When I was a university student and lived in Forest Lawn (which is about 6 month ago), I shopped regularly at a place called Sun-Cal Foods on 17th Ave. The place specialized in selling foods close to or just past the expiry date, as well as somewhat sickly looking vegetables, at modest prices. I’m not sure how the owner sources his goods, and I suspect he actually sifts through dumpsters behind supermarkets, but there are often gems to be found, such as speciality cheese and meats from manufacturers that have gone out of business, or bulk foods from restaurants.
I’ve now moved to the suburbs, but have many fond gastronomical memories of that place, such as the time I bought a 3 litre bucket of already-expired seafood salad for around $5, and ate it for the next two month. I made seafood salad soup(rather unattractive, as the mayo or cream or whatever they use to make the salad congealed into blobs of fat which floated on the surface, I still ate every last piece of course), seafood salad ramen noodles, seafood salad lasagne, seafood salad sandwiches, everything I could think of, it was tasty stuff!
I also often took home food left over at work. I once subsisted for an entire month on those “Hygaard” packaged sandwiches, which I had carted home from a roadtrip since none of my co-workers could stomach even a single one of them. They admittedly tasted awful, but that only meat my stockpile lasted longer. Often I would come across unexpected cornecopias such as stacks of leftover steak, which I would proceed to devour, grisel and all, in the manner of potato chips during a relaxing evening in front of the computer.
As an aside, my trips to China inevitably result in me consuming large quantities of La Rou, which is basically the fat cut from salted pork (sometimes there is a little bit of pork still attached, there is almost always still skin). I ate massive amounts of these at every meal for months on end.
I mentioned in the weight loss thread that a good way to lose weight was to budget no more than $30/week for food. I stand by that claim because I did it myself (not to lose weight, but to save money).
As a matter of fact, I ate quite well and quite healthy during those times, with lots of vegetables, small amounts of lean meat and whole grains, but many of my aquantainces, who were often less healthy and fit than me, found my eating habits to be ghastly.