Highway 10.

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Of course, you've gotta weigh the food savings against the massive gasoline cost. But here's your dealbreaker: The Granton/Neillsville area is also home to Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking Cow. Link includes photos and — naturally — talking cow audio.

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