This article was actually posted a pretty long time ago (nearly 3 years), but I think as the economy has continued on its course of stagnation (soon to be contraction), it is still somewhat timely. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently, auctions aren't just for selling art and antiques anymore. To fulfill the demand of the downwardly mobile, auctions have expanded to include the everyday necessities of life, including groceries. The savings at these auctions seem to be pretty substantial, and the profit is split between the grocer and the auctioneer. The grocer even sells "scratch 'n dent" items for auction, which is a lot preferable than just throwing away a perfectly good can or box of food that happens to have a small dent in the box.
Being a fan of Jim Kunstler, this picture amused me.