Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Look around for savings!

When you go to the grocery store, do you just rush in, get the stuff on your list, and get out as quickly as possible? (Or, worse, do you rush in, take what looks good right now, and get out?)

If you can, try taking a few extra minutes to look around the store.  You never know what you might find that will help you save!

Unadvertised deals
While it's important to check your local grocery ad when making your shopping list, there sometimes can be unadvertised deals at the store as well.  These are deals from the manufacturers that didn't make it into the ad in time.  They may be in a special bin near the front of the store, or at their usual spot on the shelves. 

Some bloggers will write posts about these deals when they hear about them, so that you can look for them yourself when you go to the store.  Try doing a search for "[store name] unadvertised deals [start date of ad]".  You might find some great deals that you wouldn't know about otherwise!

Manager's specials
Sometimes a store has too many of  items that will reach their expiration soon, so the store will lower their price to move them out!  For instance, yesterday I was at ALDI to pick up milk, but I decided to check out the bread area.  (It's a small store, so this wasn't really out of my way).  I found bread for 25 cents!  I asked an employee about this great deal, and he said that the bread was set to expire in five days.  I bought five loaves, as many as would fit into the empty space in the freezer above my refrigerator (I need to think about getting a separate freezer!)

Definitely check any areas with items that might spoil.  Produce departments might have a small section with overripe bananas and other fruit.  Meat can be marked down if it's on its final day of freshness (but will be fine to freeze).  Check the bakery, and even milk can be found on sale sometimes.  Just walk a circuit around the edges of your store and see what's available!

Besides items nearing their expiration, managers might also try to clear shelves of products that they will no longer be carrying.  To get them off as quickly as possible, they may lower the price, so they can use the shelf space for more profitable merchandise. The only way to find these deals is to check the aisles and look.  One time at Winn-Dixie, I found small jars of store brand peanut butter that were severely marked down.  I guess the store was not going to carry that particular size anymore.  There were only a few jars left by the time I got there, but I cleaned them out! 

As you walk around the store, keep your eyes peeled for display stands - they might contain coupon books!  These can be either from the store or from the manufacturer.  They may be advertised as a recipe booklet, but might contain coupons as well.  In the last few weeks, I've found several booklets (read here, here, and here).  Also look for tearpad coupons, which might be on a display stand, or perhaps attached to the shelves.  And look for "blinkie" coupons, coupons given out by small machines connected to the shelves which have a blinking light (hence the name).

I hope you'll find more than just your shopping list items on your next trip to the store!

Check out these sites for other frugal ideas:

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Kristen December 6, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

Those unadvertised specials are like buried treasure. They are so much fun to find. I haven't seen 25 cent bread in years! Good for you!!!

Heather @ Family Friendly Frugality December 6, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

*cries* I so wish I had an Aldi's. I've heard such great things about that place!

Thanks for stopping by Family Friendly Frugality and hopping today!

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