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.
Image from ScallyWag and Vagabond
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.
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