Last Minute Food Shopping Tips: Shop Late For Big Savings!

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-05-1012

How I push the envelope on food shopping.

Don’t you just love a bargain? I do, which is why I’ve started doing my food shopping later in the day. I’ve instilled two rules into my food shopping expeditions of late, and they apply no matter what shop I go in. Both methods have saved me a lot of money over time, allowing me to add more to my high yield savings accounts; and I heartily recommend these strategies if the shop or store you frequent cooperates with you on these matters. Curious as to what they are? I won’t keep you in suspense:

Last Minute Food Shopping Tips: Shop Late For Big Savings!

I’ve covered several grocery shopping tips before, but here are a couple more.

Tip #1: Hang out at the discounted section of the store.
For starters I always head straight to that part of the store which has all the discounted stuff in it. It’s where you will find all the things that are about to meet their “sell by date”. As far as I’ve checked, the perishables here are all fine and perfectly edible but as far as the store is concerned, they need to be sold as fast as possible.

Now there is a basic rule to bear in mind here. The later in the day you go, the bigger the discounts get and the more you’ll be able to reduce your grocery bill. I can’t speak for every store but I have a feeling they all work in about the same way. If you go in around lunchtime the discounts will be at around the 25% mark in my local store. Leave it until the afternoon and that discount will be up to 50%. And by the time you get to around an hour before closing they’re up to 75% and practically giving it away. Does your store work this way? Then you can use this “sales pattern” to your advantage.

So patience pays off, although of course, when you visit the discount section, you never quite know exactly what you are going to find there. My basic rule is that I will only buy things I know I will use. And of course when it comes to fresh items, I need to know I have room in the freezer to store them safely so they last longer.

Tip #2: Shop as late in the day as you can.
Now back to the second rule. As mentioned previously, I would suggest that you focus on planning your shopping as late in the day as you possibly can. You may be surprised by how many items you can get for cheaper this way. In many shops, you’ll find that bread is one item that may possibly be repriced, the longer it sits on the shelves. If you freeze bread or need it for toast, you can save a lot by buying this item later on in the day.

You need to be organized if you are going to make the most of this method. Also, it’s not a good idea to buy discounted items exclusively (or to the exclusion of everything else). You need to think about what it is you plan to buy and make sure it doesn’t expire anytime soon after you make its purchase, before you get a chance to use it. Common sense should come into play here: if you can freeze the item you purchase, then that should be fine. But if the item is something you’re required to use straight away but you can’t do so for a while, and if it’s something you aren’t able to store or preserve, then you may want to think twice before buying it.

When I visit the “discount section” of the store, it’s something I honestly enjoy because I never know what I am going to find here (and to some extent, I like the element of surprise). For the store I patronize, I know pretty much where all the discounted items go: they have an area in their chilled cabinet for this, as well as one part of an aisle and an area in the bakery. I love the idea of stretching my dollars by planning exactly where and when to do my shopping!

So does your food or grocery store have a discount aisle, and do they reprice items later in the day? I’m pretty sure that the cheapest family in the nation uses these tricks when they shop.

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Credit Girl May 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Whenever I go grocery shopping or shopping in general, I love the $1 sections! They just automatically grab my attention!

Jennifer @ 401k IRA May 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I tend to get in trouble with these sorts of things–I think, oh wow, sale! This is a great deal… so then I buy more things than I intended to, which in turn ends up raising my grocery bill. So what I do is make a list before I go of what I really need, and then see if any can be replaced by items in the discounted section 🙂

And yep, my grocery store is priced lower, later in the day, too!

Kyle C. May 11, 2010 at 3:19 am

I like the “managers specials” at Kroger. Especially on produce and meats, they drastically mark them down right before they expire so if you need it that day you can pick it up pretty cheap. Just don’t let it sit around long. May 12, 2010 at 4:25 am

My wife and I used to go to the grocery store on the weekends. We have moved it to mid-week for this very purpose.

One thing in particular we have noticed is the meats. They are discounted by mid-week, most likely because they did not sell over the weekend and the store needs to move the inventory in preparation for the next weekend.

Good points here.

Griff Hanning May 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Thank you for these very useful tips! I wish our store had MORE but maybe I’m just greedy =) . I learned the bakery does their markdowns early, meat does it shortly thereafter so….sometimes I get lucky & catch them when they’re rolling a cart out for me to go through.

Squirrelers May 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Good tips. Those discounted areas can offer some very good deals indeed.

I also like the time honored advice of shopping for food when you are not hungry. That can save money on impulse buys of less healthy options.

Ellen S. May 16, 2010 at 7:25 am

I think most people would agree that saving money is something “easier said than done”. Personally, I believe it’s a mind-set that needs to be developed by creating good money-saving habits.

Here are some things I’ve done to help change my spending habits:

– Cook more at home Eating out is very expensive especially if you do it a couple times a week
– Try shopping online You can find better deals than in the store and you save on gas (I recommend
– Pay the full balance on credit cards each month Interest charge is like giving away free money
– Don’t forget to pay yourself Set up an online savings account (they pay higher interest than a normal savings account)
– Set a budget and goals It’s good to have your goals written down so you see them everyday and don’t lose focus on your ultimate objectives

Again, saving money requires a lot of patience and hard work. However, you’ll thank yourself later on in life. Good luck everyone!! =)

Myhammer May 19, 2010 at 12:10 am

Shopping late can be really beneficial. Well we can also check various sites on internet to know about different offers running around us. Nice tips. Thanks for sharing.

Miss Platnum May 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Good tips. Things that are very simple but effective! And this kind of things can change our life!

Debbie May 21, 2010 at 3:32 am

I love going to the open air market late on Friday. Everything closes on Friday afternoon for the weekend, so by 3-4PM they’ve slashed their produce prices by about 50%. It’s a great opportunity to stock up on fruits and vegetables.

My supermarket, unfortunately, doesn’t have a discount aisle. Oh well.

SimplyForties August 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I wish my store had a discount area. That would certainly make shopping for bargains a lot quicker. Alas, in my store things are left where they are, just marked down. It’s more like a scavenger hunt!

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