tips for shopping cheap, even when you want more expensive foods

Sometimes cooking cheap all the time can be hard. Sometimes you want a good slab of meat or some of that pricier fruit juice. Well, I have a treat for you then. Shop at grocery stores that put nearly expired foods on reduction, and you’ll score big time. Here are some examples of things we’ve found on reduction:

• A pack of $25 steaks for $11

• A gallon of $5 milk for $0.50

• A gallon of $9 orange juice for $3

• A tub of $4 cottage cheese for $1

And that’s just the start of it.

However, you’ll need to go in the early morning hours- if you’re shopping at Brookshire’s, about thirty minutes after the store opens. If you’re shopping at Walmart, you’ll have to go at around 4-5 AM. It first goes on reduction the day before the “sell by” date, and the price drops again the day of, the day after, and the day after that. With dairy products though, a sell by date isn’t an expiration date, so stock up on that milk and cheese. And when milk does “go bad”, it’s not really bad. You can use it as buttermilk in cooking. Meats also go on reduction, but you have to be a bit more observant when buying this. Look at the coloration closely. Usually raw meats in grocery stores are bright red, but some discoloration (brown) happens sometimes. This is perfectly fine, but make sure it’s not all brown. No more than half of the meat should be discolored.

When you buy meats on reduction, stick them in the freezer as soon as you get home if you’re not going to use them that day. The safest way to thaw meats after this is by putting them in the fridge 16-20 hours before use. Ground meats don’t necessarily have to be thawed if you’re browning them in a skillet through, but they’ll take longer to cook and there will be extra liquid to drain off.

Here’s another tip: don’t be afraid to venture to another town’s grocery store. I live in a small town, and when you pay full price for a lot of groceries here, you get slashed. In a town about thirty minutes from here, prices are not as bad. But the nearest actual cities are about an hour, either east or west, and gas is 20-50 cents cheaper a gallon and milk is $2.50 instead of $5 in those cities. So if you live in an area like mine and need to go to other cities for business or any other reason, try to multipurpose your trip and check out the grocery stores while you’re there. If the prices are good, try to utilize every other trip you make over there too. Also, buy in bulk at places like Sam’s Club at every opportunity. If you have cabinet and freezer space, it’s the best way to go for frozen and canned items, as well as several other things.

Thank you for reading, and thank you even more for visiting thecouponcook.com!