In part 1 I covered how to navigate the store to avoid getting caught by impulse buys, Part 2 covered how to navigate the ads to find the best deals. Part 3 is all about finding the markdowns and unadvertised/less advertised deals. In other words, know where your store hides the best deals.
1. Know your store. Some very important information to know is......
a. Where are the discount bins found?
b. When does your store mark down things like produce, dairy, and meat items?
c. How do they label the marked down items?
Nearly every store has a place that they put discounted items (scratch and dented, or close to expiring foods). Oftentimes it is found in a corner. Sometimes it is a shopping cart that they have placed with a sign. Being aware of, looking for, and finding these items can lead to huge savings. I save quite a bit by buying foods that are near their expiration dates and freezing or otherwise storing them. Check out my thoughts on nearly expired foods. Just be aware and buy only those things that you will use.
Knowing when they mark down food can lead to the best choices. I know that one of my favorite stores makes mark downs in the afternoon, so if I go to that store in the late afternoon I get the best choice. By evening, everything is pretty well picked over and the best of the bargains are gone.
Knowing how to spot the markdowns is useful information. My favorite store uses a yellow tag on the shelf to show a markdown. I keep my eyes open for them. These can be great deals, but the killer deals (in this particular store) comes when the food has been marked down already and they want it gone. When this happens, they will add an additional savings with a bright yellow store coupon which I also love. My heart jumps for joy when I find a yellow price tag on the shelf and a yellow coupon sticker too (Double whammy).
I have had several friends ask if I could come shopping with them because I have a habit of being able to sniff out those great deals from across the store. It takes a little practice, but well worth the efforts.
2. Does your store have a rewards program/ shoppers card?
Using your shopping card is a great way to save at the grocery store. I frequent Smiths food and Drug. They have the shoppers card/rewards program. I can save on groceries with the card, but more than that, I save up points to use to save on fuel. Another bonus is they send coupons tailored to me and my shopping habits. The send me paper coupons was well offering e-coupons which are loaded right to my card. It is nice because the coupons savings comes off automatically.
3. Sign up for e-mail or text alerts/ become a Facebook or Twitter fan.
This can be a great way to find extra savings, sometimes stores will send out an e-alert about a special one time buy. Remember to use the skills learned in the other lessons and not get caught up in impulse buying just because you got a special invite by text or e-mail. With the information age there are many more ways to find a bargain. There are websites and apps that can alert you to special clearance items that may be lurking in your store, just beware that in the large chain stores, clearance items can vary from store to store, so just because someone in a neighboring city found a great deal, does not mean that you will have the same luck in your store. Keep your eyes and ears out and deals will begin to find you.
I hope that you have found some useful information in this series, and that it has blessed your life. Come back soon for more frugal adventures here at life less hurried.