If you aren’t a fan of using coupons but still need to save on your grocery bill, or are looking for an extra way to save, there’s one tip that can help save up to 40% off your organic grocery bill that has worked for me.
Find a store that frequently marks down their products when it gets close to the expiration date and ask them what their markdown schedule is. Many stores mark down their products, including chains like Kroger, Target and Meijer and small local health food stores. Depending on the store, these marked down products can be found throughout the store or in a special “Manager Markdown” section.
I asked Kroger, the store I shop at most frequently, and was told that their Level 1 markdowns (the least % off) was early in the morning, their Level 2 happened around noon and their Level 3 (the highest % off, usually items that expire the next day) products are marked down at 3 pm daily.
Now, I always try to shop shortly after 3 pm. I can almost always find natural and organic products marked down by shopping at this time. Even better, the products that are marked down, are products that are hard to find coupons for, like organic meats, organic produce, organic eggs and organic dairy.
Just yesterday, I headed to Kroger shortly after 3 pm, and was able to get just under $32 worth of products for $19.54, including organic grass-fed beef and organic eggs. I also had $2.50 in digital coupon loaded to my card on these products, so after coupons, I paid $17.04!
I’ve found that perishable items like dairy, meats and eggs usually expire within a few days. Meat is easy to freeze. Eggs don’t freeze well, but we try to plan meals around what we find (breakfast for dinner, make quick breads with eggs, etc.). I often find the packaged products don’t expire for a few weeks, so it’s easy to use that up before the expiration.
I’m sure other grocery stores have systems similar to this, so the next time you are at your grocery store of choice, be sure to find the manager and ask about their markdown schedule.
Bonus Tip: Seek out products that are close to expiration but aren’t yet marked down and ask the manager for a discount. You can also try to haggle on products that are already marked down, by offering a lower price than what’s it’s already marked down to. Manager’s are often happy to take what they can get, especially if the product expires the next day.